Valve Updates Steam VR Because Beat Saber Players Are Too Fast

Gif: Felps Live, YouTube

Real-world data collected from Beat Saber players has changed what Valve developers had previously thought to be “humanly possible.”

In a recent post announcing the latest update to Steam VR, one of the changes listed reads: “Increase limits of what we thought was humanly possible for controller motion based on tracking data from Beat Saber experts.” In other words: Some people are so good at Beat Saber, a rhythm game where you use lightsabers to slice correspondingly coloured red and blue blocks, that Steam VR wasn’t previously able to track them.

The fix to address that shortcoming affects the Vive hardware’s Lighthouse tracking sensors which are responsible for recording players’ positions and movement while playing Steam VR. In order to be more accurate Valve increased the max threshold for how quickly a player could move one of the VR controllers.

In the comments section of the post, a Valve developer wrote that “the tracking system has internal sanity checks to identify when things go wrong.” He went on:

“For example, if our maths says you are *behind* your only basestation, clearly we made a mistake, because we wouldn’t be getting any signal from behind the basestation. One of these checks relates to how fast we thought it was physically possible for someone to turn their wrist. It turns out that a properly motivated human using a light enough controller could go faster (3600 degrees/sec!) than we thought.”

To put that in perspective, rotating 3600 degrees a second is the equivalent of flicking your wrist 90 degrees, from horizontal to vertical, in .025 seconds. Like the developers at Valve, I would have guessed players with super twitch skills would be able to move fast, but not that fast.

Some Beat Saber players are indeed strong with the force.


    No matter how good you think you are at reaction based games, someone else is a madman.
    I like the project diva games but watching elite people play them on YouTube just makes me depressed. No amount of practice could make me able to play like them.
    Never underestimate human reflexes!

      They have done massive wrist training from young. Jer... Ahem.

    Same can be said for any controller, I was too cheap to buy a second guitar controller for guitar hero, so I learned to play everything up to expert mode with the standard controller,

    There reaches a point where you have learned things as muscle memory and you cannot even think as fast as your reacting. And for your wrists, if the controller is off center and you rotate while pulling your arm up, well the peak rotation rate can be very high.

    Yes. I can finally get back into ZenBlade (the best of all the sword based VR games IMO). I thought it was a game glitcth I was passing through fruit. Turns oit, it may have been my cat like reflexes. :P

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