PC performance is even more crucial in Virtual Reality than in traditional flat-screen games, as serious lag or frame drops can cause motion sickness.
Therefore being able to get a higher and more stable framerate is highly beneficial for both your health and your immersion.
I have been experiencing VR with my Rift S for almost two years now, and I have done everything in my power to get better performance, and I have scoured the internet for every way to do just that.
I guarantee that all of these tips work, and have been tested thoroughly by my friends and me.
Tip 1 (Oculus Resolution Change):
This is one of the more obscure tips, that not too many people talk about, even though it improves performance really well.
It is a simple resolution change that changes the base resolution of your Oculus VR headset to a slightly lower setting, which will be the new 100% resolution.
This setting can be found in the Oculus App on your computer, and all you need to do is to press on the “Devices” button in the left menu bar and then press on your headset.
A small menu on the right side will pop out, and you just need to scroll down to find the “Graphics Preference” option.
Simply press the option and move the blue dot to the “Prioritize Performance” option and press “OK”.
Tip 2 (SteamVR Resolution Change):
SteamVR’s resolution scale is more prominent in the SteamVR settings under “Video” and it is a very powerful tool.
It will automatically be on the “Auto” setting, which isn’t as good as it sounds.
I like most thought “Auto” means that it would change the resolution depending on how much headroom your PC has, but it actually just chooses one max value for your PC and then uses that for every game, which means good performance in easy low poly games, but terrible performance in big AAA games like Half-Life Alyx.
Therefore I would recommend that you switch to “Custom” to play around with the resolution scale to find your PC’s perfect balance between graphics and performance.
I would recommend 100% to start with, and then go down to 88%, if your PC is still struggling.
Tip 3 (SteamVR Chaperone Settings for Oculus Users):
When you’re in VR the SteamVR Chaperone acts as a permanent overlay to help you stay in your play area, but you don’t need it if you are already using the Oculus Guardian system.
Therefore below I show what settings you should use for your SteamVR Chaperone settings, to limit its use of your system’s resources.
There isn’t a direct way to turn it off, but the settings below help minimize it as much as possible.
Tip 4 (SteamVR Home & Notifications):
Basically, anything that you can turn off will help your performance, just like how closing programs that run in the background, like your browser, will help your performance.
And one of the most performance-impacting things is the “Home” environment in SteamVR.
Luckily it can be disabled under “General” if you have the “Advanced” Settings option set to “Show”, and while you’re at it, disabling Notifications also slightly help with performance.
Tip 5 (Oculus In-Headset Graphics Settings):
Unlike the first tip about the Oculus resolution setting, this setting is found only when you are inside of Virtual Reality.
These settings can be found when pressing the “Settings” button, which looks like a gear, and then going to “Graphics”.
The setting for Oculus to automatically adjust the settings will be on by default, but you should uncheck this setting, and then uncheck the “Anti-Aliasing” and “High Quality Panel Rendering” settings.
This will make the screen look less smooth, but if you can get over that fact, it will be very much worth it for the gained performance.
Extra Tip (PC Performance Boost Guide):
The last thing to do is to simply improve the performance on your PC itself.
All of the above-mentioned tips are things specific to VR, but the biggest factor for performance is still just how fast your PC is.
I have already compiled about ten steps in a separate guide on how to boost your PC’s performance, and I know for a fact that it will help you out greatly.
A personal favorite of mine is tip 7 about enabling your XMP profile, which will greatly improve performance in games that need a lot of CPU power, like VR games, where head-tracking and hand-tracking are both handled by the CPU.
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