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SCheeseman
Apr 23, 2003



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2W0N3uKXmo
Half Life Alyx, a full length AAA VR game, launched March 2020 and is compatible with all common PCVR headsets. It is, unsurprisingly, Very Good.

---

Itís been over three years since the last thread began and quite a bit has changed. In terms of the state of the technology itís fair to say weíre still in ďGen 1Ē. Thereís very little in VR you canít do with a OG HTC Vive from 2016 (my primary PCVR device until late 2019), but there has been a slow drip of refinements that have made the space a lot easier to get into and developers are starting to get the hang of VR quirks and abilities. With a steady stream of content alongside the latest announcements at OC6, itís become easier than ever to recommend a VR headset.

Itís the Oculus Quest. Buy an Oculus Quest.

Discord
Discover and experience a new world of pedantry by joining the VR Goons discord.

What is Virtual Reality?
Itís like a 3D TV but with a big heavy plastic box strapped to your face. Thereís a weird pattern overlaid on everything you see and it feels like you have blinders on, you canít see poo poo. You waggle your controllers around like an idiot and break your tv with them while falling flat on your face.

An important distinction to make in VR is the difference between 3DOF and 6DOF tracking. 3DOF tracks only the rotation of your head: Roll, Pitch, Yaw. 6DOF tracks rotation but also the also tracks the position (X,Y,Z) of your head and controllers. This is nicely demonstrated by a GIF I stole from Twitter:

https://imgur.com/eRhW0H5 (I don't know how to embed this I'm sorry )

On top of the vastly improved immersion, this allows for the creation of new gameplay mechanics made possible with the increased fidelity of input, like stabbing and shooting that's so realistic it will give you PTSD. Itís a completely different experience that enables you to more convincingly than ever feel like youíre in another world which is great because this one loving sucks.

If youíve tried Cardboard, Daydream, GearVR, Oculus Go or any other low end 3DOF VR, these arenít a good gauge of what youíll get with a 6DOF headset. Iím not covering any of those here as theyíre not worth the time.

Will I throw up?
Simulation sickness happens with VR when your virtual position moves without your physical body moving, causing a mismatch between what your eyes see and what the rest of your body, particularly your inner ear/vestibular system, is feeling. There are games that do this, particularly shooters, but removing acceleration curves in movement code and other perceptual tricks like FOV blinders can make the experience considerably more comfortable, developers often implement as many of them as they can. This style of movement is called ďArtificial LocomotionĒ or Stick/Touchpad movement.

Most VR games offer some form of teleportation locomotion by default or have a design based on staying in a single space, both of which should be comfortable for just about everyone. If you suffer from sim sickness thereís still plenty to do and itís quite possible to build up a resistance to the effects of artificial locomotion if you play in small doses.

Virtual Vocabulary
  • Virtual Reality (VR) - Thing we are talking about
  • Head Mounted Device (HMD) - The headset/goggles that you put on your face
  • Field of View (FOV) - How much you can see. It is measured in degrees either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally
  • Screen Door Effect (SDE) - When you can see the black void between pixels. Was very bad in early headsets, not as bad now
  • Inside Out Tracing - When the VR system handles tracking for the HMD and controllers by camera gear mounted inside the unit. Notable systems: Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift S
  • Standalone - A VR system that is able to run without being attached to a PC and is typically wireless.
  • Interpupillary Distance (IPD) - The distance between the centers of the pupils of your eyes. Matching your VR lenses to your IPD is important for an optimal viewing experience.
  • Shill - Anyone who says anything remotely nice or even someone who doesn't say enough bad things about a device you don't own



SteamVR
SteamVR is the headset agnostic platform by Valve, their implementation of the OpenVR specifications that they primarily lead the design on. Valveís platform is still on top in terms of hardware compatibility and itís breadth of software, all major PCVR HMDs support it to some degree, though the quality of the implementation can differ. Steam has helpful icons in the store that will tell you what devices work with what game. Even if it isnít listed thereís a good chance itíll work with any of the headsets listed below, though ultimately itís up to the games publisher to certify their software as being supported. There can and have been compatibility issues so check the system requirements and discussion forums before purchasing.

The experience is mostly in line of what youíd expect from Valve. Lots of capability, not a lot of polish. Their UI is Steam Bigscreen displayed on a virtual window, you can buy, install and play games all without leaving your headset. When you are in a game, you can access the Steam overlay by pressing your system button. You can customize SteamVR with environments using photospheres or fully 3D scenes. You can also have custom base stations, cameras, and controllers that show up to show where your various devices are. Thereís also the ability to add additional launchers and VR applications to a quick menu, with access to the Windows desktop, SteamVR Home, their customisable home/social space and other utilities along the bottom. Iíve disabled Home since it slows everything down, but it was fun for a few months.

Like with normal Steam, SteamVR games are kind of buy at your own risk with no guarantee on quality. Luckily there isn't much risk because refunds have been a thing for a while. What you are risking is your lunch. There's no vetting process so if someone gets their game on the store, you either have to try it or hope there are decent reviews. While there are great games on SteamVR, there's also some real stinkers that can give you VR sickness.

Valve still havenít released their loving games. Half Life Alyx is RELEASED

Oculus
Facebook sucks, Oculus was founded by some lovely people and all the money theyíre spending on VR/AR is an attempt to carve out their piece of the next software platform paradigm so they can extract as much personal information from itís users as they can. It looks like itís paying off though, theyíre definitely shaping up to be the market leader.

Technically there are three Oculus software platforms: GearVR/Go, Quest, and Rift, however there is cross-buy on some titles. They have a fairly generous refund window and library management is alright but not spectacular. Oculus Dash is their VR interface on PC and itís is excellent, with support for pinning desktop windows in your environment among other things. The Quest UI is more limited due to it being based on Oculus Go and is somewhat less feature rich. Theyíve financially supported the creation of a lot of VR content, being responsible for most of the big budget titles on PC. They also curate third party titles more heavily than Valve does, particularly on Quest.

Non-Oculus headsets donít have official access to their PCVR platform, but workarounds such as ReVive exist which allow the play of Oculus software through an SteamVR API wrapper. Compatibility isnít perfect and performance is often worse, but it usually works.

Oculus are the new Microsoft. Itís only a sort-of-kinda open platform, everyone hates them, but you use their poo poo anyway.

Playstation VR
As you would expect from Sony, the PSVR experience is very console-like. Sony has invested in quite a lot of quality exclusives, though anything that is multiplatform is likely to have itís worst version on PSVR. Canít argue with the sales numbers though, itís the only VR hardware that can sustain itís own thread.

Microsoft
Microsoftís ďMixed RealityĒ VR platform wasnít included in the last OPís list circa 2016. It was announced, launched and withered to almost nothing in the span of just a few years. Donít buy anything from their store, the platform is dead. Luckily WMR headsets have official SteamVR support, so there are plenty of games available for users.

GearVR and Google Daydream




Oculus Rift S Quest - US$400
  • 2x OLED pentile displays with 1440x1600 resolution at 72hz.
  • 1 USB-C charging/sync port
  • 2-3 hour battery life
  • Mechanical IPD adjustment from ~58mm - 72mm
  • Semiflexible strap with built in headphones and split 3.5mm headphone ports.
  • Inside out "Insight" tracking with 4 cameras providing wide inside out coverage.
  • Oculus Touch V2 controllers.

If anyone were to ask me what VR headset they should buy, at this point in time the Oculus Quest is my unconditional answer. No other VR headset offers the value or the flexibility.

Itís a full 6DOF headset with fully tracked controllers, no tethers or sensors, running everything on a built-in Snapdragon 835. That last part may not sound impressive, then you put it on. It is absolutely incredible how much theyíve been able to squeeze out of a generations old smartphone chipset. Thereís the obvious trade-offs like reduced resolution, polygonal and texture detail and simplified shaders, but in terms of game feel it isnít any different to what youíd get on a PC. While the cameras on the front were always capable of passthrough video, in early October Oculus rolled out an update that processed it to be smoother and stereo correct (branded Passthrough+) which was previously exclusive to Rift S.

But the Quest isnít perfect, with the most evident flaw being it feels like a brick is hanging off the front of your face. The integrated speakers kind of suck, with tinny bass and weak volume. The lenses in front of the screens are also highly sensitive to sunlight; think magnifying glass meets ant, though all headsets are vulnerable to this itís more pertinent for a portable device.

Ah, but what if you want extra visual clarity? What if you want your worlds to look razor sharp and detailed and to play open world RPGs like Skyrim or other high-end AAA titles? Why, then youíd want to purchase aÖ


Oculus Rift S Quest - US$400 + Optional PC
As of November 2019, the Oculus Quest is also a PCVR headset. After buying either a high quality USB 3 cable or Oculus' pricey official cable (the included Quest cable is USB 2.0 and only useful for charging) and plugging your Quest in to your PC it ends up working mostly how you would expect; turning the Quest into a Rift. The hardware was never designed for video input, so some clever engineering was put into this. The video feed is compressed into a 150mbit/s video stream and sent over standard USB 3.0 with an array of tricks to speed up encode and decode and reduce latency. This results in some compression artifacts and reduced resolution around the periphery, but it's still a considerable improvement over the original Vive and Rift, even if it isn't quite as sharp as it's PC-only brother the Rift S.

