Capsa: A Brief Introduction

Capsa is a virtual world based on the Unreal game engine, by a company called Vetron (which appears to have gotten its start making vehicles and other content for Second Life). It is currently in Early Access launch on Steam. And it’s free! According to their press kit:

Development began in 2016 at a time when we were developing vehicles (such as aircraft) for other platforms. We decided rather than focusing solely on making assets that it would be great to have our own game world; where, not only could we use our creations, but could also incorporate our love for open-world exploration.

Much like High Fidelity, players can host their own servers, although the company does have a main default server which consists of seven tropical islands, filled with lots of hidden places, caves, tunnels, bunkers, and underwater caverns:

The seven islands of the default Capsa server

There’s a bit of a learning curve associated with Capsa, so you might want to keep the Getting Started guide handy. You do have a good variety of ways to tweak your avatar to your liking (which is automatically named after your Steam account) :

Once you have your avatar set up, you can begin exploring your surroundings, a lush tropical island dotted with small houses which you can claim and customize:

As you might expect from a company that got its start making vehicles, you do have a few ways to explore the islands:

I’m actually rather surprised that I hadn’t heard of Capsa before (somebody gave me a tip to check it out). If you like open-world exploration games you might want to give it a try. Here’s their promotional trailer:

And here’s another trailer showing their vehicles:

One annoying aspect of Capsa is that it does take a long time to load this game (several minutes), even on the second or third time you play it (and I have a high-end gaming machine and a fast internet connection). At times you get a black screen, and at other times it feels as if the game has frozen (especially when you choose to go back to the Main Menu). Basically, you start loading Capsa, and go away and fix yourself a coffee or a sandwich, and it might be ready by the time you get back…

I also found the default mouse camera controls to be a bit on the touchy side (although I assume you can adjust this somewhere in the settings).

Also, at one point it seemed to me that you could select an option to run Capsa in VR mode, but I was unable to find that setting on subsequent plays of this game. And there is zero mention of VR support on their Steam page, aside from this discussion. So I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the game to see if I could find that setting again (because I’m sure I didn’t imagine it!), and sure enough, there is a SteamVR mode when you launch the game from within Steam:

However, when I loaded the game in Steam VR mode, I found it would not work for me in my Oculus Rift headset (perhaps it only supports the HTC Vive VR headset?). So, yeah, VR support is problematic at best.

For more information on Capsa, you can follow their Twitter or join their Discord server. I have added it to my list of social VR/virtual worlds.