CCP Games have rolled out a small ‘2017_R3.1’ update this week, enabling work-in-progress support for Oculus Touch. As described on the EVE: Valkyrie website, this attempts to map the gamepad controls to the buttons, triggers and sticks of the Touch controllers, rather than using motion.

As a bundled launch game for the Oculus Rift (which originally shipped with an Xbox One gamepad and no motion controllers), EVE: Valkyrie was specifically designed as a seated VR experience with gamepad controls, but requests for Touch support have likely increased since Oculus created a new cheaper Rift and Touch package, which no longer includes an Xbox One gamepad. Incidentally, Best Buy recently began offering a free copy of EVE: Valkyrie with the Rift and Touch bundle, (the game is no longer free with the Rift) which didn’t really make sense without the game’s new Touch support.

Unfortunately, mapping gamepad controls to Touch controllers isn’t that straightforward, as CCP Games are reluctant to enable any form of motion input, and there are fewer mechanical buttons compared to a traditional controller. As they explain in the patch notes, “motion controls simply don’t give you the precision you need in Valkyrie”, making the game feel ‘less responsive’. Considering the game already supports HOTAS controllers, it’s surprising that motion inputs replicating a throttle and stick aren’t available as an option, but perhaps it simply doesn’t translate well in this case.

As a result, they’ve used up all of the mechanical inputs, and the ‘cancel missile lock’ function, normally reserved for clicking the right stick on a gamepad, is not currently available. The team say they are “working with Oculus to fix this in a future update.”

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CCP Games’ flagship VR title continues to enjoy strong support well over a year after its original launch, having recently received a major update in last month’s ‘2017_R3’ patch that added a graphics upgrade, and AI, balance and stability improvements. Their motion controller-focused title Sparc launches first on PSVR at the end of August.

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The trial version of Microsoft’s Monster Truck Madness probably had something to do with it. And certainly the original Super Mario Kart and Gran Turismo. A car nut from an early age, Dominic was always drawn to racing games above all other genres. Now a seasoned driving simulation enthusiast, and former editor of Sim Racer magazine, Dominic has followed virtual reality developments with keen interest, as cockpit-based simulation is a perfect match for the technology. Conditions could hardly be more ideal, a scientist once said. Writing about simulators lead him to Road to VR, whose broad coverage of the industry revealed the bigger picture and limitless potential of the medium. Passionate about technology and a lifelong PC gamer, Dominic suffers from the ‘tweak for days’ PC gaming condition, where he plays the same section over and over at every possible combination of visual settings to find the right balance between fidelity and performance. Based within The Fens of Lincolnshire (it’s very flat), Dominic can sometimes be found marvelling at the real world’s ‘draw distance’, wishing virtual technologies would catch up.
  • GigaSora

    It takes about three seconds for a coder to add touch controller gamepad support to a game that already uses a gamepad.

    • Caven

      It takes a lot more than 3 seconds to test the feasibility of using motion-based control, as well as trying of figure out how to make up for the absence of a d-pad on the Touch controllers, since in a lot of games the d-pad is used as an extra four buttons. Mapping as many as 16 buttons (excluding the XBox button) to controllers with a combined total of 12 buttons (including the Oculus button)–two of which will be pressed down by default–is also going to take a lot more than three seconds.

      • Get Schwifty!

        To GigaSora’s point, this should have been done what, one month into the release of Touch? I understand there is efffort…. but the Touch has been out since last Christmas effectively.

        • Caven

          What would have been the point in prioritizing it? Up until very recently, they could count on every single Oculus player having an XBox controller. Unless people were really clamoring for reduced control functionality, I see no reason for CCP to have bothered implementing support for the Touch controllers. If the Touch controllers had as many buttons as an XBox controller, I could see them tossing in Touch support back in December, but that’s not the case.

          Now that the XBox controller is no longer part of the bundle, it makes sense for CCP to try to implement support for the Touch controllers, since the alternative is to require new players to buy a separate controller to play the game.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Simply because Touch makes more sense and people with Rift + Touch don’t generally want to flip back and forth ;)

      • GigaSora

        I agree. Testing motion control would have taken a few days, yeah. But there is no motion control, unless you saw some when you tested it out. They literally just mapped some buttons to some controls. Which, if you’ve made some games, especially some games with Oculus’ SDK, you know takes 3 seconds. Im just expressing my dissappointment that it said “added touch controls” and then there was no actual touch control, which perhaps is understandable.

        • Caven

          The fact that motion control didn’t make it in doesn’t mean they didn’t try to implement it. It’s easy to assume it would have taken some trivial amount of time to test, but who knows how many different schemes they may have tried? From personal experience, implementing something that works is one thing. Implementing something in a very polished fashion is something else entirely. They could have put in a quick-and-dirty motion control implementation that technically worked, then spent weeks trying all sorts of fancy tricks to make it feel smoother and more responsive, only to ultimately meet with failure.

  • Miqa

    Tried it the other day and it works great! It’s very nice not needing to go digging for the Xbox controller everytime you want to play.

    Devs/community reps said on Reddit that they are working on implementing haptics too.

  • me

    Is there anything special that is required to do – I start up Eve with touch controllers in hand and I cant get past the daily bonus screens – my touch are non responsive to the required B button or X button pushes?

  • θεός

    I wish more games would do this. Sucks how some games force you to use the xbox one controller.

  • psuedonymous

    “Considering the game already supports HOTAS controllers, it’s surprising that motion inputs replicating a throttle and stick aren’t available as an option, but perhaps it simply doesn’t translate well in this case.”

    Their ‘HOTAS support’ turns the throttle axis into an overly awkward boost button, because they refuse to implement an actual throttle.

  • Jason Mercieca

    I see the introduction of oculus motion controllers within this game is useless. Why well it will only make you press buttons in the oculus controllers instead of buttons in gamepad, so whats the point.
    On another issue they should also include the vive controllers since they where around from day1 of vive release, although i will stick to xbox controller for this game unless they implement motion tracking in vive controllers which wont be the case anyways.

  • Kevin Octacok

    I’ve always just wished games like this and Elite: Dangerous would do one simple thing: allow you to simply interact with the cockpit controls that you see. It is VERY time consuming to set up even a high quality HOTAS setup with E:D, you just need too many buttons… If instead you could just touch the controls you see around you with your hands….