The specifications between the Quest and Rift S are otherwise comparable, though make different tradeoffs. The Rift S uses a single 2560◊1440 LCD RGB panel, while the Quest uses two 1440x1600 OLED pentile panels. On paper this seems as if the Quest would have the highest clarity, but due to the use of a pentile pixel array (and therefore only 2 subpixels per pixel instead of 3 on an LCD) it instead appears a little softer and the video compression softens things a little too. The single panel design of the Rift S also prevents physical adjustment of the interpupillary distance, which is set at a fixed 63.5mm. Deviation from this by ~4mm can start being uncomfortable for many, so if youíre particularly the Rift S may be unsuitable.

Both offer an FOV of approximately 100 degrees (hard numbers arenít possible since itís heavily dependent on head shape). The refresh rate is also a little higher on the Rift S, 80hz instead of the Questís 72hz, so if youíre particularly sensitive to flicker, you may want to invest a little more cash to instead get aÖ


Oculus Rift S Valve Index - US$1000 + PC
  • 2x low persistence LCD RGB displays with 1440x1600 resolution at 80, 90, 120, 144hz.
  • Connects via 1x USB3 and 1x Displayport.
  • Stacked lens design for excellent clarity and high FOV
  • Mechanical IPD adjustment from 58mm - 70mm
  • Comfortable, padded rigid strap with an adjustment knob and integrated audio. One 3.5mm headphones port provided.
  • Lighthouse v2 tracking, requires setup of base stations to cover your play space.
  • Valve Index Controllers (also known as Knuckles)
The Index is the best VR headset on the market. It fits the most heads, has the best audio, best tracking and very good quality optics and display. It has an FOV of around 130 degrees with excellent (though not perfect) edge to edge clarity. It is capable of the highest refresh rates, from 80 to 144hz. The panels are 1440x1600 LCDs, but are separated so IPD is adjustable. The fit and finish are reportedly excellent. If you want something high-end with as little compromise as possible and donít mind being tethered to a PC, the Index is a valid choice.

Unlike the Quest and Rift S, tracking is handled using external base stations. This requires some setup, ideally mounts installed on the walls, but results in tracking that rarely drops and is very precise. There are two cameras on the front used for passthrough, but they arenít well positioned for it. Nobody knows what theyíre actually for, I donít think Valve does either.

They are currently only shipping to select countries; Australians and Canadians are out of luck. It also costs a whopping $1000 USD and your controllers will probably ship to you broken, but that is pretty typical of any Valve experience.

And Valve still havenít released their loving games. Half Life Alyx is RELEASED


Oculus Rift S - US$400 + PC
  • 1x low persistence RGB LED display with 2560x1440 resolution at 80hz.
  • Connects via 1x USB3 and 1x Displayport.
  • High quality hybrid Fresnel optics.
  • Software IPD adjustment from 59mm - 71mm
  • Rigid "halo" strap that goes around the crown of your head with a flexible top strap and integrated audio. One 3.5mm headphones port provided.
  • Inside out "Insight" tracking with 5 cameras providing the highest amount of inside out coverage on the market upon release.
  • Oculus Touch V2 controllers.
So where does that leave the Rift S? Itís lighter and more comfortable than the Quest and the resolution and refresh rate are slightly better. The tracking volume is a little larger, thanks to an additional tracking camera up top. If these marginal differences really matter to you and you donít want to spend $1K on an Index then it could be your headset.

But Iím willing to bet they donít and that it isnít. The Questís portability turns VR from a weird little activity you only do in a darkened basement to something that you can take with you anywhere. Itís also has hand tracking which hasn't been announced for the Rift S. The Rift S isnít bad or even poor value, itís just been made irrelevant.

The Rift S is still Oculusí best PC VR offering at this time offering better tracking volume, refresh rate, and picture clarity, but by being the same price as the Quest it tips the value scale massively in favor of the Quest though if you're highly focused on playing simulators then these improvements may make the Rift S the better purchase.

An interesting thing to note is that the Rift S isnít actually designed or manufactured by Oculus, instead they outsourced the work to Lenovo. This accounts for the strap design, which is of the halo variety that Lenovo pilfered (and then officially licensed) from Sony for their WMR headset.


HTC Vive Pro - US$800 + PC
  • 2x OLED pentile displays with 1440x1600 resolution at 90hz.
  • Connects via 1x USB2 and 1x Displayport.
  • Mechanical IPD adjustment from 60mm - 74mm
  • Comfortable, padded rigid strap with an adjustment knob and integrated audio. One 3.5mm headphones port provided.
  • Lighthouse v2 tracking, requires setup of 2 (or more) base stations to cover your play space.
  • HTC Vive Wands v2 (identical to the original wands, but they don't work with Lighthouse v1)
The Vive Pro is basically (though not exactly) a Vive with higher resolution 1600x1440 OLED panels and a Deluxe Audio Strap-like fit out of the box. On its own itís kind of mediocre, there are better choices, but if you want wireless thereís the optional US$300 upgrade that can enable that. The Wireless kit comes with itís own caveats, itís very heavy on CPU and 6 or more cores are recommended. You can get away with 4 but heavily threaded VR software might cause performance problems.

It uses Steam VR 2.0 base stations much like the Index, though it comes with Vive wands instead of Knuckles. It is compatible with Knuckles though. If youíre not interested in wireless PCVR, get the Index instead.


HTC Cosmos Series - US$700-900 + PC
  • 2x OLED pentile displays with 1440x1700 resolution at 90hz.
  • Connects via 1x USB3 and 1x Displayport.
  • Mechanical IPD adjustment from 61mm - 72mm
  • PSVR-Style halo strap with an adjustment knob and integrated audio (integrated audio not on base unit). One 3.5mm headphone port provided.
  • HTC's in-house 6 camera inside-out tracking or Lighthouse v1 tracking /w two base stations (Elite)
  • Cosmos controllers, styled like Touch v2 with a large, proprietary tracking ring or HTC Vive Wands (Elite)
The latest headset from HTC, the Cosmos utilizes an inside-out tracking system which is a break from their other PCVR headsets which relied on Valve's Lighthouse technology (though the headset is still SteamVR compatible). Compatibility is good, though some games refuse to recognize controllers this should be fixed in a software update. The lenses used are the same as the Vive and Vive Pro, with a steep drop in clarity at the edges of the lens. While Lighthouse accessories like tracking pucks, wands and Valve's Knuckles controllers aren't compatible, HTC have annouced a Lighthouse compatibility kit down the line. The HTC Wireless Kit is also compatible with the Cosmos.

While boasting some impressive specifications, the tracking is just outright rotten. Software updates have been issued in the past by Oculus that significantly improved the quality of their inside-out tracking so there is precedent for improvement, but for the moment it's best to avoid the Cosmos.

Nov 10 update: Lol nah, none of the updates HTC have been releasing have been doing much to improve things enough. Don't buy this.
Feb 17 update: Unsurprisingly, it still sucks.
Feb 20 update: A few new variants have been released. The first is the basic model which has less cameras than the original version, so is even worse. There's the XR which adds another two cameras for mixed reality, who cares. The last is the Elite, which replaces the inside-out tracking system with tracking roughly equivelent to the original HTC Vive. This is an improvement, but it's expensive and worse than the Vive Pro so... why? If you absolutely need wireless at the highest resolution possible and have a lot of disposable income, I guess the Cosmos Elite is a decent choice but the visual quality is not considerably better than the Vive Pro while the tracking is a somewhat worse. What an absolute mess.


Windows Mixed Reality - US$200-700 + PC
WMR is more of a hardware specification with a reference design that other companies build their own headsets on. They all utilize an internal, camera-based tracking system similar to the Quest and Rift S, which works well for tracking head position. At the low end theyíre all similar 1440x1440, fixed IPD headsets, barebones with no audio solution. The midrange is occupied by the Samsung Odyssey which uses 1440x1600 OLED panels with variable IPD and has integrated audio.

WMR only barely exists at this point, with any effort from Microsoft mostly directed towards serving the corporate market. The headsets regularly go on fire sale, the low-end Lenovo Explorer with controllers can be as cheap as $160 at times, but the value just isnít there even at that price. The lenses in all of them are trash with a significant drop in detail not far from the center of the lens and the quality of their controller tracking is floaty with limited coverage. The more ďpremiumĒ WMR headsets are also tainted by these problems.

