Valve released its 1.26 update to SteamVR, which ought to make it easier to play any VR game using any type of motion controller thanks to automatic controller binding.

The company initially released a Compatibility Mode in its 1.24 update back in August 2022 which let games initially targeted towards specific controller types essentially be accessible to all controllers.

In the new SteamVR 1.26 update, Valve is going one step further with the new automatic binding feature, which automatically generates a new button binding profile, configures it based on a more common controller (like Index or Touch), and sets it to simulate that controller type. The idea is you won’t need to faff about in menus if something like your Windows Mixed Reality controller isn’t officially supported.

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That’s the immediate stopgap for players at least, although if a developer decides to create a native binding for any specific controller down the road, SteamVR will automatically switch to that as soon as its available. Notably, this puts the onus on Valve to continuously update its compatibility layer to include new controller types down the road.

“While native support and explicit bindings will always give the greatest control, having this compatibility layer will smooth releases and lighten the load on game developers and controller manufacturers alike,” the company says in the update log. “Controller driver developers can get more information on creating a rebinding file at this documentation page.”

You can see the full update notes on Steam.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • ViRGiN

    Oh wow this is going to be game changer!

    Glad to see valve is hyper busy taking pcvr to next gen levels! Deckard is coming soon i can feel it!!

  • Ad

    This is for OpenVR, right? Doesn’t OpenXR already inherently handle this?

  • Herbert Werters

    I tested with “Torn” and “Transpose” and Reverb G2. It doesn’t work with these Games.

  • Good

  • Dom

    Are we allowed to wildly speculate that whatever controllers are coming next from Valve have ‘unusual’ buttons and this will make backwards compatibility easier?

  • DeepWired

    I wonder if this still has any benefit for true 3rd party controllers. In reality there is still no such market no matter the general friendliness of Valve and Triad Semiconductor.