For sure most of you know Riftcat . It is a popular solution that lets you use your mobile or standalone VR headset as a tethered headset connected to your so that you can use it to play games on Steam. Well, with version 2.3, it has added some amazing new features and I want you to discover them with me.
What is VRidge?
In case you don’t know what is and you are too lazy to read my first article about it, I will explain it briefly to you here. It is simple: imagine that you have little money and can’t afford to buy a full VR rig, but you can only afford to buy a Samsung Gear VR or an Oculus Go, for instance. Anyway, your VR friends are playing some amazing content on Steam and you would really want to play those same games as well with the VR headset that you own. Well, Riftcat VRidge makes that possible.
The magic is possible in some simple steps: you install an app on your mobile or standalone headset that acts as a receiver. Then, you install a companion application on the PC, that mostly acts as a transmitter. You launch both apps, and they will connect through Wi-fi (the PC and the HMD should stay on the same Wi-Fi network of course).
At this point, you can launch SteamVR on your PC, and thanks to some driver magic, your SteamVR installation will perceive the mobile headset as a headset connected to your PC. And when you will run a game on Steam, the PC will perform all the rendering, and then will send the frame to render to the mobile headset via Wi-fi. The headset will transmit to the PC its pose in so that the PC will know how to update the point of view of the user when rendering the VR scene. This way, you can use your mobile headset as a tethered one.
Of course, you may see that there are some limitations, like the introductions of Wi-fi latency or the fact that most mobile headsets have no positional tracking and just one 3 DOF controller (or none at all) when Steam VR games usually require the user to interact with the VR objects with both hands. Anyway, it remains an interesting for cheap VR setups, especially if paired with other products (e.g. Nolo Kit to offer positional tracking for the mobile headset). And the latest features try also to tackle the various problems in a creative way. Let’s explore them.
Full 6 DOF standalone headsets support
This has been the feature that has delighted me the most. I have been able to play Steam games using my Vive Focus + 6 DOF controllers devkit. I mean, I have finally been able to use both my hands in VR without cables, without limitations, but with the computational power of the PC! It has been great! Look at this video of me while drawing elements using Google Blocks running on my PC. As you can see, for it has been as using Blocks on the PC!
The feature works with the Focus and also with the Mirage Solo. I guess that it will work with Oculus Quest too and this will mean that thanks to Riftcat, you will be able to use the Quest to play Oculus Store’s games, but also PC VR games like Beat Saber!
Now that I have made you excited, I guess you would like to know how it does perform well. And the answer is: not bad at all. The problems that you may encounter are three:
- The tracking of the controllers on a standalone headset with inside-out tracking will never be as good as the one of Steam VR 2. So, sometimes you may see the controllers jitter a bit or not being tracked when behind you;
- Since Riftcat works through streaming data, this means that you will have a slightly added latency to controllers tracking. It is really little, but it is there;
- If you don’t have a really good 5Ghz Wi-fi network, sometimes you will see visual artifacts due to the streaming of the frames from PC to the headset.
If you have a really good Wi-fi network (one exclusive to the streaming would be optimal), the slight delay of the controllers shouldn’t be an issue, unless you are playing a really super-fast game.
I have been positively surprised by the possibility of using my Vive Focus as a tethered headset and I think that this feature will be useful for many people in the future.
Of course, you can use Riftcat also with 3 DOF headsets like the Oculus Go. In that case, inside Steam VR, you will have only one 3 DOF controller, with which you will be able to do s things (like teleporting in the VR world or summoning the menus), but that, of course, will feel really limiting.
To try to mitigate the problem, Riftcat has been a bit creative and has invented an app called VRidge Controller, that lets you use your phone as an additional controller for your Riftcat setup.
This means that when you have your Go connected to SteamVR through if you install and launch the VRidge Controller app on your phone, you will start seeing your phone as an additional 3 DOF controller inside Steam VR.
The app will show you on your phone’s screen some buttons that will let you emulate the pressure of the buttons of a Vive wand: you can press the system menu, the buttons, move your finger on the touchpad, etc… It has also some customization settings and you can decide if the phone should emulate the left or right controller.
