This trackball gamepad mod proves we need a Steam Controller 2

Come on Valve, you usually stop at 3.

Ultimate FPS Controller design and build proves we need another Steam Controller.
Image credit: PyottDesign

Everyone accepts that a mouse is more precise than a controller. Keyboards, on the other hand, aren’t perfect, as they don’t offer the same range of movement as an analogue stick. Shoving a trackball into a gamepad, one modder has convinced me that we need a follow-up to Steam Controller.

YouTuber PyottDesign crafted a custom controller that replaces the right analogue stick with a mouse trackball. While it looks like the contraption a mad scientist might come up with, it makes a fantastic case that Xbox, PlayStation, Razer, Scuf, and all the other gamepad manufacturers need to start thinking outside the box.

On its own, the creator says aiming can be a bit twitchy with a trackball. Aided by Rawaccel open-source software, however, it becomes an FPS gaming powerhouse. It never truly beats a mouse, but the innovative method dominates the regular pad by up to 47% accuracy in different tests.

Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a device like this. The trackball gamepad has a long history. Even Steam Controller uses a trackpad for much of the same results. Unfortunately, Valve axed the device because it wasn’t particularly popular. The only way to get your hands on one is either second-hand or via a third party at a huge mark-up.

Steam Controller wasn’t without its faults. The single-stick layout takes the PlayStation approach rather than the more popular Xbox arrangement. With the acclaim of Steam Deck OLED and the huge amount of community controller inputs it brings, I do think it’s time for a Steam Controller 2 of sorts.

I’ve tried many things in my quest to find the perfect controller layout. I’ve used Elgato Stream Deck Pedal and MSI’s Liberator V2 for extra buttons. I published an Alt Avatar Motion Controller review that replaces your keyboard and keeps your mouse. I’ve even backed the Hex Evo, which should do a similar job.

The closest we get to a good middle ground between controller and the keyboard and mouse combo is gyroscopic aiming. Sadly, gyro support in games can be hit and miss. Hopefully developers make it a point of priority, and brands come up with innovative new ways that quash the compromise.