DS4Windows vs Steam Input: Which is the Better?

DS4Windows and Steam Input are two software solutions that allow PC gamers to use their DualShock 4 controllers on their computers. Both provide similar functionality, but there are some key differences between the two that may sway users one way or the other.

DS4Windows is a free, open-source program that allows users to customize their controller’s inputs and create profiles for different games. It also offers system-wide support, meaning that it can be used with any game or application that supports XInput. On the other hand, Steam Input is a built-in feature of the Steam client that allows users to customize their controller’s inputs and create profiles for different games. It also offers native integration with the Steam client, making it easy to use with any game that is available on Steam.

One of the main differences between the two is compatibility. While DS4Windows can be used with any game or application that supports XInput, Steam Input is limited to games that are available on Steam. Additionally, Steam Input may not work properly with some non-Steam games, which can be frustrating for users who want to use their controllers with a wider range of games.

Key Takeaways

  • DS4Windows and Steam Input are two software solutions that allow PC gamers to use their DualShock 4 controllers on their computers.
  • DS4Windows offers system-wide support and can be used with any game or application that supports XInput, while Steam Input is limited to games that are available on Steam.
  • Steam Input may not work properly with some non-Steam games, which can be frustrating for users who want to use their controllers with a wider range of games.

Overview of DS4Windows

DS4Windows is a free, open-source software that allows users to connect a PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 controller to their Windows PC. It is a third-party software that is not associated with Sony or Microsoft.

Key Features

DS4Windows offers several key features that make it a popular choice among gamers.

  • Customizable controls: DS4Windows allows users to customize the controls of their DualShock 4 controller, making it possible to play games that do not natively support the controller.
  • Profile management: Users can create and save different profiles for their DualShock 4 controller, allowing them to switch between different configurations for different games.
  • Touchpad emulation: DS4Windows allows users to emulate the touchpad of the DualShock 4 controller, making it possible to use it as a mouse in Windows.
  • Macro support: DS4Windows supports macros, allowing users to automate certain tasks or button combinations.

User Interface

DS4Windows has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate. The main window displays the status of the controller, battery level, and connection status. Users can access the settings menu to customize the controls, create profiles, and adjust other settings.

DS4Windows also has a tray icon that allows users to quickly access the settings menu or exit the program. Overall, DS4Windows is a powerful tool for gamers who want to use their DualShock 4 controller on their Windows PC.

Overview of Steam Input

Steam Input is a software developed by Valve Corporation that allows users to customize and configure their game controllers for use with Steam games. It is a powerful tool that offers many features, including support for a wide range of controllers, advanced customization options, and an easy-to-use interface.

Key Features

One of the key features of Steam Input is its support for a wide range of controllers. It supports popular controllers like Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 controllers, as well as many third-party controllers. This means that users can use their preferred controller to play their favourite games on Steam.

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Another important feature of Steam Input is its advanced customization options. Users can customize the button mapping, sensitivity, and other settings of their controllers to suit their preferences. It also offers support for haptic feedback and motion controls, which can enhance the gaming experience.

User Interface

The Steam Input user interface is designed to be easy to use and intuitive. It allows users to easily configure their controllers and customize their settings. Users can create and save different controller configurations for different games, and can easily switch between them as needed.

The interface also includes a range of helpful features, such as a visual representation of the controller, which makes it easy to see which buttons are being mapped to which functions. It also includes a range of diagnostic tools, which can help users troubleshoot any issues they may encounter with their controllers.

Overall, Steam Input is a powerful tool that offers a range of features for customizing and configuring game controllers. Its support for a wide range of controllers and its advanced customization options make it a popular choice among gamers.

Compatibility

DS4Windows and Steam Input are both compatible with a wide range of devices, but there are some differences to be aware of.

Supported Devices

DS4Windows supports a variety of controllers, including DualShock 4, DualSense, Xbox 360, and Xbox One controllers. In addition, it can be used with other gamepads that support XInput or DirectInput. This makes it a versatile option for gamers who own multiple types of controllers.

