An Honest VorpX Review

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    I’ve owned an Oculus Rift DK2 since Christmas of 2014. I’ve enjoyed many of the experiences from small projects like Proton Pulse, Affected, and Dolphin VR to AAA titles like Elite: Dangerous and Alien Isolation. I’m not a developer. I’m just a huge VR fan with enough software/hardware knowledge and patience to get stuff working most of the time and so far I’ve been delighted and I’m very excited about the future of VR. I’m always looking for more opportunities to try new VR experiences and idea of an applications that would allow me to play many of my favorite PC games in VR was promising, but there was a lot of apprehension.

    Like many, I lurked on the VorpX forums, watched many Youtube videos, and read as many reviews as I could about the program and hesitated due to so many complaints and mixed reviews. Finally, last week, I mustered the courage to give it a shot. After all, I’ve blown more than $30 on worse things before and if it worked even for a game or two it might be worth it. Long story short: I am very pleased with my purchase. But before you go clicking the “buy now” button, please read on.

    First, it is important to understand that the most vocal are generally those who are unhappy. This is clearly the reason why there are so many negative reviews and complaints out there compared to positive reviews. We don’t have a plethora of review sites yet for VR where we can go for honest, unbiased reviews of everything VR (though the Rift Arcade and Road to VR do a great job and both have made my daily RSS feed). The Oculus Rift community is still very small compared to the rest of the gaming community so when you have a vocal minority they are going to make a big impact. Unfortunately, happy people are just less likely to go posting about how satisfied they are. Those who are enjoying the product are busy enjoying the product. Those who aren’t happy are posting on forums everywhere with sometimes constructive criticism but far more often emotional ranting. Don’t let this completely deter you.

    Is VorpX a consumer-ready product? No. Absolutely not. Why not? Because it’s exclusively designed for the Oculus Rift and the Oculus Rift is NOT a consumer-ready product. It is that simple. It’s software in beta designed for hardware in beta. We are all still in the testing phase. Even most experiences designed from the ground up for the Oculus take some tinkering around to get working. I’ve encountered very few applications that utilize the direct-to-rift function properly. The vast majority of the time I must extend my monitor to the Rift, set the Rift as the primary display, close one eye with the Rift on, and execute applications or move them over to my main screen for easier execution. This is not a consumer-ready experience and that is okay because this product is still in development.

    Does VorpX work? Short answer: yes. It’s an experimental application designed for experimental hardware for software that was not designed for said hardware. That is a nightmare from a developmental perspective and the fact that I’ve gotten it working with 9 out of the 10 games I’ve tried it with is pretty impressive. Some of the games that I play regularly do not currently have stereoscopic/geometric 3D support but the cinema option is very cool and even emulated 3D is fun to play around with. For those games, VorpX is still not my preferred way to play but it has nonetheless been an enjoyable experience.

    For the games with full 3D support, it has been absolutely awesome. Portal 2 looks great in VR and becomes almost a completely new game and Skyrim has so far been nothing short of incredible. Over the past few days, experiencing Skyrim in full 3D has made it my favorite VR experience thus far. The VorpX interface makes it easy to zoom out to letterbox view when I need to access the UI and zoom back in when interacting with the environment. I plan to play the entire game through exclusively in VR using VorpX and I’m looking forward to every moment.

    It is important to note that, just like most other VR experiences, you’re going to need to tinker around with VorpX in most cases to get the best experience and sometimes even then things may not work out. This is the nature of the beta experience. I can’t stress how important options like interpupillary distance are. You can use the built-in IPD calibrator or google ways to measure your IPD manually but these options are IMPERATIVE in order to optimize your experience.

    If you’re patient and knowledgeable enough, VorpX should be well worth the $30 price tag. In many cases it will allow you to experience some of your favorite games all over again in a brand new light. For the experiences that don’t work for you, search the forums and if you find nothing post about it but try to post as productively as possible. Keep in mind, there are updates regularly and the most recent patch has expanded compatibility and implemented some great options. VorpX is a great step in the VR process and, for this humble VR fan, makes the bright future of VR even brighter and definitely has made the wait for the official release of the Oculus Rift much easier.


