EFT: Controller and Steam Deck Support Explained

Escape From Tarkov is a complex first-person shooter game that demands precise movements and quick reflexes from players. While it’s intended to be played with a mouse and keyboard, some players might wonder if they can use a controller or play it on the upcoming Steam Deck.

In this article, we’ll discuss the possibilities and limitations of using a controller in Escape From Tarkov and the current state of Steam Deck support.

Can You Play Escape From Tarkov with a Controller?

The short answer is yes, you can play Escape From Tarkov with a controller, but it’s not the most optimal experience. The game has an overwhelming amount of key binds that can quickly run out of buttons on your gamepad. However, you can still use a controller through a few different methods.

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Method 1: Use Steam

The easiest way to use a controller in Escape From Tarkov is through Steam. First, add the game as a Non-Steam Game, and then launch it through Big Picture Mode. Click on the ‘Games’ tab at the top, select ‘Add a Non-Steam game to my Library,’ and find your Escape From Tarkov executable file. After that, load up Steam Big Picture to start the game.

Method 2: Use Third-Party Programs

If you don’t want to go through Steam, you can use third-party programs to allow your controllers to be recognized. Xbox Series/One controllers should be natively recognized on your PC without any third-party software. Still, you will need DS4Windows and X360ce for DualShock 4 and Xbox 360 controllers, respectively.

However, you’ll struggle to perform any of the various intricate systems beyond the basic functions. Even if you have an elite controller with additional back buttons, the number of key binds in the game can be overwhelming.

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Escape From Tarkov Steam Deck Support Explained

Playing Escape From Tarkov on the upcoming Steam Deck is surprisingly possible, but it comes with several limitations. Due to complications with anti-cheat on Linux, you’ll need to install Windows onto your Steam Deck and then run the game through there. Additionally, there is currently no way to play online raids on Steam Deck as it would require an update from Battlestate Games to enable this feature.

However, users have reported framerates between 40 and 60 on Valve’s portable platform, making the experience quite enjoyable. This is an impressive feat since Escape From Tarkov is notorious for being a demanding game to run.


While playing Escape From Tarkov with a controller might not be the most optimal experience, it’s still possible through Steam or third-party programs. The game’s complexity demands precise movements and quick reflexes that a mouse and keyboard can provide.

Similarly, while playing it on the upcoming Steam Deck is possible, it comes with several limitations. In conclusion, while it’s worth giving it a try, playing Escape From Tarkov on a mouse and keyboard is still the best way to experience the game.

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