Valve Is Adding Custom Button Mapping For All VR Controllers To OpenVR

by Jamie Feltham • January 9th, 2018

Valve is about to make OpenVR a lot more open.

Technically, any VR content launched on Valve’s SteamVR platform will support the three major headsets out there at the moment: the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Microsoft’s Windows-based ‘Mixed Reality’ devices. However, if a developer releases a game with only one or two of those headsets truly optimized for it (as indicated on the game’s Steam page), there’s a fair chance the headset that isn’t officially supported will have some button mapping issues. Soon, though, you’ll be able to take this issue into your own hands (literally).

Valve today a launched a temporary beta for what it calls ‘OpenVR-InputEmulator’. This is going to give SteamVR users the chance to map buttons on any PC-based VR controller however they see fit. Oculus’ Touch, Vive’s wands and Window’s inside-out tracked input systems are all great but also pretty different. Touch has more buttons than that others, for example, while Vive has two grip buttons instead of one. When using Touch controllers for a Vive-optimized title, for example, you can sometimes find inconsistencies in the control schemes that are annoying at best and make games unplayable at worst.

You might even want to use the emulator to customized the same controller; perhaps you’d prefer to use the trigger on Touch to grab stuff?

Right now this is only a test that users have to opt into via the Properties tab on SteamVR and it will end on January 22nd. Hopefully full integration isn’t too far behind; this feature is going to solve a lot of headaches this year.

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