The only WMR HMD that is of any note is the HP Reverb, whose defining feature is 2048x2048 resolution LCD panels. Thatís the only impressive part of this headset, everything else is sacrificed. Poor audio and headstap, no IPD adjustment and the same garbage lenses and tracking system.


Playstation VR - US$300 + PS4
PSVR is primitive compared to other 6DOF headsets on the market but Sony made a lot of smart choices that help cover for itís anemic specifications. It uses a single 1080p OLED panel, but itís full 3-subpixel RGB so clarity is close to the CV1/Vive. Itís fixed IPD but the lenses have excellent edge to edge clarity. The tracking sucks and the controllers are awfulÖ well there isnít much to help offset that but hey at least it tracks position to some extent!


What about the original Oculus Rift (CV1)?
Itís been discontinued. Provided you have 3 or more of the external tracking cameras the CV1 does offer better tracking than the inside out tracking on either the Rift S or Quest. The Touch 1 controllers are also arguably more ergonomic than their successors. The HMD itself isnít too bad either with good quality OLED panels and adjustable IPD, though the resolution is starting to show itís age. Worth it if you can get one for cheap, though due to its distinct advantages and lack of supply youíre likely to pay a premium instead. The CV1 headset is also currently experiencing a major problem with the headset cable being discontinued. Years of wear on the cable is causing many of them to fail and Oculus has just recently stopped allowing you to purchase replacements, effectively enforcing the EOL of the CV1. Once your cable fails, your only hope is to buy a used CV1 with a working cable.


And the HTC Vive?
Also discontinued. If you can find one used for cheap theyíre still capable of playing almost anything you throw at them, but there are better choices

Also I heard about something called a Pimax, StarVR, OSVRÖ
Donít bother with any of these, the trade-offs they make are too great to be useful to the general consumer or theyíre vaporware.



Oculus Touch 2
Touch has set the standards in terms of input, with even Valve conceding and implementing the same stick & 2 buttons layout in their latest controllers. Touch 2 sacrifices some of the ergonomics of its predecessor by flipping the tracking ring around but theyíre still excellent. Very light, only taking a single AA battery each lasting about 6-8 hours. While they donít track individual fingers, the capacitive sensors on the buttons do allow for limited hand gestures.

The Touch 2 is included with both the Rift S and Quest, they donít sell the headset separate from them.


Index Controllers / Knuckles
Ostensibly called the Index Controllers but everyone calls them by their codename, theyíre novel in that they have a rudimentary form of finger tracking built in, achieved using capacitive sensors along the handle. You strap your hand to the controller, making it more of a wearable, which allows for natural grabbing and letting go interactions as well as basic finger signalling. The build quality is just OK though and there have been complaints about poor fits for people with oddly sized hands. The analog stick also had an issue where it sometimes wasnít possible to click it unless it was centered, though this was fixed in later revisions.

While you can buy the Index without controllers, you shouldnít. You should only buy the hardware piecemeal if youíre upgrading from a Vive. Fun trivia: these controllers were made in tandem with the three VR games Valve are working on; they still havenít released these loving games. Half Life Alyx is RELEASED


Vive Wands
Obsolete with the release of the Index Controllers, these chonky hunks were the first VR controllers released to the public. Valve thought that a big touchpad could replace physical buttons and work equally well for analog input. They were wrong. The grip button is so bad that many devs avoid using it, though the trigger feels pretty nice. Input mappings from newer titles are starting to feel a bit awkward with developers moving on to newer, more capable controllers.


PSMove, Aim, Dual Shock 4
The PSMove controllers were initially designed as an accessory for the PS3, so they arenít a perfect fit for VR. Tracking is wobbly, inputs are limited, there isnít a stick or even a 4-way directional pad. Aim is designed for first person shooters, adds a couple sticks and has slightly better tracking than the PSMove. The Dual Shock 4 fares a little better in many cases, offering better tracking and input variety than the wands though only while the glowing glyph on the front faces the PSVR camera. With most games on PSVR being seated the DS4 ends up getting used quite a bit, but itís worth picking up the PSMove and Aim for the games that make good use of them.


Mixed Reality Controllers
Awful. Tracking drops abruptly whenever theyíre out of field of view and it can be pretty shaky in certain conditions. Build quality is bad, the sticks feel cheap and the touchpads are spongy. They look vaguely ergonomic, but are not. These pieces of poo poo are your only choice if you get a WMR headset, but if youíre buying one for some reason make sure the controllers come with it since itís next to impossible to buy them separately.


Traditional Controllers
Plenty of VR games, particularly ports of flatscreen titles and simulators, support gamepads, wheels and HOTAS if itís appropriate. VR racing with an actual wheel can feel like youíre right there in there car, particularly once you get the positions of everything dialed in. Most cockpit-based simulators support HOTAS, but there is significant benefit to using VR controllers for sim games that support them for easier access to cockpit controls and further immersion. Gamepads work as youíd expect, though not many new VR games make use of them these days.


Hands
One of the first things people try in VR their first time is look at their hands, only for them to realize that they have to fumble around with wrist straps and deal with an awkward hunk of plastic they have no familiarity with. Controllers are great, they give a sense of tactility, utility and precision that waving your hands around in the air canít achieve, but sometimes you donít need those things. Hand input is like touchpad or touchscreen input, itís the convenience option. Less precise, but precise enough.

Leap Motion were the first to release usable hand tracking software, though originally it wasnít designed for VR at all but for desktop use. A VR SDK was eventually made available and mounting kits were produced. The tracking volume was limited which caused hand tracking to fall off well before they exited your field of view, though this improved on later models of the hardware. The demos produced by them were very impressive, with lots of clever UI interactions. Sadly, outside of a couple flight sims and few other applications support was extremely limited.

At OC6, Oculus announced hand tracking as a software upgrade to the Oculus Quest, available early 2020. There was a surprise early launch in November, though only the Quest UI had any support for it. It works well for basic interactions, but definitely needs further work as well as support from third party developers.

This feature has not been announced for the Rift S.



External Tracking (Outside In)
When VR launched one of the biggest complaints was the laborious setup. Both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift CV1 required external devices covering your VR space to track the position of the headset and controllers. Though slightly less complicated for the Vive and Index whose ďLighthouseĒ Base Stations only required power as opposed to Oculusí USB cameras, it still results in a bunch of time running cables everywhere and making adjustments. Itís a hassle much like a home theatre setup is.

Why bother? Coverage. 4 lighthouses or tracking cameras at each corner of your room would mean that no matter what you do during regular play, tracking loss just isnít likely to happen. Because of that, "outside in" may always have itís niche at the high end. The tracking area size is technically arbitrary, but is ultimately limited by the current maximum of 4 base stations.


Integrated Tracking (Inside Out)
The first company out the gate with VR headsets with integrated cameras for tracking was Microsoft with WMR. They worked well for head tracking, but due to the use of only two cameras on the front of the headset the tracking volume of the controllers was very limited.

That left a poor impression, one that led many to believe that Oculus efforts may have ended up comparably poor. It didnít, the Quest and Rift Sí tracking were excellent at launch and only got better as it got enhanced by updates. There is the occasional annoyance, tracking drops from body occlusion are inevitable, but it works 99% of the time.

The limits of its use mostly come down to typical computer vision limitations. It canít safely be used outdoors as the cameras get flooded with light and loses the points of contrast the software uses to position itself, causing tracking glitches or losses. Max official tracking size for the Quest and Rift S is 15x15ft but it can be pushed further when messing with developer options.


Many VR games support a variety of play areas, though some developers choose to only support one or two of them for game design reasons. All VR stores classify what game area types and sizes the titles they sell support.

Seated
Most immersive in games where youíre virtually sitting like cockpit simulators, sitting is the most accessible play area style and given the option over standing, can be more comfortable for long term play. Many games are designed with it in mind, keeping everything of interest within a 180 degree cone in front of you. In games with free movement, turning is usually achieved through artificial rotation which can feel abrupt or sickness inducing depending on how itís implemented.

Standing
You donít experience the world flying around on a lounge chair. Standing lets you use your full body, allowing you full rotation (as much as the cord for your headset will let you, if it has one) as well as allowing for natural crouching and leaning. If youíre playing standing thereís a good chance youíre short on playspace, make extra sure you have enough space and keep centered so your hands donít slam into the walls or your expensive TV or Monitor.

Roomscale
If youíre a lucky son of a bitch with a big house, you can walk in VR. The minimum amount of space for roomscale per Valve is 2x1.5 meters, though games will often specify their own requirements. The larger the better, standing games benefit from the extra buffer of tracked space and games designed specifically for roomscale can be mind-blowingly immersive, though the tether can be a pain to deal with

VR Everywhere
What I havenít touched on is the Questís unique abilities. Being both wireless and portable gives a lot more options in terms of where you can use it. It scales from seated (even 3DOF for laying down or for flights) to beyond and while there are certain cases where it can fail, the fix is usually a case of closing curtains or shutting blinds. Itís lack of tether also allow for 360 seated and standing, a play style unique to wireless headsets.


