Elite:Dangerous is evolving and the first in a series of expansions, named Horizons, will be available on November 30th – bringing with it a host of new features. One exciting addition is the first inclusion of official HTC Vive / SteamVR support in the upcoming beta release, the development team have revealed.

In a forum post over at Frontier’s community boards, Elite:Dangerous developer Michael Brookes has detailed what players can expect from the first beta of Frontier’s new E:D expansion pack ‘Horizons’. Along with gameplay broadening features like planetary landings, the latest beta release, due to land on November 30th, will also bring enhanced virtual reality support.

See Also: ‘Elite Dangerous: Horizons’ Expansion to Offer Planetary Landings, Crafting and Looting

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Despite Valve’s HTC produced SteamVR headset the Vive not actually on general release yet, the E:D developers are ready as SteamVR support will be present in the 1.5 beta release. The development team are continuing to work on Oculus Rift support issues, working to support the latest runtimes, which suffered a troubled time in the wake of recent major Oculus SDK changes – forcing users to switch between older versions to run the game.

“We’re also continuing to further improve the VR experience. HTC Vive and Steam VR support will be added to both the 1.5 and Horizons Beta as well as various bug fixes and tweaks. We’re continuing to work with Occulus, and will let you know as soon as there is any conclusion.”

Elite:Dangerous was one of the first triple-A titles to receive out-of-the-box support for VR headsets, having been implemented at a very early stage. It became one of the benchmark VR titles once the Oculus Rift DK2 headset became available last year. This latest news puts the game in a good position to take advantage of consumers seeking content once the Oculus Rift consumer headset and the HTC Vive go on sale in the next few months.

See Also: First Look: The ‘Elite: Dangerous’ Experience on HTC Vive is the Best Yet

If you don’t yet own Elite:Dangerous, check out the latest Black Friday deals we posted recently and snag yourself a copy on the cheap.

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  • Oxfordcyclist

    This is misleading. The original post by Michael does not say anything about ‘Improved Rift Support’ in the Horizons Beta, only that they are continuing to work with Oculus on the well documented issues that have been present since the 0.7 Runtime Release.

    • RoadToVR

      You are entirely correct sir. Something went wrong in processing that news item, sorry about that. Now updated title and content to reflect this.

      Thanks for your feedback.

    • Nathan Daughdrill

      Well If you had played the ships 1.5 beta that just came out, you would see that they have improved the Oculus Rift support. It’s super smooth now……..

      • Tom

        If that were true, it would surely be by accident/by way of other changes in the game. If it was on purpose, then you have to ask, why on Earth are they still putting time into the ancient SDK nobody will be using instead of trying to figure out the problems with 0.7+?

        • Nathan Daughdrill

          They clearly stated that they will not support the new SDK till SDK 1.0. (Aka its out of beta) They can still improve performance of the game in VR. They just made all the menus curved for VR and fixed the studder in super cruise.

          • Tom

            No way, the menus are curved now? Awesome. I’m dying to get back into it but since Win 10 came out none of the tricks people seem to be using to get old SDKs to work have worked for me.

            If I am lucky enough to pick up a Vive soon (assuming they actually do a limited launch this year… looking increasingly unlikely I think) then I will head down that route. No telling when SDK1.0 will drop or when Frontier will get around to supporting it due to the nature of the problems they are having.

          • Nathan Daughdrill

            The SDK 1.0 will be out late December. Around the same time as Horizons. SDK 8.0 has been great. The demos are a lot smoother. I’ve had no issues with running SDK 0.5.1 on Windows 10 to run Elite in the DK2.

          • Tom

            Lucky you! I can’t get 0.5.1, or indeed any others prior to 0.7, to work.

            I agree though, 0.7/0.8 are excellent. Definitely looking forward to the eventual Elite support, though I’m still sceptical SDK 1.0 will drop in Dec and if it does, based on their previous track record, I wouldn’t anticipate support to follow for at least a couple of months.

          • Nathan Daughdrill

            You’re being very pessimistic. They are not fight to get the SDK to work with elite. They are not messing with it till the SDK is out of beta. Lucky said SDK 1.0 will be out at the end of December. It will only take the Eilte team three days at the most to get it working. Elite was the first full game to work with the Oculus. Have more faith dude.

          • Tom

            I am, yes. What makes you think it will take them three days? I really hope you’re right, but their past support for the Rift SDKs speaks for itself.

            Even before they knew that Oculus was planning to drop Extended mode (in other words, before they decided to tone down their efforts until the SDK changes settled down), they were behind on support for the existing SDKs.

            We know, also, that the reason they aren’t supporting 0.7/0.8 is because the new Direct mode is fundamentally incompatible with their game engine. They are either unwilling to effect the major changes required to make their engine compatible, or are unable to (neither is their fault really, it’s understandable either way, just unfortunate) which means they are essentially relying on Oculus making changes for them before they can maybe achieve compatibility.

            Nothing they have said, meanwhile, has given any confidence. If it were a simple issue it would have been fixed simply. If they are indeed working with Oculus as they claim, and have been now since 0.7 dropped, doesn’t that tell you something about the difficulty they are facing?

            So I have faith that it will happen eventually, but if you think it will be any time soon you may want to temper your expectations. Neither Oculus nor Frontier have been good at keeping their customer base informed on technical matters and this situation is shaping up to be no different. SDK 1.0 was meant to be released in November, and unsurprisingly, has been delayed.

          • Armando

            Update: Horizons beta working with oculus sdk 0.8 runtime…

          • Tom

            Cite your sources then, I’ve seen nothing to indicate that is the case!

  • Joel Segura

    Thats a shame. I noticed the original title earlier and was beginning to get excited that I may be playing ED without the need to switch runtimes in the next few days. However, I’m sure the Oculus issues will be sorted on or around CV1 launch though. Keep up the good work R2VR :-)

    • RoadToVR

      Sorry Joel, sometimes these things slip through the cracks. Thanks for the kind words though.

    • Armando

      Is your runtime switch still working? After Win 10 threshold update and Nvidia 359.00…mine No longer working…Author should have kept the original headline only to excite hopeful minds…it’s still alive!

      • Joel Segura

        Indeed Armando…Threshold broke my switch so I rolled back the Windows update. Such a pain that ED is now the only software I own that uses the older runtime :-(

      • Tom

        I’ve *never* had mine working. Ever. None of the tips or tricks or guides to get old runtimes working on Win 10 have ever worked for me.

  • yag

    I hope the galaxy map is more VR friendly now…

    • Tom

      It seems about the same. Everything where VR is concerned seems about the same, with the exception of nicely curved menus (this is inconsistent; while for instance a station’s services menu is curved, the Commodities Market is not, which is a bit jarring when you open it). I’m not sure if curved menus were part of Horizons though, I haven’t played E:D in months due to them not supporting Win 10 and newer Rift SDKs for VR. Only just happened to dual-boot Win 8.1 so can test now.

      It may, tentatively, exhibit a little less judder than I remember, particularly transitioning between supercruise and normal flight, and opening the galaxy map and system views no longer momentarily lock up the HMD like I remember they used to.

  • Godislove4u

    i just started playing elite dangerous again after purchasing it last year but i now play it with the oculus rift what a fun game i love people because Jesus loves me