ProTubeVR ForceTube Module Impression


Recently, I reviewed the MagTube VR gunstock from ProTube VR. It’s a pretty nifty peripheral that enhances VR shooter games, especially with its support for modules. One of these, the ForceTube mod, adds to the immersiveness as it offers something rather unique: recoil simulation.

Essentially, the ForceTube is a haptic feedback module that replaces the buttstock of the MagTube. When using the MagTube with the ForceTube mod, the latter rests on the lateral chest/shoulder area and performs a little “kick” and rumble that lets you feel the recoil in real-time as if you were shooting from a real gun (although not as forceful). The rumble intensity also varies so that the feedback actually feels different for each in-game rifle you use. Of note, the part of the mod that gets in contact with the body is padded, which is a nice touch to make the experience more comfortable.

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It’s quite a unique experience and, given that it is in VR, it does enhance the immersiveness and makes for memorable gameplay. Moreover, you don’t only feel the recoil but also hear it as there is a very audible tac-tac-tac audio feedback with each shot. It could add to the “realistic” feel of the whole experience but I’m not particularly a fan.

Regarding the build quality, it’s on par with the other ProTubeVR accessories like the MagTube and ProSaber. The chassis seems to be 3D printed but of a decent enough quality. There’s a panel that bears the logo of the company but this part seems rather flimsy but other than that, the build is a study one.
mod 1.jpg

mod 2.jpg mod 3.jpg padding 2.jpg padding.jpg

Setting up the ForceTube is also quite easy. After unscrewing the original buttstock, the ForceTube is mounted and screwed at the back of the MagTube. There’s a power button that’s neatly concealed in the form of ProTubeVR’s logo and after powering on, the module pairs via Bluetooth to your PC or Oculus Quest.

change 2.jpg

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Once paired, it’s a plug-and-play affair as some titles natively supports the ForceTube mod and you can find the current list of these games below:

• Pavlov (PC)
• Onward (PC/Quest)
• Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades (PC)
• Stand Out (PC)
• War Dust (PC)
• Contractors (PC/Oculus Quests)
• GunClub VR (PC/Oculus Quests)
• Virtual Battlegrounds (PC)
• ProHibition (Quest via SideQuest)​

Other non-optimized SteamVR games can work with the module through a workaround with ProTubeVR’s companion app. The latter also allows you to adjust the power and duration of ForceTube’s recoils for each game. Unfortunately, there’s no way to use the ForceTube with Quest games that don’t feature native support for the mod and I hope this changes in the future.

There is a noticeable learning curve to the companion app to learn the terms and how it affects the rumble feature. Thankfully, ProTubeVR has a how-to guide to help users with the app’s use.

While it’s definitely a fun accessory, there are some caveats to the ForceTube that are worth mentioning. First, the cost: the ForceTube mod alone is priced at €284, which is nearly three times the MagTube gunstock itself which starts at €99. But the ForceTube is really meant for a professional audience or arcade use. Some VR gaming leagues even make use of it, so it’s not really meant for the general VR gamer. This is quite unfortunate as I am sure that more VR gamers would like to enhance their VR sessions with such a peripheral. I hope that ProTubeVR releases a more affordable version in the future to let more VR gamers experience what their add-on has to offer.

Then there’s the charging. In its user guide, ProTubeVR recommends charging the ForceTube by plugging it into a USB port on your computer. That’s ok but this module takes around 6-8 hours to fully charge and you might not leave your computer powered on for that long. Normally, you would charge from an electrical outlet but the company advises against this as they say the ForceTube might not charge that way. I did try to charge from a power socket and did manage to charge the ForceTube this way but it’s against the official recommendation. I hope that a firmware update could change this requirement but in the meantime, it is not ideal.

And, of course, there’s the weight of the ForceTube module itself. At 750g, it adds considerable heft to the MagTube once mounted, and practically doubles the weight, making an overall weight amount to around 2kg. While not prohibitively heavy, the weight is felt after prolonged gaming sessions. That’s where the sling included with the MagTube comes into play and can aid in lifting the strain off when you need to detach the controllers for single handed weapons. Alternatively, you could also use the bipod that the company sells separately to offload the weight.

mounted buttstock.jpg

That said, the ForceTube is a unique VR peripheral that enhances VR shooters like no other. Yes it is pricey and heavy but it’s still targeted at a professional audience. But if you can afford it, then the ForceTube will deliver a unique and enjoyable experience to your VR shooting sessions; and I haven’t seen anything quite like it in a VR accessory. I would also encourage you to check out my full review of the MagTube VR gunstock to which the ForceTube attaches to so as to have a better idea of what the combo has to offer.

:arrow: ProTubeVR MagTube VR Gunstock Official GBAtemp Review
:arrow: ProTubeVR ForceTube Store Link

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