Elite VR Cockpit - Open source SteamVR overlay with virtual throttle/stick and buttons (Early Alpha)

I've been unhappy with what exists so far for playing ED with tracked controllers. So for the past few weeks I've been working on a VR overlay to provide virtual throttle, joystick, and holographic buttons to play Elite Dangerous with.

The project is still in a very early alpha stage. However I have finally got it to a point where others can try out a version that can do 90% of what other overlays can do, plus a number of things that other overlays can't.

More images

Some of the unique functionality I have so far:
  • The joystick is VTOL VR style instead of Ultrawings style. i.e. it's rotation only allowing you to comfortably anchor the controller on your leg to get pretty stable and responsive control.
  • You can reset your seated position by holding both menu buttons down.
  • When grabbing the joystick the Vive's trackpad isn't mapped to 1 POV switch, it's mapped to 2! Pressing and edge of the trackpad and dragging your finger on the trackpad are 2 separate joystick POV switches. So you can bind both UI navigation and category prev/next controls.
  • The overlay reads your custom bindings, so the holographic buttons automatically use whatever bindings you have setup without needing extra config if they are already setup. Some form of keyboard binding of course is required, so the buttons automatically turn red when there is no binding they can use.
  • The overlay knows when you are in a ship, fighter, SRV, or map. Some of the holographic buttons that aren't relevant to a context automatically disappear. And when you switch to a SRV the overlay automatically switches to an alternate throttle/joystick position layout that matches the SRV's throttle/joystick position.
  • Likewise the holographic buttons themselve are context sensitive. For instance the landing gear, hardpoints, and ship lights buttons all know about the ship status and automatically change tooltip text to be more relevant (and the ship lights button also changes icon)
  • You may be seeing blue in my screenshots, but the overlay isn't actually blue. The overlay uses the same orange coloring as the normal HUD. But the overlay automatically reads your hud color matrix override and applies it to the various colors used in the overlay so it undergoes the same color change as the HUD and always matches it.
Good to see you actually went ahead and developed something in the end. Not my cup of tea but I wish you all the best with the project.

Is this much different to WierdWizardDaves overlay that popped up a couple of weeks ago?
Good to see you actually went ahead and developed something in the end. Not my cup of tea but I wish you all the best with the project.

Is this much different to WierdWizardDaves overlay that popped up a couple of weeks ago?
The basic idea is the same, however:

  • WierdWizardDave could not open up his overlay for others to work on, so collaborating to improve Holocab was a dead end.
  • Holocab has a Ultrawings style joystick where you pull on it like you're pinching the tip of the stick, which makes it less controlable.
  • Holocab doesn't have any of the Elite Dangerous integration.
  • I haven't implemented Haptics yet like Holocab has, but it's on the roadmap.
  • Holocab has a set of axis bound to the trackpad when you're grabbing the throttle. I didn't like how these worked so the throttle trackpad doesn't do anything right now, until I get feedback from former HOTAS about what tactically important controls they normally bind on a throttle POV and implement something better for use when docking.
  • Holocab has button bindings you can bind when not grabbing anything. I've omitted these and am coming up with more types of controls you can grab and explicit control setups for the galaxy map and menus.
Looks good. I will be sure to check it out.

I actually had some similar plans but the legal team of my employers claimed it would be in breach of my contract :(
Looks cool but vr performance is precious and any overlays are a no no. For me anyway
True. And sadly the way I'm stuck rendering multiple cameras to textures in order to place panels in 3d space makes it difficult to optimize. Though, despite that it's still enjoyable to use.

But if you like the idea but don't like overlays. You may want to make a comment to show support for native VR controls in the features request forum thread I made:

Oh, updates. There's a 6DOF controller for docking/landing and flight assist off. And here's a video.

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