Why Does Epic Games Store's Controller Support Require Steam?
Jonathan LoChiatto
Epic Games Store Controller Support Feature
Epic Games Store Controller Support Feature
The Epic Games Store has become a true competitor to Steam as a PC game storefront and game hub. Still, it lacks the robust controller support any platform with its ambitions needs, leading many players to seek a workaround. Ironically, they found one, and it involves launching their EGS purchases through Steam as a workaround.
Though Epic Games Store has only been around since the end of 2018, the platform has quickly made a name for itself and carved out a sizable userbase. Titles like Fortnite or timed-exclusivity with other games like The Outer Worlds and Hitman 3 have helped the platform gain momentum among players, but it still lacks some all-important features.
Epic Games Store Games Splash
Epic Games Store Games Splash
This issue wouldn't be as glaring if there weren't titles within EGS' library that were initially designed to be played with a controller, such as the PC releases of the Kingdom Hearts series or Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2. These games were designed to be played with a controller, not a mouse and keyboard; changing the input that drastically will leave some gameplay repercussions. As it stands, there is some minimal controller support that exists on EGS. It seems like a glaring omission, but that seems to be the norm for Epic Game Store. The platform is still under fire from users for missing basic, key features, such as a simple shopping cart to make purchasing games easier. As it is now, players must tediously purchase games one at a time.
While there's no way to use a controller to navigate the launcher itself, developers can implement gamepad support in the title itself. Many developers choose to do this, but things get muddy again after considering this support only extends to one type of controller. Only Xbox One gamepads reap the rewards, even if developers put in the work to support different input types. Naturally, this comes as a bitter pill to swallow for those who already own a perfectly functional PS4, Switch Pro or any number of third-party controllers that exist. Those all work on Steam, and many even on GOG Galaxy too, but not EGS -- at least not natively. Players have found that it's often possible to launch a game purchased from EGS through Steam in a hilarious bit of irony. To do this, open Steam and select "Add a Non-Steam Game to My Library" from the "Games" tab at the top. Next, locate "Epic Games Launcher" and select "Add Selected Programs." Now "Epic Games Launcher" will show up as a title in your Steam library, and launching it allows Steam's controller support and recognition to be overlain in EGS games. There are other workarounds players have found as well, but those require downloading additional software.
Checking any thread of complaints about EGS will reveal plenty of users who find themselves in a controller plight. Though there are ways players can finagle more accessible controller support, either via Steam or other software, it's kind of absurd that players have to work around the very platform they used to purchase a game to play it as intended. Hopefully Epic Games Store will start listening to its users soon and find ways to make these sorely needed changes to its platform.