Valve launched SteamVR 2.0, bringing long-awaited platform features to VR

After a period of considerable VR silence from the company, Valve released SteamVR 2.0, a major upgrade to the platforms VR interface that finally brings the platforms core capabilities to VR.

Update (October 26, 2023): After a month in beta, Valve released SteamVR 2.0 to the general public. Anyone currently running or newly installing SteamVR will receive an upgraded version that significantly integrates SteamVR’s capabilities with the Steam desktop app and Steam Deck.

During the beta period, Valve fixed many bugs, further refined the new user interface style, and improved the performance of the desktop view.

The original article, which details the initial release of SteamVR 2.0 in beta, continues below.

Original article (September 25, 2023): Valve originally said it planned to release SteamVR 2.0 in 2020. But this Valve would be infamous without Valve Time. So here we are three years later and SteamVR 2.0 is out in beta.

This is a major upgrade to the SteamVR interface that better aligns SteamVR with the modern Steam and Steam Deck experiences.

Image courtesy of Valve

Valve says that with the update most of the current features of Steam and Steam Deck are now part of SteamVR. It seems to include things that have long missed a native implementation in SteamVR, such as chats, voice chats, and the modern Steam store and library. This update also adds an updated keyboard with the addition of more emojis, themes, and languages.

Valve says the beta update is just the beginning of the SteamVR 2.0 journey, and we’ll have more to share in the coming weeks and months as we gather feedback and work on the features listed above. This beta gives us a chance to fix issues as more people try it. As with other beta releases, this means that SteamVR 2.0 will keep getting better and better as we prepare it for its final public release.

How to install SteamVR 2.0 Beta

If you want to try out the SteamVR 2.0 beta today, you’ll need to opt-in to both the Steam Beta branch and the SteamVR Beta branch before it’s released to all users. Here’s how:

Steam Beta:
  1. Open Steam > Click on Steam in the menu bar > Settings > Interface > Participate in Customer Beta.
  2. Set client beta participation to Steam beta update
  3. Steam will restart
SteamVR Beta:
  1. Open Steam Library > SteamVR > Properties > Betas > Right click on Beta Participation.
  2. Set beta participation to SteamVR Beta update beta
  3. After closing the window, SteamVR will start updating to the beta branch.

A taste of things to come?

SteamVR 2.0 may be more than just improving the platforms VR interface. The company’s recent work, done right alongside these interface improvements, suggests that Valve is still working on a standalone VR headset. Do you see well that it is not clear soon Valve Time never surprises.

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