Rift S & Quest
The built-in audio for the Quest and Rift isnít very good. The speakers are integrated into the front of the strap, which while convenient (and undoubtedly cheap to manufacture) have virtually no low-end and are audible to everyone around you. They sell special earbuds that plug into 3.5mm stereo ports on both sides of the headset for the Quest and you can use whatever headphones you want provided it fits around the strap, though that can get fiddly.

An entire computer and itís battery are shoved in the front of the Quest alongside the lenses, screen, and camera, and the simple plastic head strap doesnít do a lot to help with the weight. People have come up with all kinds of hacks like counterweights, but a popular solution has been to use 3d printed adapters adapters for the Viveís Deluxe Audio Strap. Originally designed as an audio and comfort upgrade for the original Vive, this provides better balance on the head and decent integrated audio.

A quick trip around thingiverse will also provide you with many options for improving the Rift S and Quest audio experience with other custom 3D printed attachments. The Rift CV1 headset used Koss Porta Pro headphone drivers and you can find many attachments that work with them (and you can even find clones for the headset drivers on AliExpress if you want to go really cheap).

Index
Comfort is subjective and depends on head shape, but the Index is mostly considered to have one of the most accommodating strap and HMD designs on the market. Just about everything is adjustable, including both eye relief and IPD and thereís plenty of padding both on the front and back. Audio is provided using off-ear speakers, with reviews stating that theyíre so good that Valve should sell them as a separate accessory.

Wearing Glasses?
Nerd. Most VR headsets can fit smaller glasses, but it can be a bit of a crapshoot and can scratch the lenses. VR Optician seems to be the recommended source for prescription lens inserts, supporting most headsets on the market.

General
There isnít a huge variety of aftermarket VR peripherals, many mods are 3D printed parts designed by VR enthusiasts or just velcro and zip ties. Though there are companies selling replacement padding (both thinner or thicker and of different materials), dumb silicone protectors that donít do anything useful and lots of other useless crap. Thereís also weapon stocks designed for use in shooting games. Make sure to look for other people's impressions before buying.


Quest
There are none. You do need a vaguely modern smartphone to set it up, either iOS or Android, but once thatís done itís entirely self contained. Ideally youíll have WiFi at home for it to connect to and while you can cast to your phone, you need a Chromecast of some kind to cast it to a TV.

PSVR
PS4 or PS4 Pro. There are graphical differences between the two; usually playing on the Pro means sharper visuals.

PC
Iíll list Oculusí minimum requirements, though youíll want to use Recommended as your baseline if youíre using a Valve Index or using an Oculus headset through SteamVR.

Minimum
Intel i3-6100/AMD Ryzen 3 1200, FX4350 or greater
NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti/AMD Radeon RX 470 or greater
Or
NVIDIA GTX 960 4 GB/AMD Radeon R9 290 or greater
8 GB+ RAM
Windows 10
1 x USB 3.0 port
Compatible DisplayPort video output

Recommended
Intel i5-4590/AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater
NVIDIA GTX 1060/AMD Radeon RX 480 or greater
Or
NVIDIA GTX 970/AMD Radeon R9 290 or greater
8 GB+ RAM
Windows 10
1 x USB 3.0 port
Compatible DisplayPort video output


So you bought an Oculus Quest
I pushed the Quest pretty hard back when I first wrote the OP, most of which was based on promises of what the technology could offer down the track. At release the Oculus Quest was a fairly basic device and not particularly capable of much but this has changed. I'll add the biggies now, but more information or tips may be added down the track (I need to look into the hand tracking stuff a bit more deeply)


SideQuest - https://sidequestvr.com/
Oculus rule their store with an iron fist, but thanks to the exploitation of Android debugging tools there exists a Quest app store independent of Facebook. Setup requires signing on to Oculus as a developer, but in practice this takes a few tickboxes and a device restart. Usage of the store requires a PC, though clients are available for just about everything with people even getting it running on the Raspberry Pi. It's fairly slick and most homebrew or hobbyist developers use it to deploy their software, though even paid apps are supported through itch.io. There's competent VR ports of Quake, Quake 2 the original Half Life, groundbreaking early access games like the mind-bending and frankly awe inducing Tea for God as well as tech demos that, while short, can be fun to play around with. If you want to mess with hand tracking, just about everything that supports it is on SideQuest. Games that have been rejected by Oculus often show up there too, some of which are also excellent! Climbey getting rejected was a travesty of justice, yo.

The store seems to be tolerated by Oculus for now, the devs are in contact and they do their best to not anger the beast. The benefits to Oculus are also obvious; having a liability-free testing ground means more experimentation and cool ideas that could eventually be made available for the platform officially.


Oculus Link
Heavily speculated since launch was some way of playing PCVR games with a Quest. There were early homebrew attempts at this, ALVR was particularly well regarded, but nothing that felt seamless or at an acceptable level of quality and latency. Link isn't so much about the cable, but about the backend work required to get low latency video to the Quest. Each frame has Async Spacewarp applied and is intelligently resampled with the center of vision retaining more detail than the outer edges. The frame is then sliced, each slice being fed into whatever hardware video encoder is available on the host PC (AMF for AMD, NVENC for Nvidia) which get sent over USB to the Quest. The Quest decodes the slices which allows for buffer copies to begin after the first slice has been decoded rather than the entire frame. There's still about 1.5 frames of latency after this, so the Quest performs Timewarp reprojection on the output. All that resampling does make the resulting image a bit soft, but thanks to the high bitrate and clever scaling tricks it still looks considerably better than first generation VR headsets such as the Rift CV1 and Vive. Other than that it works the same as a Rift only with an additional menu option in the dash to escape back to the Quest's UI. I feel it's firmly in the territory of "good enough". The one exception could be rythm games, but the vast majority of those have native Quest versions anyway.

The official cable is pricey, but you can use "any" USB 3.0 cable that is to spec. A lot aren't. Choices vary by region, so the general rule of thumb is to find a 1.2 to 3m USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable with explicitly stated USB 3.0 compatibility, as well as an active ~5 meter USB 3.0 extension cable (cheapie generics seem to work ok). The downside to going the unofficial route is that the HMD is unlikely to get charged during use, but the drain is usually low enough that it isn't a significant problem.

May 14 2020 update:
Oculus has enabled the ability to use USB 2.0 ports and cables with Link. There is reported success with the included Quest cable and 20 meter long monstrosities. Oculus still recommend 3.0 for good reason, certain USB 2.0 controllers may not be up to the task and there's a lot less bandwidth to share. But you already have the cable that comes with the Quest, if you have a USB-C port on your computer or a cheap adapter dongle then it doesn't hurt to try it out. Currently requires subscribing to the Public Test Channel version of the Oculus software.


Virtual Desktop - Quest
Virtual Desktop streams your desktop to a virtual display on your Quest. Latency is fairly good, 10-16ms usually and the interface is fantastic. You can emulate a gamepad with the Touch controllers or connect a Xbone pad using Bluetooth, mouse input is handled using touch emulation via pointers and it has a decent virtual keyboard. You can take your PC with you anywhere (as long as you have a good internet connection) and instead of being stuck with a piddly 14" laptop screen or miniscule smartphone display, you can have something as big as IMAX! Fidelity isn't incredible but a 1080p display is easily readable at larger screen sizes and the deep blacks make watching linear media quite pleasant. Except that isn't all it does. Once you buy Virtual Desktop from the official store, head to SideQuest and you might be puzzled to see Virtual Desktop is there too. Why is that?

Virtual Desktop doesn't only stream your desktop, it can stream PCVR games. It does it well. It's not seamless to set up, ideally you'd dedicate a 5ghz WiFi router to the job and connect it to the PC via ethernet and there's some futzing around with access point settings, but once everything is optimised latency is roughly equal to Oculus Link, with many of the same optimisations as Link having been implemented by the developer like sliced encoding . It doesn't have the ASW reprojection pass so there is some jitter to positional movement at times, but TimeWarp is still applied Quest-side. I played through the entireity of Alyx free of wires dangling from my head, not even the Index has this option.

Virtual Desktop's VR support is unofficial and likely always will be since it's reliance on off-the-shelf WiFi routers and their variability in quality makes it impossible to guarantee VR streaming will work properly. For troubleshooting and advice your best bet is the official Discord.

SCheeseman fucked around with this message at 23:37 on May 18, 2020

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SCheeseman
Apr 23, 2003






Boneworks - SteamVR
One of the first single player, narrative focused VR games that goes all-in on physical hand interactions, physics-based combat and movement. It's writing won't be winning awards and it's pretty obviously derivative from Half Life and Portal in terms of game design, style and aesthetic but if you're gonna steal, why not steal from the best? Campaign is about 6-10 hours depending on how much you explore and it also comes with the requisite sandbox modes. The levels are vast and very explorable, so replayability is also quite high, though ultimately it's the physics that are the showcase, you can grab and manipulate just about anything. There's physics jank, but when it works (which is most of the time) it's shockingly immersive and the interactivity gives an unparalleled amount of agency and choice to the player. Provided you can stomach the lack of consideration made to VR comfort, this is one of the best VR games currently available. A must buy.


