A treadmill might not be the first piece of hardware you might think of when it comes to PC gaming, but that will change pretty quickly when I put two little letters in front of it: VR treadmills are one of the logical next steps in the evolution of VR home gaming.
VR treadmills typically have an omnidirectional base that the player can run on, often in special shoes, while attached to a connected arm. These are big kits that have the potential to really up your VR game, but often come at a steep price, which is why we’re grateful for the Black Friday sales.
Kat VR’s Kat Walk C2 and C2+ treadmill models are a few hundred dollars off as part of the Black Friday sales. You can get the cheaper C2 treadmill for $1,099 USD, down from $1,398, or the more advanced C2+ with an integrated seat and haptic feedback for $1,299 down from its usual $1,598. A perfect deal if you’ve always wanted to roam The Witcher 3 on a treadmill (opens in a new tab).
The offer also includes the choice between an extra pair of shoes needed to use the treadmill or a Kat Nexus adapter. Shoes are the most expensive item, at $149 a pair. The Kat Nexus adapter would also be a great addition, as it allows compatibility with more systems, including standalone systems like Meta Quest 2 and hopefully Meta Quest 3. (opens in a new tab). It’s also on sale for $69 USD, so it’s probably worth picking it up on its own and picking out the shoes.
The C2 and C2+ units provide an easy-to-learn, authentic and natural walking experience in VR. With these Kat Walks, you should be able to safely run, sprint, strafe, crouch, jump, and even back up. Thanks to being tethered in a space to the treadmill itself, there’s little risk, even when you can’t see.
These are all things that I’ve always felt like VR lacks to get the full experience. Even in free-roaming VR kits, jumping and moving too quickly has always been dangerous. Being placed in a cool VR world and being told you can’t run and jump can really take the fun and freedom out of the experience. Plus, being more active makes you more likely to reap the fitness benefits of VR gaming.
If you’re not ready to commit to a full treadmill, the Kat loco S sensors (opens in a new tab) are also on sale for $169, up from $229. It is a series of clips combined with a base station that allows you to walk in place in VR. It’s definitely not as cool as a treadmill, but a much more affordable option that should give you a bit more freedom in your space.