Again, you can enjoy a video of me using it inside SteamVR home here:
The app is available for 5€ on Google Play… but… is it worth it? Well, it depends. Let me be honest with you (as always): Steam games usually are meant to be played with 6 DOF controllers. Having two 3 DOF controllers is surely better than having only one, but a lot of problems remain. Furthermore, you should get used to the interface on the screen of your phone (in the video above, I continuously check what part of the screen I should press to simulate the buttons that I want to press). And holding a phone in the hand is not that comfortable.
But it is true that we are talking about a solution for cheap setups and I can imagine that in certain contexts, it could work. Maybe some people could get a taste of Beat Saber thanks to it, something that with only one controller was impossible. Consider it as a Frankenstein solution to have two controllers with the Go. Or even better: consider it as a solution to have a virtual controller when you are using Steam with a Cardboard that has otherwise no controllers.
The implementation is good and the solution worked for me well. Regarding the latency of tracking, the above considerations still very good speed, but a bit of latency .
Mouse, Keyboard and much more
If you thought that the phone controller was a bit too Frankenstein-ish for you, well, actually I have for you…
Because yes, with the new version 2.3 of , you can even use your mouse and keyboard, or even your Xbox controller to pilot your VR game! This way you can satisfy your retro-gaming soul. Using the keyboard means for instance that you can use WASD to move in the virtual world and you can use the SPACE key to jump. If you don’t believe me, have a look at this video:
You may ask me why this should be necessary and actually, the answer is quite simple: to overcome the limitations of the VR platform you are using. As you can see from the above video, thanks to my keyboard I am actually able to move freely inside SteamVR Home, even if I am actually using a headset (the Oculus Go) that lacks positional tracking. And thanks to the mouse, I can also have some (limited) features on an additional controller that is on screen. So, I can comfortably sit in front of my PC and play some SteamVR games with the Go, moving with the keyboard and interacting with my Oculus Go controller.
All these features may seem a little weird, but I can see some interesting applications for them, especially for people that use Cardboards or the Oculus Go and want to give a try to SteamVR games. Of course, they can’t substitute the experience of having a full 6 DOF headset, but they can make some people try some nice VR experience on Steam even if they don’t have a Vive or a Rift. Consider it as creative ways to make people with a mobile headset to try the most of VR.
In my opinion, the more we will go on, the more these Frankenstein modes will be less useful because people will abandon mobile headsets and will always go more towards full 6 DOF standalone headsets. So, in some years, only the first proposed scenario (Vive focus) will be reasonable. But until that moment, these features will have a purpose and will let more people enjoy VR.
I hope you enjoyed this journey inside Riftcat . I really wish the best to this company, because they are trying really their best to make all people with a cheap headset to play SteamVR games. If you are interested in this product, you can check it out on Riftcat website.
But before you go there, please share this article with your friends to make me a little happier 🙂
(Header image by Riftcat)
Disclaimer: this blog contains advertisement and affiliate links to sustain itself. If you click on an affiliate link, I'll be very happy because I'll earn a small commission on your purchase. You can find my boring full disclosure here.
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UPDATE: The Quest 2 is now in stock for $299 on oculus.com
The Oculus Quest is not available in the US, and even if/when it becomes available again it’s still over $400. Plus it’s limited to the Oculus store games, unless you use a USB 3.0 10ft link cable. That is why I needed an alternative setup to run virtual reality programs such as:
- Skyrim VR
- Asgards Rath
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
- Vanishing Realms
- Blade and Sorcery
- Super Hot
- Beat Saber
- VRChat (Multiplayer)
- Google Earth VR
The following guide is primarily for people that have no VR hardware, besides a google cardboard like phone headset, but it is still useful if you already own Gear VR, Daydream, Oculus Go\Quest, etc.. I will show you how to wirelessly stream SteamVR, and Oculus titles. As well as add head, body and feet trackers. Also, play non-VR games in pseudo VR.
