One of the biggest problems with VR gaming is gameplay movement and until now the only way of moving has been either with game-pads or a handheld control. The 3dRudder controller brings VR movement to your feet and this really is a game changer for an immersive VR experience.
The 3dRudder is a wireless foot-pad that lets you easily walk, run, and jump in VR. It feels completely natural, and even better it frees up your hands for all kinds of new VR possibilities. The disc shaped controller takes input from your feet and translates it in to VR movements on your screen.
The controller is fairly bulky in comparison to a handheld controller but with it been wireless, it makes it easily portable. It is also designed to suit any foot size so that you can walk, run, jump, skip, slide and crouch, all hands free.
I was lucky enough to get a 3dRudder to review and it without a doubt one of the best VR accessories I’ve had the pleasure of testing. It will be available to buy this Summer so keep your eyes out!
Whats in the 3dRudder VR Controller Box?
The VR foot controller comes in a neat, well designed box. Inside the box is simply just the foot controller itself and a charger. There is also a card which directs you to the 3dRudder website where you will find all the information you need to get started with the 3dRudder.
My first impressions when opening the box was that the controller is very well made and looks the part to show off to your friends. It was a little bit bigger than I had expected, however once you place your feet on it, it’s actually a perfect size for someone with big feet like me.
Setting up the 3dRudder…
Setting up the device is extremely straightforward and quick. The most time consuming thing is installing the 3dRudder dashboard program. The program helps you to manage the device and you can download it here.
It really is that simple you install the program, follow the instructions on the startup guide. Once you have setup correctly the VR accessory will beep to notify you that it has successfully connected.
Once you’re ready to go firstly you will need to go through the tutorial that shows you a comprehensive video of how you should use the 3dRudder with your feet. It will teach you the controls which correspond to the action you want to make. For example if you push with your toes at the front of the controller it will make you walk forward on your screen. If you push with your heels you will go backwards.
Each controller action can also be programmed to trigger different controls. This gives you the freedom to set up the controller to suit your type of game or gameplay. It does take a little bit of getting used to as the movements aren’t exactly what you would make in reality as you are sat down but once you’ve played with it for a little bit then it feels natural and you won’t ever want to go back to the handheld controllers.
How the 3dRudder Controller works?
The 3dRudder’s predecessor was not wireless and this was frustrating for users when making sudden movements and sometimes jerking the USB connection out of your device. 3dRudder listened to their users and have now developed a fully wireless version. It holds it’s battery for around 12 hours, It’s fun and really does make an immersive VR experience.
The control connects using a Bluetooth 4.0 connection to either Windows, Steam OS and Android systems. It is compatible with most of the top VR headsets aside from the PSVR. I tested it on a HTC Vive and it worked exactly how I expected it to. It can also be used with the Oculus Rift, Google Daydream.
Although naturally you would think that you would stand on the controller in actual fact it is designed to be used whilst seated. This does feel quite strange to begin with but after a short period of time you get used to it and I actually think it’s beneficial to be able to use it whilst seated.
The 3DRudder offers the freedom to personalise your control. It lets you move forward, backwards and side to side. Here is a diagram as to how you should position the controller on the floor.
Just like its predecessor, 3dRudder Wireless is designed as a circular disc. It’s equipped with sensors allowing it to detect various degrees of pressure and simple foot gestures, all of which can be used to move in any direction, regardless of whether they’re walking, running, or driving.
The VR controller is mostly made of good quality plastic and feels well built. The bottom of the 3DRudder is convex, which lets you easily rock it in any direction. This is made with a rubber grip, which helps keep it’s position on the floor. The top is also made of a moulded plastic. It features two leatherette pads for your feet, which adds grip and stops your feet sliding off when making sudden movements.
With the 3dRudder you are no longer restricted to having to teleport, as many of you will know VR movement is more complicated than just pushing a joystick forward and having your character move. Another benefit to buying the 3dRudder controller is that you can play games that normally require a large gaming space whilst been seated. Once you add hand controllers alongside the 3dRudder you are in for a fully immersive experience. It allows you to use your hands for other things like firing guns or swiping your sword to fight of the enemy. I found it a great privilege to be able to test this before it is showcased at CES 2018 and I couldn’t recommend this product enough to those of you who enjoy VR gaming.