If you’re a fan of action-RPGs, strategy games, or MOBAs, the Steam controller just became a much more viable option.
Currently an opt-in beta feature, the Steam controller’s new Mouse Region functionality works like this:
“This lets a touchpad be mapped to a configurable, fixed region of the game window, such that touching the pad in a given zone will always position the mouse cursor to the same matching spot in that region. This can be used to improve accuracy and responsiveness in top-down action games and strategy games. Mouse Region modes can warp the cursor to and from their region when they are activated through mode-shifts, which can be useful for holding a button to activate a smaller Mouse Region above the minimap in a strategy game. The regions are also reshapable, allowing a configuration to temporarily activate a horizontal, flat Mouse Region on top of a skillbar in a roleplaying game.”
So basically, it turns a haptic pad into a 1:1 map of the game screen (or a portion of it, which you can customize the size and location of). Within that space, you can tap a region to instantly move your cursor there, or you can just swipe it around as you would with normal mouse controls.
In short, it’s awesome—just what the witch doctor ordered for games with top-down cameras and skill bars. Watch me take it for a spin in Diablo-esque action-RPG Torchlight II:
I barely even scratched the surface in that video. I can’t wait to see what people come up with. I might have initially been skeptical of the Steam controller, but kudos to Valve and the community for pushing it in some promising directions.
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