Beat Saber - SteamVR | Rift | Quest
It's the game where you use legally not technically light sabers to slash boxes in time to music. It's the biggest selling game in VR. It's moddable, though that ability comes and goes on the Quest and is nonexistant on PSVR. Everyone knows what this is.


Echo VR - Oculus (crossplay)
The muiltiplayer spin-off of the also impressive Lone Echo. EchoVR started as Echo Arena, a zero gravity flying disc sports game but since then it's also added a shooter component called Echo Combat. It has one of the best locomotion systems in any VR game and it's surprisingly comfortable despite the freedom it affords. It's also free, though only available on the Oculus platform so ReVive is needed to play with other headsets. Also available for the Quest, though only the disc game (Arena) is currently available.


Blade & Sorcery - SteamVR | Rift
Though still in early access, Blade & Sorcery's combat systems have become something of a benchmark for other games combat systems to meet. Weapons and bodies, including your own, are physically modeled with weight and momentum being taken into account with your swings. The game forces you to mime momentum, rewarding (somewhat) realistic melee combat and removing the effectiveness of waggling a sword. At least that's how it'd be if the AI weren't so dumb, which alongside it's lack of any story or campaign can make the whole game feel somewhat directionless and unfinished. It is both of those things, but it still feels like the future.


Until You Fall - SteamVR | Rift
A polar opposite take on VR melee combat that focuses on being a great game instead of a simulator. Parry, dodge, combo your way through well designed enemy encounters with gorgeous neon graphics and a kick-rear end synthwave soundtrack.
Extremely well polished combat has very little friction and creates extremely fast paced gameplay almost akin to a rhythm game inside a roguelike wrapper.


SUPERHOT VR - SteamVR | Rift | Quest
A unique first person action game where you punch, shoot, slash and throw objects at Red Glass Men in open white room environments. The catch is that time only moves when you move. It's part puzzle game figuring out through trial and error what it takes to survive each round.
Really great intro to VR and an experience that plays best in VR.


Vader Immortal - Oculus (crossplay)
A VR Star Wars. This is more of a narrative story experience than a full game. Each episode will take you about 40 minutes to play through. The visuals and sound are so, so, nicely polished here. The interactivity is mostly through door unlock puzzles, and a few sections with a lightsaber. There's also a side mode in a lightsaber training dojo to take your saber through the paces in a series of timed challenges.
Every Star Wars fan I've seen try this game all grin like idiots at the level of immersion.


Hot dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades (H3VR) - SteamVR
If you like guns, this is the game for you. There are hundreds of guns lovingly modeled, with all the physical mechanisms and jiggly bits accurately implemented. There are no human opponents, only range targets and animated human-sized sausages. If you don't care about guns, good news - there's also several game modes that are legitimately great video games by themselves included. Take and Hold drops you into a complex series of rooms and cooridors with a knife, a healing sausage, and perhaps a gun, and forces you to seek out supply points to upgrade to more powerful weapons to take and hold a series of choke points from waves of armed sausages who want to grind you to bits. Return of the Rotweiners is a great roguelike that is going to get a substantial update this month. You're dropped into a world infested with zombie sausages and are given a pistol with limited ammo, and are forced to unlock more powerful guns by competing quests for the uninfected sausages you meet. Every time you die, you lose everything you've gathered, but keep all the unlocked items, making further progress that much easier. Meat Grinder is a horror game mode that most closely reminds me of Resident Evil 3's Mercenaries mode - you're dropped into a slaughterhouse with a gun and need to complete a series of objectives with a strict time limit while fighting off fiendish meat-based enemies and avoiding deadly traps. WurstWorld is a Wild West themed area where you get to enjoy all the old timey weapons and also struggle with how bad throwing things like horseshoes in VR can feel. Plus all the shooting ranges you could ever hope for.


Eleven Table Tennis - SteamVR | Oculus (crossplay)
This is the best Ping Pong in VR. Closer to a simulator than a video game, it has the requisite multiplayer and paddle bounciness options and a rather nice environment (snatched from the Unity asset store) but it's a bit short on features and graphical prowess. However the core sim is so solid that it makes every other table tennis game kind of obsolete.


Pistol Whip - Steam | Oculus (crossplay)
Beat Saber + Superhot = John Wick VR. You stand still while the world slowly moves towards you as though on a powered walkway, which is fairly comfortable. You shoot polygonal stylistic dudes with a gun and get bonus points if you do it to the beat. You can also punch dudes and dodge bullets. Trippy Rez style environments. Very fun, very easy to learn. Not a ton of content but highly repayable.


Payday 2 - Steam
One of the VR games with the most content since it was designed for flat-screen, the VR update is free and works extremely well. This is a full co-op FPS like Left4Dead if you haven't played it, and you can play with a party of friends who have some people in VR and some people on flat-screen. You have options for teleport move or free move, and shooting two handed guns or dual wielding pistols just feels loving amazing. Shoot cops forever. Also you can go stealth if you wanna do Metal Gear Solid VR, which is pretty wild too. Its Thief Simulator but higher budget.


WarThunder - Steam
Free to play aerial dogfighting game. Can play arcade style or historic. Totally possible to have an extremely good time on this and never spend a penny. There are microtransactions of course but they just unlock planes faster, and you can have tons of fun with biplanes (possibly more fun than other planes, IMO) and quickly unlock some WW2 planes for free just by playing. The VR is very immersive, you sit in a cockpit so even though you're flying around at high speeds I never get any motion sickness. Just doing "test flights" and zooming around in a peaceful map like Flight Simulator is pretty fun and wild as an experience to demo to people if you don't feel like getting into a shootout.


Rez Infinite - Steam | Oculus
Trippy experimental Dreamcast & PS2 game that became a cult classic. You've probably heard of it? Its basically StarFox except everything you do makes music and you feel like Fox took some acid before heading out of Corneria. You gotta see this if you've never played it before, and if you have, VR makes it way more fun. I highly recommend changing the controls from looking to control the cursor to pointing with your motion controllers to move the cursor, so you can look around independently. (It'll save your neck and feels more fun to me)


Tetris Effect - EGS | Quest
It's Tetris, you already know how it works. That's a strength. Very simple to understand so very chill, the VR part is just an immersive light show like Rez that matches the game you're playing, with all kinds of cool floaty trippy space poo poo happening all around you while you play and listen to music. Relaxing VR game, good to demo for first timers. Only on the Epic store for PCVR, but works with Oculus and SteamVR. The Quest version is the full game, though some graphical sacrifices had to be made to in order for it to work on the Quest which takes some of the visual impact away. Still a fine way to play the game, and if you can find a nice shady tree to sit under on a cool, breezy day, you can play the game in it's most transcendent form


Job Simulator - Steam | Rift | Quest
Vacation Simulator - Steam | Rift | Quest
Job Simulator was one of the first VR games and is rather basic as a result, but still has plenty of good humor and is very accessible. Both are a series of a bunch of interactive minigames, though Vactation Simulator adds a simple progression system to unlock more as you complete them. Very comfortable to play and good demo game, do stuff like cook hot dogs, throw snow balls, stuff like that. Colorful and cartoony, if a bit simple.


Rick & Morty: Virtual Rick-ality - Steam | Rift
Its literally Vacation Simulator but Rick and Morty style. If you're a fan of R&M this is a must buy, you get to hang out IN the Sanchez house and have Rick insult you, and everything has full Roiland voice acting and Harmon writing and its pretty fun stuff. Realtalk though you'll beat this in a couple hours and never touch it again. But they're a pretty fun couple hours. You get to play with some of Rick's wild science tools, and shoot some aliens, and also walk through portals. Its pretty wild fun, but short.


The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners - Steam | Rift
This came out of nowhere. A VR Fallout Lite with decent physics, object and world interactions which while going not going as nutso crazy as Boneworks, ends up being more comfortable as a result. Weapons have simulated weight, you can grapple zombies and the weapons all have proper reload mechanics. The loot + crafting loop is a lot of fun thanks to the non-fiddly grasping and manipulating and there's NPCs giving missions, dialogue branches and a surprising amount of opportunities to take advantage of an environment. On a technical level it's an AA game, but it looks and performs nicely and I haven't run into any terrible bugs. This is pretty close to being an immersive sim and those and VR go together like peas and gravy. IMO a must buy.

Open for additions! Preferably with a quick blurb, links and banners and all that.

SCheeseman fucked around with this message at 12:13 on May 29, 2020

Taintrunner
Apr 10, 2017

LET ME HELP YOU UNDERSTAND MY POSTS


Going to strongly disagree with the OP. If youíre focused on racing and flying sims while dabbling in other stuff, buy a Rift S. Splurge for an Index if you really want to. The Quest library is pretty limited and all of those games are available on Rift S anyways.

