Beat Saber increases controller motion limits because pros are too fast

Brittany A. Roston - Feb 11, 2019, 8:19 pm CST
Beat Saber increases controller motion limits because pros are too fast

Popular virtual reality game Beat Saber has been updated with, among other things, increased controller motion limits. This change is only relevant to the best players, the experts who, the developers explain, exceed “what we thought was humanly possible.” The change was based on tracking data gathered from Beat Saber professionals capable of making moves insanely fast.

Beat Saber is a highly popular virtual reality game released less than a year ago for PS VR and Windows-based VR systems. The game was made by Beat Games, which published it alongside Hyperbolic Magnetism. The game, for those unfamiliar, involves light-based sabers that are totally not lightsabers, and they’re used (via motion controllers) to slash inbound blocks, each of which represents a musical beat.

Anyone who has played Rockband will see the similarity, and it’s not hard to guess why the addictive title is so popular. What was hard to anticipate is just how good some players would get at the game. While most of us fumble our way toward adequate successful, an elite few are so good at the game that they surpassed what the developer thought would be the limit for movement.

The new controller motion limit arrived in SteamVR beta update 1.3.2, according to its changelog. The vast majority of players won’t notice the difference, as they’ll never reach that insanely high threshold. For expert players, the change should increase accuracy when quickly firing off movements.

In the Steam page‘s comment section, Valve developer “bendotcom” explained:

The tracking system has internal sanity checks to identify when things go wrong. For example, if our math says you are *behind* your only basestation, clearly we made a mistake, because we wouldn’t be getting any signal from behind the basestation. One of these checks relates to how fast we thought it was physically possible for someone to turn their wrist. It turns out that a properly motivated human using a light enough controller could go faster (3600 degrees/sec!) than we thought.

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