Input in Unity OpenXR | OpenXR Plugin | 1.12.0-exp.1 (2024)

This page details how to use and configure OpenXR input within unity.

For information on how to configure Unity to use OpenXR input, see the Getting Started section of this document.


Initially, Unity will provide a controller-based approach to interfacing with OpenXR. This will allow existing games and applications that are using Unity's Input System or the Feature API to continue to use their existing input mechanisms.

The Unity OpenXR package provides a set of controller layouts for various devices that you can bind to your actions when using the Unity Input System. For more information, see the Interaction profile features section.

To use OpenXR Input, you must select the correct interaction profiles features to send to OpenXR. To learn more about OpenXR features in Unity, see the Interaction profile features page.

Future versions of the Unity OpenXR Package will provide further integration with the OpenXR Input system. For smooth upgrading, Unity recommends that you use the device layouts included with the OpenXR package. These have the '(OpenXR)' suffix in the Unity Input System binding window.

Unity will provide documentation on these features when they become available.

Interaction profiles manifest themselves as device layouts in the Unity Input System.

Getting Started

Run the sample

The Open XR package contains a sample named Controller that will help you get started using input in OpenXR. To install the Controller sample, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Package Manager window (menu: Window > Package Manager).
  2. Select the OpenXR package in the list.
  3. Expand the Samples list on the right.
  4. Click the Import button next to the Controller sample.

This adds a Samples folder to your project with a Scene named ControllerSample that you can run.

Locking input to the game window

Versions V1.0.0 to V1.1.0 of the Unity Input System only route data to or from XR devices to the Unity Editor while the Editor is in the Game view. To work around this issue, use the Unity OpenXR Project Validator or follow these steps:

  • Access the Input System Debugger window (menu: Window > Analysis > Input Debugger).
  • In the Options section, enable the Lock Input to the Game Window option.

Unity recommends that you enable the Lock Input to the Game Window option from either the Unity OpenXR Project Validator or the Input System Debugger window

Input in Unity OpenXR | OpenXR Plugin | 1.12.0-exp.1 (1)


To set up input in your project, follow these recommendations:

  • Bind to the OpenXR layouts wherever possible.
  • Use specific control bindings over usages.
  • Avoid generic "any controller" bindings if possible (for example, bindings to <XRController>).
  • Use action references and avoid inline action definitions.

OpenXR Requires that all bindings be attached only once at application startup. Unity recommends the use of Input Action Assets, and Input Action References to Actions within those assets so that Unity can present those bindings to OpenXR at applications startup.

Using OpenXR input with Unity

Using OpenXR with Unity is the same as configuring any other input device using the Unity Input System:

  1. Decide on what actions and action maps you want to use to describe your gameplay, experience or menu operations

  2. Create an Input Action Asset, or use the one included with the Sample.

  3. Add the actions and action maps you defined in step 1 in the Input Action Asset you decided to use in step 2.

  4. Create bindings for each action.

    When using OpenXR, you must either create a "Generic" binding, or use a binding to a device that Unity's OpenXR implementation specifically supports. For a list of these specific devices, see the Interaction bindings section.

  5. Save your Input Action Asset.

  6. Ensure your actions and action maps are enabled at runtime.

    The Sample contains a helper script called Action Asset Enabler which enables every action within an Input Action Asset. If you want to enable or disable specific actions and action maps, you can manage this process yourself.

  7. Write code that reads data from your actions.

    For more information, see the Input System package documentation, or consult the Sample to see how it reads input from various actions.

  8. Enable the set of Interaction Features that your application uses.

    If you want to receive input from OpenXR, the Interaction Features you enable must contain the devices you've created bindings with. For example, a binding to <WMRSpatialController>{leftHand}/trigger requires the Microsoft Motion Controller feature to be enabled in order for that binding to receive input. For more information on Interaction Features, see the Interaction profile features section.

  9. Run your application!

You can use the Unity Input System Debugger (menu: Window > Analysis > Input Debugger) to troubleshoot any problems with input and actions.The Input System Debugger can be found under Window > Analysis > Input Debugger

Detailed information

Unity Input System

Unity requires the use of the Input System package when using OpenXR. Unity automatically installs this package when you install Unity OpenXR Support. For more information, see the Input System package documentation.

Interaction Profile Features

Each Interaction Profile Feature contains both the device layout for creating bindings in the Unity Input System and a set of bindings that we send to OpenXR. The OpenXR Runtime will determine which bindings to use based on the set of Interaction Profiles that we send to it.

Unity Recommends that Developers select only the Interaction Profiles that they are able to test their experience with.