I will present two guides below. One for the minimum setup you’ll need, and another for a fully immersive body tracking setup.
Minimum Setup to Play VR Games
3 Degrees of Freedom (3DoF) Head Mounted Display (HMD) w/ Gamepad
This setup will allow you to look around in a VR game with orientation tracking (3 degrees of freedom), and control your movement etc with a gamepad. You can use a keyboard and mouse if you don’t have a controller. The game will not track the position of your body, just the orientation of your HMD. (Yaw, Pitch, and Roll)
It’s smart to start with this setup to test the video streaming software, etc…
Unfortunately you will still need:
- Windows 10 computer with a Nvidia Geforce 1050ti or better.
- 5GHz WiFi AP. I use the Netgear R6220. $20 on eBay.
- An Internet connection. I use 1.5Mbps DSL.
- A smartphone. I use the LG G5. $50 on eBay.
- VR Goggle Headset like the Google Cardboard for your phone. I found mine the VR Shinecon at a thrift store for $2. You can of course use the Gear VR, Daydream, Vive Focus, Oculus Go/Quest, PSVR, etc..
- PlayStation or Xbox controller. I use a $5 PS3 Dualshock. Or, an extra android phone. I did end up buying a GearVR controller for $7 on eBay. With the added bonus of being able to use it to control my mouse on my linux desktop with this sweet little package: github.com/rdady/gear-vr…
NOTE: You can use a keyboard and/or mouse instead. My goal however, was to play wirelessly.
You will to download and install all of theses to your Windows 10 computer.
Headset (HMD) Software
You will need to download and install ONE of the below pieces of software to your smartphone. Also, the server portion of the package to your computer. iVRy is good to start with because if it’s ease of use, and unlimited free version in black and white. If you have a Samsung Gear VR, or an Oculus Go/Quest, use ALVR. If you have an iPhone 5s or newer you might want to try out KinoVR. I use Riftcat/Vridge.
iVRy – $8
Free to try in color for 10 minutes, and black and white after. Easy to use.
Server (Steam plugin): store.steampowered.com/a…
Android Client: play.google.com/store/ap…
iOS Client: apps.apple.com/us/app/iv…
Riftcat/Vridge – $15 (Complete review pending…)
Android client: play.google.com/store/ap…
iOS client: apps.apple.com/us/app/vr…
Pros: Free to try for 10 minutes at a time. Can use Moonlight and ARcore. ARCore is experimental. Using phone as controller is $5. Has play non VR games in VR addon for $10 (Gamewarp). Can use Opentrack for positional tracking. Good support.
Cons: Cannot use ARCore and Moonlight at same time. Cannot use Gamewarp and Moonlight at the same time. Cannot use GearVR controller and Moonlight at the same time.
ALVR – FREE & Open Source! GearVR & Oculus Go/Quest only. Can use ARcore for positional tracking. The developer doesn’t seem to be doing anything for the last year.
Newer Quest fork: github.com/JackD83/ALVR
Trinus Cardboard VR – $10
Android client: play.google.com/store/ap…
iOS client: apps.apple.com/us/app/tr…
Using phone as controller is free. Can use some LED tracking with your webcam for Positional data, can also use Freepie. You can play non VR games in VR. UI in non-intuitive.
KinoVR– Claims to have 6DoF for it’s iOS version. Maybe using ARKit? Android & iOS. I don’t know anything about this project.
Intugame (No longer being developed)
If you want to use a PS3 Dualshock controller wirelessly over bluetooth, you’ll need to install this driver:
PS3 Dualshock Controller – github.com/nefarius/ScpT…
If you install the bluetooth driver, you will not be able to use other bluetooth devices until you remove the driver. To remove the driver follow this guide: forums.vigem.org/topic/2…
Xbox Controller’s should work out of the box I think.
VR Controller Software
If you don’t have a wireless gamepad lying around, but you do have an extra android phone. Turn it into a wireless controller.
Turn your Anroid phone into a 3DoF VR controller.
