Bethesda announced that it would release a new patch for Doom VFR that includes several new options to make the game more customizable and adds support for new hardware. The update introduces smooth locomotion and support for Windows Mixed Reality headsets to the game.
Last November, Bethesda released id Software’s Doom VFR, a made-for-VR entry to the company’s beloved Doom series for PlayStation VR and SteamVR. The two versions of the game came out on the same day, but they weren’t created equal. The PSVR version of the game includes support for Sony’s Aim Controller for two-handed weapons and supported smooth locomotion on day one. The Steam VR version of Doom VFR lacked both features on release. Doom VFR still doesn’t support two-handed rifle peripherals, but as of today, it offers smooth locomotion.
Bethesda said that you would be able to fine tune the movement to maximize your comfort while playing. The smooth locomotion option includes speed adjustment options and a button that allows you to toggle Dash mode on and off.
Speaking of fine tuning: Today’s patch includes new options that allow you to adjust the weapon pitch to better match your hand’s position with the gun barrel's angle. You can also toggle jumping support when smooth locomotion is enabled.
Smooth locomotion is a nice addition to Doom VFR, and many people believe the movement option should have been available on day one. But you could already play the game with smooth locomotion enabled if you wanted to with a tool called Open VR Input Emulator.
In our opinion, the big news about today’s Doom VFR patch is the addition of Windows Mixed Reality support. Bethesda revealed that the new patch would include support for the Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR Beta, which would enable you to play Doom VFR on any of the Windows MR headsets from Microsoft’s partners.
It’s nice to see a big title like Doom VFR receive support for Microsoft’s VR platform, but we have to wonder what the performance impact would be. The Windows Mixed Reality for Steam VR Beta isn’t well optimized for low-end hardware. In fact, Microsoft and Valve both suggest an Intel Core i7 processor and a GTX 1070 as the minimum hardware specifications for smooth gameplay in games that would typically demand a Core i5 and a GTX 970 for the Vive or Rift headsets. Doom VFR already demands a GTX 1070 or RX 480 as a baseline GPU, and Bethesda recommends a GTX 1080 or RX Vega 64. With the higher resolution of the Windows MR headsets, it’s entirely possible that you would need an even more powerful GPU to handle the workload.
Bethesda didn’t say anything about bringing Doom VFR to the Microsoft Store with native Windows MR support, but official support through Steam is still a big deal. It reinforces Bethesda’s commitment to the virtual reality industry.
Doom VFR is available on Steam for $30. The patch that adds smooth locomotion and Windows MR support is scheduled for release at 12:00pm PT today.