It’s no secret that the Oculus Rift is still somewhat of an enthusiast device. With the top end PC requirement and software that’s still technically in beta you will need to be at least a little savvy (or have a really good guide -insert link to beginners guide-) Thankfully being enthusiast level means the enthusiasts are here to help.
Oculus Tray Tool
Advanced Rifters have been tweaking since release, from driver fixes to hacking in and upgrading the graphics. But much of this stuff requires working with confusing developer tools, until now that is. The Oculus Tray Tool recently released by Reddit user ApollyonVR gathers all the best tweaks and fixes into one simple to use place, it’s also completely free. Just remember that many of these features will require you to have administrator access on your PC. Click here for the link.
One of the most common issues with the Riftis that Windows likes to shut things off when they are not being used, to keep Al Gore happy. This can sometimes include the Oculus rift sensors, even when you are in the middle of using them. In the Power Options area of Tray Tool you want to set your power plan to High Performance and USB Selective Suspend to Disabled. Furthermore If you have one of the Inateck USB cards like Oculus recommends you will want to select the Fresco Registry Tweaks. The Inateck cards have a nasty habit of reseting the USB power options every time you start Windows, Fresco Registry Tweak fixes this.
Super Sampling is awesome. Ever wondered why when you play 3D games on a 1080p screen you see pixels but if you watch a 3D Pixar movie you don’t? It’s because they use techniques like Super Sampling (SS) to blend the pixels together. This has an even more dramatic effect in VR because of the relatively low resolution of the tiny screens. When the game pixels line up with the screen pixels it can make the screen door effect much more obvious. With SS on everything is smoothed out nicely, the screens melt away and the Virtual world seems so much more natural.
Depending on the game you will require a more powerful computer to run high levels of SS. With VR you always need to make sure your computer can keep a solid Framerate, if you push settings like SS to high you will start losing frames and the motion sickness will kick in. Each game will have a different limit depending on your hardware, for reference if you have a GTX 1080 then you can probably set SS between 1.8 and 2.0 for all but the most demanding games, a GTX 970 on the other hand might only manage 1.2.
A good idea would be to start somewhere around 1.5 and try it out in game. You can use voice commands to change on the fly or exit the game and adjust in the tray tool. If 1.5 feels perfectly fine, that is you don’t experience any sickness, then you can crank it up in 0.2 increments. On the other hand if things become choppy or you start to feel sick, drop it back down. The Oculus Tray Tool also lets you set profiles for each game which is good because depending on the game and you hardware, the right setting could be anywhere between off and full 2.0.
Asynchronous Space Warp is special Oculus technology that can make VR run better on slower computers. Basically if you computer can’t handle a game ASW will kick in automatically and fill in the missing frames so you don’t get motion sickness. It can also cause some funny warping or jumping in the images and sometimes it even turns on for no reason. You can use Tray Tool to force it to stay off but we only recommend this if you are having trouble or have a very high end computer.
Most of the other settings are fairly self explanatory. Voice Commands are awesome if you want to tweak things without getting out of VR, you can even go into the Voice Command settings and change the command phrases to anything you want (Computer, you will now refer to me as “O Captain my Captain”). Spoof CPUID is an awesome little tweak that tricks Oculus into thinking you have a better CPU in case you are getting the “your computer does not meet minimum requirements” message. And the Visual HUD shows you see ASW and SS settings on screen in VR.
As we mentioned earlier the Oculus software is still in Beta. One feature missing is the ability to spread game installs out on different hard drives like Steam. If you run out of space on the drive Oculus is installed too, you would normally have to completely uninstall the software and then reinstall it on the new drive, downloading all your games all over again. VR Backupper is a completely free tool that will move your entire Oculus directory and all downloaded games straight over to any hard drive you want, even an external one. This will take some time depending on how many games you have installed though so it might be best to set this one going before bed. Get VR Backupper here