    I completely agree with this review, it points out the key pros and cons of Vorpx. Also, in a sea of complaints there should be some positive reviews coming from satisfied users. Fortunately, I encountered only one issue with VorpX where it didn’t hook to Metro Last Light but the problem got solved easily with Metro LL Redux version. Except that, all the games ran flawlessly, I finished BF3, BF4, Metro series and Stalker series so far. It has been my dream to be able to play Stalker Misery mod in VR and VorpX made that dream come true. So I have nothing but respect for Ralf and his creation.

    Initially I didn’t wanted to give money for a 3-rd party driver so I tried the free Vireio Perception which does a pretty good job for a few games, but has VR boost and user interface issues, frame counter impacts performance heavily etc. But all that only works on nVidia GPUs, I’m an AMD Radeon user and almost every supported game doesn’t hook in VR properly or has severe issues after level or savegame loading. Vireio developers said on reddit that they all have nVidia GPUs and will optimize for AMD in the future. So I had no other choice for playing great non-VR games in VR, other than VorpX. So after days of reading long reviews and watching youtube videos, I decided to purchase VorpX and after 2 months of daily VR gaming my conclusion is: damn was it worth it !

    It has a very well made Windows and in-game interface with lots of useful options to set the best possible VR image. And after doing that a few times, it gets very easy and the user can port those settings from one game to the next, making only a few modifications to fine tune the experience. If the VR image is set properly, with best calibration, FOV, aspect ratio, head tracking sensitivity, edge peek screen distance etc, you can obtain a very immersive experience that is way better than playing the game on 2D displays. Most of the games I played were in Z-buffer mode which is a “less 3D” way of experiencing a game, but still 3D enough to perceive the spatial depth of objects. Generally this is the way most games are played in VorpX because only a few are compatible with Geometry 3D. Of course, Geometry 3D is the best way to go, total immersion, feels like a native VR game, but has a higher impact on performance which might be a problem if it’s a demanding next gen game and the GPU and system are not very strong. If you have a high end system, Geometry 3D will not decrease performance in most cases.

    If you don’t have an issue with playing a game with mouse and keyboard or controller on DK2, or if you get used to doing that, I see no problem with playing games using VorpX, it feels very professional, the interface doesn’t miss any needed option, it’s easy and intuitive, it is very stable and if the user is lucky enough not to encounter the issues I sometimes read on this forum, then it is worth the price in my opinion, seeing how many AAA games will you be able to play in VR. The only small inconvenience I had throughout these 2 months of VR gameplay was the fact that not all games can be set to move the HUD elements towards the center of the display in order to be visible in DK2 and some games like Fallout 3, Skyrim or Stalker series which have RPG elements (inventory, map, dialogue interface etc) are displaying them in fullscreen which can’t be entirely visualized in VR. In order to bypass this issue, you click the middle mouse (scroll) button to enter Edge Peek mode to view the whole screen like a projection in front of you and look in the corners of the screen using head tracking. And if the text descriptions are too small or some objects are not clearly visible, you can decrease/increase the distance between the Edge Peek screen and your face (Expert options must be enabled). After a few days of use I adjusted to this method just fine, it comes naturally now, so I guess it’s not such a major issue.

    In conclusion, if you love VR gaming and can tolerate DK2’s screen door effect, VorpX is the best solution to this date. All it takes is a few tweaks and settings, occasionally using an external FOV tool like Flawless Widescreen and you’re all set. The issues that some users are having with VorpX are generally caused by other software products that interfere/prevent VorpX to function properly or incorrect setup of DK2/games/VorpX. Best way of making a decision is to read as many user experiences and reviews as possible. I for one, am completely satisfied, as it made possible playing my favorite games in VR in a much better way than initially expected. Fully recommended 10/10, kudos to Ralf and any other parties involved in making VorpX.

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