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Do Nintendo Switch retro controllers work with Steam?

Steam has tons of retro games that would be great to play with retro controllers.

image of two nintendo switch retro controllers on purple background
Image: KnowTechie

When Nintendo launched its line of retro controllers, its goal was to offer classic, nostalgic controllers for the Nintendo Switch that gamers are familiar with. But will Nintendo’s retro controllers work on other platforms, like Steam?

For a quick refresher, Steam is a PC gaming platform with thousands of available games to choose from.

With tons of classics to choose from, Steam would be a great platform for users to feel nostalgic using one of Nintendo’s classic controller designs to play some retro games.

But Nintendo designed its retro controllers with the Switch in mind. So, will they work on Steam? Let’s find out.

Can you use Nintendo Switch retro controllers on Steam?

Short answer: Yes

When the retro Nintendo controllers originally came out, Nintendo designed them specifically for the Switch. But in July of 2022, Steam pushed an update to its client that added support for the retro controllers on Steam.

steam update notes on a purple background showing nintendo switch retro controller compatiblity
Image: KnowTechie

Of course, it’s probably not easy to play some computer games with Nintendo’s retro controllers. I imagine you’d have a hard time using an older controller layout in a game like Elden Ring.

But if you play a lot of retro games, these controllers might feel pretty good. Imagine hopping on the original Final Fantasy VII with a throwback NES controller. It could transport you back to a time when video games were made for love instead of absolute greed.

However, you will have to get past the supply limits to snag one of these controllers.

When writing this, the SNES and the original NES retro controller are available on Nintendo’s website. And the website states, “an active Nintendo Switch Online membership is required to purchase.”

nintendo switch retro snes controller
Image: KnowTechie

But the Nintendo 64 and SEGA Genesis retro controllers are currently sold out at the time of writing. Thankfully, retailers like Amazon and others have them available too, but scalpers have them overly priced, so just a fair warning.

So if you want to go retro on Steam, you’ll have to settle for NES or SNES for now. Or keep your eye on the Nintendo website for restocks of the other controllers.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Contributing writer with a passion for gaming and tech. Probably getting wrecked by some kids in Rocket League.

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