After a period of significant silence about VR from the company, Valve has released SteamVR 2.0, a major upgrade to the platform’s VR interface which finally brings more of the platform’s core capabilities into VR.

Update (October 26th, 2023): After a month in beta, Valve has launched SteamVR 2.0 to the wider public. Anyone currently running or newly installing SteamVR will get the upgraded version which significantly unifies SteamVR’s capabilities in relation to the Steam desktop app and Steam Deck.

During the beta period Valve ironed out plenty of bugs, further refined the new interface styling, and improved the desktop view functionality.

The original article, which details the initial release of SteamVR 2.0 in beta, continues below.

Original Article (September 25th, 2023): Valve originally said it planned to release “SteamVR 2.0” in 2020. But it would be Valve without the infamous Valve Time. So here we are three years later and SteamVR 2.0 has been released in beta.

This is a major upgrade to the SteamVR interface which better aligns SteamVR with the modern Steam and Steam Deck experiences.

Image courtesy Valve

Valve says that with the update “most of the current features of Steam and Steam Deck are now part of SteamVR.” That appears to include things that have been long-missing a native implementation into SteamVR, like chats, voice chats, and the modern Steam Store and Library. The update also adds an updated keyboard with the addition of emojis, themes, and more languages.

Valve says the beta update is “just the beginning of SteamVR 2.0’s journey, and we’ll have more to share in the coming weeks and months as we collect feedback and work on the features mentioned above. This beta will give us a chance to work out the kinks as more and more people try it out. As with all betas, this means SteamVR 2.0 will get better and better as we prepare it for its eventual full public launch.”

How to Install SteamVR 2.0 Beta

If you want to try the SteamVR 2.0 beta today, before it’s pushed out to all users, you need to opt into both the Steam beta branch, and the SteamVR beta branch. Here’s how:

Steam beta:
  1. Open Steam > Click ‘Steam’ in menu bar > Settings > Interface > Client Beta Participation.
  2. Set Client Beta Participation to ‘Steam Beta Update’
  3. Steam will restart
SteamVR beta:
  1. Open Steam library > right-click SteamVR > Properties > Betas > Beta Participation.
  2. Set Beta Participation to ‘beta – SteamVR Beta Update’
  3. Once you close the window, SteamVR will begin updating to the beta branch.

A Taste of Things to Come?

SteamVR 2.0 might be about more than just improving the platform’s VR interface. Recent work by the company that’s been happening right alongside these interface improvements also suggests Valve is still working on a standalone VR headset. Whether we’ll see that any time soon is unclear… Valve Time never ceases to surprise.

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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."
  • ViRGiN


    damn valve, you got me.
    i got caught red handed! you are working on vr!

    but can someone explain to me how this just made it into steamvr?
    a ducking “chats, voice chats, and the modern Steam Store and Library”?
    still no support for in-headset room scale calibration?
    no updates to valve metaverse avatars?
    no implementation of hand and eye tracking to allow pcvr developers to expand their experiences?
    not even an alyx sale?


    • xyzs

      Don’t act like you look stupid just today…

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Hmm.. ‘Content unavailable’ and I haven’t blocked Virgin yet (wouldn’t know who else it would be, as I don’t think I have blocked anybody, yet), so I guess the Discord just blocked him as even the service got fed up with him. If only he just didn’t troll, as sometimes he actually had something constructive to say. But he had been warned about his toxic behavior by many others and still didn’t change his ways. shame.

        • ViRGiN

          OBESE TROLL ALERT!!!

        • CrusaderCaracal

          old man alert

  • xyzs

    Amazing to see a visual polish and a simplified better design.
    I didn’t try yet but I hope it makes the experience more streamlined.

    I hope it’s also more optimized and that it will work under Linux.

    • ViRGiN

      Not your first dickardeo i see.
      Blink twice if valve threatened you if you don’t stay positive.

      Always first to shit on Meta changes, always first to praise valve without even trying it. It’s like judging a movie from a handful of stills. Lmao. What a clown.

      • ameba#23234 mdrea

        It is extremely entertaining to witness two average workers fighting for the big corporations good names. Sad but entertaining

        Perhaps you folks could realize neither of them deserve your worship and instead of behaving as the brainwashed propaganda extensions could actually have a rational discussion

    • I haven’t tried it on Linux yet, but apparently this update and the recent ones leading up to this should have fixed the majority of the issues with SteamVR over Linux.
      The kind of thing you might do if you were planning on, say, releasing a standalone headset in the vein of Steamdeck. ;)

      • ViRGiN

        What a Valveganda.
        The recent non-beta update literally broke Linux for tons of people. Just read the official discussion board for the update.

