With Beat Saber now available on both PC VR headsets and PSVR, developer Beat Games is talking more about the game’s roadmap, including plans for more free songs alongside paid song packs.

Update (November 27th, 2018): Beat Games today pushed a significant update to the PC version of Beat Saber which brings the game more in line with the PSVR version. The update unfortunately doesn’t include the hotly awaited first-party new/custom songs. Here’s the list of new features coming to Beat Saber today:

  • Expert+ difficulty for all songs (standard mode only).
  • New fancy sabers.
  • New modifiers to spice the gameplay and to add multiplier to your final score.
  • ‘Practice mode’ – you can start at any time of the song and also set it’s speed.
  • Options to swap sabers, to turn off in-game HUD, to turn off SFX and to reduce note cut debris.
  • New in-game UI for song progress, relative score, immediate rank and Full Combo indicator.
  • New UI style in menus.
  • Full credits.
  • Lights and rendering optimizations.
  • Improved performance across the gameplay.
  • Basically tons of new stuff and optimizations…

A handful of other features and content (some discussed below) are still in development.

Original Article (November 22nd, 2018):

Feature Parity, Custom Tracks, and Level Editor

Image courtesy Beat Games

Speaking during an official livestream Q&A to celebrate the launch of Beat Saber on PSVR, members of development studio Beat Games opened up about what players can expect for the game going forward. Generally, the team said they want to bring all features, including multiplayer, to all platforms. When it comes to official support for custom songs and a beat map editor, however, the studio expects those will only come to the PC version because of platform and licensing restrictions on PS4.

“Many of the things we’re doing right now are very complicated not because of the technical reasons but because of the legal reasons,” said Beat Games’ Ján “Split” Ilavský. “When we are doing something we have to talk to lawyers about if it’s ok if we can do it. We are really on a thin line about when we’re dealing with music stuff.”

CEO and composer Jaroslav Beck added that the difficulty of dealing with major music labels and licensing red tape was a sore point for the studio.

While an official beat map editor and support for custom songs is under development for the PC version, the PC version currently supports custom songs through unofficial community-made plugins. Check out our guide here for how to install them, and also see this list of some great custom songs to try.

Free Songs and Paid Song Packs on the Way

Image courtesy Beat Games

On the subject of adding more official music to the game, the developers say they are planning to add 30+ free songs to the game over time, and that three of those songs could be coming quite soon.

In addition to free songs, the studio also plans to release paid song packs which will include 10 songs for $10 each. Three packs are currently on the roadmap; the first pack is already finished, the second is almost complete, and another pack is already planned, said Beck.

Beck also explained why some songs will be free and others will be paid: songs from independent artists who fully own the rights to their music and contribute their songs to the game in exchange for exposure will be release for free. Songs which are owned by various labels and publishers will be released as part of the paid song packs in order to fund the licensing fees for that music. Generally speaking, it sounds like free songs will come from lesser known independent artists while the paid song packs will include more mainstream music.

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The song packs could also be more than just the music and the beat maps to go along with it, the team said, hinting that packs could also include new level visualizations to fit the theme of each pack.

Beck also confirmed to Road to VR that the five new songs currently only on the PSVR version will come to the PC version in time.

Expert+ Difficulty and More Modifiers Including ‘Pro’ Mode

Image courtesy Beat Games

The PSVR version of Beat Saber includes eight modifiers which change how each song plays. For instance, there’s an ‘Insta Fail’ modifier which fails the player on any mistake, as well as a ‘Disappearing Arrows’ modifier which makes arrows vanish as the blocks approach the player.

The team said they plan to bring all of these modifiers to the PC version of Beat Saber, and have plans for five or six more modifiers which will be “very special for Beat Saber,” meaning they will be more specific to the game than the existing modifiers which are more general.

Ilavský let spill one of the new modifiers that’s in the works: a ‘Pro’ modifier which shrinks the collider to match the visible area of each cube. Currently, the area which counts as a ‘cut’ on each cube is actually invisibly larger than the cube itself. This makes the game easier to play. The Pro modifier will only count cuts when they directly strike the cube, forcing players to have better accuracy and timing. Ilavský said he expected this feature would be desirable for high level players and in competition settings.

Furthermore, Ilavský also confirmed that a new ‘Expert+’ beat map will be added to each official song, notching up the difficulty another step above the current ‘Expert’.

Other Bits

Image courtesy Beat Games

A few other interesting bits were discussed during the Q&A as well.

New Saber Design & Custom Sabers

The new saber design seen in the PSVR version will come to the PC version as well. The team said that the reason for the new look was not only because the original sabers were created quickly and were very basic in their appearance, but also because they wanted to further separate the look of the game from the Star Wars franchise to avoid any semblance of looking like they are trying to benefit from someone else’s IP without permission.

