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Steam VR Headset Support Sidebar Removal Draws Developer Complaints

Steam VR Headset Support Sidebar Removal Draws Developer Complaints

Valve removed the VR Support sidebar section on Steam store pages, and some developers aren’t happy.

The sidebar allowed developers to prominently display the compatible headsets, input devices, and play area sizes for their games, and users could filter the store by clicking on these tags. For example, a HP Reverb G2 owner could search for seated VR games supporting Windows MR headsets.

But that sidebar has now been removed, and the specifics of VR support are now buried in the System Requirements as a non-searchable text field. Strangely, the ‘Tracked Controller Supported’ tag was kept and moved to the list of general features on each store page. Games supporting specific headsets or play area sizes can no longer be searched for.

Image made by Brad Lynch

Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades developer Anton Hand pointed out that developers weren’t notified of the change, and said the new System Requirements section was auto-filled with information that may not be accurate. “Does the person who made this change even understand the current VR hardware ecosystem?”, Hand asked. Eye of the Temple developer Rune Johansen suggested it may even harm his reviews.

One limitation of the old sidebar is it only could list Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows MR. ‘Oculus Rift’ generally meant supporting Oculus (now Meta) headsets in general, but this could be confusing for new VR owners. But Valve could have added new tags or renamed existing tabs, rather than removing the section completely.

Steam has a specific ‘Steam Deck Compatibility’ sidebar section for store pages, which led some to suspect a similar new section for VR was inbound. But a recent Valve Tweet suggests this isn’t coming, and instead System Requirements is now the intended place for developers to detail VR compatibility.

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