Onward (2016), the popular VR FPS known for serving up its ‘no-frills’ squad-based action, is now in Early Access on the Oculus Store. The tactical mil-sim shooter, which aims to appeal to fans of traditional shooters like Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, or Counter-Strike, now features cross-play between both versions of the game—purchased through either Oculus or Steam.

Onward has supported Rift through SteamVR since it moved into Steam Early Access back in August 2016, although admittedly the Touch optimization was less than ideal until recently, with Touch getting a fresh button remapping a few days prior to launch on the Oculus Store.

As a bid to appeal to traditional FPS-players, Onward doesn’t feature teleportation—a common method of traversing large maps in VR—but rather has what you might call a ‘traditional’ locomotion scheme: smooth forward movement is locked to the physical direction of your hand, leaving you with the ability to look in a direction regardless of where you might be headed. As a locomotion style built initially for Vive‘s trackpad, it’s had somewhat of a mixed reception on both platforms; either you can stomach it, or you can’t. Onward also offers a front-facing mode for Rift players that mitigates some of the discomfort by allowing snap-turning, and also lets you control your forward, backward and strafe controls via hand position and Touch’s joysticks themselves.

Oculus rates Onward a ‘moderately comfortable’ experience.

Onward dev and founder of Downpour Interactive Dante Buckley, who remains the driving force behind the game, says the team tightened down on Touch’s button mapping after its free weekend two months ago.

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“We took a lot of the feedback from the free weekend and used it to help us shape a better control scheme for Onward,” says Buckley. “This new default control scheme is default, and we’ve added in some options for players to further tweak the experience to suit their preferences.”

The Early Access game features objective based game modes in 5v5 online multiplayer, and solo/coop multiplayer vs AI. With 30 different customizable weapons available, there’s plenty of ways to support your squad.

As a game that requires players to use coordination, communication, and most importantly marksmanship skill to complete objectives, giving players on both platforms equal attention is fundamental to keeping things fair. While the locomotion scheme is still an acquired taste for many, the hardcore adherents to the Onward way of life will continue to proselytize the game for its ability to deliver a traditional shooting experience—something many big studios have shied away from.

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  • Zachary Scott Dickerson

    I thought I’ve been playing on VIVE with Oculus users all along?

    • Scott Davies

      Yeah but they would’ve been playing it with the oculus via steam.

  • me

    Through Steam yes – however not through Oculus Home. If we own a copy via Steam, is there a way to get a key for Oculus Home?

    • Scott Davies

      Confused by what you mean? It says in the article it’s coming to Oculus home.

      • me

        There was a comment below stating that he thought he was playing with Oculus users all along – this is true as Oculus players have been playing with Vive users via Steam with no issues. Now that it is officially coming to Oculus Home – my question was if we own a copy already on Steam – can we get a key for Oculus Home…

  • PJ

    Wonderful game!

  • steviecomment

    Every time Onward is mentioned, you mention Pavlov. I’m onto you Girl, invested interest anyone?

    • VRgameDevGirl

      To be honest, I probably have played Pavlov for maybe an hour total. I put weeks/months into it making maps for it using UE4 though. And I don’t make a dime for my hard work either. Its Just a hobby.

      • PJ

        Is it hard making a map in UE4? I have no experience whatsoever in game development, but I’m have a craving to play Battlefield Bad Company 2 in VR. It’s my favourite FPS of all time and I would love to play it in VR. Sadly it’s never going to ported, so the next best thing would be to play it’s maps in another VR game.
        Would it even be possible to recreate them in Unreal Engine 4? And would they be playable in Pavlov?

  • steviecomment

    Onward is great, but the bugs keep on coming. Its as buggy as the day it was released a year ago. The bugs are different bugs, but bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs. Sort it out devs. The bugs are letting the side down. Did i mention BUGS

    • Andrew McEvoy

      Its just a few guys in the dev team is nt it?

  • PJ

    Yet Pavlov is not as good as BAM

    • VRgameDevGirl

      BAM??? You have me interested. …*Google searching*

      • PJ

        More commonly known as Bullets and More.

        May not be the prettiest of games, but the shear amount of content in the game is staggering , and since the Battle Royal update the player base has boomed.

    • chop suey

      some things bam does better, but hehe. dat graphics though

  • Walextheone

    How’s the AI “bots”? Are the somewhat decent to play against?

    • Jason Mercieca

      Set difficulty to HARD and it is really hard to beat AI, at least for me :)

  • Evgeni Zharsky

    That’s your subjective opinion but honestly we need to be supporting both of these games if you have an interest in seeing VR succeed. Besides, Onward was this first polished FPS title. Not the time or place for silly fanboy(girl)ism

    • VRgameDevGirl

      I was being silly. Calm down. I would love to try onward, I mean, I bought it a long time ago. Did they fix the height requirement yet? They should also add workshop support. Would like to make maps for it.

      • chop suey

        workshop support won’t be coming
        height requirement will stay, anti cheat has been changed lately, so give it try

        • VRgameDevGirl

          Ummmm…. how am I suppose to play this when u said the height requirement will stay. I would be in a constant crouch. If u can run away from being shot then what is the point.

          • chop suey

            you won’t be able to ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    • burzum

      First polished VR FPS!? ROFL. That game is still bug infested and feels everything else than polished. I think the dev started this project alone and is a hobby developer. Good job in this case. But it’s far from being “polished” and it’s not really getting better.

  • Jerald Doerr

    I got the game a long time ago for the vive… Played it a bit and loved it.. THANK GOD for him not binding over and putting in stupid teleport… Multyplayer FPS games in vr just dont need that sorry excuse for lack of normal controls.

    On a second note, I could be wrong here but I think one guy made this game right??

  • Jason Mercieca

    This game is my favourite regarding to vr games, by far :)

  • chop suey

    in your opinnion