Can You Play Escape From Tarkov With A Controller?

Can You Play Escape From Tarkov With A Controller?
Images via Battlestate Games

Written by 

Harry Boulton


6th Jan 2023 14:14

If you're not the most proficient mouse and keyboard user but still want to jump into the deep end of the hardcore extraction genre, then you might be wondering 'can you play Escape From Tarkov with a controller?' As a game with an overwhelming amount of actions, Escape From Tarkov might not be the first game you think of when using a controller, but for some it is the only option so it is definitely worth checking. So, find out all the answers below if you were asking the question 'can you play Escape From Tarkov with a controller?'

Can You Play Escape From Tarkov With A Controller?

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Thankfully you can play Escape From Tarkov with a controller through a number of different methods, but do be warned that it is not exactly the most optimal experience.

The first method to use if you wanted to play Escape From Tarkov with a controller is through Steam. To do this, you will need to add Escape From Tarkov as a Non-Steam Game and launch it through Big Picture Mode. To do this, click on the 'Games' tab at the top and then select 'Add a Non-Steam game to my Library'. Then find your Escape From Tarkov executable file and load up Steam Big Picture to start the game.

If you don't want the hassle of going through Steam though, you can use a few third party programs to allow your controllers to be recognised. Xbox Series/One controllers should be natively recognised on your PC without any third party software so they should work right out of the box, but you will need DS4Windows and X360ce for DualShock 4 and Xbox 360 controllers respectively.

The question of whether you'd actually want to use a controller in Escape From Tarkov is a different story though, as the ridiculous amount of keybinds in the game will quickly have you running out of buttons on your gamepad.

You can get most of the basic functions mapped, and if you have any of the elite controllers for either platform with additional back buttons then you can squeeze a couple more, but you will struggle to perform any of the various intricate systems beyond this.

Can You Play Escape From Tarkov on Steam Deck?

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Much like using a controller, you surprisingly can actually play Escape From Tarkov on Steam Deck, but there are quite a few caveats that will make the experience less than optimal.

In order to do so, you will have to install Windows onto your Steam Deck and then run the game through there due to complications with anti-cheat on Linux. Beyond that, there is currently no way to play online raids on Steam Deck, as it would require an update from Battlestate Games to enable this.

The biggest surprise came from the fact that Escape From Tarkov actually runs quite well on Deck. The hardcore extraction game is notorious for being a pain to run, but users have reported framerates between 40 and 60 on Valve's portable platform.

So, that should give you all the information you need if you were asking the question 'can you play Escape From Tarkov with a controller?' If you want to know anything about the potential Escape From Tarkov console release though, make sure to have a read of our guide.

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