        • Shit you’re right about 2.0 being broken on Linux for a lot of people. I’m trying to remember where I picked up this information, but I think things were improving right up to the point they released this particular update which, seems to have introduced some regressions in the UI. This could just be the cope talking, so don’t take my words as gospel y’all.

      • ViRGiN

        how did i know it’s going to be yet another valve shill bradley video without even clicking it?

        • What can I say, it’s been fun to follow along his journey, even if he ends up being completely off the mark. Half the fun of VR is speculating about what’s around the next corner, would be a real shame if any of us just stepped back and appreciated this moment before it all devolves into the drudgery of iterative smartphone updates.

          • ViRGiN

            but what’s actually something to look forward to here?
            one time it’s a standalone headset, another time it’s console, or index 2.
            nothing bradley has ever said points to anything groundbreaking or breathtaking.
            not a single game announcement prediction.
            standalone valve wont run any real vr games beyond the complexity of beat saber.
            there is no technology to even allow that at scale lol, just look at steam deck, 30fps 720p overheating loud massive handheld.

            there is no fun speculating about whats around the next corner. especially from company who has abandoned their own headset the day it released. here we just get UI update, basically allowing you to purchase steam games while in vr, and everyone is like wow, zero critical thinking. PCVR experience remains unchanged since 2016.

          • kakek

            “standalone valve wont run any real vr games beyond the complexity of beat saber.”

            If they release something, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be at least as powerfull as quest 2 or even quest 3.
            So does that mean you consider Meta headsets have no real VR games ? Or does lack of power only matter when it’s Valve ?

          • ViRGiN

            Do you really think valve will make an Android headset?
            Quest games are tailored for Android, and been developed for years at this point.
            Valve has zero experience with Android (just look at their app lol).
            Steam is exclusively hosting pc executables. That was the point of having everything in single library.
            Could potential standalone valve vr run pc games tailored to lower specs? Yeah sure. But then what? Years of making fun of mobile phone procesor games were invalid, until valve started doing similar stuff? Valve joins race to the bottom?

          • kakek

            I return the question to you.

            Was years of defending meta and saying power don’t matter only true until valve do it ? Was Meta always ever in a race to the bottom ?

          • ViRGiN

            Are you really crazy or something? Meta isn’t racing to the bottom. Valve doesn’t care about VR. Stop coping and grasping straws. Everything i said before is crystal clear.

          • kakek

            – Provide open and free framework
            – Make steam ( biggest digital distribution plateform ) as VR friendly as possible
            – You don’t even have to distribute on steam to use the steamVR framework.
            – Devellop what is probably still the best VR game to date.
            – Sell it’s own hardware, but does NOT prevent any other hardware from using it’s plateform and playing it’s game.

            “Valve does care for VR, Meta did more””

            Meta is about 75 time the size of Valve, employees and budget wise.
            OBVIOUSLY they are able to finance more games and research.

            And yet, what they focused on was a closed plateform, that they closed to any other hardware. Making sure THEIR games can only be played on THEIR hardware.
            And fucking Meta horizon. A plateform they wanted to work because they could sell micro transactions on it.

          • ViRGiN

            – what open and free framework?
            – what as friendly as possible? it works just like any other store with a launcher.
            – still have to install steam to install steamvr, as it’s only exclusively distributed through their launcher
            – your personal feelings doesn’t matter, one game is one game
            – one 4 year old hardware is one 4 year old hardware. since they are doing nothing, every new headset connected to steam makes them money. how many people use anything other than steam on steam deck? it’s a subsidized hardware because they know everyone simply uses steam.

            meta does much more than just vr; number of employees is irrelevant. valve makes a ton of money and if they wanted to, they could employ more – but they don’t.

            meta a closed platform? what are you even talking about? i’ve been sideloading things for years.

            you are talking about “openess”.. how about STFU and tell me what happened to 10 year old CSGO? got replaced with CS2 with half the content and missing community servers? day 1 micro transactions? if something is free-to-play, YOU are the product.

            you really have hate boner for meta, for no real reason. show us all the companies making steamvr ecosystem a better place. how many controller options do i have since 2016? huh?

