Detailed VorpX Review
Price: €29/ $39
Overall Rank: 9.4 out of 10
Considering to buy and download vorpX for yourself? There aren’t many reviews of this program, so I decided to do an article on vorpX after using it for over a year. Keep in mind, it is mostly for those who are new to a VR scene, and are not familiar with all the third-party programs.
Introduction to VorpX
Update: Now it also works with consumer HTC Vive and Oculus Rift CV1.
VorpX is a 3D injection program made specifically for Oculus Rift. With VorpX you are able to play DirectX 9-11 games that do not natively support virtual reality devices like Oculus Rift. If not for vorpX, you couldn’t play GTA 5, Far Cry Series, Fallout 4, Bioshock: Infinite or 150 other triple-A games with your Rift.
Ralf – the maker of vorpX – started to work on his program in 2012/2013, around the same time that DK1 was released to the public. He spent several hundreds of hours on testing various VR related things so that he could identify and resolve issues that arise with playing older games on Oculus Rift.
How Does VorpX Work?
How it works is, it basically injects itself into game files, and divides the game screen for each Oculus Rift lens. There is no other VR program that can inject itself into so many games like vorpX can.
Once it is running, just turn on your Oculus Rift and launch a game that is on the list. The 3D effect you get will be much more immersive compared to regular 3D monitors that cost thousands of dollars. Why, you might ask?
Regular 3D monitor separates focus and convergence. It’s because they simply cannot give the same effects as human eyes can. With Oculus Rift however, separate screen create an additional 3D effect that is similar to everyday world.This is why everyone is absolutely baffled when trying out the Rift for the first time. VorpX helps us to do that with a feature called Adaptive 3D-Algorithm that simulates they way our eyes focus. It’s only one of the features that vorpX has.
Sense of scale is also something that I am impressed by a lot. With vorpX you can see the world of your favourite games as if you were actually in it.The right picture is more or less what you’ll experience in vorpX games.
Pros and Cons of VorpX
- Has head-tracking
- Positional tracking
- 3D support
- Supports over 150 triple-A games
- Regularly updated for more games and features
- Has VR video player option (latest feature)
- Easy-to-understand interface
- Very customizable
- Top notch customer support
- Not all games support 3D Geometry
- 1 out of 20 games may not function properly
- Sometimes manual tweaking is necessary
- A good PC is needed
About the Pros of VorpX
1) Head-tracking is basically what sells virtual reality. If not for this feature, Oculus Rift could have been another one of those failed projects that had potential, but did not deliver. VorpX, luckily, had head-tracking support from day 1.2) Positional tracking means you can move your body in one direction and the in-game character moves accordingly, just like in real life. This feature was added to Oculus Rift only when DK2 came out in 2014. As soon as it happened, Ralf worked on vorpX to support this feature also.
3) 3D support, as we mentioned, is available, so you don’t have to worry about regular 2D games looking like crap on your Rift.
4) Support for over 150 games did not come overnight. Ralf has worked on game compatibility with Oculus Rift for years now, and each update added more and more games. Here is how GTA 5 looks on vorpX:
This actually brings us to another point.
5) Updates for VorpX are done regularly. These updates are not just some bug fixes that occur from time to time. Most updates that you’ll get, will give you games that were released recently, as well as additional features with more customization and immersion. If you don’t believe me, here is what kind of vorpX update we witnessed few months ago:
Added support for Direct Driver Mode, Asynchronous Rendering, Windows 8/10 vorpX Desktop App, Support for arbitrary resolutions, Crystal Image, Super smooth Virtual Cinema Mode, Enhanced D3D11 Geometry renderer, Basic OpenGL support, VR video player mode, Z-Buffer 3D enhancements, Better gamepad handling, Full Mirror Window support, New Games and Optimizer Profiles
6) VR video player mode feature, for example, has been added only few months ago, and it works flawlessly. If you don’t know, VR video player mode lets you watch 3D movies on your Oculus Rift. 3D effect is even better, as long as you have a suitable VR movie. Plus, you can make your screen as big as you want, even to the size of a real theatre. Really nice feature.
7) User interface, aka UI, always plays a big role in user experience. The more simple it is, the better. When opening a vorpX menu in-game, it gives you a cursor. Everything in the menu is easy to navigate and is understandable.8) Customization in vorpX is huge, literally. If you do not like some features, you can manually disable it in the menu. If you think your FOV is too zoomed in, everything can be regulated. That lets you configure settings to your own preference, like for example, if you are motion sickness intolerant.
9) But the biggest plus in my book is its customer support. Not a lot of third-party programs have their own forums, especially considering the fact it’s a one man show. Ralf is answering to almost every question, and even if you don’t get an answer, other users will definitely reply.
About the Cons of VorpX
1) 3D Geometry is not in every game. Geometry 3D mode is basically a mode that gives you the best 3D effect. Without it, vorpX supported games run on Z-buffer 3D. That means 3D effect will not be as amazing on close range things (you look at the table close to you, and it seems to be flat). Apparently, the reason some games don’t support Geometry 3D is because it requires too much from your computer, and if the game is not properly optimized, you will have 30fps with “Geometry 3D enabled”. We all know that 30fps is garbage for VR. At the end of the day, 3D will still be there, but not as amazing. That is being fixed with each update, but it’s still an issue.
2) Some games just don’t work properly with vorpX. Every once in a while (1 out of 20) you encounter a bug that just ruins your experience. Either you get a black screen or head tracking doesn’t seem to be working. Look at this Call of Duty article for reference. Issues can be fixed if you contact Ralf, but it just takes a lot of time and effort.
3) Manual tweaking is sometimes necessary. Not as big of an issue, but it does eat up your time. That is why I have so many helpful guides up on how to set up your desired game for Oculus Rift.
About the “Middle Ground”
1) A good computer is needed. Reason I put it in the middle ground is because it’s not really a vorpX issue. All Oculus Rift VR games require you to have a powerful VR PC, and if you don’t meet the requirements, FPS will eat your soul (referring to motion sickness). But if you already have a mighty PC next to you, using vorpX will not be a problem for you.
2) Price. At the moment it costs €29/ $39. Not expensive at all, considering how much value vorpX brings to the table. Plus, it is forever. Pay once, and you are good forever with infinite updates. But still, it costs. You could argue why should I pay extra to get access to more features, which is fair. But it is made by a person who is dedicating a lot of time to give us this option, and he is not sponsored by Oculus. Paying him this sum of money is least we can do for all the hard work he has put in.
Should you get it? If you have Oculus Rift, it’s a no-brainer. Really, it truly is an only program good enough to give us so many VR game options. If you want to see the full list of vorpX supported games, click on this link and scroll down.
As I’ve heard, the creator of vorpX is already working on HTC Vive, and as soon as it comes out in April next year, we should be able to play triple-A games with it also.
With its high customer support you should never be in danger of being alone buried in your VR problems. Forums are right near you, and are eager to help.
A year ago I would say vorpX wasn’t as good, but overtime it has exceeded everyone’s expectations. I am sure as time goes on, it will improve even more. It’s not a coincidence everyone is saying that support for 1 game like Skyrim or GTA 5 alone is worth the price.
If you have anything to add about vorpX or have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.