MacOS only: unable to turn off Steam Controller Config

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RootlessAgrarian
Posts: 414
Joined: 25 Nov 2015 18:43
Location: Cortes Island BC Canada

MacOS only: unable to turn off Steam Controller Config

#1 Post by RootlessAgrarian » 16 May 2020 03:39

I and other players have run into the problem where ETS2, ATS and possibly other Steam games do not see input from a joystick device (some gamepads are also affected). The community has developed some workarounds since the problem first appeared at ETS2 1.35. I didn't notice it until now because I left my ETS2 setup nice and stable for many months at 1.33. I just upgraded to 1.36 beta and then it bit me. Basically the workaround is to disable the Steam Controller Configuration "feature".

Unfortunately MacOS players can try all the recommended ways to stop Steam from sabotaging the controller -- I have! -- but nothing works. Those fixes only work for Windows.

I can confirm that if I do the various disable-Steam-controller-config methods on a Win10 instance of Steam/ETS2, suddenly joysticks work again. So Windows users can regain control of their HID input devices by turning off some Steam features... but MacOS users, so far as I can tell, cannot. Nothing I have tried on MacOS version gets my joystick back. And this affects both ETS2 and ATS.

Therefore I believe there is a bug either in Steam, or in SCS games, which somehow prevents MacOS users from defeating Steam's takeover of joystick input devices.

I have no idea which it is (Steam, or SCS). I do know that it's caused a lot of frustration for MacOS gamers (there are heartfelt cries for help here and there in gaming forums, Steam forum, etc). One XPLANE-11 gamer who had invested several thousand dollars in a custom cockpit setup was quite furious when he found that his Steam copy of XP11 wouldn't acknowledge controller inputs any more! I've spent 3 years and a few hundred bucks developing a custom game controller (appears to the game as a 3 axis joystick) that suddenly "stopped working" when I updated ETS2 -- so I wasn't amused either.

It's taken me 3 days to research and exhaust all the recommended fixes, give up, and replicate my whole SCS/Steam gaming and devel environment under Win10. This wasn't too awful because my main machine is dual-boot, Catalina and Win10. For those who are not dual-booted, the situation seems pretty hopeless at the moment.

I realise MacOS is a small fraction of the market, but still... it's pretty harsh to just disable people's input devices with no warning, on a minor upgrade. Can this be fixed please?

To reproduce this problem is easy. Take any standard joystick, like a Logitech. Plug it in. Start Steam. Start ETS2. Then go to the ETS2 option to configure your input devices. If you have the broken behaviour, you will see the correct name of the device and be able to select it via the menu, but when you move the axes the game will not acknowledge (no moving amber bars). If you have the working behaviour, you can see your joystick axis input on the screen and can assign your axes as usual.

To fix the broken behaviour you need to stop Steam from interfering with your controller input: go into Steam Big Picture Controller Config options and basically turn everything off. Uncheck all the check boxes. Disable Steam Overlay. Set the Controller config menu options to Forced OFF. If you are a Windows player, this should fix the problem. If you are running MacOS then I will bet it will not fix the problem because it hasn't for me, despite many attempts, reboots, etc.

Win10 is not my favourite devel environment and I rather resent being forced into it. I sure would like this to be fixed so that ETS2 and ATS work the way they used to on MacOS.

jonathan2520
Posts: 38
Joined: 07 Dec 2016 13:28

Re: MacOS only: unable to turn off Steam Controller Config

#2 Post by jonathan2520 » 24 May 2020 18:43

I just returned to ETS2 to come to the same unpleasant surprise. X-Plane 10/11 (non-Steam) and Stormworks (Steam) work flawlessly, with both the wheel and a PS4 controller. Whatever Steam may be doing evidently doesn't cause a universal problem. The SCS games fail with both. The devices are recognized. The amber bar reflects their state as it was during startup, but then never updates. Joy.

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