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How to Protect VR Lenses?

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For sake of the VR device you’ve acquired, it is essential that you take good care of it. It is no fun to play with your favourite toy if the lenses have even one scratch, not to mention many.

While VR lens scratches most often occur if you are wearing glasses, your headset may get damaged even if you aren’t currently using it. VRborg presents some solutions and ideas for VR lens protection and general maintenance that you may find useful.

Maintaining VR headset

The first and obvious issue that users have after they’re done with a VR session is where and how to store the device. It is always a good idea to keep your headset stored separately from other components. There are just too many VR items that can cause damage to lenses, for example metal endings of USB cables, or even controllers.

Have in mind that you should also keep your head mounted displays away from sunlight when the headset isn’t in use. The lenses on your headset focus the light into a single dot that can cause damage on the display. You can see some suggestions on how to store Oculus Rift on our website.

For most people who are into tech gadgets, keeping them clean and tidy is a must. You may have noticed that even after purchasing the your VR device, you still need to invest some extra cash in auxiliary equipment. Nikon’s Lens Pen costs only about $10, and is perfect for cleaning lenses of any kind. It has a soft brush at the top that will take care of any dust, residue and sludge on your VR lenses.

If you are wearing glasses, you might want to try and use the headset without them, reducing the possibility of scratching the lens’ surface. If you are unable to enjoy VR without glasses, fear not! There are plenty of solutions for the problem at hand.

Invest in VR lens protection

VR Lens Lab acknowledged the issue that glass wearers with VR HMDs face, and they worked out the solution. They offer a variety of prescription lenses for users of three most popular headsets on the market – Playstation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. There are also some alternative and more affordable solutions too, like this one here.

There is another great product designed on thingverse by Stoney. This engineer who had issues while using VR because of his glasses decided to find a solution – and it’s brilliant! PSVR Spectacle shield is a 3D printed spacer that perfectly fits on the device’s lenses and creates the safe space between them and the glasses you are wearing. Unfortunately, Stoney only created this patent for PSVR, but it goes to show that there are creative yet effective ways to deal with this issue.

If the damage is already done…

One of the reddit users reported the issue with his Vive lenses being scratched, asking for advice. Later on he edited the post and submitted an interesting solution.

 

He used the Headlight Renewal kit, put a little bit on the scuff and rubbed it out with the microfiber cloth that comes in the original Vive shipment. It worked like a charm, so even if you already damaged your VR lenses there still is a way to remedy this.

However, you shouldn’t take this for granted, so we strongly suggest you to invest in VR lens protection beforehand.

How to Play Echo Arena: Beginner’s Guide – Tutorial, Basics, Tips, Tricks & Tactics

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Echo Arena Beginner's Guide Tips Tricks Tactics Featured
Time to get serious

Let me guess – you’ve finally decided to buy Echo Arena and have some fun with it. In the beginning, everything was fun and dandy, but you found yourself getting repeatedly smashed by the much more experienced opponents. Now, your goal is different – you want to get better at it! My friend, you’ve come to the right place.


Tutorial & Basics

In this beginner’s guide, we’re going to teach you how to play Echo Arena. Better. Once you’re done with the tutorial and are familiar with all the basics, come back here and pick up all the tips and tricks we’ve aggregated and prepared for you. By the time you’re done, you’ll be much better equipped to deal with the pro players.

All right, time for you to play that tutorial now. Don’t worry, we’ll still be here when you come back.


Done? Good.

Let’s quickly recap all the movement & controls basics

Touch Controllers
Button Action
BOTH “Grip” Grab
BOTH “Trigger” Fist
RIGHT “Thumbstick Click” Brake
LEFT “Thumbstick Click” Boost
RIGHT “B” Right Wrist Thruster
LEFT “Y” Left Wrist Thruster
RIGHT “Thumbstick Horizontal” Snap-Turn
LEFT “Thumbstick Horizontal” Snap-Roll(If enabled)
LEFT “Thumbstick Vertical” Snap-Pitch(if enabled)
  • GRAB – You will be using grab a lot. You can grab onto objects and players to fling yourself off of them. Obviously, you will have to grab the disc in order to, hopefully, score for your team.
  • BRAKE – From time to time, you will want to stop. The time required for a complete halt depends on your speed – the faster you go, the more time it will take for you to stop.
  • BOOST – Boosting makes you go forward fast in the direction you’re looking at
  • WRIST THRUSTERS – These can propel you individually, or provide an increased momentum when paired together. Usable for fine tuning your flight path.
  • SNAP-TURN – Keep this enabled if you don’t have a 360° setup. You can use it to do quick yaw-axis rotations (turning left & right)
  • SNAP-ROLL – this is disabled by default, but you can enable it if you find it beneficial to do quick roll-axis rotations. Being upside down to everybody is certainly useful in this game from time to time.

Lobby, Zones & Arenas

Now, before you jump right into the multiplayer arena to test your skills against other homo sapiens, you should take your time and familiarise yourself with the commands and movements explained above.

For that purpose, the Practice Arena and Combat Room are godsend. In the former, you can practice disc throws and getting accustomed to fine manoeuvring. The latter has your fists enabled, which helps you practice punching and disabling other players, as well as blocking with both hands.

