‘Knuckles’ Controllers From Valve – All You Should Know

    The latest VR controllers from Valve, called as Knuckles, are a great new addition to the VR world. Though many are quite familiar with these controllers but they come with several new features and can attach to one’s hands in an all new manner. So, if you want to take a deep look into the new Knuckles Controllers then here is everything that you might be interested in.

    Jump To Section:

    The Latest Additions To Knuckles

    The SteamVR Home update that came on June 19 introduced DLC with images, firmware, and Knuckles Controllers’ render models.

    How To Get Knuckles Controllers?

    Unfortunately, Knuckles Controllers have not yet been publicly released. Only selected developers that Valve has hand-picked have received these Knuckles Controllers and everyone else has to wait till the time they hit the market.

    What Knuckles Controllers Are All About?

    It was Steam Dev Days 2016 when we all had a first look at Knuckles prototype. The thing that grabbed everyone’s attention was that controller could be let go of without having to drop it to floor or hang it with some safety cord. The design also featured finger tracking which was already there from the beginning in Oculus Touch Controllers.

    Ever since, Valve has really worked hard for coming up with the best possible design. And, now that they have made some serious strides, they have released the Developer kits. They have also set up Steam Community Knuckles group as well.

    Attaching Knuckles Controllers To The Hand?

    Quite Similar to Oculus controllers, they also come with a band which loops around the hand close to the knuckles. However, contrary to static band in Touch Controllers, Knuckles controllers come equipped with a built in adjustable strap. You can simply slip the hand through the controller to hold it naturally. There is a cord towards the bottom which can be pulled to tighten down everything.

    After tightening the strap, you can simply let go of your Knuckles controller and it won’t drop down.

    How Knuckles Can Track Motion?

    How Knuckles Can Track Motion-'Knuckles' Controllers From Valve - All You Should Know

    Knuckles not just track your hands’ motion with the help of outside sensors like Vive’s Lighthouses, they’re even capable of tracking your fingers’ individual movement with their in-built touch capacitors.

    couple talking and drinking coffee


    The grip incorporates three different sensors that go on your ring, middle and the pinky finger. The index fingers will be handled by triggers that are present towards the back side of Knuckles controllers. Besides, there is a trackpad and the face buttons present towards front side of the controllers to read the users’ thumbs.

    As your controllers are tied to your hands and there is no chance that they can drop, it is very much possible for you to completely open and close your hand to pick things in virtual world.

    How Many Buttons Are There On The Controllers?

    Knuckles is quite similar to what we had in original wands from Vive as far as part of controller that remains in the hand of the user is concerned. There is a big trackpad for the thumb, two face buttons one on each side, and one system button right below. There is a trigger towards the back side of each controller as well.

    If Vive wands prove to be a bit bigger and clunky to your liking, Knuckles are smaller and can fit naturally into one’s hands.

    Calibrating Finger Tracking In Knuckles

    Calibrating finger tracking in these controllers doesn’t require you to take off that head-mounted display of yours and access settings through your computers. When it comes to Knuckles, you just have to completely close the handon your controller – putting all your fingers on their respective sensors –and open it. Also, just hold it right there for a second. All the rest will be taken care of by the software itself.

    Are Knuckles Controllers Compatible With Existing Software And Hardware?

    Knuckles can be considered as extension to HTC Vive core hardware and will work perfectly fine with everything that already exists. Quite similar to original wands, the controllers workabsolutely fine with all the HTC Vive headset revisions. They also use base stations same as those of Vive for tracking purposes.

    couple talking and drinking coffee


    Any old software are also going to be compatible with new controllers. A new feature is expected to be released from Valve which will emulate wand controllers, mapping the similar buttons to new hardware.

    How To Pair Your Knuckles Controllers And SteamVR?

    If you get to try these new Knuckles controllers, you just have to run that regular Pair Controller setup that can be found in SteamVR Devices menu for pairing purposes. Opt for SteamVR beta so that Knuckles controllers can pair properly.

    What’s The Battery Timing Of These New Knuckles Controllers?

    • What’s The Battery Timing Of These New Knuckles Controllers?

    One single charge of these controllers should be able to last for 3 hours of regular use. Just like it is with Vive wands,Knuckles controllers come with USB micro-B connector that can be used with their rechargeable battery. For a full battery charge, you might need to give it one hour if the battery was completely dead.

    What Are The Lights For?

    What Are The Lights For.'Knuckles' Controllers From Valve - All You Should Know

    Each of the controllers feature a small sized LED light which helps in determining the state of the controller. You can also find such LED on Vive’s wand, but in Knuckles different states are signified by some colors.

    Are Knuckles Ambidextrous?

    Just like the Vive wands, Knuckles also come with same set of buttons on both the pieces. However, you will have to pick them hand-specifically due to their straps which tie specifically to a particular hand. Afterwards, both the hands can be used alike and it’s up to you that which one you’d like to use more.

    What’s The Adaptability Like For Various Hand Sizes?

    Currently available prototypes of Knuckles controller account for varying hand sizes. However, bigger hands might find Knuckles to be a bit on tighter side whereas those with smaller hands might find it hard to reach top of their trackpad. Nevertheless, the fit can really account for large number of players with various hand sizes.

    What Accompanies Knuckles Controllers In The Package?

    Though we don’t have the retail units available as of now, VR developers have already received development kits from Valve for the brand new controllers. Vertigo Games showcased current prototypes of Knuckles Controllers that come as bare packaging along with all the essentials. Though it will change in public release, currently the package that has been shown features the two controllers.

    So, that’s all there is about the Knuckles Controllers from Valve. But it is still available to the selected developers. However, the sensation still remains with all the capabilities and a wonderful VR experience these controllers are going to offer.

    Recent Articles

    Related Stories