Valve has announced a new major update available for its virtual reality software, SteamVR. The SteamVR 2.0 Beta update brings a plethora of new features, changes, and bug fixes to the platform. This is all in an effort to improve the user experience and make it easier to discover the latest VR games to pick up and play.
Although Valve has been hard at work bringing major updates to the Steam Deck and its operating system, it seems like its VR platform has also received its due attention. The 2.0 Beta update brings with it a newly updated keyboard, along with support for new languages, emojis, and themes. Steam Chat and Voice Chat have now been included, so you chat to your friends while browsing the new and improved store. Additionally, new and popular VR releases are now going to be highlighted on the storefront, so you can easily decide what latest VR game is best worth your time.
SteamVR Beta 2.0.1
Here are the SteamVR 2.0 Beta 2.0.1 features:
- Floating overlay windows can now be interacted with while the dashboard is hidden.
- Fixed crash on exit for some Unity titles.
- Increased the system layer resolution limit. This was previously 1.5x the recommended render target scale, but is now applied to width and height independently.
- Fix a case where controller configuration would not be localized in the user’s preferred language (as configured in Steam).
- Added a prompt to install the Bigscreen Beyond Driver when the headset is detected.
- Hide the SteamVR IPD slider since Meta already shows one.
- Transition to the Steam Linux Runtime 3.0 (sniper) for improved compatibility.Drivers
- For drivers which provide a manifest but don’t specify “resourceOnly”, default to true if there is no bin directory.
- Add a manifest entry “showEnableInSettings” which can be set to force a driver to appear in the “addons” settings even if default rules would hide it.
- When a specific driver is forced with the “forcedDriver” setting or the VR_FORCE_TEST_DRIVER, load it even if it is disabled.
- When a specific driver is forced with the “forcedDriver” setting or the VR_FORCE_TEST_DRIVER, only allow an HMD to activate from that driver (even if other drivers are loaded due to “activateMultipleDrivers” and they activate an HMD first). The forced driver always had the first opportunity to activate an HMD before, but now we will wait for it to hotplug an HMD rather than letting another available HMD win.
- The “LastKnown” section in settings (which updates with the manufacturer and model of the last used HMD) now also keeps track of the “ActualHMDDriver” (e.g. “lighthouse”) that provided the HMD.
In order to experience all these updates and fixes firsthand, you’ll need to own a compatible VR headset, as well as opt into the SteamVR Beta. This will give you access to the latest updates before they’re made available to the wider public. While opting into any beta client will come with the occasional bugs and glitches, it’s the best way to keep up to date with everything coming out of the SteamVR platform.
This latest SteamVR beta update has been announced coincidentally to the recent rumors outlining that the Valve Index 2 could possibly be on its way. It’s likely that Valve could be cooking up a brand-new piece of VR hardware, and updating the SteamVR software in preparation for what’s to come. While we can’t know for sure, according to Valve itself, this is “just the beginning of SteamVR 2.0’s journey.”
For a full list of features included in the SteamVR 2.20 beta update, check out the SteamVR page on the Steam storefront.
While the Valve Index is one of the best VR headsets around, there are plenty of virtual reality peripherals available that are compatible with SteamVR. Check out our best VR headset guide and find the best one suited to be part of your PC gaming setup.