- Vridge Touch – Requires Vridge $5
- Trinus Hand – Requires Trinus. Free
- Google Daydream Controller Emulator – FREE developers.google.com/vr…
If you don’t have a phone on the Daydream compatibility list then you can use the a rooted AndroidOS with Magisk to install the xmlpak – a road to vendor apps module to download the daydream apps. Otherwise you can pair your phone with the emulator app to your computer using bluetooth, and use Driver4VR to connect it to SteamVR. (Although this may conflict with the Kinect skeleton tracking)
This does not work with the most recent Google Services for VR. You need to downgrade to this one: www.apkmirror.com/apk/go…
Thank you to this thread: www.reddit.com/r/daydrea…
VR Controller Hardware
Riftcat/Vridge supports one GearVr, Oculus Go, Daydream, or Vive Focus controller. However, you have be using the GearVR, Daydream, or Vive Focus HMD respectively.
Driver4VR supports one or two PS Move, Joycon, Wii remote/nunchuck, Daydream, and GearVR controllers without any corresponding HMD. Also Leap Motion, Kinect & NoloVR. You can also use a generic bluetooth VR controller. This includes the option of virtualized hand tracking using the orientation of the controller.
GearVR driver: github.com/gb2111/Access…
Full Immersive Room Scale Setup w/ 6DoF
6DoF HMD w/ two 6DoF Contollers (position emulated) two 6DoF Foot trackers w/ Virtual hip tracker. For this setup, you will need to use Riftcat/Vridge software for it’s integration with Opentrack. Unless you use Driver4VR for all body tracking. In which case you can use whichever HMD streaming package you like.
There are a number of different ways to get positional data of your HMD. Here are the ones I’ve discovered.
- ARCore (Requires ARCore compatible phone. Check here: developers.google.com/ar…, or a rooted phone with the Magisk ARCore/Playground Patcher module) This is the most desirable option because it uses the camera from your phone. You will need VR goggles without a front cover, or you’ll need to make a hole for the camera. I’ve heard a messy room is better. I also read you can add stickers of some kind to your walls to improve tracking. Only seems to work when you use the default streaming options, and not Moonlight. It didn’t work very well with my LG G5.
How to enable ARCore in Riftcat:
Go to RiftCat/Config folder and edit your VRidge.cfg file. Find “ArcoreTrackingEnabled” and change its value to “true”. My config was stored at: C:\Program Files (x86)\Riftcat 2\Config\vridge.cfg. How you know it is working is when your vridge app requests permission to use the camera.
- PS Eye with Aruco Markers via Opentrack (This is the one I chose since I already owned a PS Eye Camera, and a laser printer)
- PS Eye with IR LED’s via Opentrack with IR filter over lens
- Kinect skeleton mode via opentrackkinect + Opentrack OR Immotion OR Driver4VR
- Kinect with color LED markers via Driver4VR
Aruco Marker Requirements:
- A printer, or some graph paper and black pen.
- Cardboard, paper, glue.
- A hat, and some sandals.
- A webcam like the PS Eye $7 X 2. Or the Xbox Kinect $10.
- Two controllers of some kind, I used GearVR controller, and another android phone with the Google Daydream Controller Emulator.
- Driver4VR software for body tracking.
Open Track Head Tracking Software
If you are not ARCore, you’ll need to use either a PS Eye or Kinect camera to track your head. Oculus Go/Quest already does this. Probably using lasers.
To enable headtracking in Riftcat you’ll need to download and install:
If using Kinect download and install Kinect to Opentrack – github.com/sheepsskullci…
Hip + Feet Tracking Software
Driver4VR – www.driver4vr.com/downlo…
PS Eye Driver – github.com/jkevin/PS3Eye… (Supports multiple camera’s at once, but they are name the same, so you must initialize them in succession.)
