You can now play any hero from Meepo to Invoker on any Steam Input supported controller!

In line with Aghanim’s funky exploration into the Continuum, comes an equally experimental addition to Dota 2. Lo and behold – you can now play Dota 2 on just about any controller!

Yes you heard us right – any controller supported by Steam Input should work. According to the official FAQ page, the this includes the following:

  • XBox Controllers
  • Playstation Controllers
  • Switch Pro Controller
  • PC Gamepads
  • Steam Controller

Added alongside the Aghanim’s Continuum Conundrum and Drow Arcana update, this evolving feature will allow players to experience their heroes in a way never before.

How does using a controller work in Dota 2?

If you’ve played any console or mobile MOBAs, the control scheme may be familiar to you. But seeing as most Dota 2 players are well – Dota 2 purists, here’s how it works.

Valve reveals just how many PC gamers plug in gamepads—and which kinds |  Ars Technica
Some Of The Supported Controllers

The two joysticks – left and right, control hero movement and camera movement respectively. As for Skills, Items and more, they operate on a page system. Think of it as a rotating loadout of sorts. It all begins with the face buttons on the controller – A, B, X and Y, or whatever your controller has them tagged as. Each face button is bound to activate an Item or Skill.

From there, holding R1 shows the second “page” of Skills and holding R2 shows the first “page” for Items. The second “page” for Items can be accessed by holding both R1 and R2.

The D-Pad opens up a UI to level up abilities and access all your shopping needs. As for targeting enemies, that’s done with L1 and L2.

Of course, all this is confusing to read, but a few tries should get the good ol’ muscle memory flowing. Most importantly, if at any point things get uncomfortable or weird, you can toggle it on the fly in game.

What does this mean for Dota 2?

We’ve all been playing Dota 2 for so long, and presumably are all used to a keyboard and mouse. Switching over to the controller (if you’re planning to) could be rather jarring. Still, it’s undeniable that this could make the game more accessible to different audiences, and even spice it up for existing ones.

Before you hop right in, do keep in mind that the feature is tagged as experimental. Valve is still actively developing it – which means there’ll be some kinks and bumps along the way. As Valve themselves put it:

“We don’t think controller support is ready for everyone yet, but if you’re curious and willing to offer feedback we’d love to hear what you think!”.

In the grand scheme of things, this could turn out to be another pilot project that doesn’t amount to much (cough the DPC Mobile App cough). If we look on the bright side though, a controller-only All-Star match at TI11 could be fun. And while we’re there, why not take it even further. Perhaps we may see the first controller-using professional player in a year’s time.

There will no doubt be more periodic updates and improvements to the feature and at the very least, a fun new way to experience the game we all love so much.

For more Dota 2 content and updates, stay tuned to esports.gg.

Mike Tsang - Writer of the Month: April

Mike Tsang

Writer of the Month: April | Twitter: @permasneeze | Twitch: permasneeze

Mike is a digital content producer from Singapore who lives and breathes Dota 2. When he's not playing or watching the game, he can be found slurping ramen or sleeping next to his cat.