The big picture: One of the PC's biggest strengths is the ability to game with a keyboard and mouse but as millions of Steam users have demonstrated over the past three years, preferred input methods vary greatly between players and games.
PC gamers have long touted the flexibility of their platform as one of its biggest attributes and specifically, the range of input devices at their disposal. Presumably, the go-to solution for PC gamers is the trusty keyboard and mouse but according to the latest data from Valve, lots of players are opting to use gamepads.
Valve notes that since 2015, more than 30 million players have registered at least one controller with more than 15 million of them registering multiple controllers. The chart below provides an insightful breakdown of controller types used on Steam.
Unsurprisingly, Xbox and PlayStation console controllers are far and away the most popular among Steam players. Niche devices like racing wheels and dance pads barely make a blip on the radar, outnumbered even by plastic musical instrument controllers and flight sticks.
While console controllers are plentiful on the platform, they aren’t actually used all that much. Steam data shows that less than 20 percent of Xbox One controllers connected to an account were used in the past month and only nine percent of PlayStation 4 controllers were active within the past 30 days.
Do you use a gamepad with Steam on the PC? If so, which type and for what games? Personally, I have an Xbox One controller that I use for occasional Rocket League action but admittedly haven’t picked it up in months. I may even still have my old Microsoft Sidewinder gamepad buried somewhere in the closet.