Head tracking does just that; it tracks the position and movement of your head and emulates it within the game. The result is you can freely look around your environment – it’s essentially a poor man’s VR.
The cheapest option is FaceTrackNoIR, a free program that uses your webcam to track the movement of your face. It isn’t perfect but it is a reasonable introduction to the concept before you drop any money.
At the most expensive end of the scale is TrackIR, which can cost up to $169.95. It comes with a clip to fit onto a pair of headphones with 3 LED lights and an infrared webcam-style device to track those LED lights.
I purchased the TrackHat Clip with the modified webcam, and it has been superb. I have also heard equally good things about the DelanClip.
There’s also EDTracker, which does not use or require web cameras or other external sensors.
All in all, there is a range of affordable head tracking options.
I’m mentioning virtual reality as a by-product of the above. For those who can afford it, VR provides the most immersive experience available. I purchased an Acer Windows Mixed Reality headset (spoiler: it’s just a badly named VR headset) and it’s giving me an exceptional VR experience. Therefore, if you’re considering VR but don’t have the money for a Vive or Rift, WMR headsets are well worth the money and do not offer a sub-par experience.
For those with a more modest budget, head tracking is a step in the right direction.
HOTAS (and Don’t Look Back)
Okay, so it isn’t technically an Elite Dangerous mod, add-on or app, but this is a point that needs to be mentioned as it will enhance your experience significantly.
Some people spend A LOT of money on their Elite Dangerous setups (we’ve written about the guy who has spent $14,000+ on his Elite Dangerous setup) but getting more control doesn’t have to be extortionate.
A HOTAS gives players full control of their ship, with a thruster to control the speed, a flight stick to control their movement, and buttons to do everything else. That’s about as in a nutshell as I could make that statement!
HOTAS setups can cost hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. Fortunately, there are some decent entry-level options that won’t break the bank.
I purchased the Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X Joystick; for £38 you’ll really feel like you’re in control of your very own spaceship, hurtling through space at light speed. As a result of purchasing a HOTAS, my accuracy has dramatically increased and I’m finally able to opt for fixed weapons.
If immersion is your goal, an affordable HOTAS setup is an achievable step in the right direction.
Are There Any We’ve Missed?
That concludes our list of Elite Dangerous mods, add-ons and apps.
It’s important to note that the range of enhancements grows every day. If we’ve missed any that deserve to be included, please drop us a comment below and we’ll update our list.
See you out in the black.