Steam Deck’s built in button mapping sets a new bar for convenience and accessibility

I haven’t had a Steam Deck long but in the time I have I’ve mostly been throwing games at it, most from the last 20 years, to see what works and what doesn’t. 2002’s Morrowind? Like a dream. 2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum? Here’s an error screen I doubt the developers have even seen. Throughout this reckless generational testing one thing has constantly tiled me, and it’s not playing Days Gone on a handheld. Instead, it’s how flawlessly the system’s built-in button mapping works.

pressing on

Steam deck button mapping

(Image credit: Valve)

The Steam Deck seems to effortlessly reassign the controls of almost anything you play in a way that makes it feel like it was designed for the machine. From ancient games like 1994’s Elder Scrolls Arena, to more recent things that predate standard gamepad PC options such as 2005’s Condemned: Criminal Origins – everything just works, as if past developers secretly knew the machine was coming and included options for it.

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