ALVR For Apple Vision Pro Is Now Available To Download & Forwards Hand Tracking To SteamVR

ALVR, the app that enables Apple Vision Pro to work on SteamVR, is now available for anyone to download.

If you’re interested in VR you’re probably familiar with the three most popular tools to make Meta Quest headsets act as PC VR headsets on Windows: Virtual Desktop, Steam Link, and Quest (Air) Link. But you might not be as familiar with ALVR, the open-source alternative that has been around since before any of those.

Apple Vision Pro Demonstrated Working On SteamVR Via ALVR
A developer got Apple Vision Pro working on SteamVR by porting the open-source app ALVR, though this initial implementation has some issues.

In early February we reported that ALVR had been successfully ported to visionOS by software developer Zhuowei Zhang. Though this initial port was rough with many issues, developer another programmer, Max Thomas, has been working on improving the code in the six weeks since.

Thomas has significantly improved the app’s netcode to minimize jitter and hitches, increased the refresh rate to 96Hz, implemented HDR (High Dynamic Range) display output, and added support for passing Vision Pro’s hand tracking through to SteamVR Skeletal Input.

And while before now using ALVR on Vision Pro required compiling the source code on a Mac using Xcode, the app has now been approved for easy download on TestFlight. If you’re unfamiliar with the Apple ecosystem, TestFlight is essentially Apple’s equivalent of Quest’s App Lab.

Being approved on TestFlight suggests Virtual Desktop and iVRy will also be approved – both developers plan to release apps for Vision Pro.



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YouTuber Brad Lynch (SadlyItsBradley) playing Half-Life: Alyx on Apple Vision Pro with hand gestures.

Of course, the lack of tracked controllers mean Apple Vision Pro isn’t a practical way to play the majority of SteamVR games out of the box. SteamVR Skeletal Input is primarily intended for the finger tracking capabilities of controllers like Valve Index, which include thumbsticks, triggers, and buttons. ALVR for Vision Pro allows you to emulate these controls via a series of gestures, but this is obviously incredibly clunky for most games.

What you can do is provide these inputs via Bluetooth controllers such as Nintendo Joy-Cons. Their inputs are passed through to SteamVR, and haptics are passed back.

All of this only works in apps that support SteamVR Skeletal Input, however. Most VR apps on Steam do not, including VRChat. And even where it works, the tracking quality is much lower than with real VR controllers like Meta Quest Touch.



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Thomas using Nintendo Joy-Conns with Apple Vision Pro to play Valve’s The Lab.

To play most SteamVR games with great controller tracking quality you could add SteamVR Tracking base stations and Valve Index controllers and use a tool like OpenVR Space Calibrator to manually align them. But that equipment would cost you around $600 if you don’t own it already, and the alignment would need to be performed each time.

Even without controllers though, Vision Pro could still prove an excellent headset for use with untracked input devices such as racing wheels for sim racing or HOTAS setups for flight simulators.

You can download ALVR from TestFlight now.

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