I got the Steam Link and Controller

Introduction

I got the Steam Link and Controller delivered to my house about three hours ago, and I’ve been messing around with them since. Here’s what’s notable so far.

Wireless connection is actually decent

The Steam Link is actually decently able to stream games wirelessly with little lag. There’s some jerkiness here and there, but no more than I really expected because it’s a wireless connection. My PC’s upstairs and my room doesn’t have an Ethernet connection, so wireless is the best I’m gonna get.

The interface messes up

The Big Picture interface can kinda mess up occasionally. I’m guess ing what happened to me was that the mouse cursor was allowed to move too far off the screen, so it switched to another of my monitors, but the game was in fullscreen mode so it just showed a black screen. Somehow, this ended up messing with the actual Steam interface, and I couldn’t actually access the thing with the Steam Controller, while also not being able to access my game. I held the Steam button down a long time and the Link eventually rebooted, but Steam actually crashed on my computer and so I had to go back and open it up again. Then my time with the thing ran out because other people wanted to use the TV.

The dual trackpads are surprisingly okay

I honestly didn’t expect much out of the trackpads, given that’s kind of the least precise way to control a mouse, but once I fiddled with the settings, they turned out to be a lot more precise than I expected them to be.

Setting up custom control layouts is really nice

I used Spacebase DF-9 with the Official Unofficial Patch 1.08.1 as my test game. While the suggested WASD Keyboard and Mouse layout was alright, it was clearly not optimised for the game. Through the tweaking of controls and settings, I slowly found myself determined to create a personal optimised Steam Controller layout for Spacebase DF-9. It was, dare I say it, actually fun to configure the controller layout. Mainly because it was so damn simple to do. Don’t like a function of the trackpad? Hit the Steam button, go into Controller Layout (or something, I can’t actually remember what the button’s called), and change it. Go back to the game, try it, come back and refine it. It’s that simple for every single thing on the controller. Honestly, if all control configuration was that simple, I’d spend just as much time setting up my controls as I would creating my character. It’s fucking stellar.

Typing is actually alright

It takes a bit of getting used to, but soon enough, it’ll be second nature to type with the dual trackpads. I was able to write a short description for my Spacebase control layout very easily, and though I’m not yet as precise as I’d like to be, I’m sure that with time I can type on this thing like a pro.

The build quality is iffy

I gotta be honest. The controller feels kinda cheap. It’s so light you almost wonder whether anything’s actually in there at all, and the plastic they use feels like the Xbox 360 controller. Now, you might say that’s not too bad. But considering that you can pick up a wired, PC-compatible Xbox 360 controller for £24.99 at PC World and this thing costs £39.99, you’d expect a bit more solidity in the materials they use.

THE FIRMWARE IS STILL DOWNLOADING

It’s taken me about twenty minutes to write this, and I plugged the controller into my PC to download the latest firmware before I started. It’s still downloading. I’m not even fully sure it’s actually doing anything right now. I thought I dodged this when I decided against buying a next-gen console.

##Conclusion

So, overall, the Steam Link and Steam Controller are pretty alright little pieces of hardware. At £80 total for one of each (not including shipping and handling), they probably won’t send you spiralling into poverty, and it’s good value for what they do. The Link lets you play your games in more comfortable settings, and the Controller offers a new way to play your favourite games- even ones you thought would never have controller support. If you can spare the cash, pick them up. Give 'em a go. With a 30-day no-questions-asked full-refund-for-any-reason return policy, it’s not too much of a risk to see how you like them.

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Nice review

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eh, I still prefer my xbone controller, won’t use a steam controller.
But good review, nice!

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The Xbox One controller is surprisingly nice, if it had support for the steam link I’d seriously consider getting it, but for now if I get the steam link I’d consider the controller too.

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I really do encourage people to find some place where you can try it out for a bit before you dismiss it. It honestly does take some getting used to, but as this article says, the Steam controller is to modern console controllers what DVORAK is to the QWERTY keyboard layout. It has really cool benefits, if you can just stick through the learning curve.

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I’ve had it for about six to seven hours, and I’ve used it consistently over those few hours, in the sense that I have not want ed to put it down. There was a bit of “oh, I’m not sure about these controls” but I went into the settings and changed sensitivity and whatnot, and I adapted very quickly. I definitely think I’m an outlier here, most people will probably need at least a few days to really get comfortable with it, but I think it would be interesting to see if your opinion of the controller changes after a few days’ use.

I use a plate of spaghetti to play my vido gams :spaghetti::video_game:

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Can you not, its time to stop

Stop what exactly?

No more spaghetti

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But you don’t understand… It’s all I have left… It’s the only reason I’m still alive. :smirk::spaghetti: But for real if it bothers you that much I’ll stop.

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nah just being silly dawg :yellow_heart:

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Sorry for the necro, but this is something I’ve been curious about: Does the Steam Link just stream your screen from your main PC, or is it a tiny installation of SteamOS with Big Picture that uses in-home streaming as if you were using the full Steam client?

Uhhhh… There’s an independent options menu, and if there’s no game running it does just stream whatever screen you have it focused on (yes you can switch between multiple monitors), but if you launch a game it does the blue sparkly background and fullscreens the game so to answer your question I have no idea

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