How to Run Gravel in VR Using UEVR

Gravel is a 2018 off-road racing game which sadly didn't get much attention. It's a lot of fun and works surprisingly well in VR using the free UEVR injector. There are a few graphical issues, but they don't detract too much from the overall experience.

It's remarkable how well it works considering the game was never made with VR in mind. The experience is very similar to a native VR game. You can fully look around like you would expect in both third person and cockpit views just fine.

In this guide, I will show how to get everything set up and describe what the experience is really like.

UEVR Installation

UEVR, the Universal Unreal Engine VR Mod, injects VR support into almost any game that uses Unreal Engine 4 or 5. While you can download and use it directly, RAI Pal simplifies things by making it easier to download and keep it updated. It also lists your Unreal Engine games from all your game libraries and shows their compatibility with UEVR. In my mind, RAI Pal is the standard for launching UEVR mods.

  • Download and install RAI Pal.
  • Run RAI Pal and download UEVR from the Mods tab.

At this point, it is highly likely your anti-virus will block the download or quarantine some files. UEVR works in the same way malicious software does, so it's going to get flagged by most anti-virus software.

To fix this, you will need to set up an exclusion for UEVR in your anti-virus software. In Windows Defender, go to Virus and threat protection settings > Exclusions.

Add an exclusion for the Users\username\AppData\Roaming\raicuparta\rai-pal\data\mod-loaders\uevr folder.

Now you can reinstall UEVR and it will work.

UEVR Settings

To launch Gravel in VR, choose Gravel from the list of installed games in RAI Pal and click the Run button next to UEVR.

In the UEVR window, you can choose if you want to use the OpenVR or OpenXR runtime. Most people should use the OpenXR runtime as it should have less overhead. If you have a SteamVR headset or encounter any problems with OpenXR, use the OpenVR runtime instead.

Click "Start Game" in RAI Pal to launch Gravel. UEVR will automatically inject after a few seconds. You will now see the UEVR menu in the game itself. This is visible both in the headset and on the monitor. I find it easiest to change the settings on the monitor before putting on the headset.

UEVR has three rendering modes to choose from. Gravel needs to use Synced Sequential to work properly. If you use Native Stereo, you'll notice some graphics only render in one eye.

From this window, the other important thing you need to do is recenter the headset. Now you can put on the headset and everything will be working. You can open and close the UEVR menu in the headset at any time by clicking both thumbsticks or pressing Insert on the keyboard. In Gravel, the only thing you would ever need is to recenter the headset, so you will likely never open the menu once you get positioned.

Gravel Settings

In Gravel itself, there are several graphics settings you need to turn off. These either don't render correctly or look strange in VR, so it's best to turn them off.

Setting Value
Depth of Field Off
Lens Flare Off
Motion Effect Off
Rain Effect Off
Chromatic Aberration Off

You may need to reduce other settings for performance reasons. Running the game in VR is significantly more demanding than running it normally. Personally, I find that I can experience some motion sickness if I try to play for too long with an inconsistent frame rate. It's worth lowering some settings to achieve a consistently high frame rate if you are similarly affected.

Overall Experience

On a fundamental level, Gravel works very well in VR, if you overlook some graphical glitches. First and foremost, the game renders in true 3D, letting you look around the world exactly as you would in a native VR game. This works in all camera views. The cockpit is fully rendered in cockpit view and the gauges all work. You can easily turn off all the HUD elements and be completely immersed in the car without losing anything important to the gameplay.

There are some graphical problems that detract from the experience. This is a common theme when you convert a flat game into 3D. Some graphical effects simply don't look right. These moments can be jarring at first, but you learn to ignore them after a lap or two. In particular, there are some lighting effects around trees that can be distracting on certain tracks.

There are some issues with the windshield lighting effects from the cockpit view, depending on the track. These break the 3D illusion of the windshield, but don't really have much impact otherwise. In third person views, this isn't an issue. Though, even there, if you look at the car windows, you will notice that something isn't quite right with them.

The game can be played with a keyboard, gamepad or wheel and pedals. UEVR will treat VR motion controllers as a standard gamepad. I would recommend either a standard gamepad or wheel and pedals.

Better than non-VR?

Of course, the question is it worth all the hassle to play this in VR? Assuming you can run the game at a high frame rate without significant graphical loss, there's no question in my mind that playing in VR is better.

Being able to have depth perception and the ability to look into corners makes a big difference in any racing game. You get a more accurate sensation of speed, which makes judging braking distances much easier and more natural.

It's so much more immersive, especially playing from the cockpit view with a wheel and pedals. Even in a third person view with a gamepad, the simple ability to look over your shoulder and see the other cars coming up from behind makes the game all the more thrilling.

The few graphical errors are not big enough problems to outweigh the benefits of VR. For me, this has become the definitive way to play the game.


I highly recommend trying this out. Gravel regularly goes on sale for dirt cheap if you don't already have it, so there's really no reason not to try it. I've been having a ton of fun with it.

Let me know if you have any comments or questions.

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