This Hidden Function Will Streamline Your VR Train

Finding time to exercise is one of the greatest barriers to exercise. When I train in VR, it takes me every minute to count. An easy way to maximize my efficiency is to pick a game and stick with it. However, I often mix things up with multiple games that target different muscles and offer a variety of intensity levels. For example, if I have an hour to spare, I choose a 10-minute low-intensity warm-up game to get the blood flowing, two 20-minute high-intensity games, and I finish things off with a 10-minute cool-down to gradually calm my heart rate back down bring to.

To structure such a routine, timers had to be set, the game closed, and new ones opened. This presents several obstacles. One must keep an eye on the clock. Constantly checking the time breaks immersion and it is even worse when the clock doesn’t start and then I lose track of it. A second obstacle is opening the SteamVR overlay, which doesn’t always work to close a game. Third, I navigate through my hundreds of Steam games to find the next one to open.

I’ve made this easier by categorizing them under “Practice Games” so I can navigate them faster. Even so, it does mean navigating through multiple menus in SteamVR. I can get pretty exhausted between games and the fine motor skills it takes to check those little boxes with the controller’s laser pointer feels like a chore rather than a workout.

All of this meant that a 60-minute workout became a 65-minute process. Five extra minutes doesn’t seem like much, but besides setting up and equipping everything else, I don’t always have to save time. Fortunately, there is a hidden feature built into SteamVR that gives you the best bang for your buck: SteamVR playlists

This tool allows you to create custom game playlists that will automatically load games for a preset time before automatically closing them and loading the next one in the sequence.

To enable this feature, right click on the SteamVR status windows> select Settings> Developer> Demo> then “Show Playlist Menu”.

This will add a new item called “Playlists” to the SteamVR drop-down list.

Now select the “Playlist Editor”

Now you can fill the playlist with your favorite training games.

  1. Give each entry a name
  2. Select the game executable file (usually in C: Program Files (x86) Steam steamapps common).
  3. Set the duration in the “Total” field. (Note: The duration is given in seconds, not minutes.)
  4. Add more games by selecting the “+” icon in the lower left corner
  5. Save the playlist as a memorable item such as training.vpl.

When it’s done it should look something like this:

The total time is noted under the entries. It will take a little longer than an hour as the editor by default allows 6 seconds for the games to transition.

When you’re ready to run your workout playlist, you can either start it from the editor by clicking Play in the lower right corner to start the playlist player, or by clicking on the same drop-down list as: Select Playlist Player “menu in which you found the Playlist Editor:

Just select “Run” and your training can begin!

Has this trick changed your VR training? Tell us how in the comments below!

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