The Fallout games are obvious contenders for running in VR with VorpX. I talked a lot about the trouble most first person shooters have in VR in my post on Should You Buy VorpX. Unlike most other games, New Vegas is able to overcome many of those problems with the use of mods.
Bethesda just so happened to write their engine in such a way that it plays very well with VR. The gun rendering isn't separated from the world, so it is rendered with the proper 3D effect. With a couple of graphical update mods, it looks absolutely stunning in VR. VorpX supports it with Direct VR, so the head tracking and FOV are perfect.
The truth is that Fallout: New Vegas can get tantalizing close to perfection in VR. Unfortunately, there are two big problems that get in the way.
The first problem is dealing with combat. Like all games running through VorpX, your aim is tied directly to your head. While this never feels great, it can be particularly bad in New Vegas because of the way certain enemies like to get very close to you, making you have to make exaggerated head movements to aim correctly, which isn't very comfortable or practical.
Of course, you are supposed to use VATS to prevent this from happening in the first place. Unfortunately, VATS is pretty terrible in VR. When VATS takes control of the camera to zoom in and play the cinematic animation, it is at best disorienting and often downright nauseating, especially when you have to do it multiple times in a bigger fight.
One option is to simply not use VATS at all. In its place, you can use a bullet time mod like what is found in Project Nevada. This won't make you sick, but it doesn't actually provide the functionality of VATS, so you are quite drastically changing the gameplay.
The second problem happens during conversations. Like VATS, you lose control of the camera when it zooms in at the start of a conversation. When this happens, the world flattens in VR, which is a weird feeling that gets off-putting after a while.
Worse, however, is that VorpX and the game start fighting over control of the camera. Every time you move your head, even a little bit, the game slowly returns your view back to the center of the person you are talking to. In practice, it means the camera is constantly wobbling in a very unnatural way the entire time you are in conversation. Unfortunately, there is no mod that can fix this.
These two problems are the core issues that need to be solved to make the game truly work in VR. But since that isn't possible, I tried a variety of control schemes and VorpX settings to see what worked best. In the end, I've found three modes that each work well, each having their own feel.
Full VR / VR Controllers
First I tried using VorpX's Full VR mode with your VR Controllers. VorpX maps the buttons on the controllers to keyboard presses, so you can easily configure the controls to your liking. This method provides the best immersion as you can actually walk around in your room and be in the world since full positional tracking is supported.
In this method, your left control stick moves you around and the right stick angles your view up and down and rotates left and right. You end up looking nearly straight down fairly often when you are looting anything off the floor, which isn't comfortable with a VR headset on.
You will end up having to use the right stick to look up and down. Unfortunately, when you look down using the stick and turn your real life head, the world warps around you, which is another nauseating experience. Instead, you have to bring your view back to the center again with the stick before turning your head.
Not as bad, but still off putting, is that the left stick is unable to function as an analog controller, instead being mapped to the WASD keys. Instead of the nice analog motion you are used to in VR, you get the stutter-step motion of using the WASD keys. Over time, this can start to make you a little sick as well.
Full VR / Mouse and Keyboard
The second method I tried still uses Full VR, but instead of standing and using the VR Controllers, you sit and use the mouse and keyboard. Obviously you lose a lot of immersion this way, but it makes the issue of the warping view much easier to deal with, since the mouse makes it easier to correct the view and you simply don't turn your head as much.
Since you are using the same control scheme as you do when playing the game on a flat screen, I found it less sickening to play, perhaps because the brain is so used to the motion from the WASD keys and mouse in this context.
Immersive Screen Mode / Mouse and Keyboard
The first two methods suffer from having your gun tied to your head movements and the conversations wobbling if you move your head at all. While many people have played dozens of hours like this and not been bothered, I still wanted to find an alternative method.
The third method solves those problems. Instead of Full VR mode, we use Immersive Screen Mode. In the VorpX DirectVR settings, tell VorpX to not change the game settings. In the VorpX settings, set the Headtracking Sensitivity Multiplier to 0. Finally, in the New Vegas video configuration, set the game to a widescreen resolution.
This setup does two things. It disconnects your head movements from the game, which lets you look around without moving your gun. Using a widescreen resolution gives you room to look around, but all the in-game movement is limited to the mouse and keyboard. This also solves the wobbling camera in conversations.
Everyone has different reactions and tolerances to these issues, so there is no way to say which method will work best. I recommend trying them all and just see what works best for you.
We've talked about the mechanics of playing, but to make New Vegas the best it can be in VR, we need some mods. A lot of these are the standard bug-fix and performance mods, but we add a few graphical and gameplay mods that really shine in VR.
Firstly, you need to install a few things manually.
- Install ModOrganizer 2.
- I use ModOrganizer 2, but you can use another program if you like that better. Despite what you may have heard, it works perfectly fine with VorpX.
- Install New Vegas Script Extender.
- Add NVSE as an executable in ModOrganizer 2 by clicking on the gear icon.
