Star Citizen VR setup Guide (Alpha 3.13, 2021)

Star Citizen does not have official VR support currently. However, Chris Roberts has said that VR support will eventually come. I personally agree with their official stance to hold back on VR development right now. They are still developing the core game engine and implementing VR now will mean that it will keep breaking again with each major patch and additional resources will have to be spent to fix it.

I wish it wasn’t like that because space sims are AMAZING in VR. Elite looks absolutely stunning. In terms of ambience, atmosphere and the wow-factor, no terrestrial game can come close to the awesomeness of space.

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Best VR Headsets for Star Citizen 

To be honest, its a bit early to think about the best VR headsets for Star Citizen. We would probably have a few more generations of VR tech before SC officially supports VR. But its still an awesome experience and my top recommendation for all sims are pretty much the same. 

Best Premium VR Headset:

The Reverb G2 offers unmatched resolution but you will need a pretty powerful PC to run it. Its my go-to for all space and flight sims. 

Best Mid-Range VR Headset:

Oculus Quest 2 — Advanced All-In-One Virtual Reality Headset — 256...
  • Next-level Hardware - Make every move count with a blazing-fast processor and our highest-resolution...
  • All-In-One Gaming - With backward compatibility, you can explore new titles and old favorites in the...

The Quest 2 is amazing value. I am still shocked by how just how much they managed to pack into such a reasonably priced package.

How to run Star Citizen in VR?

It’s rather simple to get it running in VR. The hard part is the tweaking. 

Step 1 – Downloading and setting up VorpX

First thing you need is VorpX which is a paid tool. VorpX is a third party paid tool that enables VR for many games including Star Citizen. Go to the generals tab in the settings and you can choose between oculus and SteamVR (Reverb and other WMR headsets will also use SteamVR).

Go to in-game keybindings and Note down the keys for edgepeek and VorpX In-game menu. You will be using them quite a lot. Might even want to set them yourself to something that you can use easily while in VR (like Home, End or even extra mouse buttons). Edgepeek essentially makes the screens stop moving and is helpful in menus. Also note the key for centering position tracking which basically resets VR position in game. 

Step 2 – Let’s try it out!

Start VorpX and then start the game. You should see VR running in your headset and can now begin the tweaking. Yes, its that simple to set up but the real effort comes in the tuning. When you first start, you might get a message like this one:

Open up the in-game menu using whatever key you assigned to it in Step1. Set 3D Reconstruction mode as Geometry. Go to Star Citizen’s settings and turn on TrackIR tracking. VorpX will use your headsets movements and feed it to the the game as TrackIR movements. You don’t actually need TrackIR. 

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Step 3- Tweaking FoV & Resolution

At this point, VR should be running and looking ok except for the Field of View (FoV) and resolution. You see the max filed of view that you can set in Star Citizen depends on your monitor’s resolution. If you have an ultrawide monitor (21:9) like me, you should be able to set up FoV up to 115 degrees right off the bat. But if you have a 16:9 monitor, then you may need to change the resolution to increase FoV to match your headset. Most VR headsets have a resolution of between 105-115 degrees.

If you want to mess around with the FoV, this is how you do it. First, we must create a user.cfg file. Go to where Star Citizen is installed (something like D:\Roberts Space Industries\StarCitizen\LIVE) and create a new text file. Put the following text inside that file and rename that file to user.cfg:

r_Width=2100
r_Height=900

This step is necessary to ensure you can increase the Field of View in the game. This is not the actual resolution of the headset, which comes later. 

Next, you need to go into Nvidia Control panel (or AMD equivalent and create some custom resolutions). First resolution to create is 2100×900. This one is needed to enable larger FoV. You will also need to create another resolution and this second resolution is the one that you are actually going to play with and depends on your VR headset.

A user on Spectrum recommended some of these values but feel free to test with different values:

  • HP Reverb/ Reverb G2: 2160 x 2160 and use FOV of 115 in the game (this is what I am using)
  • Index : 2160 x 2160 and use FOV of 114 in the game
  • Pimax 8KX:  2100 x 1500 and use FOV of 138 in the game
  • HTC Vive: 2180 x 2220 and FOV of 113 in the game
  • HTC Vive Pro: 2140 x 2150 and use FOV of 110 in the game
  • Rift S/ Oculus Quest 1: use 2080 x 2000 and FOV of 115 in the game
  • Oculus Quest 2: 2080 x 1960 and use FOV of 114

There is no limit to how much you can tweak and various users share their best settings on the official forums in threads like this one. Once you have set these up, start the game again and choose the resolution in the graphics settings. Keep in mind these resolutions are rather high and will be very performance intensive. If you are struggling with performance, just reduce these values but keep the ratio more or less the same. 

Is VR worth it for Star Citizen?

While its still possible to play Star Citizen in VR using some third-party tools, there are performance issues even on high end systems. I tried VR for Star Citizen and here are my thoughts:

  1. The game has tremendous potential in VR. I believe space sims are inherently awesome in VR and what I have tried so far, does look gorgeous. My favorite thing to do right now is flying between hills and mountains and driving around in a Cyclone. The caves look good too, but I don’t like the locomotion (more on this later).
  2. Star Citizen has iffy performance even in 2D right now., but a lot of those problems are server side issue instead of graphical engine issues. What that mean sis upping the resolution for VR will have some impacts, but the main bottleneck is still on the server side.  Of course, your PC specs matter here a lot so check out my hardware guide for SC.
  3. You will have to purchase a third-party software and will need to make some minor changes here and there. Don’t expect it to run flawlessly. 
  4. Each major SC patch causes some issues and often times improves things as well. So you may need to keep tweaking things. I will attempt to keep this guide updated.
  5. The environment looks pretty cool but there are some issues with FoV and graphical glitches. But if you really an SC + VR enthusiast, go for it! The scale of the ships is pretty amazing.
  6. Locomotion is my biggest use. Games like Elite or DCS or Dirt Rally don’t have to bother with locomotion since you are seated. But it can really be quite an annoyance in first person games because it feels quite unnatural and can even induce nausea. Some people have better experience using rudder pedals to simulate walking so if you have a set, map them to walking and see if it feels better. 
  7. If you have bad performance, try loading into Arena Commander instead of the PU. That’s an old trick of mine and I do it whenever each of my new ships is released to try it out at a glorious 120 FPS! Luckily, the same performance benefits apply to VR as well.
  8. SC VR is far from perfect. But I have spent dozens of hours in other VR games like Elite, DCS and MS Flight Sim to get VR to run properly as well. It’s a new tech and it reminds me of PC gaming in the 1990s. It was the wild west and you had to scour the internet for the right tools and tinker with settings. That is where we are with VR right now, and I frigging love it. 

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About the Author

Gary (Flanker)

Gary has been "hard landing" into runways and driving his Mitsubishi Evo off of cliffs since the early 2000s. These days, he spends most of his precious hobby time with his favorite flight, racing and space simulations in VR. He also has an Engineering Degree in Computer Science which helps a lot with his obsession with optimizing PC hardware like CPUs, Graphics Cards, VR Headsets, HOTAS, Racing Wheels etc. for high end sims.