Kinect for xbox 360 / v1:
Kinect for xbox one / v2
– SDK www.microsoft.com/en-us/…
– Runtime www.microsoft.com/en-us/…
Troubleshooting Kinect 360 Download Kinect Developer Toolkit, start Kinect Tookit Browser and try Skeleton Basics application and Color Basics application – You may also run the Kinect Explorer-D2D after a computer restart to get further information from the console window that you can share screenshot www.microsoft.com/en-us/…
Kinect for xbox one / v2: – Use Kinect Verifier developer.microsoft.com/…
Play non VR games in VR
Riftcat Gamewarp w/ Reshade
With Reshade or VorpX
VorpX (Full review pending…)
With Moonlight, Opentrack, and OpenPIE MIU, Or Riftcat/Vridge
With Moonlight, Opentrack, and OpenPIE MIU, Or Riftcat/Vridge
With Moonlight, Opentrack, and OpenPIE MIU, Or Riftcat/Vridge
Nero GameVR Will just display any game in big screen mode within VR, but not actually convert game to VR.
Steam will also do this “Play in Theater”.
Also, for GearVR Oculus Go/Quest you can use the Remote Desktop app.
Create profile QR code for your VR Goggles
Alt+Ctrl+Shift+R – Recenter – By default it’s Alt+Ctrl+Shift+R, but it can be changed in RiftCat settings -> VRidge -> Tracking Options.
Game Specific Help for Vridge
youtu.be/Y7hRKgfAgUw – VRidge Basic Tutorial go.riftcat.com/SkyrimSha… – Improve Skyrim image quality. go.riftcat.com/SkyrimMod… – Learn how to install
Aruco Marker Generator
Turn you non Galaxy device into Gear VR compatible. Not sure if this works yet. Probably not
Further Reading About Smartphone VR
Tags: Android, eBay, FREE, Google, How To, HOWTO, Internet, iOS, Linux, Used, WiFi, Windows
I've tried Riftcat/Vridge on my Moto G6, and it's almost acceptable, I'd like a little better resolution, but the gameplay itself is working for me fine - and I'm only doing sim racing games like Assetto Corsa, Raceroom, Project cars. No plans or time to expand to other types of games.
Questions, specifically is: Does the GO still work in Steam VR?
I can get a used one within my budget, but I can also get an S series galaxy phone with better resolution and just use in some VR glasses couple with V-Ridge.
Curious as to opinions of each. I'm on the fence, leaning towards just a better phone, but have a strange attraction to the GO, if it still works in Steam VR.
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Vivecraft exclusively uses SteamVR for interfacing with VR hardware. Several software solutions exist for emulating SteamVR-native hardware with mobile or portable solutions.
The following is a list of SteamVR emulators that have been tested working with Vivecraft. All require software running on your PC and some sort of app loaded onto your mobile VR device.
Please keep in mind Vivecraft requires a robust gaming PC for acceptable performance and does not work with integrated Intel graphics.
Works with: Oculus Quest 1 and 2 (Tethered).
Works with: Oculus Quest 1 and 2, Oculus Go, Samsung Gear VR.
Works with: Vive Focus, Google Daydream
Works with: Oculus Quest, Oculus Go, Samsung Gear VR.
Note, You must launch SteamVR from within Virtual Desktop before launching Minecraft.
Works with: Google Cardboard, Google Daydream, PSVR
Works with: Oculus Quest, Oculus Go, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive Focus, Google Daydream, Google Cardboard.
Note, Vridge does not currently support SteamVR Input. Will only work with older versions of Vivecraft that use legacy OpenVR.
Go vridge oculus
For users who own a standalone virtual reality (VR) headset like an Oculus Go or HTC Vive Focus, they have notable advantages in terms of price and portability compared to the PC VR cousins like the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, but there is a sacrifice to be made in that much content available on those platforms is not compatible with lower-spec standalone devices. However, there is an answer, with a useful bit of software called VRidge.
VRidge from RiftCat has been available since 2016, granting users of mobile VR devices such as the Samsung Gear VR the ability to play high-end VR content on the go. The latest update for the software introduces support for standalone VR devices such as the Oculus Go and HTC Vive Focus.
