Beat Saber is a game that thrives on the speed and skill of players, however, some players have become so good that Valve was forced to update SteamVR beta to accommodate them. Basically, SteamVR tracks player movement within a predefined area of space, say a player’s living room. Developers of the software set a cap on what they thought were the limits of human motion within the sphere of VR, but recent data from Beat Saber has proven their calculations were a little off.
According to the patch notes, Valve states that they increased the limits of controller motion after viewing data from Beat Saber experts because it exceeded what they thought was “humanly possible” for players. Ben Jackson, a developer at Valve, took to the comment section to give a little more information on the update. Jackson states that the tracking system within SteamVR does regular sanity checks to identify errors. When developers receive feedback that states players are behind their basestation, which is the box that receives location data from the VR controllers and headsets, they know something is wrong. “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.”
The update (version 1.3.2) also fixed a few other non-Beat Saber issues, including power management issues and memory leaking problems within Motion Smoothing. With the new patch hopefully, those deemed expert Beat Sabers will notice improvements to both their gameplay as well as their scores. While the rest of us were content playing the game at normal human speeds, it’s nice to see the developers over at Valve taking into account those among us playing games at near superhuman levels. You can check out some expert level Beat Saber play below just to get a glimpse at the other side.