Standalone Steam Controller Driver
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ynsta Merge pull request #62 from GreenBeard/master
Fixed README formatting
Latest commit 80928ce Aug 11, 2017

Standalone Steam Controller Driver

This project is a standalone userland driver for the steam controller to be used where the steam client can't be installed.

Two modes are already working with haptic feedback:

  • xbox360: gamepad emulator
  • desktop: mouse, keyboard mode

The final purpose is to have support for custom mapping created with a stand-alone tool or imported from steam vdf files.

The initial target is GNU/Linux, but I'll welcome any contributor that want to port input generation for other OS (OSX, Windows, *BSD, Android/Linux, ...)

This project is licensed under MIT.


  1. Install dependencies
  • for python 3.4+:
    • Install python libusb1 sudo pip install libusb1
  • for python 2.7+ (you might have to use pip2 for python2.7 or pip3 for python3):
    • Install python libusb1 sudo pip install libusb1
    • Install python enum backport sudo pip install enum34
  1. Get the project tarbal or clone it from github:

Get from tarbal:

  1. wget
  2. tar xf master.tar.gz
  3. cd steamcontroller-master

or clone it:

  1. git clone
  2. cd steamcontroller
  3. Install python modules and scripts with sudo python install
  4. Install udev rules (if not already done for steam) in /etc/udev/rules.d/99-steam-controller.rules:
# replace game group by a valid group on your system
# Steam controller keyboard/mouse mode
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="28de", GROUP="games", MODE="0660"

# Steam controller gamepad mode
KERNEL=="uinput", MODE="0660", GROUP="games", OPTIONS+="static_node=uinput"
  1. Reload udev sudo udevadm control --reload


  1. Exit Steam.
  2. Start:
  • start for the simple xbox360 emulator.
  • start for the desktop keyboard/mouse mode.
  1. Stop: stop or stop

Other test tools are installed:

  • : Dump raw message from the controller.
  • : Plot curves from gyro data (require pyqtgraph and pyside installed).
  • : Permit to send control message to the contoller. For example: echo 8f07005e 015e01f4 01000000 | will make the controller beep.
  • : Convert Steam VDF file to JSON.
  • : Convert back JSON to VDF file.

TODO / Status

  1. Finish to guess each bytes/bits roles in the usb message (Done).
  2. Understand how to configure haptic feed backs (Done).
  3. Understand how to enable gyroscopes (Done).
  4. Redirect inputs to userland events via uinput (Done).
    • Xbox360 uintput device (Done)
    • Keyboard uintput device (Done)
    • Mouse uintput device with trackball model (Done)
  5. Create a simple xbox event mapper (Done)
  6. Create a configurable event mapper (Paused):
  • Create an event mapper that reads steam vdf files and maps usb inputs to uinput events.
  • Create fallback mappings for unsupported config options.
  • Get all possible configurations of steam config file.
  1. Create a haptic feedback Manager (Paused)
  2. Measure latencies.
  3. Support multiple controller in wireless mode (Done)
  4. Support multiple controller in wired mode
  5. Support correct deconnexion of controllers (with 2sec press on steam button) (Done)
  6. Add support to control light intensity
  7. Add support for gyroscopes in the event mapper:
    • Enable gyro condition (always on, or on specific button event)
    • Use gyro as mouse (add yaw, pitch, roll accell to mouse event with a scale factor).
    • Use gyro as an axis (compute yawn, pitch or roll from quaternion, normalize to -32768 32768 and use it as an axe)
  8. Optimize event mapper.
  9. Verify if pairing between a controller and a dongle is possible without steam or add a tools to do it.
  10. Add support to change "music" for power on off.
  11. Create an tool to convert musical notes, to haptic messages.

Control Messages Capture

  1. sudo modprobe usbmon
  2. lsusb -d 28de:1142 and look at bus and device numbers (B & D)
  3. sudo cat /sys/kernel/debug/usb/usbmon/Bu | grep Co:B:D:0 (B=3 and D=003 for example)

Disable auto feedback on rpad:

  • 81000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000

Enable Gyro

  • 87153284 03180000 31020008 07000707 00301400 2f010000 00000000 00000000

Disable Gyro

  • 87153284 03180000 31020008 07000707 00300000 2f010000 00000000 00000000

Stop Controller

  • 9f046f66 66210000 ...

Control Messages formats

Haptic feedback format:

  • u8 : 8f
  • u8 : 07
  • u8 : 00 for Right 01 for Left
  • u16 : Amplitude
  • u16 : Period
  • u16 : count
  • pads the end with 00