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Valve has launched the Winter Battle Pass for Dota 2, filled with shiny new cosmetics to collect and a new game mode to take part in. But amongst the usual festivities, a new feature was added to Dota 2: controller support.
The latest Dota 2 update includes experimental controller support, with an emphasis on experimental. In an FAQ about the feature, Valve notes that the option is in active development, and they’re looking for feedback. So if you want to opt in, you can follow the instructions on the page and do so. “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!” the FAQ reads.
Any controller supported by Steam Input should work. This includes Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch Pro, and PC gamepads, as well as the Steam Controller. (Remember the Steam Controller?)
There’s a rundown of the controls on the FAQ page, and it seems reminiscent of other MOBAs with controller options. Keep in mind, Dota isn’t the first to tackle this problem. But for a game like Dota 2, there are definitely a bit more modifiers and options needed to manage the breadth of potential inputs and actions called for in a Dota 2 match.
The FAQ specifically notes some characters, like the many-hero Meepo or complicated spellcaster Invoker, saying all of them should be playable with a controller. And you can also, at any point, drop the controller and pick up the mouse and keyboard to resume regular play.
It might seem a bit outlandish for a complicated game like Dota 2 to get controller support, I think it’s an interesting step—at least for accessibility, if nothing else. I’d be curious to see something like the Adaptive Controller take on Dota 2, and see how it all maps out. Will someone just try and hook up a flight stick or racing wheel? Yeah, probably. But the potential of this feature could be really good for some folks.
And while you’re testing out Dota 2‘s experimental controller support, you can also work on those Battle Pass points playing through the new version of Aghanim’s Labyrinth, a recurring seasonal mode that’s a bit like a co-op dungeon crawler. That spectacular Drow Ranger Arcana at Level 333 and Dota: Dragon’s Blood-inspired Mirana Persona aren’t going to earn themselves.