SteamVR has come a long way since its inception, to the point that users can now create their own environments to visit while in VR. Whether you're a seasoned design professional or just starting out with textures and models, you too can create a place of your own.
How to opt into the SteamVR Home Beta
In order to take full advantage of the SteamVR Workshop Tools, you must first opt into the SteamVR Home Beta. Here's how.
- Launch Steam from your Start menu, desktop, or taskbar.
- Click VR.
Click the dropdown arrow next to Steam VR.
- Click Settings.
Click the checkbox next to SteamVR Home Beta so that a checkmark appears.
SteamVR should now update on its own with the necessary Beta files.
What are SteamVR Workshop Tools?
SteamVR, in an attempt to give VR users a more familiar virtual environment, allows you to create and share unique SteamVR Home environments, once known as Destinations. You might have heard of Destinations before; it was a standalone travel app that has now been absorbed into SteamVR Home.
All creations from before the merger can be accessed from SteamVR Home, and new environments are being made every day. There are already a bunch of awesome creations in the SteamVR Workshop from some truly talented people out there.
Not only can you work with existing models and animations, you can also upload your own creations and modify them with SteamVR Workshop Tools, a relatively powerful (and free) suite that effectively gives you the power to create just about anything.
SteamVR Workshop Tools let you create unique environments
Since pretty much the time these tools became available, VR enthusiasts have been doing their best to create (near) exact replicas of their VR spaces. There are plenty of models and textures readily available, but, if you're so inclined, you can create your own and upload them into Workshop Tools.
Whether you're in an office, living room, or desk chair, laying out your setup and seeing it in VR comes with some immediate perks.
Why you should recreate your VR space in SteamVR Home
Sure, the Chaperone system native to SteamVR does a decent job of keeping you from slamming your controllers (or head) into walls when you're in a game, but what about some extra protection when you're just enjoying VR, hanging out in Home?
Have you ever been sitting at your desk and attempted to reach out to find something sitting there, like a keyboard or mouse? Did your hand first accidentally find your glass of water? By recreating your VR space, you can avoid spills and generally make your life a lot easier, especially if you're regularly switching between controllers and keyboard and mouse. Imagine — you're finished with VR, and you have to sort of lift your head-mounted display, controllers in hand, and find a spot to set them down. Why not just have your desk or table there with you in VR?
Likewise, you can set up real walls (no doubt with a bit of a buffer between where your real walls are) and any lights you have in your space for realistic lighting. In our case, we have a lot of tech stuff lying around the office, so we're still busy getting it all settled in VR.
If you want to create a VR space that's larger than what you have in real life, you can even set teleportation markers to quickly get around. This is especially beneficial if you're at all wondering what a potential VR setup would look like if you had just a bit more space.
Using SteamVR Workshop Tools
The SteamVR Developer community has an incredible set of resources when it comes to pretty much everything to do with the Workshop Tools. Here are a few to get you started.
- Getting started with SteamVR Workshop Tools
- How to bring pre-existing Destinations to SteamVR Home
- Hammer and basic lighting tutorial
Have you recreated your real VR space in the virtual world? How long did it take you? Let us know!
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