          • kakek

            Hate meta ? I have a quest 2 you know. And I had a Rift S before. ( Still have it, but now I have a software problem, and since meta doesn’t care about it it will never be fixed. So it’s kinda dead, due to lack of support. )

            What I blame them for, though, is investing so much in VR but focusing so hard on kids stuff with lots of microtransaction. They don’t care about VR either. They care about the metaverse, because they envisionned a social plateform where they could take their cut on virtual clothes for avatars of kids.
            What were you saying ? Ho yeah, if something is free to play, like horizon, you are the product. Well, meta pushed horizon freaking hard. ( And it’s so bad …)

            And I don’t see what CSGO has to do with VR, but if bringing other company activities up is fair game, ho boy …
            Facebook, privacy, censorship, multiple trials … yeah, meta is really a high morality company !

            You on the other hand DO have a hate boner for valve. I mean, your whole account is dedicated to hating on valve and PCVR in general. Everywhere, all the time, even on completely unrelated topic.

            And why ? Not for doing bad things. Just for not doing enough. Or maybe for supporting PCVR, wich must have somehow killed your whole family or something like that, considering you have dedicated so much time badmouthing it.

          • ViRGiN

            “- Devellop what is probably still the best VR game to date.”
            – Gorilla Tag has both more players and more reviews. It’s also far, far more popular on PCVR than Alyx is.

          • kakek

            Popular != good.

          • ViRGiN

            You think VR is great? Then why even engage in a conversation with me?
            You got triggered when I called out Valve not caring about VR. And all the “exciting” rumours if anything points to Valve actually racing to the bottom. You are still incapable of explaining how a valve standalone device is supposed to run PCVR games on the go, when handheld Steam Deck struggles at 720p in 30 fps.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            The most likely scenario is still an x86 Deckard based on a successor of the AMD APU used in the Steam Deck, possibly/probably combined with an ARM SoC, with both of them working in parallel. The AMD APU would allow running existing SteamVR games without any very heavy emulation penalty, with tasks like head/hand/eye tracking possibly delegated to the ARM chip when running in standalone. When (wirelessly) connected to a VR PC, the ARM SoC alone could handle the much lighter load of receiving and displaying the streamed video plus tracking, thereby allowing to disable the x86 APU for much longer battery life, partly thanks to the big power saving advantages of the ARM architecture that really shine with light loads, and less with the permanent high load on HMDs like Quest 2/3.

            Depending on the benchmark used, the GPU in the Steam Deck offers roughly 2/3 the performance of a GTX 1060, compared to 1/6 on the Quest 2. With the Quest 3 assumed to about double the performance, that would put it at 1/3, so the 2021/2022 Steam Deck should still be twice as fast. And AMD has already shown several mobile APUs with much faster graphics than its Van Gogh APU provides.

            I’d say it is pretty safe to assume that Deckard would perform significantly better than a Quest 3, a Steam Deck and a VR entry level GTX 1060 when used standalone, and run significantly longer when used as a streaming target due to the large battery capacity they’d have to integrate for acceptable playtimes when running the x86 APU alone or even combined with an ARM SoC.

  • AS

    The github repo for steamvr for Linux hasn’t been updated for a few years…

  • gothicvillas

    I want Deckard. Virgin, pls dont hate on me for that :D :D

    • Cless

      Who is that?

      • Gonzax

        Everyone’s ‘favorite’ anti-PCVR troll

        • CrusaderCaracal

          So when you disagree with someone they’re a troll? Got it

          • Cless

            Not really, but man, he makes no sense half the times. Like I said, he used to bring good, although unpopular points. But even those are further and further apart nowadays. It seems he just will post to shit on Valve or PCVR even when its not being mentioned by the comments or even the article.

  • psuedonymous

    So, Valve have evolved their UX from “Steam Bigscreen mode on a big virtual screen” to “Steam Deck interface on a big virtual screen”. At least they’ve borrowed the bottom nav bar from the Oculus UI for some interface parity between devices, I guess.

    • ViRGiN

      4 years worth of work.
      And not even Bradley the shill predicted that.

      • Nostrildumbass

        Lol, I know it’s a really ignorant/rude thing to say on the internet but I really, really, dislike that guy.

        • Terendir

          Do it like the most sane people did here. Block him. You wont see his comment any more, just some “Content unavailable”. Wouldn’t want to read any more junk of that troll. Waste of everyones time tbh

          • TH_VR_RD


          • CrusaderCaracal

            Is it really the best solution? Blocking people just sort of gives them the win though. Good luck trying to block people in real life, but then again you probably spend your entire day in vrchat

          • ViRGiN

            Some people just don’t want to live outside their bubble. Many of these losers made their entire personality about how proud they are to block someone online. Especially valve famboys and vrchat ab-users.

