Glossary:Virtual reality headset

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For a list of games, see List of VR games.

General information

Virtual Reality on Wikipedia
Virtual Reality headset on Wikipedia

Key points

Virtual reality (VR in short) means simulated enviroment experienced by user, with PC gaming, this means usage of virtual reality headset with games. This replaces monitor as window for the game and places the player inside the game instead.

General[edit]

Current standards that are being utilized by the games are following:

Currently compatibility is up to what standard the game is utilizing and what headsets the standard supports. With compatibility layers, it is possible to make game use another standard or headset to work with another standard, but compatibility is not always quaranteed.

OpenXR is standardization effort to fix this fragmentation. Stable version was released in July 29, 2019, meaning adaptation will take for a while

Software[edit]

Official software[edit]

SteamVR[edit]

Steam is required to install the software, however Steam is not required to run SteamVR.

Oculus[edit]

Oculus or Facebook account is required.

Mixed Reality Portal[edit]

Windows 10, and a Microsoft account is required to download the Mixed Reality Portal from the Microsoft Store.

OSVR HDK[edit]

Natively supports SteamVR.

Compatibility layers[edit]

Compatibility Layer Application Type Runs Under Notes
Revive Oculus SteamVR

OpenXR
Open source.

Supports OpenXR, but can can also be used in combination of other compatibility layers (e.g., Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR to play Oculus games).
OpenComposite SteamVR Oculus
Open source.

Altough SteamVR already has support for Oculus headsets, this can provide better performance and compatibility on top of eliminating need to install Steam and downloading gigabytes of data required by SteamVR.
Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR SteamVR Windows Mixed Reality
Free.

Compatibility layer to use any Windows Mixed Reality headset with SteamVR.
RiftCat VRidge Oculus

SteamVR
Google Cardboard

HTC Vive Focus

Oculus Go

Samsung Gear VR

Google Daydream
Shareware

Allows streaming HTC Vive and Oculus compatible games to mobile VR headsets over a wireless connection or USB.
Trinus PSVR SteamVR PlayStation VR
Shareware.

Compatibility layer and drivers for using PlayStation VR headset, PlayStation Move Controllers, and PlayStation Eye Cameras with SteamVR.
Trinus Cardboard SteamVR Google Cardboard
Shareware

Allows streaming HTC Vive (and by extension, SteamVR) compatible games to Google Cardboard headsets over a wireless connection.
Trinus VR SteamVR Google Daydream
Shareware

Allows streaming HTC Vive (and by extension, SteamVR) compatible games to Google Daydream headsets over a wireless connection.

VR drivers[edit]

VR drivers mean software which can take games designed to be played with traditional monitor and make them playable with VR headsets, including stereoscopic vision and head movement.

vorpX[edit]

Commercial.
See vorpX page for list of game support.

Vireio Perception[edit]

Currently only games using DirectX 9 are supported.
Has not been updated since 2016, no compatibility with newer headsets.

Other software[edit]

Software Notes
OpenVR Advanced Settings
Open source.

Adds additional settings and utilities to SteamVR, such as audio/microphone, play area, chaperone, super-sampling, and motion smoothing settings.

Source code and pre-compiled installers can be acquired from GitHub.
OpenVR-InputEmulator
Open source.

Adds settings that allow for creating virtual controllers (which allows for controllers like gun controllers that use Vive trackers to be used with games that don't officially support it), controller button remapping, and adjusting position and rotation of controllers.

No longer being maintained, and compatibility broke with recent versions of SteamVR. Alternatively, SteamVR's built-in input settings can be used for controller rebinding. For using different controllers and tracking systems, use OpenVR-SpaceCalibrator.
OpenVR-SpaceCalibrator
Open source.

Adds calibration settings to SteamVR that allows aligning multiple different tracking systems, such as using Valve Index or SteamVR Base Station compatible HTC Vive controllers with Oculus or Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
ChaperoneTweak
Open source.

Allows you to adjust the chaperone boundaries in SteamVR, as well as the available playspace.
TurnSignal
Open Source.

Adds an overlay to the ground which will twist based on the player rotation, which is useful to prevent headset cables from twisting or tangling.

Source code can be acquired from GitHub.
fpsVR
Paid.

Adds a customizable framerate and performance overlay, alongside other settings and utilities.
OVR Toolkit
Paid.

An overlay and utilities that has support for viewing desktop windows without the SteamVR dashboard, with customization options, and media controls for music.

Play Area[edit]

Game should always adjust the playing area based on headset and room setup process automatically. Some games offer choises to change between differend kind of play areas, but usually this is determined by virtual reality headset setup process and changing it e.g. from room-scale to standing might require re-setup.
Games which require room-scale might not be playable with standing or seated setups, however games requiring seated should always work with all setups.
If games do not offer or detect play area correctly, there can be issues e.g. being able to clip outside intented areas like helmet character is wearing or seeing chaperone when playing game seated near or outside room-scale area.

Seated[edit]

Common with games made for regular monitors having VR mode or using VR drivers, racing games, etc.
This is the basic level of support and all headsets should support at least this play area. This is also only supported play area with something like google cardboard.
Heads spacial movement is completely disabled in this mode as in you can look around, but you cannot move your heads position from its current position, alternatively extremely limited. Position is usually centered when game is launched and can be re-centered if it drifts from headset overlay.
Games usually prefer keyboard and mouse or controller for the gameplay, motion controllers can be supported but overall interactivity with them is also limited.

Standing[edit]

More common with games made specifically for VR and games which utilize motion controllers.
Usually featured in more higher end headsets with some level of spacial tracking. Allows rotational movement, crouching and sometimes small amount of spacial movement, but generally player is assumed to not leave single spot.
Allows generally wider range of movement with head inside the virtual reality space and usually requires motion controllers to be used.

Room-Scale[edit]

Overall really similar to standing experience, but on top of everything you can physically move around in the virtual space. Requirements for space vary, but for SteamVR smallest area is at least 1.5m*2m.
Utilizes features like chaperone, virtual boundry to tell where real life boundries are or camera passtrough so that when physically moving in virtual space you won't get out of real life bounds.

List of VR headsets and peripherals[edit]

SteamVR[edit]

Oculus[edit]

Windows Mixed Reality[edit]

Open Source VR[edit]

Sony Playstation[edit]

Mobile[edit]

References