ALVR SteamVR Streaming App For Apple Vision Pro Now On The visionOS App Store

ALVR is now available on the visionOS App Store.

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.

Shortly after Apple Vision Pro’s launch ALVR was ported to Vision Pro by software developer Zhuowei Zhang. Though this initial port was rough with many issues, another programmer, Max Thomas, significantly improved it and launched it on TestFlight (Apple’s equivalent to Quest’s App Lab) in March.

And now ALVR is on the visionOS App Store, publicly searchable and easily findable by anyone.

Since we last reported on ALVR Thomas has added automatic connection discovery, room-scale support and 100Hz refresh rate mode on visionOS 2, an experimental toggle for much higher resolution (up to 40 pixels per degree, compared to 26 pixels per degree default) and dozens of other quality and stability improvements and bugfixes.

The build of ALVR approved on the public App Store is older than the latest TestFlight build, though, so doesn’t yet have some of these features and has multiple known bugs. Thomas anticipates Apple will approve an update to the App Store version within a few weeks.

With visionOS 2, Apple Vision Pro Supports Room-Scale VR
Apple Vision Pro can support full room-scale VR with visionOS 2, only showing your real floor when walking.

Of course, the lack of tracked controllers means 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 also 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. Obviously though, the tracking quality is much lower than with real VR controllers like Meta Quest Touch or Valve Index.

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.

Playing Half-Life: Alyx On Apple Vision Pro With Joy-Cons
Here’s what it’s like to play Half-Life: Alyx with Joy-Cons on Apple Vision Pro through PC VR streaming tool ALVR.

ALVR is free on the App Store, and a must-try for all Apple Vision Pro owners who also own a gaming PC.

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