Thereís some debate on just how good the tethering of the Quest is going to be while Carmack and Oculus are both recommending the Rift S still as the best experience of PC driven VR.

SCheeseman
Apr 23, 2003



Taintrunner posted:

Going to strongly disagree with the OP. If youíre focused on racing and flying sims while dabbling in other stuff, buy a Rift S. Splurge for an Index if you really want to. The Quest library is pretty limited and all of those games are available on Rift S anyways.

Thereís some debate on just how good the tethering of the Quest is going to be while Carmack and Oculus are both recommending the Rift S still as the best experience of PC driven VR.

That there is debate makes it hard to recommend hardware that may end up being obsolete in a month, if Link is considerably worse I'll edit the OP

Taintrunner
Apr 10, 2017

LET ME HELP YOU UNDERSTAND MY POSTS


SCheeseman posted:

That there is debate makes it hard to recommend hardware that may end up being obsolete in a month, if Link is considerably worse I'll edit the OP

Right, but youíre telling people to make a decision based on information that isnít known yet. Itís a bit biased and thereís pretty decent arguments either way to be made so first time buyers can make their own decision for the device that meets their needs/desires.

The PC link mode for Quest is going to have compression artifacts as well as other handicaps to deal with the bandwidth, as well as a lower quality display with less clarity, more god rays and a lower refresh rate. Itís also less comfortable considering itís got whatís essentially a cellphone crammed into it.

Not to mention Quest getting locked down when it comes to Beat Saber custom song mods, which is the platformsí killer app as of now.

dogstile
May 1, 2012

fucking clocks
how do they work?


I'm really not happy with the build quality on the Rift S and would recommend a quest pretty much every day. Especially with that whole cable announcement.

SCheeseman
Apr 23, 2003



Taintrunner posted:

Right, but youíre telling people to make a decision based on information that isnít known yet. Itís a bit biased and thereís pretty decent arguments either way to be made so first time buyers can make their own decision for the device that meets their needs/desires.

The PC link mode for Quest is going to have compression artifacts as well as other handicaps to deal with the bandwidth, as well as a lower quality display with less clarity, more god rays and a lower refresh rate. Itís also less comfortable considering itís got whatís essentially a cellphone crammed into it.

Not to mention Quest getting locked down when it comes to Beat Saber custom song mods, which is the platformsí killer app as of now.
I go over the drawbacks of the Quest in the OP and also run down the benefits of the Rift-S. Things like "lower display quality" are heavily subjective, particularly considering the differences in panel technology and the software IPD adjustment in the Rift-S. The lower refresh rate could even be spun as a benefit as it may result in less reprojection in many cases, particularly simulators which can struggle hitting 80/90. The overall recommendation of the Quest doesn't mean that it's the best for everyone, only that it's unlikely anyone would be disappointed by the purchase.

Admittedly there isn't much in the OP about VR sims, the needs for it are slightly different.

MikusR
Jan 5, 2008


Quest is 72hz

Jack Trades
Nov 30, 2010



I'm gonna rush in with the first nuclear take of the thread.

B&S is a pretty good physics toy but a terrible game. Play Until You Fall instead.

Neddy Seagoon
Oct 12, 2012

Hi, Everybody!


Something I'd suggest for the OP is including the IPD range for each headset. There's also an extra use case for the Vive Pro if your IPD's over 70mm, as the Vive Pro's goes up to 74mm.



Taintrunner posted:

The PC link mode for Quest is going to have compression artifacts as well as other handicaps to deal with the bandwidth, as well as a lower quality display with less clarity, more god rays and a lower refresh rate. It’s also less comfortable considering it’s got what’s essentially a cellphone crammed into it.

The average person isn't going to know or likely care all that much when they're getting a tradeoff in a device they can unplug and take with them anywhere. If it functionally works well, and it's convenient, there's zero reason to point someone towards a Rift S.

Shine
Feb 26, 2007

No Muscles For The Majority


Some VR games I enjoy:

Lone Echo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pmV2mwAV9k
A singleplayer adventure game, taking place in outer space. One of the earliest "big" VR releases, and still one of the best. It has some of the most uniquely VR experiences, as it takes place in outer space and there is no artificial gravity, so you make your way around by crawling along and pushing yourself off walls to float from here to there, with little hand jets to refine your movement.

The plot is an "everything was fine, and then MYSTERIOUS poo poo HAPPENED" episode of Star Trek, with gameplay consisting of solving environmental puzzles, navigating through hazardous areas, and piecing together clues to figure out what the gently caress happened to your space station.

If you don't care about the story stuff and just wanna gently caress around in space, then check out its free companion (briefly featured at the end of the trailer above):


Echo VR (aka Echo Arena)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSC8nEgHKN8
Echo VR is Lone Echo's multiplayer companion title, featuring two game modes: Arena and Combat.

Arena is the main attraction, both because it's COMPLETELY FREE, and because it loving rules. Take the locomotion of Lone Echo, plop it into that training arena from Ender's Game, and play zero-g 3-on-3 soccer with a flying disc! With a recent patch adding more gameplay tutorials and AI opponents, this is one of the best experiences in VR. If you get a kick out of making a perfect pass or a crazy accurate shot in Rocket League, then you'll similarly love that in this game. Easily one of the best VR games.

Combat is a team deathmatch addition. While not free, if you play Arena and wish it had guns, then Combat will give you exactly what you want.

Also, the game's lobby is the best VR chatroom.


Blade & Sorcery
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-90-BE8uq8
VR's most brutal melee combat game. It's simply nonstop violence, from bashing someone's face with your buckler, to pinning them against a wall with a dagger, to chopping off their leg and throwing it at someone, to simply running them through and throwing their body off a cliff. There's also a busy mod scene adding weapons from various countries, and even weapons from Dark Souls and Bloodborne. There isn't much "game" to it yet, as the dev is still working on the engine and physics, but it's a drat fun bloody sandbox. If it bugs you to play a game where stabbing someone's eye with a dagger takes off some hitpoints instead of just killing them, then you'll appreciate this game. If you appreciate this game a lot, then you might need therapy.

Honorable mention: GORN, which is more cartoonishly over-the-top violent, and includes multiple boss fights, including a giant crab.


Thrill of the Fight VR
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sv_JKBiAVx8
Please work out. Consider playing this game to do so. It's a boxing sim that goes for realism within the practical boundaries of VR. No Punch-Out'esque enemy stuns, no stamina bar, etc. Your stamina in the game is your actual IRL stamina, and if your conditioning is weak, then this game will punish you for it, hard. Stick with it, and your fitness will improve!

It's the most realistic boxing game ever made, in that people who know how to box will immediately be good at it, and people who don't know poo poo about boxing will suck unless they learn some basic stuff (watch YouTube videos, or go work with a boxing coach). The developer updates it regularly (and is working on a Quest port!), and it can legit be used as cardio. It's a steal at $9.99.

The game automatically calibrates itself to how hard you are punching, so it can be used by anybody physically capable of throwing punches, no matter their strength or size. You can also manually adjust the game's punch multiplier if you just wanna deck people with your big lovely haymaker, which is satisfying in its own way.


Carly & the Reaperman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERtyq-VPf4Q
A unique co-op title in which one player (on the monitor) controls Carly, and a second player (in VR) plays the Reaperman. Carly plays like a basic 3rd person platformer, and is assisted by the Reaperman, who can move platforms, see hidden paths, and stall enemies. It's a wonderful couples game, and probably would be fun to play with a kid. I dunno, I don't like kids.


Compound
https://store.steampowered.com/app/615120/COMPOUND/
An early 90s-style FPS in VR, regularly updated with new weapons and enemies. Physically moving your body to peek out from cover is a blast, and the enemy projectiles are slow enough that they can be dodged by bobbing and weaving your head and/or stepping around your play area. This is good poo poo!


Five Nights at Freddy's: Help Wanted
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLv3wTRJwWM
It's this goddamn game and it's scary as goddamn balls in VR, loving gently caress this game, christ.


Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpE5LKxKbzs

Eleven: Table Tennis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J4Io458jXo
Both are table tennis/ping pong games, both are a blast, and both feel pretty drat realistic, in that you'll probably be about as good/lovely at these are you are at the actual sport. It's a very accessible game, in that everybody knows the gist of how table tennis works, so put your non-gamer friend into VR and load up this game, and they'll figure it out easily enough. Racket Fury has both Arcade and Sim physics modes, making it a bit more accessible than Eleven. Eleven "feels" better to me and has several minigames. They're both good.


