Virtual reality is right around the corner and if you haven’t jumped on the hype train yet, then it’s about time that you do. After all, what’s impressive about the VR industry is how it’s not just living up to user expectations, but even surpassing them in a lot of ways.
I mean, if you haven’t seen them already, then you should check out these mind-blowing VR simulations — and those came out over a year ago. Whatever kinks and issues existed back then have been smoothed out, and today’s VR experience is better than ever before.
Not all games will natively support the Oculus Rift when it launches, but the good news is that a lot of popular games are being modded to support VR in an unofficial capacity. Here are some of the more exciting games that you can mod with VR right now.
Minecraft is one of those games that’s defined by its modability. There are hundreds — possibly even thousands — of excellent mods out there that can completely alter the way the game is played beyond just Creative and Survival modes.
Which is to say, if you’ve grown tired or bored of Minecraft’s gameplay and you haven’t tried any mods yet, then that’s the first thing you should do when you get the chance.
For this post, the relevant mod is Minecrift, which is a project that takes VR integration into its own hands. You’ll need to build it from source if you want the absolute latest version, but you can also use these installer files which are easier. (Installers only support up to 1.7.10 at the time of this writing.)
Or you could wait until Minecraft gets official VR support when the Oculus Rift launches. That’d probably be easier for most folks.
World of Warcraft
Shared virtual worlds will be one of the most amazing uses for Oculus Rift, and a lot of people are waiting for the day when something like Sword Art Online can become reality. Until then, we’ll just have to make do with modern MMORPGs… or will we?
As it turns out, someone actually modded World of Warcraft to be compatible with Oculus Rift. Not completely or perfectly, mind you, but to a degree that hasn’t been done until now. See what Hoopermation managed to accomplish in this video:
You can read about how he did it in this short interview, but there isn’t much of a guide to follow if you want to experience it for yourself. Long story short, you’ll need TriDef 3D, which costs $40 but comes with a 14-day free trial.
If you want to try VR in a game that doesn’t natively support it, your best bet will be to try it with VorpX. Long story short, VorpX aims to let you play any DirectX9, DirectX10, or DirectX11 game with the Oculus Rift. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a good start.
And in the list of supported games is Fallout 4, which was one of the most anticipated and well-received games of 2015. Even on a normal monitor, the world was large and immersive — so can you imagine how awesome it would be if you could transport yourself in there with VR?
Use this unofficial setup guide to get started. Again, it’s not perfect, but you do get to experience the huge sense of scale in the game and the oppressive post-apocalyptic atmosphere, so if you’re a fan of the game, then it ought to be well worth trying.
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V has a lot in common with the above-mentioned Fallout 4, at least in terms of how much benefit they get out of VR incorporation. It also helps that this game is one of the best Rockstar games of all time.
In a lot of ways, open worlds represent the pinnacle of what VR will eventually achieve, so games like this can give us a taste of what’s to come.
To implement VR support in Grand Theft Auto V, you’ll need to use the third-party mod called GTA VR. It currently requires VorpX and ScriptHookV to work, and is only compatible with the Oculus Rift DK2 at this time (runtime version 0.8), but other headsets will be supported later on.
The official installation instructions are a little complex but straightforward enough to follow if you’re careful and attentive. Complement it with these other GTA V mods for an even better experience.
The last of the VR-modded open world games on this list is Skyrim, which is a game loved and adored by many even to this day. Like Minecraft, Skyrim is a game where mods can breathe new life into it long after you’ve tired of it in vanilla form, and its VR mod tops the list.
Technically, it’s a collection of mods that make smooth VR possible. Follow this comprehensive guide on Reddit to get started, and make sure you adhere to every single step without taking any shortcuts. It’s a bit complicated so take your time.
The best part? No VorpX needed! Note that all of this should be done on a vanilla install of Skyrim. Things may go awry if you attempt to install and configure everything with pre-existing mods and settings.
If you do have VorpX, you can use this alternative setup guide which is easier to follow. The end result is the same though: Skyrim in VR.
Mario Kart Wii
VR headsets like the Oculus Rift require a lot of computing power, so you won’t ever be able to hook one up to a legacy console system and play games like that. However, there is a viable workaround: emulation.
These instructions on Reddit are based on an older version of Dolphin VR, but you can still use it as a jumping-off point for figuring out how to get it working. Dolphin VR has put up three new releases since that thread was posted.
This last game doesn’t actually need any third-party mods or tools to enable VR support, but it does need a few tweaks to get it there, so we’ve included it in the list — mostly because the VR experience ramps up the adrenaline, making it worth trying at least once no matter who you are.
The following video shows what I mean, but be warned: it contains NSFW language!
Enabling VR in Alien: Isolation is more complicated than it needs to be, so we’ve written a guide on how to do it in the most pain-free way possible. It’s not perfect — no modded VR experience currently is — but most issues are non-critical, so don’t worry about it too much.
Are You Excited for Virtual Reality?
If these game mods have taught me anything, it’s that people are really excited about the potential for VR in gaming, so much so that they’re willing to take matters into their own hands instead of waiting for developers to catch up with market demand.
Just remember that we’ve only begun. Give it a few more years and virtual reality will really start blowing your mind, especially once it starts being incorporated into other forms of entertainment like movies.
Have you boarded the VR hype train yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Which game looks most entertaining in VR? Which upcoming headset do you prefer? Share with us in the comments below!