Nevertheless, training yourself in these isolated zones can only get you so far. Once you feel ready, or just had enough of messing around in training zones, you will want to try out the real thing. Enter Echo Arena multiplayer map, where the real action resides.

The Arena

Echo Arena Top View
Top-Down Map of the Arena with labels
Blue side of the arena with labels
Screenshot of the blue zone layout with labels

As you can see from the images above, the map consists of several zones, with each team starting from one of the two sides, orange or blue. Teams fight over the control of the disc. Scoring is done by throwing or “walking” the disc into the opponents’ goal.

Let’s get you familiar with the most important zones and parts of the Arena.

Activation Pods (Spawn Pods, Jack Pods)

This is the starting area. You spawn hear upon loading the map and every time someone scores the goal. After loading in, you will first have to pull the Release Lever. You won’t have to do it subsequently.

Staging Area (Match Lobby, Team Room)

This is the zone where you band together with your teammates while waiting. You can do some light practice here with discs, islands and dummy-bots. After both teams are full and ready, launch tubes barriers get unlocked for a 15-second countdown before the launch.

Launch Tubes

The five tubes are your entrances to the main Arena zone. They form a circular formation, with catapults inside.

Catapults (Launchers, Go-Fast Rings)

These are rings inside the tubes that get activated by passing your hand through the Launch button at their centre. You will then get propelled forward at 6 meters per second until you reach the end of the tube.

Backboard

Backboard is located in the middle of the launch tubes exits circle, right behind the goal. If thrown properly, the disc can actually ricochet off of backboard right into the opponents’ goal.

Goal

The goal has a transparent field inside its frame, floating in front of the backboard. When a disc passes through it, the attacking team gets 2 points. It allows for the disc to pass through either side.

Barrier (Guardian, Shield)

Barrier has a rectangular, curved obstacle floating right in front of the goal, outlining the front part of the 3-point bubble. The players can pass through it, but the disc will bounce off if thrown at or carried through it.

3-Point Bubble (3-Point Line)

Similar to basketball, any shots made from outside the 3-point bubble that end up passing the goal will give you 3 points instead of 2.

Ramp (Bank, Curve)

A concave part of the surface that can be found on the floor and the ceiling on both sides of the Arena. Due to the curvature, the disc ricochets off of it more predictably.

Islands (Stars, Polygons)

Floating triangular/pyramidal shapes equally scattered on each side of the Arena, both horizontally and vertically.

Disc (Cookie, Frisbee)

The “Holy Grail” of Echo Arena, the Disc is what both teams are ultimately fighting for. In order to score, the disc has to reach the opposing team’s goal.

The disc slows the holder’s max speed to 4.65 meters per second.

Holo Cubes (Bits, Juke-Boxes, Goalie’s Best Friends)

Fist-sized, transparent, cube-shaped objects grouped around goals and mid-wing tunnels. They let both players and the disc pass through, but when grabbed onto, they can be used for manoeuvring.

Echo Arena Slang

Knowing the movements, controls and names of map zones and parts will not be enough. You will have to know the specific terminology used by the Echo Arena players. Here’s a brief overview of some of the most common terms you may come across

Joust

This is a common term that describes the rush towards the disc once the staging timer reaches zero. Whichever team gets to the disc first has a clear advantage at the start of each rally.

Chain Launch

Echo Arena Beginner's Guide Tips Tricks Tactics Chain Launch
Grab onto the teammate in front and fling yourself off of him to achieve greater speed

Players grab onto each other in a chain formation. The player at the front uses the Catapult and the players behind can achieve greater speed by pushing off of him. This enables players to add up to 5 meters per second for each successful push-off, thus reaching the disc faster during jousting.

Clear

A term borrowed from other sports, a clear simply describes the action of flinging the disc as far away as possible from your team’s goal zone, mitigating the danger of another team scoring.

Juke

This term defines any instantaneous change in direction. This can be achieved by grabbing onto a wall, floor, island, cube or another player and using it as a platform to push yourself from. This can often throw of assailants off of your tail.

The Dream

Goals scored from significantly farther distances than usual. The Dream often starts as a simple clear which, through bounces and ricochets off of walls and islands accidentally ends up in the goal.

Punch Launch

With a myriad of synonyms such as Bop’n’Launch, Wombo Combo, Slammer Clamber, Slug’n’Tug, Boop’n’Scoop, Wham Bam Zam or Dish’n’Dash, punch launch has gained notoriety due to its effectiveness. Players of higher skill are capable of pushing themselves off of enemy players while simultaneously punching them, disabling them for the moment. It takes some practice to do this optimally, as a punch too soon will cause the player to lose momentum, while a punch too late won’t connect.

