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July 24, 2022

Steam user issues PSA about controller lighting options

Steam controller support is very good in 2022, with full integration for a wide range of controllers that goes beyond Microsoft's Xbox pads. Valve implemented specific support for Sony's PlayStation 4 controller back in 2018, and the PlayStation 5 DualSense also works well – with several games even offering the ability to utilize some of its more advanced features such as the haptic feedback.

However, there's one nice little feature that is often overlooked by users, because it's buried in a slightly strange place in the menus that you might not think to check – especially given that most controllers are just plug and play, so you might not even have considered digging through the menus to see what else you can do with them.

Such was the case for Kinda Funny contributor Parris, who goes by vicious696 on Twitter. Parris posted a photo of his Xbox pad in front of Steam's “personalize your controller” menu, saying, “Was today years old when I realized I could change the color of the Xbox home button in Steam.”

That's right - you can pick from a full RGB range of hues to light up your hands while you game, and it isn't just for Xbox pads, either. Both PS4 and PS5 controllers can take advantage of this feature out of the box to alter the colour, saturation, and intensity of their lightbar.

Sadly, not all Xbox controllers can offer a color range - the multi-colour Xbox button demonstrated by Parris is only available on the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller. You can change the brightness of other models, however, which can still come in handy if you find the vibrant white glow to be distracting.

In order to take advantage of this, all you need to do is go to the view menu in Steam, click settings, then controller, then general controller settings. There, you will see a list of your detected controllers at the bottom. Select the pad in question and click on the 'preferences' menu and you should see the ability to alter your colours. If it doesn't show up, you may need to check the extended support option for your controller of choice in the controller settings page.

Apparently, Parris wasn't the only one who didn't realize, even though this feature has been available for quite some time. A post-relaying the information to the Steam subreddit has garnered almost 10,000 upvotes. Users in the comments took it upon themselves to share their hues of choice – personally, I enjoy a fetching emerald green, or of course a warm PCGamesN orange.

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