VR on PC. What you’ll need to start your VR experience.

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Virtual reality has become one of the greatest and most talked about topics… well, most talked about by gamers at least although Virtual reality tech has seen its use in other industries besides gaming. With some modern consoles VR support is a given however when it comes to PC it’s not. To make your PC VR friendly there are a few things you should know.

Things needed for VR on PC.

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Of course, you’ll need a VR headset but that comes later.

The headset runs your game on two individual displays simultaneously which requires even more resources from your PC. So, what you need to make sure you have in your PC is compatible hardware and software such as:

Which should you pick for VR? Windows 10 or 8.1?

This might depend on the headset itself. Some headsets require that you have Windows 10 installed with all the latest updates but fret not if you’re still on Windows 8.1. The update to Windows 10 is quite simple. All you need to do is right click on the start menu and select control panel then head over to Windows updates and you should see that the Windows 10 update is already set to be downloaded and installed. The only requirement is that you have internet and a finger ready to click the “Get started” option.

CPU powerful enough for VR.

10th Gen CPU

VR might depend more on your GPUs resources however that does not mean your GPU is working alone, no, that’s silly. Your CPU also plays a part in creating the wonderful worlds you see in your headset. The CPU helps to process everything that comes your way in your VR world and that’s why it’s called the Central Processing Unit (CPU) kids.

A minimum requirement for VR might be the Intel i3-6100 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200. If you’re heading for an even better CPU then by all means. It just means higher frame rates for you as a gamer.

VR Compatible Graphics Card.

RTX 2080 GPU

A good enough graphics card might see you through your days of grinding and winning but if it’s not compatible with VR and VR is what you want then kiss it goodbye. However, that doesn’t mean there’s no hope for older graphics cards though since Valve might lower their requirements for VR gaming meaning there might be a light at the end of the tunnel for older graphics cards such as the GTX 680.

A quick example: The minimum requirement for VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift S is a NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti or AMD Radeon RX 470.

RAM.

RAM

Most modern games require more RAM than we have, yes me too. Virtual Reality headsets themselves also require enough RAM to run the game smoothly. The minimum amount… well let’s say 8GB. The recommended amount would probably be 16GB for a smoother experience. Your headset needs the RAM too just so you know.

And lastly. The headset.

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Different headsets have different requirements due to them have a higher resolution and more pixels on their displays than others. There’s more to it but let’s leave it at that. Take the Pimax 8K X which I’ve mentioned in the beginning of the post for instance. That particular headset would require a more powerful PC than the HTC Vive Cosmos would. For a more detailed look check out this table (^-^)/:

Minimum requirements comparison between HTC Vive Cosmos and Pimax 8K X

HTC Vive CosmosPimax 8K X
OSWindows 10.Windows 10.
CPU Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350.Intel i5-9400 equivalent or higher.
GPUNVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290NVIDIA RTX 2060 equivalent or higher.
RAM4GB8GB.
Video OutputHDMI 1.4 or Display Port 1.2 (Only One required)USB 2.0/3.0, DisplayPort 1.2.

So, when deciding on a headset make sure you have the hardware that would allow you to play VR on the headset you choose.

Oh! Display ports and USB ports!

Oh yeah. I might have forgotten to mention this in that list at the beginning of the post… I could add it but I’m too lazy. So, I’ll just leave it here. An example of a display port and USB port would be: 

  • DisplayPort 1.2
  • USB Ports: 1x USB 2.0 port (USB 3.0 required for camera passthrough)

So, make sure your Display ports and USB ports are compatible with the headset you are getting.

That might be too little info for you word hungry readers out there but I hope it helped you to game in VR on your PC.

Oh, if you’re a little confused and would like to start gaming on a PC and would like to know more then check out this post:

Gaming on A PC. What You Need to Know to Get Started

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