Advanced Tips, Tricks & Tactics

Knowing the movements, controls and lingo won’t be enough to somewhat level the playing field with players that have dozens, if not hundreds of hours of experience playing Echo Arena. We’ve compiled a list of a bit more advanced tips, tricks and tactics for you to use and abuse in the Arena. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • In the beginning, try to focus on punching enemy players as much as you can. As a level 1 player, your movement will look and feel clunky for a while. Trying to punch and disable enemy players is very effective at developing the feeling and muscle memory required to play the game, as you will often struggle to even catch up with them. Besides, being a constant annoyance that harasses the enemy team can help your teammates more than you fighting for the disc.
Echo Arena Beginner's Guide Tips Tricks Tactics Punch Disable
Punch to disable first, then rip the disc out of their hands
  • Holding the trigger on both controllers with your hands up will block incoming punches and disable the attacker instead. This can help you throw off the assailants in tight situations.
  • Never chase the disc. Instead, always try to predict where it’s going to end up and go there. In the meantime, keep punching your opponents.
  • If your teammate has the disc, don’t ever forcefully take it from him/her.
  • Wrist thrusters max speed goes up to 4 m/s. Boost goes up to 5 m/s. Use double boost quickly if you want to do 180° direction change.
  • If you have opponents on your tail and your teammates tell you to get rid of the disc, do it! It’s a team game, selfishness doesn’t win matches.
  • Holding the disc slows you down and disables your boost. You can counter this by chucking the disc downward into the floor and then catching up to it once it bounces back.
  • If everything else fails, try wiggling the disc around to make it harder for the enemy player to grab it out of your hand.
  • The disc conserves momentum, so if you’re flying to the side, you’ll need to counter this by throwing the disc a bit to the opposite direction in order for it to go straight forward.
  • Establish clear, respectful line of communication with your teammates. This is especially important during the joust. You will want to coordinate with your teammates to get to the disc before the enemy team by chain launching off of each other. Max attainable speed of chain launch for 3 players is 20 m/s, which is significantly faster than any of you can achieve on your own.
  • If a disc is contested by a bunch of players, don’t mindlessly get into the midst of it. Stay close though, if your team loses the fight, you’ll be ready to contest the disc immediately.
  • You can “walk” the disc using boosters. No need to immediately throw it once you have it. When you are reasonably far away from your opponents, you can “walk” the disc the whole distance to the goal. Be careful of the barrier though, you will be able to pass through it, but the disc won’t.
  • In order to stay in your designated play area, consider getting some kind of mat to stand on. Rotating on 1 foot will also go a long way against getting yourself tangled in cables, as well as preserving your walls, ceiling fans and TV sets.

The Best Star Wars VR Games and Experiences

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Best Star Wars VR Games and Experiences
When you see this, do you turn around and run, or pull your headset off?!

Virtual reality and Star Wars fit together like bread and butter. The first thing any Star Wars fan ever wanted to do is to wield a lightsabre. As soon as VR tech started developing, we were patiently waiting for a title inspired by Star Wars.

Today, we have several Star Wars VR games available. While most of them aren’t VR compatible in their full length, there are few that will make you feel like a true Jedi!

Lightblade VR

The game is designed as a training simulation for using “lightblade” and is available on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Obviously, on the official Steam webpage, there is a disclaimer stating that “Lightblade VR” isn’t officially connected with Lucasfilm LTD.

While the game doesn’t have the official Star Wars license, it does a great job of making you feel like you are wielding a lightsabre. Of course, you need to have motion controllers in order to run the game. As you progress and get to more difficult levels, you’ll be able to unlock different colours of your “lightblade” and even use two at the same time. Your final test in this small and simple game will be a lightsabre battle against a Sith Lord.

Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission

Many claim that this is by far the best Star Wars experience you can possibly have in a VR headset at the moment. It is exclusive for PSVR, and you can download it if you own Star Wars Battlefront. The mission is very short, but the content it offers perfectly depicts the Star Wars realm, and it can hardly get any better than that.

As the title says, you get to fly an actual X-Wing and enjoy a space fighter dogfight. The cockpit is designed with a lot of care for details, and almost every part of it is interactive, so you can inspect it and push the buttons before you fly off to the battle. The mission lasts for only about 10-20 minutes, but from the start to the very end it is extremely polished.

Trials of Tatooine

When Lucasfilm’s ILMxLab first announced the release of this game in 2016, the hype was at the all time high. In the end, it turned out to be just a tech demo, but it still offers a high quality Star Wars VR experience.

Game obviously lacks real depth as it lasts for only about 10 minutes. You won’t be able to make any choices, as they are already predefined for you. While the game is very short and limited, sounds and especially graphics are incredible.

Trials of Tatooine is just a free to play demo, but it perfectly shows how much potential Star Wars legacy has inside virtual-reality environment. We hope that this was just a teaser for some more ambitious projects in the future.

Star Wars Jedi Challenges

This is the big one to look forward to! Lenovo and Disney officially joined their forces and announced the release of Lenovo Mirage augmented reality headset, that is available for pre-order along with Star Wars Jedi Challenges for $199.99.

In the box you get a lightsaber controller (that’s correct), tracking beacon, Lenovo Mirage AR headset and all the additional equipment required to set the device up. Your lightsaber has three buttons on it, Power, Blade and Force. The developers announce lightsaber battles, but also some additional board-style games where you will act as commander against the Empire. Trailer looks promising, and we are just can’t wait to try out Star Wars Jedi Challenges!

Last, but not least, here are few honourable mentions.