WebXR Input Profiles - Motion Controllers

Build Status


This package provides a 3D engine agnostic javascript library for synchronizing the status of an XRInputSource object with a 3D model representing that XRInputSource. The library consumes JSON files in the format published from the @webxr-input-profiles/assets package to create MotionController objects that enable a simple path for developers to:

  1. Find the best matching profile for an XRInputSource
  2. Enumerate the component parts (trigger, squeeze, touchpad, thumbstick, button, etc)
  3. If a 3D asset is available for the matching profile, provide a path to load it
  4. On each render frame, apply precomputed deformations to the 3D asset to reflect the state XRInputSource
  5. Optionally attach descriptive explanations to each component that will not overlap the rest of the 3D asset

The state of an XR motion controller’s trigger, squeeze, touchpad, thumbstick, and button components is made available to developers via the XRInputSource.Gamepad object. The behavior of this object is described in WebXR Gamepads Module and the Gamepad API. These objects expose detailed state in the Gamepad.buttons array and the Gamepad.axes array. While this system was adequate for the relatively homogenous console gaming controllers, it is less effective for XR motion controllers as they have not converged on a common form factor. In addition, the Gamepad object does not provide any information about the visualization of a XRInputSource object which is a requirement to display a virtual copy of a motion controller on opaque XR headsets.


Filing a bug

To file bugs, use this issue template


In general, this package should be built and tested from the root of the repository using the following command:

npm run test

To build just this package without running tests, invoke the following command from the root of the repository:

npm run build – –scope @webxr-input-profiles/motion-controllers

To test just this package without building anything, invoke the following command from the root of the repository:

npm run testOnly – motion-controllers

To visually validate the library behaves as expected, follow the viewer instructions.


See the LICENSE.md.


This repo provides a javascript library for managing known motion controller profiles, loading the most ideal known profile for a supplied input source, and creating a MotionController object that binds them together. Developers can use this library to interact with the conceptual components of an input source, rather than each individual button or axis.

Getting started

To install this library:

npm install @webxr-input-profiles/motion-controllers

Watching for new XRInputSources

As XRInputSources are added to a WebXR session, the inputsourceschange event will fire. In response, an XRMotionController can be created. When the XRInputSource is removed, the associated MotionController can be released.

xrSession.addEventListener('inputsourceschange', onInputSourcesChange);

function onInputSourcesChange(event) {
  event.added.forEach((xrInputSource) => {

Creating a MotionController

Creating a MotionController requires a JSON profile in the format published by the assets package and, if available, the path to an associated asset. The fetchProfile function can be used to fetch this information for a supplied XRInputSource from a supplied basePath. It will first fetch the profilesList.json file at the root of the basePath; this file must contain a JSON object with keys for each available profile id whose values are the relative paths to the profiles’ locations. It will then iterate through the XRInputSource.profiles array to find the first matching profile and retrieve it.

import { fetchProfile, MotionController } from '@webxr-input-profiles/motion-controllers/motion-controllers.module.js'

const uri = 'URI of folder with profiles and assets';
const motionControllers = {};

async function createMotionController(xrInputSource) {
  const { profile, assetPath } = await fetchProfile(xrInputSource, uri);
  const motionController = new MotionController(xrInputSource, profile, assetPath);
  motionControllers[xrInputSource] = motionController;

Updating the motion controller

Once a MotionController has been created, the updateFromGamepad() method should be called on every XRSession.requestAnimationFrame() callback. This will process the current state of the gamepad attribute of the XRInputSource the motion controller was created with and update each of the MotionController’s Components accordingly.

function onAnimationFrameCallback(timestamp, xrFrame) {
  // Other frame-loop stuff ...

  Object.keys(motionControllers).forEach((motionController) =>

  // Other frame-loop stuff ...


Developers can use the MotionController to interact with its components such as thumbsticks, touchpads, triggers, squeezes, and buttons. These components expose their current values through the Components.values object. The values.state key will always be present and describes the overall state of the component as being pressed, touched, or default. In addition to values.state, components may optionally also have a values.button, values.xAxis, or values.yAxis. Each of the values are populated slightly differently based on the underlying component type.