Payday 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRDKXKTBt0Q
You probably bought this game for like $2.99 during a Steam sale at some point, right? Then you own the VR version, as it was a free update! It's the same co-op heist/gently caress-it-shoot-everything game goons have been hate-loving for years, and it's cross-compatible with the non-VR version. While you can tell it wasn't originally designed for VR (the object interactions are "gamey" and unrealistic), it's very well done, and I enjoy it in VR more than the regular version. There's something especially satisfying about over-the-top shootouts in VR.


Tetris Effect
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFVL6t8IHE8
It's only on the Epic store, which sucks, but if you don't mind that, then this is a must-buy. It's hard to make a $30 Tetris game sound like a must-buy, but it's basically Tetris that constantly puts you "in the zone" and you lose track of the entire world around you as you're drawn into hypnotic visuals and music. I don't do drugs, but I imagine it feels kinda like this. It's has a neat feature where it occasionally triples the game speed, hacks your brain, and you magically become better than you've ever been at Tetris.


Any flight/driving/space game that supports VR
iRacing, Elite Dangerous, IL-2 Battle of Stalingrad, War Thunder, DCS World, Project CARS, Dirt Rally, etc.
Cockpit games and VR go together so goddamn well that I refuse to play them on my monitor now. Being "in" your car/plane/spaceship is the coolest feeling, and there are some gameplay benefits, too. Hovering in helicopters, landing planes, and "feeling" the weight transfer of racecars is much easier in VR than on a monitor, IMO. That said, you need a beefy computer to run most of these, especially the flight sims. Flight sim developers are loving stupid and their poo poo tends to be unoptimized trash.

Shine fucked around with this message at 11:56 on Nov 18, 2019

Shine
Feb 26, 2007

No Muscles For The Majority


Oh hey, I started this post in the previous thread, but forgot to actually post it:

Echo Arena's bots are live, and they're fun! They won't fool you into thinking they're human (cute post-goal gestures aside), but they do pass to you and catch your passes, and the harder ones dabble with advanced locomotion (increasing speed by grabbing another player and launching off of them). The easy bots will give new players a gentle introduction to the game, and the harder ones are fun to play against with human teammates. You can play with all AI teammates/opponents, or queue up to play with humans against an AI team.

This removes one of the big obstacles of Echo Arena: getting into a newbie-friendly game where one team doesn't have a level-50 player that can singlehandedly defeat a team of new players. Anybody who was ever concerned about that should give the AI mode a try.

I'm Shine.49 on Oculus. Friend me if you wanna compstomp.

Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

Jumpjet, melta, jumpjet. Repeat for ten minutes or until victory is assured.

Good OP, I'm pretty sure the Index and Vive Pro both have mechanical IPD adjustment though, not software.

Neddy Seagoon
Oct 12, 2012

Hi, Everybody!


Cicero posted:

Good OP, I'm pretty sure the Index and Vive Pro both have mechanical IPD adjustment though, not software.

They do indeed. The Cosmos does too, but who really gives a poo poo about it?

Taintrunner
Apr 10, 2017

LET ME HELP YOU UNDERSTAND MY POSTS


Neddy Seagoon posted:


The average person isn't going to know or likely care all that much when they're getting a tradeoff in a device they can unplug and take with them anywhere. If it functionally works well, and it's convenient, there's zero reason to point someone towards a Rift S.

If youíre paying $400+ for a niche piece of hardware, ďaverage personĒ really doesnít count here. Thereís also plenty of reasons to point someone to a Rift S if you know what they want to do with a VR headset.

The Quest is heavier and less comfortable, and thereís a number of game genres that require longer gaming sessions in which someone would want a more comfortable fit (and the extra visual clarity): Flight/racing sims and Skyrim VR are two prime examples where the added weight would become a distraction.

Beat Saber and other Oculus games on the Quest are being locked down, mod/custom song support wise. Im sure most people donít want to buy Imagine Dragons DLC to get more out of their purchase.

Again, Carmack and Oculus have recommended the Rift S over the Quest for plenty of different use-case purposes. The USB3 tethering is going to have pretty significant compression and the Link cable is going to be what, $80? Itís pretty steep after already paying $400 for a headset.

Quest is mobile first and as such itís games can be pretty limited, and if youíre an ďaverage personĒ who doesnít want to mess with sideloading, etc. youíre going to be locked into the Oculus Store if you want to take it on the go, which different people are going to have different priorities for. I live in a one bedroom apartment and the only space Iíd have to Quest is the same space I use with a visually superior Rift S with a larger game library.

Different people are going to have different situations and/or desires. Most people posting in Games have a decent PC gaming rig, and youíre likely going to want that to be running your VR games than a cellphone board. Maybe you really want portability, maybe you donít have a space where that makes sense.

The next gen of mobile VR headsets is probably going to have a better solution for tethering, weíll have to wait and see, but assuming a USB3 connection is going to run video, audio, input, and other data back and forth compared to a dedicated display port and USB3.0 connection and have a comparable experience to make you forgo looking at a Rift S, when Carmack and Oculus have both said if youíre PCVR focused to stick to the Rift S, is a bit much.

Just depends what youíre mainly going to be doing with it, really, and most people are going to have some sort of idea what that is before they buy a $400+ dedicated piece of hardware, and should be able to decide for themselves.

SCheeseman
Apr 23, 2003



You're putting a lot of stock into the opinions of Oculus, the company that has a bunch of inventory of the Rift S to sell and Carmack who works for that company. Granted Carmack is usually pretty candid, but he's also an extreme stickler for technical detail and quality in a way most people aren't.

I've tried casting from my PC to my Quest with ALVR, the video stream compressed to 50mbit/s with fixed foveation. Quality at that bitrate was acceptable in most cases and already looked considerably better than my Vive. The Link's datastream is apparently 150mbit/s, almost triple. I get the feeling that most people won't notice.

Neddy Seagoon
Oct 12, 2012

Hi, Everybody!


SCheeseman posted:

You're putting a lot of stock into the opinions of Oculus, the company that has a bunch of inventory of the Rift S to sell and Carmack who works for that company. Granted Carmack is usually pretty candid, but he's also an extreme stickler for technical detail and quality in a way most people aren't.

I've tried casting from my PC to my Quest with ALVR, the video stream compressed to 50mbit/s with fixed foveation. Quality at that bitrate was acceptable in most cases and already looked considerably better than my Vive. The Link's datastream is apparently 150mbit/s, almost triple. I get the feeling that most people won't notice.

Most of the people who tried Quest Link could only really see a difference if they swapped headsets immediately after. At a general glance they thought it was perfectly fine.

THE AWESOME GHOST
Oct 21, 2005



I am considering a quest specifically because the wires thing. I borrowed a PSVR once for like 2 weeks and the hooking up and wires and all that made it basically unusable for me

dogstile
May 1, 2012

fucking clocks
how do they work?


Neddy Seagoon posted:

Most of the people who tried Quest Link could only really see a difference if they swapped headsets immediately after. At a general glance they thought it was perfectly fine.

I can tell immediately but I honestly just don't care about the graphics because they don't look that bad. Sure if you're a massive graphics over everything fan then sure you're going to care, but how many people in VR are here for the graphics?

Shoefish
Sep 29, 2005
captain haggis mcnipplesworthy

Throwing my 2c onto page one, I upgraded from a Vive to a Rift S and could not be happier. I have a lot of disposable cash and was super keen on getting an Index when they finally make their way to Australia, with the Rift S being an interim step, but will find it seriously hard to justify the $2000 or whatever the Index will cost when it gets here.

The Technician
https://store.steampowered.com/app/839960/

Throwing out a recommendation for The Technician, is in a VERY alpha state at the moment but is seriously fun. Feels like a single player Keep Talking and Noone explodes, do logic puzzles while under pressure.

Jim Silly-Balls
Jun 6, 2001

Fondle my shiny metal ass



Please donít forget the best free games

Rec Room
https://recroom.com/rec-room

Rec Room is essentially a framework around which other games are built. It includes tools to make your own gametypes, although 99% of players just play existing rooms. Popular game modes include:

Paintball - Exactly what it sounds like. Players are divided up into two teams to play either team deathmatch, or capture the flag. You pick up weapons in the level, or from downed opponents. The paintballs are affected by gravity, so there is a strategic component to shooting

Battle Royale (rec royale): Basically Fortnite or pubg in Rec Room. You know the drill. Drop from a plane, last man standing wins. I would argue that Rec Royale is a way better BR implementation than most other games, because the 6DOF affords you a lot of flexibility.

There are a ton of other modes including parkour courses, castlevania type games, shooting galleries and all manner of fun stuff.

The game and culture around it is pretty kid friendly and you will bump into players of all ages. The community is generally pretty good about not tolerating toxicity. The biggest drama is generally around teleport motion vs smooth motion, with the latter claiming the former are cheating. They arenít, teleporters have a mandatory two second cooldown after they move where they are sitting ducks.

Available on Oculus, Steam, quest, PSVR and in flat mode on a bunch of devices. Crossplay is enabled between all of them. There are options to only play with VR players, although I find VR players are at an advantage over flatscreen players anyway.

