Image: Holydh’s BackRoom
An amateur developer makes it possible to play Riders Republic with a bike trainer and VR headset.
In 2022, Riders Republic won the DICE Award for Sports Game of the Year. Players of the game, currently in its sixth season, practice various outdoor sports such as mountain biking, skiing, and wingsuit gliding in the largest national parks in the USA.
The large and varied game world is ideally suited for virtual reality, though the game is unfortunately unavailable in VR. With Bike Binder VR, developer Holydh now brings at least the mountain bike mode of Riders Republic to VR.
How Bike Binder VR works
Holydh offers Bike Binder VR for free on GitHub. Players only need a stationary bike with movable handlebars and a VR headset. The application is supposed to be compatible with various VR headsets, but this is not certain. The developer states that he has only tested Bike Binder VR with a Quest 2 and Airlink so far.
The left controller is attached to the left foot, and the right controller is attached to the handlebar. The controller on the foot detects pedal speed and transmits it to the bike in the game, while the controller on the handlebar performs other actions like jumping, braking, and changing the camera.
Mode announced for stationary bikes with immobile handlebars
Bike Binder VR was developed for stationary bikes with movable handlebars. However, Holydh wants to make the application usable on regular indoor bikes as well. He is planning a mode in which the players hold the controller in their hands and steer with the joystick.
There are numerous fitness apps for VR headsets, including Les Mills Bodycombat and Supernatural. FitXR offers dance, boxing, and HIIT workouts – in Box Like A Pro mode, a former world champion and Olympic gold medalist even trains you. However, virtual reality still lacks a game like Riders Republic – a fact that Bike Binder VR’s success might change.
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