Steam VR update comes as Valve had to rethink what is ‘humanly possible’

Valve pushed a Steam VR update on Friday to address problems with VR tracking in Beat Saber. Some Beat Saber players moved faster than Steam VR developers originally thought was “humanly possible,” which was causing errors in the game.

Steam VR update 1.3.2 fixed a problem in the Lighthouse portion of Steam’s VR system relating to motion controller tracking. the change reads “increase limits of what we thought was humanly possible for controller motion based on tracking data from Beat Saber experts.” Valve’s Ben Jackson also hopped into the comments to give further explanation of the issue.

“The tracking system has internal sanity checks to identify when things go wrong,” he said. “For example, if our math says you are “behind” your only base station, clearly we made a mistake, because we wouldn’t be getting any signal from behind the base station. One of these checks relates to how fast we thought it was physically possible for someone to turn their wrist. It turns out that a properly motivated human using a light enough controller could go faster (3600 degrees/sec!) than we thought.”

It seems that some people were so fast while playing Beat Saber, they were too fast for the VR system to track. It’s an interesting oversight, but one that shows we humans are capable of feats that others might call “superhuman.”

Beat Saber hit early access in May 2018 and has earned overwhelming praise since being available to the public. The VR-only rhythm game puts two legally safe “lightsabers” in the hands of players as they must hit colored blocks in time with the music. Beat Saber has developed a cult following, and players have been adding custom tracks to the game for months. It released on PSVR on November 20, 2018.

Steam VR’s beta period has been running since April 2016 as an app for all VR games running through Steam. The app has seen a number of major updates, but is still in a beta phase.


Top image: Tempex (YouTube)