Pokerstars VR
https://www.pokerstars.net/

Itís poker, in VR. If you have ever played Texas holdem poker, you know how to play this game. The real draw of this game is the human interaction. You have an array of toys, drinks, food, smokables and all kinds of stuff to mess with at your disposal. The tables fill up with stuff as the game goes on. Donít like that you lost that hand? Shoot the winner with a squirt gun, or throw a tiny donkey at them.

The physics are on point, which you wouldnít think is important for a poker game, but absolutely makes this one. You physically grab your chips and cards and play like you would at a real Vegas table.

Everyone is voice enabled by default so the game doubles as a chat room as the games go on. Watch the people you play with, youíll find like in real life, they have tells in VR too. Everyone is 6dof as well, so you can see if they slump back in their chair, shake their head, sigh, or anything else really

Chips are free and you can win more of them every 8 hours by spinning a big Wheel of Fortune type wheel. You can purchase them too, but in my experience Iíve never bumped into anyone who actually bought them. Legend has it, itís only the weirdos who absolutely have to play at the million dollar tables who actually buy chips.

Itís poker, so the audience and conversation skews more adult than rec room but in my experience itís rarely toxic. You can mute peopleís voices and avatars as well if they get out of hand. I find I mostly mute people for constantly breathing into the mic, rather than any other reason.

Itís on Oculus, Steam, Quest and PSVR and itís crossplay between all of them.

Jim Silly-Balls fucked around with this message at 13:55 on Oct 11, 2019

Cojawfee
May 31, 2006
I think the US is dumb for not using Celsius

Thanks for making a new thread. I kept getting too busy to fix the op of the last one.

eonwe
Aug 11, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

good thread, OP.

i started playing beat saber recently and im losing weight lmao

Lemming
Apr 21, 2008



Nap Ghost

Taintrunner posted:

If you’re paying $400+ for a niche piece of hardware, “average person” really doesn’t count here. There’s also plenty of reasons to point someone to a Rift S if you know what they want to do with a VR headset.

The point is that the advantages of the Quest pull it out of the realm of niche hardware. It's easy enough to use and there's enough to do on it that I think it's finally VR that I would advocate people to get, rather than something that might be worth it depending on if you're willing to deal with the trade-offs and drawbacks of the other headsets. With the link on top, you aren't even giving up the opportunity to be able to do all the PCVR things.

Lemming fucked around with this message at 19:02 on Oct 11, 2019

Leal
Oct 2, 2009

If you LP what I LP
And if you work retail like I work retail
You would also scream like I scream


I fought with the dead forums to let you all know Beat Saber is great.

Hellsau
Jan 14, 2010

NEVER FUCKING TAKE A NIGHT OFF CLAN WARS.


Jack Trades posted:

I'm gonna rush in with the first nuclear take of the thread.

B&S is a pretty good physics toy but a terrible game. Play Until You Fall instead.

Yeah, unlike H3VR, which is a pretty good gun simulator attached to several very good games.


Hot dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades (H3VR) - SteamVR
If you like guns, this is the game for you. There are hundreds of guns lovingly modeled, with all the physical mechanisms and jiggly bits accurately implemented. There are no human opponents, only range targets and animated human-sized sausages. If you don't care about guns, good news - there's also several game modes that are legitimately great video games by themselves included. Take and Hold drops you into a complex series of rooms and cooridors with a knife, a healing sausage, and perhaps a gun, and forces you to seek out supply points to upgrade to more powerful weapons to take and hold a series of choke points from waves of armed sausages who want to grind you to bits. Return of the Rotweiners is a great roguelike that is going to get a substantial update this month. You're dropped into a world infested with zombie sausages and are given a pistol with limited ammo, and are forced to unlock more powerful guns by competing quests for the uninfected sausages you meet. Every time you die, you lose everything you've gathered, but keep all the unlocked items, making further progress that much easier. Meat Grinder is a horror game mode that most closely reminds me of Resident Evil 3's Mercenaries mode - you're dropped into a slaughterhouse with a gun and need to complete a series of objectives with a strict time limit while fighting off fiendish meat-based enemies and avoiding deadly traps. WurstWorld is a Wild West themed area where you get to enjoy all the old timey weapons and also struggle with how bad throwing things like horseshoes in VR can feel. Plus all the shooting ranges you could ever hope for.

Butt Discussin
Sep 12, 2010




I've been playing Asgard's Wrath on Index(with revive) for a few hours. It works perfectly(except for probably needing a gamma fix, as it's hard to see in a few dark areas.) It's also very good, as long as you realize that it's an adventure game, not an action game or a physics simulation. Not for everyone, but really good for those who enjoy adventure games.

Nektu
Jul 4, 2007

FUKKEN FUUUUUUCK


Cybernetic Crumb

I bought a Rift S to find out what this VR stuff is all about.

Verdict: fffffffuuuuucccckkkkk yes


Now I want more. I'm very temped to wait till the Pimax 5k is generally available and get me one of those.

On the other hand, I could get an Index right now. Has anybody had the chance to compare the Index and the 5k?
How much better does the Pimax view angle make the experience? Will I hate myself in a few months if I get an index now?


Regarding Skyrim VR: can I use total conversions for normal Skyrim with that? I just started to play Enderal, and doing it in VR would be awesome.

Jim Silly-Balls
Jun 6, 2001

Fondle my shiny metal ass



Buy the index. Pimax might go out of business tomorrow.

EbolaIvory
Jul 6, 2007

NOM NOM NOM

SCheeseman posted:

That there is debate makes it hard to recommend hardware that may end up being obsolete in a month, if Link is considerably worse I'll edit the OP


You basically said "cosmos is total poo poo im not adding info", and theres been nothing but mixed reviews so far. Yet you added some info on WMR? Lots of personal bias in that op fan.

Debate he says.

EbolaIvory fucked around with this message at 20:54 on Oct 11, 2019

Turin Turambar
Jun 5, 2011



What do you believe is "Unknown" here, in the Steam survey?



Rift S or Index?

EbolaIvory
Jul 6, 2007

NOM NOM NOM

Turin Turambar posted:

What do you believe is "Unknown" here, in the Steam survey?



Rift S or Index?

Rift S. Oooo Wait. I wonder if its "Headsets using things like ALVR"

Theres no way the index has anything sold over HTC/Oculus at this point

Owlbear Camus
Jan 3, 2013

It's a little bitty place.

...Okay, I'll just wipe it off, that's all. Just a little town.




Turin Turambar posted:

What do you believe is "Unknown" here, in the Steam survey?



Rift S or Index?

Tom Guycot
Oct 15, 2008

Chief of Governors



Hi VR thread, back around the Quest launch, I started putting together a coded and curated list of a lot of the popular recommended games that come up a lot. I quickly forgot about updating it, however if theres anyone more tech savvy than myself that knows some way to host the spreadsheet in such a way as anyone could edit it to recommend stuff to add to it, it might be a useful thing to point to for people jumping into VR for the first time. I tried to make it easy to read for broad categories and the status of the games availability.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...dit?usp=sharing


BMan
Oct 31, 2015

KNIIIIIIFE
EEEEEYYYYE
ATTAAAACK




Turin Turambar posted:

What do you believe is "Unknown" here, in the Steam survey?



Rift S or Index?

the graph has more headsets in it than this table for some reason

Turin Turambar
Jun 5, 2011



BMan posted:

the graph has more headsets in it than this table for some reason

Uh, you are right. Well, for people who haven't seen it...

Jim Silly-Balls
Jun 6, 2001

Fondle my shiny metal ass



Turin Turambar posted:

What do you believe is "Unknown" here, in the Steam survey?



Rift S or Index?

Monoculus rift

canyoneer
Sep 13, 2005


I only have canyoneyes for you


Here's my OP game recommendations:




SUPERHOT VR - SteamVR | Rift
A unique first person action game where you punch, shoot, slash and throw objects at Red Glass Men in open white room environments. The catch is that time only moves when you move. It's part puzzle game figuring out through trial and error what it takes to survive each round.
Really great intro to VR and an experience that plays best in VR.



Vader Immortal: Episode 1 and Vader Immortal: Episode 2 - Oculus Quest or Rift
A VR Star Wars. This is more of a narrative story experience than a full game. Each episode will take you about 40 minutes to play through. The visuals and sound are so, so, nicely polished here. The interactivity is mostly through door unlock puzzles, and a few sections with a lightsaber. There's also a side mode in a lightsaber training dojo to take your saber through the paces in a series of timed challenges.
Every Star Wars fan I've seen try this game all grin like idiots at the level of immersion.

Also, please add this image to the OP

Jim Silly-Balls
Jun 6, 2001

Fondle my shiny metal ass



canyoneer posted:

Also, please add this image to the OP


Lmao

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Raged
Jul 21, 2003

A revolution of beats

Iím just surprised someone got a picture of me.

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