Steam Input, on the other hand, is primarily designed to work with Steam Controllers, although it can also be used with other controllers. However, it may not work as well with non-Steam Controllers, and some users have reported issues with compatibility.

Platform Integration

DS4Windows is a standalone program that works independently of other platforms. This means that it can be used with games from any platform, including Steam, Origin, and GOG. It also means that users can customize their controller settings for each game individually.

Steam Input, on the other hand, is integrated directly with the Steam platform. This means that it can only be used with games that are launched through Steam. However, it also means that users can access a wide range of features, such as community profiles and controller sharing.

Overall, both DS4Windows and Steam Input are compatible with a wide range of devices, but they have different strengths and weaknesses. Gamers should consider their individual needs and preferences when choosing between the two.

Performance and Reliability

When it comes to performance and reliability, both DS4Windows and Steam Input do an excellent job. However, there are some differences worth noting.

One advantage of DS4Windows is that it works system-wide, which means that it can be used with any game or application, regardless of whether it is on Steam or not. This is because DS4Windows creates virtual controllers that mimic the behaviour of a DualShock 4 controller. As a result, users have more flexibility in configuring their controllers, and they can be confident that their settings will work across all applications.

On the other hand, Steam Input has the advantage of being integrated directly into the Steam client. This means that it is easier to use and does not require any additional software to be installed. Steam Input also has a larger library of pre-configured controller profiles, which can save users time and effort when setting up their controllers. Additionally, Steam Input can be used with the Steam Controller, which is not supported by DS4Windows.

In terms of reliability, both DS4Windows and Steam Input are generally stable and do not cause any major issues. However, some users have reported occasional bugs or glitches with both applications, such as controller disconnections or input lag. It is worth noting that these issues are relatively rare and are usually easy to fix.

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Overall, both DS4Windows and Steam Input are reliable and perform well. The choice between the two will largely depend on the user’s preferences and needs. Users who want greater flexibility and system-wide support may prefer DS4Windows, while those who want a more streamlined experience and access to pre-configured profiles may prefer Steam Input.

Pros and Cons

DS4Windows Advantages

DS4Windows is a third-party software that allows users to connect their DualShock 4 controller to their PC. It has several advantages over Steam Input. Firstly, DS4Windows provides more customization options, allowing users to map buttons and adjust sensitivity to their liking. It also supports the use of macros, which can be useful for certain games. Additionally, DS4Windows allows users to use their controller wirelessly without the need for a dongle, unlike Steam Input.

Steam Input Advantages

On the other hand, Steam Input has its own advantages. Firstly, it is built into Steam, making it more convenient for users who already use Steam to play games. It also has a wider range of controller support, including the DualSense controller. Steam Input also allows users to share controller configurations with other users, making it easier to find the best configuration for a specific game.

DS4Windows Disadvantages

One disadvantage of DS4Windows is that it requires users to download and install additional software. This can be a hassle for some users who prefer a more streamlined experience. Additionally, DS4Windows does not support the use of the touchpad on the DualShock 4 controller, which can be a disadvantage for games that require it.

Steam Input Disadvantages

Steam Input also has its own disadvantages. Firstly, it can be less customizable than DS4Windows. It also requires users to add non-Steam games to their Steam library in order to use the controller with those games. Additionally, some users have reported issues with the controller not working properly with certain games when using Steam Input.

In summary, DS4Windows and Steam Input both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Users should consider their own preferences and needs when deciding which software to use.

Conclusion

In conclusion, both DS4Windows and Steam Input are great options for gamers who want to use their DualShock 4 controllers on their PC. While Steam Input is integrated into the Steam platform, DS4Windows offers more customization options and works system-wide, allowing users to configure their controllers to work exactly how they want them to.

It is important to note that both options have their pros and cons. Steam Input may be more convenient for users who primarily play Steam games, as it is already integrated into the platform. However, DS4Windows offers more customization options, such as the ability to create macros and adjust dead zones, which may be important for more advanced users.

Ultimately, the choice between DS4Windows and Steam Input comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of the user. Both options are reliable and offer similar functionality, so users can’t go wrong with either choice.

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