- Install 4GB Patcher.
- Install Optimizer Textures.
The rest of the mods can be installed using ModOrganizer 2.
Stability / Performance
These are the standard bug-fix and performance mods.
- Yukichigai Unofficial Patch - YUP
- This is the standard bug-fix mod.
- New Vegas Anti Crash
- Prevents a lot of crashes.
- New Vegas Stutter Remover
- When you install this in ModOrganizer 2, it will ask for the Data directory. In the window, simply right click on the Data folder, then "Set Data Directory".
- Better Game Performance V5
- Removes unused objects from the game that can cause performance problems.
- JIP LN NVSE Plugin
- This is required by a lot of mods.
- Mod Configuration Menu + MCM BugFix 2
- This will let you customize a lot of mod settings in game.
- User Interface Organizer
- This is required by a lot of UI mods. It makes sure they don't conflict with each other.
- No Loading DLC Popup at Start Menu (Optional)
- This isn't required, it just stops the annoying "Checking for Downloadable Content" message every time the game starts.
- Weapon Animation Replacer
- This is the most important graphical mod to install. Normally, when you have your weapon out, it is pointing out from your face all the time. In VR, this gets pretty distracting. This mod lets you change the position you hold your weapon. Choose the animations that have the weapons pointed down. This feels so much more natural in VR.
- No Scope Wobble
- This gets rid of the camera wobble when looking through scopes. Wobbling cameras in VR will make you sick pretty fast.
- FOV Slider
- You won't use this for the normal FOV, VorpX handles that. You can use it instead to control the speed of entering dialogue, which I find helps with motion sickness.
- New Vegas Enhanced Camera
- This lets you see your body when you look down. Fantastic for immersion.
- Realistic Wasteland Lighting + RWL - Doc Mitchells House Reduced Glare and Shine
- I typically don't like changing the look of games this much. In VR, however, I found this to really enhance the immersion. It makes the world feel much more alive and real.
- NMCs Texture Pack For New Vegas + NMC New Vegas Patch for ALL Sized packs
- Download the large versions. When you install these in ModOrganizer 2, you can Merge them all into one mod. This greatly improves the look of New Vegas. In VR especially, the hi res textures make a huge difference in the quality as you walk around.
- EVE - Essential Visual Enhancements
- Make sure to download the Alternate version when using ModOrganizer 2. This makes the energy weapons look really nice.
- Wasteland Clothing Hires Textures + Wasteland Clothing HD V1-3 POWDERGANG FIX -IMPORTANT-
- These you have to download manually and install from archive in ModOrganizer 2.
- aMidianBorn NV Book of Water
- Install both the Book of Steel and Book of Flesh. This provides hi res textures for a ton of armors and creatures.
- Enhanced Blood Textures for NV
- This adds much better blood textures to the world.
- No Screen Blood
- This removes the "blood on the screen" effect when you get shot. I found the effect really annoying in VR, because you don't get blood splatters in your eyes when you get shot.
- One HUD
- This gives you a ton of control over the HUD. One of the best features is hiding the elements until you need to see them.
- Loot Menu For FNV
- When you point at a container or corpse, a menu pops up that lets you loot the object without having to open the full loot menu. This is really important in VR.
- Project Nevada
- Project Nevada EVE Patch
- Project Nevada Extra Options
- Project Nevada Better Sprinting
- Project Nevada adds a ton of stuff to New Vegas. You can choose which parts you want to use, but I recommend using the sprint and bullet time features. Since VATS in VR is pretty awful, these can replace some of its uses. I use the Better Sprinting patch to remove the screen effect, which is pretty sickening in VR.
Download the New Vegas Configator. It make changing the settings much easier. The only special thing you have to do is go into settings and set the location of the ini files.
- Fallout.ini and FalloutPrefs.ini are found in C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\ModOrganizer\Fallout NV\profiles\Default
- Fallout_default.ini is in your Fallout New Vegas installation folder.
Depending on the speed of your computer and the refresh rate of your VR headset, you may want to approach the settings differently. In my experience, New Vegas won't run at more than 85 fps. Since the Oculus Rift runs at 90 fps, it forces the game to run at 45 fps. In this case, I can pretty much max out all the graphical settings, since I'm targeting that 45 fps.
However, if you have a headset that can run at a lower refresh rate, you may want to be very conservative with the graphics settings to make sure that the game will hit the native refresh rate. The game may not look quite as good, but I would trade that for the smooth motion any day.
Finally, you can help the conversations by adding this line to the fallout.ini file manually. This will lower the amount the camera zooms in.
Fallout: New Vegas is a great game and it is a lot of fun to play in VR, even with the problems inherent with it. No matter which method of play you end up using, you get an impressive level of immersion that simply isn't possible on a flat screen monitor. Of course, you can add hundreds of mods to improve the looks and change the gameplay even further, but this guide really covers the VR essentials.
I hope this has been helpful. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.