Hands-down my biggest issue with the HTC Vive as a platform is the lack of a thumbstick (or joystick or control stick or whatever you want to call it) on the Vive wand controller. While acceptable in most cases, the touchpad just doesn’t get the job done for some games. Moving across Fallout 4’s Boston Wasteland for dozens of hours by rubbing my thumb on a touchpad or trying to precisely maneuver the battlefield in Onward is just not ideal. I find myself preferring to play SteamVR games using an Oculus Rift and Oculus Touch a lot of the time because of the superior controller.
But this 3D mod by Thingiverse creator Clinton Strawn (Eisenmeower) could change everything.
— Darshan Shankar (@DShankar) January 25, 2018
We first spotted this 3D-printed mod on Twitter, when Bigscreen foudner Darshan Shankar shared the GIF of the thing in action, shown above. When we looked into it further, the design is actually quite genius. Instead of hacking the thing apart or replacing anything, it just adapts a little joystick device onto the top of the touchpad to fool it into thinking your thumb is making the movements.
We haven’t tried it ourselves yet, but the result is something that’s dead-simple to install and surprisingly accurate with few headaches it seems.
“They’re quite durable,” said Strawn on Reddit. “I’ve had quite a few orders over the past 2 months and zero complaints or returns. 50+ hours between Fallout and Orbusvr and no signs of deterioration on my end.”
While users are more than welcome to download the files and make them on their own using a 3D printer, you can also just purchase a single joystick ($7.59) or a pair of two ($14.99) directly from Strawn on eBay.
Let us know what you think of this new mod down in the comments below!