Steam add-on makes VR games more accessible

WalkinVR Driver adjusts VR controls to make games easier to play.

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WalkinVR Driver
2MW

As good as VR gaming can be, much of it assumes full mobility — and that risks leaving behind people with physical disabilities who’d love to play. That might not be an issue in the future for at least some games. 2MW has released WalkinVR Driver, a free Windows app that makes SteamVR games and apps more accessible. It can perform virtual movements (such as standing up) and adjust the controller position to compensate for limited motion, and you can even get help with movement and buttons from another person wielding an Xbox controller.

The team is also promising an update within two to three weeks that will add hand tracking using Microsoft’s since-discontinued Kinect sensor. This could help people with limited or erratic movement play games when they can’t hold a controller, according to the creators. And when built-in hand tracking is still relatively rare in VR, this could help spread the technology’s reach.

WalkinVR Driver works with any headset that supports SteamVR. While that does limit the compatible software, it still opens many games and creative apps to a section of the population that would otherwise have to be content to watch. The software may also encourage developers to be more accommodating with VR, for that matter — you could see more games with accessibility built-in.

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