PiTool, SteamVR, vorpX, getting my head around it all

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    Hi, new to VR but been looking into buying and other possibilities for a couple of years, hence why I’ve jumped straight into the deep end with vorpX !

    Some questions to trouble you all with:

    1. Is a game profile required for any .exe that I require to be hooked?

    2. Is creating a vorpX shortcut to my game the only way to run my game with vorpX ? I don’t understand.

    3. If I don’t want to universally change my Pimax settings (to those that vorpx requires), can I create PiTools games profiles for Vorpcontrol.exe and Vorpdeskop.exe? Will the settings be honored by the service?

    4. Do I need to create a game profile within PiTools for any game I launch with vorpX ?

    5. vorpX Desktop doesn’t run, well there is something going on but nothing appears in my headset. A very dark grey background, that’s all. I’ve tried admin mode with/without. Tried alternative hook method. Nothing.

    6. If a game cannot be hooked and I get an error message to the effect of “hook failed”, what simple measures can I try (other than admin mode)


    As far as I can tell there is no way to tell vorpX how to honor certain PiTool OR SteamVR settings. Other settings seem to work and can be set on a per-game basis IF you add the game executable to the PiTool. I think so, anyway. For example my Smart Smoothing is set to OFF as a default, but I have added my Fallout 3 executable to PiTool and set the Smart Smoothing ON. It is definitely working in that instance, so I’m assuming it would work for other titles as well, and that has proven true in Life is Strange 2 and Fallout 4.

    Things that have worked for me, usually in PiTool: Smart Smoothing, Parallel Projections (at least, if you turn that off it breaks things, so it must be honoring the setting). PiTool things that don’t work for me with vorpX titles: FFR, Rendering Quality. Likewise in SteamVR, nothing I do with the Steam SS setting does anything at all for me in titles run through vorpX – I can turn the Steam SS down as far as I want, or up as far as I want, and fpsVR will report that setting properly, but the game will look and run exactly the same as if I have SteamVR SS set at 100%. In-game resolution settings appear to be the only way for me to actually control the resolution at which my titles run through vorpX.

    BTW, much of this isn’t down to vorpX but to the entire VR ecosystem which is still a major fustercluck of over-complexity and incompatibilities. Personally I would invest in at least a couple true VR titles, learn everything you can there, and then try conquering yet another layer of complexity.


    Changing the game resolution is the only way to change the resolution of a game. vorpX works not like native VR apps where the SteamVR res is the actual game resolution. The rendering process in vorpX consists of two stages: first the game gets rendered using the resolution set in the game. Then in the second stage the final image gets rendered to the headset, only in this second stage the headset resolution comes into play.

    Super sampling that you set in SteamVR gets filtered out on purpose since all you can achieve by that would be reducing performance without gaining anything. vorpX calculates the optimal final headset resolution based on the game resolution.


    And just 5 minutes later I realized that I provided incorrect advice on one topic; it appears that Smart Smoothing does NOT work on an app-by-app basis. I had at some point turned it on as my default in PiTool and not realized it, so it was being applied automatically across all my titles. When I turned it off there it turned off in my vorpX titles as well, even when selected for that particular titles. Not a big deal since that’s so easy to turn on and off on a universal basis.

    Ralf. I know us Pimax users are a tiny minority, but any chance of getting some of these settings to work some day? FFR is really nice in some titles – an almost free performance boost. (In other titles it looks awful, and in others it doesn’t work at all, but hey, it’s great when you can use it). Overall my 5K+ is a very nice HMD – I really wanted wide FOV and almost zero screen door at something at least kind of slightly resembling “consumer friendly” pricing. Gotta admit, I hadn’t really counted on needing to push 4K resolutions as an absolute minimum for a full VR title; even 2560×1440 really doesn’t cut it – the blurriness is just crazy no matter how much resolution you push. I run my few true VR titles at around 120% SteamVR SS (so over 4000 horizontal pixels) and that’s where things finally get really crisp.

    Other thing that might really benefit Pimax users would be if you could figure out a way for your software not to require “Parallel Projections” enabled. That’s a huge performance drain. Easily a 20% to 25% overhead from what I’ve been reading/seeing.


    FFR: Doesn’t make sense for the same reason as supersampling: it would not affect the actual game but only the second stage where an optimal resolution is computed by vorpX already.

    Parallel projections in the worst case only costs maybe 3-5% with vorpX, most of the time it’s probably unnoticable. The reason is again that it only affects the second render stage where vorpX only spends a small fraction of its frame time. Most time is spent rendering the game, which is totally unaffected by parallel projections or any other PiTool setting.

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