Tetris Effect VR requires Steam VR despite being an Epic Exclusive

Despite its PC version being exclusively released on the Epic Games Store, Tetris Effect apparently can’t escape Steam. Specifically, Tetris Effect still requires SteamVR for any players looking to hook it up to their VR headsets and controllers.

Talking to DSOgaming, Epic Games confirmed that Tetris Effect will require SteamVR if players want to use the game with an HTC Vive or Oculus headset. However, this does not mean that players will need to have a Steam account to play it in VR.

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Valve developed SteamVR as a separate piece of software from their Steam client. Specifically, SteamVR serves as a link between Steam’s OpenVR API and the player’s VR hardware. As part of this, the application also lets players configure how a game works with whatever VR set up they’re using. Of course, those not playing Tetris Effect in VR won’t need to use SteamVR.

The use of SteamVR does raise the question of whether or not Tetris Effect can work with Valve’s Index. The game’s Epic Game Store FAQ does not list Index as being supported. However, players on Reddit have reported that the Index controllers do work with the game, albeit with some configuration in Steam VR.

The fact that Enhance chose to use SteamVR to run with Tetris Effect seems quite puzzling. Other VR APIs, such as OculusVR, were available that they could have used instead of Valve’s. This likely hint Tetris Effect was supposed to release on Steam before Epic signed it up as an exclusive.

Additionally, it might hint that Tetris Effect may still be coming to Steam in the future. Other Epic Games Store exclusives will be arriving on Steam in a similar manner after all. However, the more realistic answer may lie in the fact that SteamVR is a convenient and widespread application for running games in VR—one that Epic Games currently has no equivalent to.