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SteamVR Adds Workaround For Valve Index Thumbstick Click Issue


The latest update to SteamVR adds workaround for the Valve Index controllers’ thumbstick click issue, as well as fixing firmware bugs and improving stability for the headset.

Index is Valve’s PC VR system. It was released at the end of June. The full kit costs $999, but existing HTC Vive owners can purchase the headset and new controllers separately for $499 and $279 respectively.

The face of the controllers features two buttons, a small trackpad, and a thumbstick. While the thumbstick can be clicked when centered, when deflected at certain angles it cannot. On the Valve Index subreddit, users have reported that Valve do not consider this a defect. This software update indicates the company intends to work around the issue with software.

The Workaround

Valve has updated the default Index controller input bindings such that when a thumbstick is fully deflected in any direction, it is considered to be fully clicked. This is only applied for apps which have not set their own input bindings, which means mostly games which have not yet been updated to support Index.

Users can manually enable this new setting for any app using the SteamVR input system’s Controller Settings panel. The exact deflection to activate the emulated clicking is fully configurable.

Just like with the Steam Controller, Valve is putting a heavy emphasis on community and user input bindings. This allows for customization, but leads to some degree of input fragmentation between games.

Valve Index Controllers Side Hand Strap VR

Bug Fixes & Stability Improvements

The update also brings a plethora of bug fixes and stability improvements to Valve’s platform, including firmware updates for both the headset and controllers. Based on the changelog, this seems to address most of the Index’s launch bugs commonly reported:

SteamVR Runtime

  • Enabled automatic firmware recovery for Valve Index and Vive Pro devices that have had certain firmware updates interrupted or failed.
  • Fixed a rare spontaneous shutdown of vrserver caused by very briefly connected pipes.
  • Fixed a rare case where SteamVR would stop working after a prolonged period of high CPU load.
  • Fix cases of error 422 that could happen when launching a game and letting it launch SteamVR (as opposed to launching VR first and then launching the game).

Index Firmware/Drivers

  • Improved device discovery to reduce the impact of misbehaving USB drivers and devices.
  • Introduced a fix for some Valve Index users experiencing Base Station Power Management intermittency.
  • Fixed a skeletal system issue where the thumb would not respond when the thumbstick is moved but no touch is detected.
  • Fix cases of error 422 that could happen when launching a game and letting it launch SteamVR (as opposed to launching VR first and then launching the game).
  • Improved USB reliability.
  • Fixed an issue that could result in displays turning off during active usage.
  • Fixed an issue where initiating pairing just after powering on the controller could result in a power off.

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