SteamVR update lets you float PC apps inside your VR games
SteamVR’s latest beta update, version 1.19.6, adds a cool new feature that lets you float desktop or app windows inside your VR games so they’re always visible.
Valve has extended SteamVR’s virtual desktop functionality in recent months. Earlier this year, they added the ability to open specific app windows (rather than your entire desktop) and even dock them on your controller so they’re always visible inside your. VR game.
The latest beta update, SteamVR 1.19.6, goes one step further and gives you the ability to float desktop windows anywhere around you while still making them persistently visible during gameplay. a long time with Oculus PC software, and it’s great to see it finally arrive on SteamVR too.
It’s easy to imagine where this could come in handy. On the one hand, you can easily float your Discord window in your game to keep an eye on who is hanging out in voice channels or messaging you. Likewise, Twitch streamers could float their stream’s chat or dashboard to keep tabs on what’s going on. Or if you are taking a long-haul flight Dangerous elite you can easily paste a window on your ship’s dashboard to watch YouTube as you navigate between star systems.
The beta also adjusts the SteamVR Virtual Desktop UI so that you see more app window icons without having to scroll.
In the latest version, it’s easy to switch between docking a window on your controller or just letting it float. If it’s attached to your controller, you can grab the move button and “detach” it from the controller to float anywhere. You can do the same to reattach it to your controller.
When you’ve opened the SteamVR menu, you can interact with the windows however you like using your controller as a mouse pointer (although we’d love to see a keyboard button near each window in case you need it. enter text). Once you close the SteamVR menu, all floating windows become “view only” so you don’t accidentally click something while playing.
As with most SteamVR beta updates, this will eventually be released for everyone. If you want to check it out today, you can do it easily by signing up for the SteamVR beta yourself:
Sign up for the SteamVR beta
- In your list of Steam games, right click on SteamVR> Properties> Select the ‘Betas’ tab
- From the drop-down list select ‘SteamVR Beta Update’
- Allow SteamVR to update