A custom saber feature, which has been discussed previously, was also affirmed to still be in the works.

New Obstacles & Environments

The developers said during the stream that they have ideas for other obstacles (like the game’s walls and bombs) to add more variety to levels, however they gave no hints as to what they might be.

The team also said they’re interested in creating more environments as the backdrop for songs, but said that it isn’t high on their priority list before other features get finished.

‘Game Changer’ Plugin from LIV

The studio is also experimenting with a new plugin from the LIV team (the company that makes the green screen compositing app which allows players to insert themselves into Beat Saber videos).

The new plugin, which Beat Games referred to as ‘Game Changer’, would allow the game to be changed in real-time based on inputs from a livestream audience like those on Twitch. This could allow for interaction between the audience and the streamer. The team didn’t say how the plugin might interact with the game, but conceivably it would be possible to do things like speeding up or slowing down songs on the fly based on audience input.

PC Price Will Likely Increase After Early Access

During the Q&A the team explained that the $30 price point for Beat Saber on PSVR (which is $10 more than the PC version) was decided because the PSVR version is a more complete version of the app, including more songs, modifiers, and the Campaign mode; the PSVR version isn’t considered Early Access. The PC version will get those same features and music in due time, and will eventually leave Early Access, at which point the price will be increased.

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As the PC version gets updated to match the PSVR version, the optimizations made for PSVR will allow the PC version to run faster and look better, the team said.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • gothicvillas

    Hope the next songs are longer. The best tracks are 5min and more. With the 2min tracks I just get warmed up when it already ends!!

    • vtid

      Just get audioshield :)

      • gothicvillas

        I have it on Vive. It’s ok.

    • I like the longer songs, but maaaaan you get a total body workout in those 6-7 minutes if you go hard or expert. Pretty insane.

  • GigaSora

    I’d be nice for them to prioritize getting a adequate list of songs into the original game before making us pay for DLC songs.

    • Maybe you missed this part of the article:

      “Beck also explained why some songs will be free and others will be paid: songs from independent artists who fully own the rights to their music and contribute their songs to the game in exchange for exposure will be release for free. Songs which are owned by various labels and publishers will be released as part of the paid song packs in order to fund the licensing fees for that music.”

      The only way to put certain songs into the game is by paying the label for the license, which is why the player has to pay for them, which makes all the sense in the world.

      I already find it incredible that the game has 16 songs, a campaign mode, the difficulties, and the modifiers for only €30. It’s one of the most fun gaming experiences I’ve had in a long time.

      I also believe they were caught off-guard with how popular the game is, and are now scrambling to add more content. Those are good problems to have as a game company I think.

      • GigaSora

        Are you talking about the PSVR version? And I understand why we’d pay for DLC, I’m just wondering why they would prioritize that when the game isn’t finished is all. Unless they’ve updated the PC version a ton and I haven’t noticed.

        • I was talking about the PSVR yes, sorry I didn’t mention that. I’m sure they’ll work on both simultaneously, and get the V1 version out for PC soon. In the same manner, I hope we can plug our own songs into PSVR soon.

          • GigaSora

            I find that agreeable :D. Yeah, 16 songs would be good with me to start out, so hopefully they port that over soon.

  • ivan

    expert +? Wow

    • TokiDoki

      for some people expert song is too easy..
      community expert is like expert+ of the original game song..
      community expert + is like… try watching it by yourself..

  • Skippy76

    This is hilarious. There’s already a massive library of free songs on beatsaverDOTcom. One song that I really enjoy is Rasputin. Took me a while to finally finish it. Sadly PSVR users can’t mod their game so they will he stuck paying for everything.

    • VR4EVER

      Yeah, go figure – people are actually paying for awesome games and content!!!

      • The problem for me is not that I need to pay for it, it’s that content that is available on PC is not available on PSVR (yet). I would be happy to pay for additional songs and content.

        • gothicvillas

          Yeah you can really get into the zone with the long tracks

      • jj

        yeah, go figure – beat saber is successful because of fan made songs and successful do to the work of the fans and not so much the devs.

  • Exult Cool

    noooo im on psvr

  • Trump sure is dumb

    Blah blah blah, PC already has modded songs/ beat maps, swords, levels, etc. Whatever you offer us for a price, we will create for free (and better).

  • Swear my arm hurt for hours after playing for 40 minutes yesterday.

  • SandmaN

    How about an update to the arcade version? Sooo tired of the same 10 songs and vanilla swords and settings.