Selecting an Interaction Profile from the features menu will add that device to the bindable devices in the Unity Input System. They will be selectable from under the XR Controller section of the binding options.

Input in Unity OpenXR | OpenXR Plugin | 1.12.0-exp.1 (2)

See Set the interaction profile for instructions on setting a profile.

Mapping between OpenXR paths and Unity bindings

The OpenXR specification details a number of Interaction Profiles that you can use to suggest bindings to the OpenXR runtime. Unity uses its own existing XRSDK naming scheme to identify controls and devices and map OpenXR action data to them.

The table below outlines the common mappings between OpenXR paths and Unity XRSDK Control names.Which controls are available on which devices is covered in the specific device documentation.

OpenXR PathUnity Control NameType

the Unity control touchpad and trackpad are used interchangeably, as are joystick and thumbstick.

Pose data

Unity expresses Pose data as individual elements (for example, position, rotation, velocity, and so on). OpenXR expresses poses as a group of data. Unity has introduced a new type to the Input System called a Pose that is used to represent OpenXR poses. The available poses and their OpenXR paths are listed below:

Pose Mapping

For backwards compatibility, the existing individual controls will continue to be supported when using OpenXR. The mapping between OpenXR pose data and Unity Input System pose data is found below.

PosePose ElementBindingType

HMD bindings

To read HMD data from OpenXR, use the existing HMD bindings available in the Unity Input System. Unity recommends binding the centerEye action of the XR HMD device for HMD tracking. The following image shows the use of centerEye bindings with the Tracked Pose Driver.

Input in Unity OpenXR | OpenXR Plugin | 1.12.0-exp.1 (3)

OpenXR HMD Data contains the following elements.

  • Center Eye
  • Device
  • Left Eye
  • Right Eye

All of the elements expose the following controls:

  • position
  • rotation
  • velocity
  • angularVelocity

These are exposed in the Unity Input System through the following bindings. These bindings can be found under the XR HMD menu option when binding actions within the Input System.

  • <XRHMD>/centerEyePosition
  • <XRHMD>/centerEyeRotation
  • <XRHMD>/devicePosition
  • <XRHMD>/deviceRotation
  • <XRHMD>/leftEyePosition
  • <XRHMD>/leftEyeRotation
  • <XRHMD>/rightEyePosition
  • <XRHMD>/rightEyePosition

When using OpenXR the centerEye and device values are identical.

The HMD position reported by Unity when using OpenXR is calculated from the currently selected Tracking Origin space within OpenXR.

The Unity Device Tracking Origin is mapped to Local Space.The Unity Floor Tracking Origin is mapped to Stage Space.

By default, Unity attempts to attach the Stage Space where possible. To help manage the different tracking origins, use the XR Origin from the XR Interaction Package, or the Camera Offset component from the Legacy Input Helpers package.

Interaction bindings

If you use OpenXR input with controllers or interactions such as eye gaze, Unity recommends that you use bindings from the Device Layouts available with the Unity OpenXR package. The Unity OpenXR package provides the following Layouts via features:

Generic XR controller<XRController>n/a
Generic XR controller w/ rumble support<XRControllerWithRumble>n/a
Windows Mixed Reality controller<WMRSpatialController>MicrosoftMotionControllerProfile
Oculus Touch (Quest,Rift)<OculusTouchController>OculusTouchControllerProfile
HTC Vive controller<ViveController>HTC Vive Controller Profile
Valve Index controller<ValveIndexController>ValveIndexControllerProfile
Khronos Simple Controller<KHRSimpleController>KHRSimpleControllerProfile
Eye Gaze Interaction<EyeGaze>EyeGazeInteraction
Microsoft Hand Interaction<HololensHand>MicrosoftHandInteraction


OpenXR Controllers that support haptics contain a Haptic control that you can bind to an action in the Unity Input System. Set the action type to Haptic when binding an InputAction to a haptic. To send a haptic impulse, call the OpenXRInput.SendHapticImpulse method and specify the InputAction that you bound to the Haptic control. You can cancel the haptic impulse by calling the OpenXRInput.StopHaptics method.


For more information on debugging OpenXR input, see the Input System Debugging documentation.

Future plans

Looking ahead, we will work towards allowing Unity users to leverage more functionality of OpenXR's input stack, allowing the runtime to bind Unity Actions to OpenXR Actions. This will allow OpenXR Runtimes to perform much more complex binding scenarios than currently possible.

Input in Unity OpenXR | OpenXR Plugin | 1.12.0-exp.1 (2024)


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