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You selected the issue: My configuration doesn't work in a game

You may experience configuration issues if the Steam Overlay isn't working properly or if the configuration you've chosen includes input styles that aren't supported by the game you're playing.

Test the Steam Overlay
The Steam Overlay is vital to Steam Controller functionality. Press the Steam button on your controller, or SHIFT+TAB on your keyboard to produce the overlay. If the Steam Overlay doesn't appear, make sure you've enabled it through the Steam settings menu.

Steam may have issues applying the Steam Overlay to a non-Steam or retail game if it hasn't been added to your Steam library, particularly when the game has its own launcher.
Test the Big Picture Overlay
To enable Big Picture Overlay, go to Settings from the Steam Client. From there, you can enable this option from the In-Game tab.
Change your controller configuration
If your Steam Controller configuration doesn't work in a game, it may be because the game doesn't support the style of input you've chosen. Browse through community configurations for that game and see if one works.

Gamepad-only input styles will only work with gamepad supported games.
If you're playing a game that doesn't have gamepad support, like DOTA 2, you won't be able to use gamepad-only input styles, 'Joystick Move' and 'Joystick Camera', to move or look around.

Flexible input style commands must accommodate game limitations.
Flexible input styles, 'Directional Pad' and 'Button Pad', give you the choice to allocate a keyboard, mouse or gamepad command to a button. If you choose a gamepad-specific command, like a Y or X button, this input will only function properly in games with gamepad support.
Disable conflicting programs
Some third-party programs have been found to conflict with Steam Controller functionality. Try disabling these programs and restarting your computer.
  • Razer Synapse
  • XInput emulators
  • Screen capture software (Fraps, etc.)
  • Skype, Skypehost
  • MSI Afterburner
  • ASUS AI Suite
  • ZoneAlarm
Disable external launcher overlays
External game launchers, such as Uplay and Origin, may have dedicated overlays that take priority over the Steam Overlay.

If your game is launching through another service or external launcher, try disabling the launcher's overlay.

  1. Launch the game from Steam
  2. Locate the external launcher settings menu
  3. Select the option to disable the overlay
Restart the Steam client
  1. In the Steam client, click on the Steam dropdown
  2. Select Exit
  3. Re-launch Steam from your desktop