Valve released a beta update for its SteamVR software which gives the home screen a major refurbishment. Gone are the purple plains and distant mountains under a night sky and in their place is a much cozier setting. Or not. That is the beauty of the new update, it is fully customizable by the user.
Although we would still recommend the HTC Vive as the more capable virtual reality system right now, one advantage of the Oculus Rift headset is a more comfortable jump-off point for VR. Oculus Home puts you in an ultra modern living room with a crackling fire and water feature. In comparison, the basic SteamVR home screen is a little desolate.
That all changed with Steam’s new beta update, though. Drawing from a previous Valve VR experience, Destinations, Steam VR Home can be built as you like it. Whether you want a cozy living room or would rather hang out in the Valve offices is entirely up to you. In its breakdown of the new feature, Valve showcases wide open vistas with trees and mountains, fantastical alien landscapes, and recognizable landmarks from around the world.
The point with the new Steam Home VR beta is that you can make your own personal space just how you like it. Better yet, for those not feeling quite as creative or you just don’t want to spend the time building the entire thing from scratch, you can load in creations from others via the Steam Workshop.
Steam VR Home also has social features built into it. You can invite friends to explore your new pad, do some Tiltbrush-like drawing in 3D space, load in props to interact with and explore various environments together. You can even customize how you and your friends look with various accessories; it wouldn’t be a Valve creation without a bunch of hats to choose from.
If you want to try it out for yourself, all you need is a VR headset with SteamVR support. From there, install Steam if you haven’t already, find SteamVR in your library, and opt-in for the beta through the properties menu.
For those concerned about the future of Destinations, rest easy. While Valve is folding it into its main VR platform, any unlocked features earned through previous play will remain after this update.
- Oculus VR’s Rift Core 2.0 update is now available to everyone
- SteamVR will fine-tune VR to match the graphics chip, not the headset
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