If there's one thing virtual reality conveys well, it's scale. That's useful when it comes to educational glimpses at outerspace, which is also what Universe Sandbox 2 is good for. The tool let's you open solar systems, galaxies, and other celestial bodies and then tinker with them in order to see how they work. Or to see how it would work if you spawned an enormous sun next to them and watched them all be gobbled up.
You can now do that in VR, too. The game, which is currently in early access, now has a beta VR mode you can access through Steam.
Here's a video of user Brad Lynch playing with the mode with the HTC Vive:
Good news for people who want to spawn 40 moons around and watch them crash into the earth. Here's what Marsh said about US2 when he prematurely evaluated it in August of last year:
There are a few minor bugs (I once had Mercury headbutt the Sun out of existence) and not all the features are seemingly yet implemented (what does the habitable zone toggle do?), but the devs anticipate another whole year in Early Access, during which time more bespoke community-suggested simulations, like the New Horizons fly-by, will be added, as well as life simulation, terraforming, missions, space tethers and more. Call me a thicko dipshit who wallows in the slurry of his own stupidity, but even in its current form, Universe Sandbox 2 has done as much to lift me from my colossal ignorance as any game I’ve recently played. No mean feat.
Much has changed since then of course, but there's still more work to be done on the game and VR mode, with another beta update to the latter coming this Thursday. To access the VR beta now, right-click on the game in Steam and go to Properties, then the Beta tab, then scroll down in the dropdown till you see 'vr-experimental'. Click that and the beta will download.
If you don't own an HTC Vive yourself, you might be interested to know you can come along and try it at this year's EGX Rezzed. RPS will be there, with developer session, games and more.