VRidge 2.2 brings in new features and improvements that allows users of standalone devices to stream PC VR content on the go. This follows on from an announcement earlier this year that HTC were relying on VRidge technology to enable wireless PC VR streaming on the HTC Vive Focus.
In addition to the newly added hardware support, VRidge 2.2 adds an improved jitter reduction algorithm and lets users play with the type of 3-DoF controllers typically bundles with standalone VR headsets. This uses the touchpad on the controller in a way which makes up for the fewer buttons available on these controllers.
“We are now supporting all major mobile VR platforms so further VRidge expansion will no longer be limited. I encourage everyone to try out the new version to be able to experience the best PC VR games with their mobile VR devices.” said Marek Antoniuk, CEO of RiftCat
Additional languages are now supported in the software, with Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Lithuanian and Bulgarian being added and other language packs getting an overhaul. Many of these language modules were user-created, however, so quality may vary.
Further information on VRidge can be found on the RiftCat website. Further coverage of VRidge and other VR apps and services will be here on VRFocus.
HTC Vive FocusOculus GoRiftCatVRidgeSours: https://www.vrfocus.com/2018/08/vridge-releases-update-which-introduces-support-for-standalone-vr-headsets/
NOLO VR - Motion Tracking for VR/AR
Note: 1. Gear VR can only be used with compatible Samsung smartphone. 2. For the first time using NOLO Wireless mode with PC VR, please complete the software and hardware configuration. Once RiftCat&VRidge settings are completed or the first-time configuration is done, please skip to Step 4.
Step 1: Preparation1. Learn about the NOLO CV1 buttons settings – please refer to the following picture.
2. Related Software: Steam – Download and install Steam and Steam VR software on PC. Purchase and install the VR games you like. RiftCat – Download and install RiftCat desktop client on PC from NOLO official website (Download)Download and install SideloadVR for Gear VR app on the phone, then download and install VRidge for Gear VR app from SideloadVR.
3. Download Steam and SteamVR Steam – Download Steam platform from Steam official website http://store.steampowered.com/ SteamVR – Click “Library”, then select “Tools”, then search for “SteamVR” and install.
Step 2: Start With NOLO Assistant 1. Select your device as “Gear VR” in NOLO Assistant, then select the connection mode as “ Samsung USB”.
2. Click “Start Game”, RiftCat will launch automatically if installed. If not, please refer to the next step.
3. If RiftCat is not installed, or the installation path has been changed. Please click “Start Game” and select the right path of the RiftCat client or download RiftCat client and VRidge app from the link provided by NOLO Assistant. These two software need to be used with specific version. Please download from the link provided by NOLO Assistant if possible.
Step 3: RiftCat Configuration 1. Ensure the smartphone and the PC are on the same Wi-Fi network. 5G Wi-Fi is highly recommended. Another recommended option would be connecting the smartphone to the PC hotspot.
2. Launch VRidge for Gear VR app on the phone. If VRidge for Gear VR is not installed, please donwload and install SideloadVR for Gear VR from NOLO official website(Doenload) Then download VRidge for Gear VR from SideloadVR app.
3. Launch SideloadVR for GearVR, it will search for the OSIG signature file on your phone automatically. If you don’t have OSIG file yet, a manual setup guide will pop up. Please follow the guide to finish the OSIG setup. If you closed the guide accidentally, you can always find “Manual OSIG Setup” by tapping the Setting icon.
4. Once OSIG setup is done, tap “All Apps” from the homepage, find and install “VRidge 2”. Then Launch VRidge for Gear VR on your phone.
5. Insert the Samsung smartphone into the Gear VR headset as prompt.
6. RiftCat desktop client – choose Wi-Fi option (please refer to the picture), RiftCat will automatically detect and connect to the smartphone with VRidge running on the same Wi-Fi network.
7. While the PC detected the smartphone, a pop-up will appear and ask whether it is your phone. If the phone name is the one that supposed to play VR games, simply tap “Yes”.
8. Click the “VRidge setting” on the lower right corner of RiftCat client, enable Advanced settings, then choose “Phone sensor only” in “Tracking Option”.
