Steam Controller adds new feature to improve RPG, strategy play

A new Steam client update is now available in beta, bringing a new Steam Controller feature that aims to improve usability with strategy and RPG titles.

Valve details the patch in a new Steam Community post, explaining the addition of the new ‘Mouse Region’ touchpad mode.

The mode basically allows the peripheral’s touchpads to behave more like a standard mouse by allowing users to map all or portions of them to certain regions of a game window – such as the map in an RTS or the action RPG’s ability bar.

The update is currently available for those opted-in to the Steam beta, which anyone can do through the service’s client. Here are the relevant patch notes in full:

Steam Controller

  • Added a new touchpad mode, Mouse Region. 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.
  • Added support for visualizing small Mouse Region modes in the Controller HUD.
  • With this client, a new firmware for the controller has also been released with improved touchpad finger tracking and various other bug fixes.

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