          • Terendir

            Ehm, this is actually the best way to handle toxic and ignorant people. Get rid of them. Do you really wanna surround yourself with toxic people in reallife? With those who pull you down and make your life hard?
            Also, why do you sound offended? Why even getting personal with your replay? Did my answer offended you? At least it sounds like it, like the way you mentioned vrchat. I can’t really be sure, if that is what you are targeting, since I never used it but also never really heard anything particular bad about it either… I mean… i have my inner circle of friends, so I don’t really need to get to hang out in open chat or play games with random people.
            But I am eager to hear your point.

          • Cless

            The lack of answer is answer enough I’d say.
            Regarding blocking people, I am someone that likes discussing, and… literally, the only person I’ve blocked, ever, in any community, besides from bots/spammers… is Virgin, that’s how bad its become.

          • CrusaderCaracal

            You say a whole lot of nothing

  • Holger Fischer

    Ui changes are nice but I would like integrated motion cancellation. Until then, let’s hope 2.0 did not break the third party add on.

    • NotMikeD

      I’ve got to be honest, I’ve been around here for a long time and I’ve never even heard of ‘integrated motion cancellation’

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        AFAIK motion cancellation is mostly used in combination with 1/2/3/../6DoF motion systems that some VR simulatior user have. These motion systems are usually platform onto which a seat is mounted and which physically follow the movement of the virtual car/plane etc. for more immersion.

        This causes a problem with head tracking, as the sensors on the HMD cannot differentiate between you moving your head vs you keeping your head still, but the motion platform moving your whole body incl. your head. So when your virtual rally car ends up tilted with the left wheels running in a deep tire track on a curved downhill slope, and your motion system follows that movement, you now all of a sudden look into the passenger leg room instead of forward.

        Motion cancellation uses either an additional 6DoF controller or tracker to detect the platform movement, or calculates the current position, and then subtracts the platform position/rotation from the head tracking position for “motion cancellation”, so your relative position/rotation inside the cockpit will stay correct instead of causing potentially severe motion sickness.

        This is a problem that pretty much affects only those that use VR while their body is moved around. Since most VR usage happens in rather stationary houses instead of moving cars, on roller coasters or motion systems used for simulators, it’s not that astonishing to never have never heard of ‘integrated motion cancellation’.

    • Nostrildumbass

      I feel changes that big that would break existing integrations with the API would be unlikely. Things that get “removed” that would break such things are usually done through a proper deprecation process; something I would definitely expect from Valve. They wouldn’t outright yank out a cable, they would label it as “no longer being maintained and will be eliminated in the coming years” by which time developers would need to update their integration.

  • Nostrildumbass

    Long overdue. The SteamVR dashboard always felt clunky. Here’s hoping we get things like gestures and maybe a swype keyboard, and a few other things that are long overdue. Three 3s. All with VR support.

  • Gonzax

    It’s come to a point where I just can’t take him seriously anymore. I only read his comments to have a laugh and press the dislike button xD

    • ViRGiN

      I’ll make your life easier and allow you two to kiss each other butts over shared views!
      Long live meta!

    • TH_VR_RD

      Distain for Virgin unites the community

      • R3ST4RT

        Yup, I have him blocked as well. It’s much better tbh.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      I’ll even bet, the 1 downvote by ‘1 Guest Vote’ is Virgin.

      • ViRGiN

        Obsessed as usual. Get a life.

  • oooh Brad’s gonna have a field day!

  • Ad

    The deck keyboard just isn’t good enough. Especially bad is having no alt/win tab function, no escape or delete, and no control key.

    VR settings are an extra click away. Media and the store seem unnecessary, and friends should be on the dashboard with settings.

    I’d really like them to add some library features for VR. Take me to my VR library with one click, have a separate VR favorites and non steam VR games collections, etc.

  • This update is amazing… except that it utterly breaks controller support in any SteamVR game for Quest users. You can’t rebind controls, controllers don’t show up in-game, something’s very wrong. Lots of people in the update post on Steam commenting about it.

  • ViRGiN

    2.0? More like 0.2.

  • Lucidfeuer

    Too little too late. Valve have been the loser of the VR space for years, I’m not interested in hearing anything from them, but at least they haven’t abandoned.

  • CrusaderCaracal

    Can already see the youtube shill titles


    • ViRGiN




    • Cless

      Nah, only you are saying that ;)

  • implicator

    I love seeing my Steam Deck keyboard suddenly pop up in VR now. It’s much easier to use than the old keyboard too.