9. Move the mouse to the Play button on the upper left corner, the icon will change to be appeared as Steam icon. Click on the icon to launch Steam and SteamVR.
10. After launching SteamVR, please follow the Steam room setup guide to complete the room setup if it has not been done before. Next, let’s move to the hardware configuration.
Step 4: Hardware Configuration 1.Turn on the Base Station: Place the Base Station horizontally on the outer edge of a stable and flat surface. Do not move Base Station while playing.
2。Turn on the Controllers: The LED lights on the Controllers should be solid green.
3. Connect the Headset Marker to the phone: i. Attach the Headset Marker mount in the middle on top of the headset.
ii. Connect the Headset Marker to the PC with the 4-meter SteamVR cable.
ii. Then insert the Headset Marker onto the mount.
4. Height Calibration:
i. Place the headset (with the Headset Marker mounted) on the floor directly facing the Base Station; the distance between the Base Station and the headset should be at least 2m (with no block in the middle).
ii. Press the pair button on the Headset Marker, the height calibration will be finished automatically.
5. Reference Direction Calibration:
i. Keep the Headset Marker and the Controllers directly pointing to the Base Station.
ii. Double-click the system button on each Controller to calibrate the reference direction.
6. Setup is now complete! Welcome to the exciting and joyful VR world! If you enjoy both the immersive experience of PC VR and the portability of Mobile VR, please go ahead and download NOLO HOME, where extensive 6-DoF Mobile VR games will be available for you.
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Want to play Beat Saber on Oculus Go or other low-end VR devices? There’s a way, though we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.
VRidge Controller is the latest release from RiftCat, a company best known for its PC VR streaming app. The $4.99 download turns your Android smartphone into a three degrees of freedom (3DOF) pointer-based controller similar to a Go or Daydream remote. That means you can flick your wrist to slash a sword in Skyrim, for example, but not reach out to thrust it forwards or anything of that sort. Many PC VR games would still be unplayable.
Beat Saber Oculus Go? It’s Possible… But Not Very Good
You can connect two phones to the service, though, allowing you to play apps like Beat Saber, or just pair one phone with an existing motion controller. Here’s us playing it with the help of Oculus Go; the controller on the right is the standard Go remote and the one on the left is a first generation Google Pixel. It’s a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster of VR.
As you can see, once I’d turned off many of the options I was able to have a little fun playing. My phone controller was very jittery (RiftCat says quality varies depending on the phone) and I couldn’t realign them. I had to turn obstacles off because I couldn’t move my head and I had to turn failing off because, well, it was really hard even on Easy difficulty. I can imagine it being slightly better on Vive Focus with 6DOF head tracking, but not dramatically so.
How It Works
But here’s the catch; the app only works through streaming with VRidge on another phone or standalone VR headset. You couldn’t use this as a replacement controller for your Rift, for example. So if you have a VR PC but no PC VR or standalone headset, jumping into Beat Saber would require three phones for inferior 3DOF controls. It’s not exactly sounding like a great alternative to buying a headset anymore, is it?
It does make slightly more sense if you have a standalone device and want to sample what’s available on PC. Still, without 6DOF tracking in either the headset or the controllers, it’s bound to be pretty awkward.
To get it to work you’ll need to download the standard VRidge software on your platform of choice. Then you have to connect the first device for streaming and then to phone connects to that. Once it’s connected your phone will turn into a surrogate motion controller. The touch screen will include buttons staple VR interactions like gripping objects, pulling triggers and accessing menus.
RiftCat told me that it is considering making the application separate for use with other headsets in the future. For an app that started life as an easy workaround to buying a PC VR headset, though, this is all starting to get a bit complex. We’ll just keep waiting for that rumored Oculus Quest port, thanks.
Jamie has been covering the VR industry since 2014 having come from a gaming and technology background. While he loves games, he's most interested in experiential VR that explores narrative, human connection and other such themes. He's also the host of Upload's VR Showcases, which you should definitely watch.Twitter
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