SteamVR Update Adds Auto-Resolution And Per-App Settings

by David Jagneaux • April 4th, 2018

Today, the official release branch of SteamVR got a new update that brings over a handful of features from the beta branch and introduces a slew of other smaller fixes. Most notably, today’s update includes an auto resolution feature and the ability to assign per-application settings.

The auto-resolution feature might sound familiar and that’s because it was first introduced in the beta branch last month but is now available more widely. According to the update, this feature will optimize the SteamVR experience visually and let users get the best experience possible by custom-tuning app resolution so that it performs most optimally based on GPU and the selected VR headset. More details here.

And the other major feature for today’s update lets users customize their experiences for each individual application, such as resolution adjustment. For example, this means that each time you load up an app, like a game, you can have your version of SteamVR pick the same resolution each time depending on the headset and PC you’re using. This is useful because you might want to change your resolution depending on how demanding the game or app is. More details on that here.

As usual, the update also includes a litany of bug fixes, SteamVR controls and crash fixes, and a handful of other features. You can find the full list here. Let us know what you think of this update down in the comments below!

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  • Jean-Sebastien Perron

    Yet, steam VR see the wrong resolution for my Asus MR and there is no way to set it exacly at 1440*1440.

    • Zerofool

      This is a common misconception among newcomers. Since day one, the baseline rendering resolution (the render target) has been higher than the display native resolution (basically incorporates a mandatory supersampling) to compensate for the undersampling caused by the barrel distortion (aka. pre-warping) of the image which is applied to compensate for the lens characteristics (pincushion distortion).
      SteamVR is using a 1.4x supersampling in each dimension by default, so for example the “100%” resolution for the Vive is 1512×1680 pixels per eye.
      Similarly, the rendering resolution through the Oculus SDK (at 1.0x pixel density setting) was initially 1350×1600 per eye, and later reduced to 1332×1586 per eye in a later SDK version, AFAIK (I’ve never owned a Rift).

      I’m not quite sure how SteamVR handles Win MR headsets (as in what amount of mandatory SS it applies, but I think it was lower, something like 1.1x), but it’s completely normal that you see resolution different than 1440×1440.
      With VR, there’s no such thing as “rendering at native resolution”.
      Instead of trying to do that, your goal should be to set the resolution as high as possible without causing dropped frames, even if it means lowering the slider below 100%. In theory, the Auto-Resolution feature is trying to do just that – setting an appropriate resolution percentage which is supposed to work fine based on your hardware config/OC (this is calculated every time you start SteamVR), but in my experience you’d need further tweaking for specific games/apps/experiences which are heavier than usual (not designed for the minimum VR specs or poorly optimised).