How to Connect Your Joy-Cons to Steam


Steam is a popular gaming platform that enables users to access and play a vast array of games. While most users prefer traditional gaming controllers or keyboard and mouse setups, some may opt for a more versatile controller like the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons. This article will guide you through the process of connecting your Joy-Cons to Steam.

Step 1: Prepare your Joy-Cons

First, ensure that your Joy-Cons are charged and ready for use. Remove them from your Nintendo Switch console by pressing the small button on their back and sliding them upwards.

Step 2: Acquire a Bluetooth adapter

To connect your Joy-Cons to your computer via Bluetooth, you’ll need a Bluetooth adapter. Many modern computers come with this feature built-in, but if not, purchase an external USB Bluetooth adapter.

Step 3: Enable Bluetooth on your computer

Activate the Bluetooth feature on your computer. For Windows, click the notifications icon in the taskbar, then select “Bluetooth,” followed by “Add a device.” In case of macOS, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth.

Step 4: Pair your Joy-Con(s) with your computer

On the side of each Joy-Con is a small “sync” button, located between the SL and SR buttons. Press and hold this button until the green LED lights start flashing.

Within your computer’s Bluetooth settings menu, scan for new devices and look for an option labeled “Joy-Con (L)” or “Joy-Con (R).” Choose one and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the pairing process. Repeat this step if you want to connect both Joy-Cons.

Step 5: Download and install x360ce

To ensure compatibility with Steam games, you’ll need x360ce, a software that emulates an Xbox 360 controller. Visit the x360ce website, download the latest version, and extract its contents into a folder.

Step 6: Set up x360ce with your Joy-Cons

Open the extracted x360ce folder and run the x360ce.exe file. The software should detect your Joy-Cons as input devices. If a prompt appears asking you to automatically search for settings, click “Yes” and allow it to complete.

Step 7: Configure your Joy-Cons as one controller (optional)

If you want both Joy-Cons to function as a single controller, click the “Device” tab in x360ce and select “Joy-Con Combine.” Follow the instructions to map all buttons and controls.

Step 8: Save settings and close x360ce

Once satisfied with your configuration, click the “Save” button in x360ce. This will generate an xinput1_3.dll file in the same folder. Steam will use this file to identify your Joy-Cons as an Xbox 360 controller.

Step 9: Launch Steam with Joy-Cons

With your Joy-Cons connected and configured, start Steam. In Big Picture Mode, access the settings menu and select “Controller Settings.” Ensure that the box next to “Switch Pro Configuration Support” is ticked.

Finally, navigate to your favorite game and enjoy playing with your Joy-Cons!


Connecting Joy-Cons to Steam might seem like a daunting task at first, but it is easily achievable with the right steps. Following this guide will ensure that you enjoy gaming on Steam with the versatility of Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons.

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