Trigger, Squeeze, and Button components

Much of the behavior of trigger, squeeze, and button components are identical, though they are often used for different interactions (e.g. a squeeze may often be preferred for picking up objects). The values.button is set directly from the associated GamepadButton.value. If the GamepadButton.pressed is true or the GamepadButton.value is 1, the values.state will be set to pressed. Otherwise, if the GamepadButton.touched is true or the GamepadButton.value is greater than 0, the component’s values.state will be set to touched. Otherwise the values.state is set to default.

import { Constants } from './webxr-input-profiles.module.js';
function processTriggerInput(trigger) {
  if (trigger.state === Constants.ComponentState.PRESSED) {
    // Fire ray gun
  } else if (trigger.state === Constants.ComponentState.TOUCHED) {
    const chargeLevel = trigger.buttonValue;
    // Show ray gun charging up

Thumbstick and touchpad components

Much of the behavior of thumbstick and touchpad components are identical, though they are often used for different interactions (e.g. thumbsticks may often be preferred for teleportation). These components must have either an xAxis, a yAxis, or both. The values.xAxis and values.yAxis are populated from the associated indices in the Gamepad.axes array. The value.xAxis is -1.0 at the far left of its range of motion and 1.0 at the far right. The value.yAxis is -1.0 at the top of its range of motion and 1.0 at the bottom.

These components may also be clickable, and if so will have a value.button which is populated identically to those of trigger, squeeze, and button components.

The value.state is set based on a combination of factors. If clickable, value.state will be populated using an identical algorithm as trigger, squeeze, and button components. If not clickable, or clickable and set to default, values.state will be set to touched if values.xAxis or values.yAxis are non-zero.

import { Constants } from './webxr-input-profiles.module.js';
function processThumbstickInput(thumbstick) {
  if (thumbstick.values.state === Constants.ComponentState.PRESSED) {
    // Align the world orientation to the user's current orientation
  } else if (thumbstick.values.state === Constants.ComponentState.TOUCHED
             && thumbstick.values.yAxis !== 0) {
    const scootDistance = thumbstick.values.yAxis * scootIncrement;
    // Scoot the user forward

Visual representation

Adding the asset to the scene

The visualization asset representing a motion controller can loaded once the MotionController has been created. The path to the asset can be found in the MotionController.assetPath. Assets are available under MIT license in .glTF, .glB, or .fbx formats.

async function addMotionControllerToScene(motionController) {
  const asset = await MyEngine.loadAsset(motionController.assetPath);
  addTouchPointDots(motionController, asset);

Touch point dot

Touchpads have an additional property that enables visualizing the point at which they are touched. To use this property, attach your visualization to the Touchpad.touchPointNodeName when the asset is loaded. This sample uses THREE.js, but can be applied to any 3D engine.

function addTouchPointDots(motionController, asset) {
  Object.values(motionController.components).forEach((component) => {
    if (component.touchPointNodeName) {
      const touchPointRoot = asset.getChildByName(component.touchPointNodeName, true);
      const sphereGeometry = new THREE.SphereGeometry(0.001);
      const material = new THREE.MeshBasicMaterial({ color: 0x0000FF });
      const touchPointDot = new THREE.Mesh(sphereGeometry, material);

Animating components

On each frame, the motion controller data must be retrieved from the input source, and the rendering engine must respond accordingly to the new button/axis data. This the same for both WebXR and WebVR.

function onAnimationFrameCallback(xrFrame) {
  // Other frame-loop stuff ...

  Object.keys(motionControllers).forEach((motionController) =>

  // Other frame-loop stuff ...

function updateMotionControllerModel(motionController) {

  // Update the 3D model to reflect the button, thumbstick, and touchpad state
  const motionControllerRoot = MyEngine.scene.getChildByName(motionController.rootNodeName);
  Object.values(motionController.components).forEach((component) => {
    component.visualResponses.forEach((visualResponse) => {
      // Find the topmost node in the visualization
      const valueNode = motionControllerRoot.getChildByName(visualResponse.valueNodeName);

      // Calculate the new properties based on the weight supplied
      if (visualResponse.valueNodeProperty === 'visibility') {
        valueNode.visible = visualResponse.value;
      } else if (visualResponse.valueNodeProperty === 'transform') {
        const minNode = motionControllerRoot.getObjectByName(visualResponse.minNodeName);
        const maxNode = motionControllerRoot.getObjectByName(visualResponse.maxNodeName);