VR is a big deal and to celebrate, I decided to give away some nifty prizes to members of our community who own an Oculus Rift headset.
I’ve have a set of VR Covers, any Oculus Rift owner will know how mucky that foam padding can get, and it’s not something you want to press into your face after someone else has been sweating in it, yuck! VR Covers are easily installed, but can be removed and washed! A much more hygienic VR experience. I’m also throwing in a few premium accounts for Star Conflict, a DK2 compatible game.
The Oculus Rift is one of the hottest gadgets on the tech market right now. Sure the hardware isn’t ready for consumers just yet, but we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on the Oculus Rift DK2 (Development Kit 2). We already reviewed the basic hardware and features of the Oculus Rift, but also I want to take a more in-depth look into some of the experiences available on the rift; starting with Simulation style games.
Many of you will have an image of plug and play features that allow you to strap an Oculus Rift to your face then start gaming, unfortunately that’s currently not the reality. Setting up games for the Oculus Rift can be a hit and miss experience, hopefully I can help smooth out a few of these issues for you. This article is as much a review for those thinking about investing in the technology, as it is an Oculus Rift configuration guide for those who already own it.
Simulation-style games are a big market for PC gaming, so I’ve picked out a few of my favourites (that also have VR support). Of course, Star Conflict isn’t exactly a common sim-game, but there aren’t exactly rules excluding it.
Life for Speed (LFS)
Euro Truck Simulator 2
Helping me in my gaming adventures, I will be using the follow extra hardware.
If you experience judder or low fps, drop your games graphics settings down to low. If the game runs smoothly at this point, you know it’s your graphics settings and not the DK2 hardware. If you have judder at low settings you know the problem is with a different part of your setup. It’s often also good to start games with AA and AF disabled, enable them later if the game is running smooth. I can’t stress enough how much easier it is to just get the basics working first then build from there.
Go into your GPU configuration software, this will typically be Catalyst Control Centre or Nvidia Control Panel. Set all major graphics options to “let the application decide”. This is especially important for AA and AF settings. For most games you will need V-SYNC as “let the application decide”, but some games don’t detect this properly. If your game is experiencing judder, force VSYNC on and try again, else force off and try again. Some games have their own ways of handing VSYNC and conflicts can and will occur.
If your game is still not running smoothly, go to the GPU control panel, switch your desktop display to 75Hz (if it supports it). If you can’t do this at your current resolution, this will likely drop your monitors resolution lower to one that will support 75Hz (my monitor drops to 1280 x 1024). This will prevent VSYNC from confusing the DK2 as both the DK2 and your desktop will now be running at the same refresh rate (75Hz).
Multi GPU configurations have also been known to cause stutter, albeit in very rare circumstances. If nothing else works, try running the game on a single GPU.
Be sure to adjust your IPD, lens distance and lens type accordingly prior to use. These can make a vast improvement to the overall visual quality, but they will not have any effect on the frame rate of your game, just the overall visual quality.
I find that it is worth disabling GeForce Experience and AMD Gaming Evolved software. These programs are tailored to adjust your graphics settings to get the best performance and quality, which may overwrite the settings you’ve used to configure your games for the DK2.
All testing was done with the Oculus 0.4.3 SDK. Please make sure you have the latest graphics drivers and all updates installed for your games prior to trying to replicate any settings in this article.
Bit of an odd competition this week, as we look to kick off our eTeknix VR Week. While I understand that many of you will not be able to enter this competition, it’s just a little bit of fun for a smaller part of our community and we’re very grateful of the developers and manufacturers who provided the prizes for this.
I’ve got a few premium accounts for Star Conflict, a game with easily usable Oculus Rift DK2 support. The game is free to play, but the premium account lets you enjoy a lot more of what the game has to offer.
I’ve also got a set of VR Covers, any Oculus Rift owner will know how mucky that foam padding can get, and it’s not something you want to press into your face after someone else has been sweating in it, yuck! VR Covers are easily installed, but can be removed and washed! A much more hygienic VR experience.
To enter, just post up a picture of your VR setup with your Oculus Rift, be sure to include a small piece of paper with your forum user name and the date on it so we can validate your entry. It’s that simple. There are no other terms for this competition, global entries welcome.