It took a bit of tinkering, but thanks to this reddit I figured it out.
While this was only tested with The Talos Principle, it should work with any game that uses SDL to handle controllers.
2. Add the contents of the file to an environment variable called SDL_GAMECONTROLLERCONFIG.
3. Relog and profit.
$ curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/gabomdq/SDL_GameControllerDB/master/gamecontrollerdb.txt > ~/.local/gamecontrollerdb.txt
$ echo 'export SDL_GAMECONTROLLERCONFIG=$(cat ~/.local/gamecontrollerdb.txt)' >> ~/.xprofile
$ source ~/.xprofile && steam # or logout of your desktop and log back in.