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Steam VR update lets you take control of your field of view

Steam VR Update
(Image credit: Valve)
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Those lovely folk over at Valve have updated SteamVR with a few quality of life enhancements that make exploring virtual worlds a little bit easier. SteamVR 1.17 (opens in new tab) includes enough bug fixes and tweaks to make it worth tracking down on that front alone, but it's the inclusion of three new features that make it stand out: the ability to dock windows to your controllers as well as Field of View and Override World scale options.

The most obvious use of the windows docking feature is to attach your Steam chat to one of your controllers, which means you can communicate with your mates without needing to pull yourself completely out of whatever game you're playing. 

It's not necessarily an essential update, but we can see it being useful if you're in the likes of No Man's Sky (opens in new tab) for long periods. You can potentially attach other windows as well, although you're going to have to experiment with this to find what works best for you.

The other two options affect how you perceive the world and have quite specific uses. The Field of View slider won't allow you to suddenly see more of the world than the developers intended, but it will allow you to narrow the FoV if you want to focus on what's in front of you a bit more. 

Virtual reality

(Image credit: Valve)

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The Override World Scale slider has a couple of potential uses, with the ability for shorter gamers to reach higher items being an obvious boon. Alternatively, taller VR gamers may want to effectively shrink themselves a little for an experience that is more in keeping with what the developers intended. This can also be used to get the scale of an aircraft cockpit just right for you.

It's good to see that Valve is still thinking outside of the VR box and it'll be interesting to see what else is on the table in future patches.

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.