Dota 2 with the Steam Controller

Posted by on Jan 4, 2014 in Blog, Steam Hardware Beta | 6 comments

Can you successfully play Dota 2 with the Steam Controller? I get asked this a lot and I’m convinced the answer is yes. I think it would take a lot of time to get decent with it, but I certainly think it’s an option for a casual player. I don’t believe you could or should substitute your mouse and keyboard if you want to play competitively though.

I’ve been determined to come up with a playable controller configuration. I have been casually playing Wraith-Night since I got the Steam Machine and I think I’ve found a combination that works quite well. With the expected release of custom game modes in Dota 2 I think the Steam Controller could be a popular choice for these types of matches.

If the video wasn’t enough you can view my bind map below. If you’re in possession of a Steam Controller you can search for “Jimo’s Experimental Dota 2 Binds” by navigating the community bind list. Feel free to use my map as a base to build and publish your own.

Jimo's Experimental Dota 2 Binds

Jimo’s Experimental Dota 2 Binds

On the right pad I’ve chosen to use a dead zone of 30% which allows me to comfortably rest my thumb in the centre of the pad. I’ve also set the outer ring modifier to shift which allows me to queue movements and abilities.

Right controller pad.

Right controller pad.

For the left pad I’ve set the input mode to 4-way directional with blending turned on, this allows me to make diagonal movements with the camera. I’ve also set a double click function that centres the camera on my hero. The reason I chose double click is due to how many times I accidently clicked the button while moving my camera around.

Left controller pad.

Left controller pad.

I’ve put together a gameplay video of me playing Wraith-Night with the Steam Controller on normal difficulty. The video only goes up to round seven as my memory card couldn’t hold anymore space.  In the video you’ll be able to tell that I struggled to react quickly to certain situations and I also made a fair number of newbie mistakes. I believe most of my struggles come down to the fact that I’m still relatively new to the Steam Controller, and making the jump from a mouse and keyboard is difficult at first.

I feel that once some more configuration options for the controller are opened up it will only make things better. The cursor sensitivity is my biggest issue as Dota 2 doesn’t allow you to adjust it within the in-game settings. If I was able to adjust it I think things would go much more smoothly.

I haven’t been brave enough yet to try out the configuration in a regular match, but once I do I’ll be sure to update. If you have any questions or requests please let me know in the comments box below.

  • madjr

    Very nice work.

    Can you also try the game: “Forced” which has some gamepad support similar to diablo3 on consoles, to see if those tweaks help these kinds of games with this controller.

    And also as per an article on IGN about the steampad’s sensitivity:

    “Valve will also allow users to adjust things like sensitivity, which can be adjusted on a per-game basis in SteamOS. “On SteamOS, sensitivity is really easy to solve, because we can just change what the operating system’s sensitivity is on the fly, based on what you’re doing in a game,” Hope said. However, in Legacy mode or in Windows, sensitivity won’t be able to be adjusted. “Windows has its own sensitivity settings for input. The game has its own sensitivity settings, and our controller has its own sensitivity settings. We have to find this sweet spot where we’re averaging all three inputs into this spectrum,” he said. “It’s mostly solvable. There hasn’t been any game on Windows that we haven’t been able to play. But it takes a little bit more tweaking.””

    • Jimo

      I’ll see what I can do about getting some footage of Forced for you!

      And yeah, I was told by someone at Valve that sensitivity options will be available eventually, I’m just trying to be unbiased by letting people know what I’m having a hard time with. :D

  • Jt

    Cool! Do you think this will be a legit way to play MOBAs?

  • Jimo

    Interesting, I wonder what they plan to do.