Valve released a significant SteamVR update late Tuesday evening with new features and platform compatibility. You can now update your base station firmware without plugging in a USB cord, and the platform is now compatible with Oculus’ beta Dash feature from the Rift Core 2.0 update.
Valve updates the SteamVR platform on a regular basis, but they are usually small patches. The company doesn’t often release large updates in one shot, but this week Valve dropped a bit of a doozy. The latest stable SteamVR release (update 1518226924) includes a long list of bug fixes and feature updates. The most significant change is a “rewrite of the Vive’s Link Box Bluetooth subsystems” to accommodate over-the-air base station firmware updates and improve the power management features.
The SteamVR beta supported wireless power management, which allows the software to control the base station’s operation, upon the Vive's release. With power management enabled when you close the SteamVR software, your base stations would power down with it. With this latest update, the Bluetooth features are available in the standard release.
The new version of SteamVR also includes a feature to help stabilize the floor calibration if your headset detects the floor at an angle. Valve said that after a few minutes of use, the floor level should correct itself. The correction data remains on the host computer, so the headset must create a calibration profile for each host device you plug it into.
The latest SteamVR changes also include additional support for Valve’s upcoming SteamVR Tracking 2.0. Valve didn’t go into detail about the Base station 2.0 features, but the company said this release includes “improved support” and “stability fixes” for the new hardware. Valve hasn’t announced when the new base stations will be available to consumers, but hardware developers likely already have the improved devices.
Improved Dashboard Navigation
The new version of SteamVR includes improved input support for Dashboard navigation. Valve said it corrected an issue with the laser pointer on web pages, and it fixed the trackpad scrolling feature in dashboard overlays. Valve also introduced support for “right click” in some overlays. To right click with a Vive or Windows MR controller, press the right side of the trackpad on the controller. The Oculus Touch controller doesn’t have a trackpad, so Valve mapped the right click feature to the B and X buttons.
Speaking of the Oculus Rift; the new SteamVR update includes support for Oculus’ revamped Rift Core 2.0 update and the new Dash overlay system. Until now, if you had opted into the Oculus Core 2.0 update, and then tried to use Dash while running SteamVR, you would find yourself in a blank white room. Dash will now work with SteamVR software, though developers must update their games to use the latest OpenVR SDK.
Support For Other Operating Systems
The new SteamVR update is primarily for Windows, but it also includes improvements for macOS and Linux users too. Valve said the new update includes fixes for the room setup on macOS and it prevents non-macOS UI and warnings from showing up. It also fixes a problem that prevented the headset from going to sleep when not in use.
The Linux update includes fixes for a problem that caused the dashboard to crash upon launch on some systems and an issue that prevented SteamVR from launching if the client previously shut down incorrectly.
As you might expect, the new update also includes a variety of miscellaneous bug fixes. For the complete list of changes, please refer to Valve’s release notes.
Valve released the SteamVR update Tuesday afternoon. If you leave Steam logged in, your client should be up to date already.