Update 29 March 2017: We've refreshed this list to ensure you're still getting the latest information about VorpX and the wonders it can do for your regular game library.
VorpX — it sounds like the name of an alien entity that wants to wrap itself around your head and not let go. Well, it's close. It works with the thing that wraps around your head, and you won't want to let it go.
The volume of questions surrounding VR and its link to the gaming community continues to expand at an incredible rate, and many questions involve VorpX. It's exciting, it's enabling, it's a work in progress. Intrigued? We're here to answer your questions about VorpX and its link to the emerging world of VR gaming.
What is VorpX?
VorpX is essentially a 3D driver for DirectX 9, 10, 11, and OpenGL that gives you the ability to play many standard, modern games — i.e. games not specifically designed for virtual reality — on your Rift and Vive. It was designed by rabid gamers for rabid gamers and is geared toward anyone who loves the idea of full immersion.
Not only is VorpX for games, it also has a desktop viewer that allows you to work within your VR headset just as you would at a normal monitor, plus it has a 3D movie theater that works with VLC and MPC-HC.
A recent update to VorpX also brought in support for Oculus Touch and Vive motion controllers. While your standard 2D games can't really be used at room-scale with full motion control, the controllers can be completely mapped in a way that makes using them advantageous over a keyboard and mouse.
Why do I need VorpX?
Have you ever played a game so much during the day that at night you dreamed about it? Remember the adrenaline as you rushed for cover behind a ruined wall, bullets whizzing by? Remember the awe as you looked up at the mountains as a dragon — your dragon! — came swooping down? We're not trying to answer questions with more questions. Listen. VorpX takes gaming to the next level.
That thrill you felt from being inserted into your favorite game can be achieved on-demand. With VorpX, many games can be experienced in stereoscopic 3D — a natural feeling of depth — and all games compatible with VorpX feature full head tracking. You're going to leave this world and join the world of your choice. Think you love games now? Just wait...
Is using VorpX with VR better than playing with a monitor?
The answer to this question depends on what type of gamer you are. If you have a heart condition, playing DOOM at full volume with a VR headset on might not be the best idea. Then again, playing DOOM on a monitor when you have a heart condition might not be a great idea, either.
If you're into competitive gaming that requires reactions measured in milliseconds, you'll want to stick with a monitor that has high a refresh rate and a high response time.
Playing games in first-person view with VorpX takes a bit of getting used to. The only problem we experienced while playing The Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim was a bit of real-life stumbling when the in-game character made sudden movements. There was a bit of dizziness due to the discord between eyes and ears, but it seemed to abate as we played.
The answer, then, is really based on you as a gamer. Competitive gamer? Stick with a monitor. Casual VR gamer? VorpX is definitely worth a try even if you revert back to your monitor for marathon gaming sessions.
How do I get VorpX?
VorpX is available for download now. It requires a one-time payment of about $40, and of course, it requires ownership of the games you'd like to play. Note that VorpX does not come with any games, but is a way to play your non-VR games in the Rift or Vive.
How do I set up VorpX?
There are some hoops to jump through before you're playing. First, you purchase VorpX for about $40 and download the VorpX client. When you run the client you'll receive a registration key. You email the key to VorpX, they email you back a license key.
It's a clunky process, but this is a work in progress. If you have problems with registration and installation, check out the VorpX forums. The devs are responsive, and the community helps out when the devs are away.
Note: Make a backup of your installer and keep it somewhere safe. We reformatted a PC's drive and had to go through the steps again to get VorpX downloaded, installed, and registered.
VorpX should pick up compatible games automatically. We initially had some problems getting Skyrim to run, but these problems were related to Windows 10 compatibility. Once we actually had Skyrim running, it was a matter of minutes before we were fleeing dragon's fire within an Oculus Rift.
The VorpX client has a built-in guide accessed from your desktop. If it doesn't answer your question, check the VorpX technical support forum. We don't mean to sound like a broken record; their forum really is the best place to find help. With so many small tweaks for so many games, there are several hundred questions that have already been answered.
What games can I play on VorpX?
We said "so many games," didn't we? Because the Rift and Vive have been out for some time now, there has been a lot of compatibility work done. A full list of almost 200 games that work in Stereoscopic 3D is available at VorpX's website. Some of the bigger names we will list here:
- Alien Isolation
- ArmA 3
- Assassin's Creed 2
- Batman Arkham Asylum
- Batman Arkham City
- Batman Arkham Origins
- Battlefield 3
- Battlefield 4
- Battlefield: Hardline
- Bioshock 2
- Bioshock Infinite
- Borderlands 2
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
- Chivalry — Medieval Warfare
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- Crysis 3
- Dark Souls II
- Darksiders II
- Dead Space
- Dead Space 2
- Dead Space 3
- Deus Ex — Human Revolution
- Diablo III
- Dirt 3
- Dragon Age: Origins
- Elder Scrolls: Oblivion
- Elder Scroll: Skyrim
- Fallout 3
- Fallout 4
- Fallout New Vegas
- Far Cry 4
- Flight Simulator X
- GTA IV
- GTA V
- Half Life 2
- Left 4 Dead 2
- Mount and Blade: Warband
- Mass Effect 3
- Metro 2033 Redux
- Metro Last Light Redux
- Payday 2
- Portal 2
- Quake III
- State of Decay
- The Long Dark
- The Stanley Parable
- The Witcher 2
- The Witcher 3
- World of Warcraft
Is VorpX worth my money?
Whether or not you invest in VorpX is really up to you. Consider this, though: if you've already spent the money on a VR setup and a gaming PC, why not invest in a tool to get the most out of it? This isn't a sales pitch, and we're not in cahoots with VorpX — we just love VR.
One feature that has us very excited is the ability to share custom profiles for individual games. If you can't seem to get, say, Battlefield 4 to run optimally with VorpX, download a settings profile from someone else who has things running up to snuff. Very cool. Conversely, if you think you have a game running great, share your custom settings profile with others.
VorpX continues to receive updates on a regular basis. The developers listen to their community and respond with fixes, which also seems to signify that they themselves use their product to enjoy non-VR games in VR.
As you can probably already tell, we here at VRHeads think VorpX is at least worth a try. Everyone who stepped into Skyrim through the Oculus Rift immediately said, "Woah!" Even as adults, we found it hard to share.
As the VR user-base grows, we expect to see a rise in users of VorpX and other 3D drivers. Do you already have VorpX? What about Vireio? Any other 3D drivers that work great with Vive and Rift? Let us know in the comments section below what you think of VorpX, and let us know if you plan on investing in this awesome tool.
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