Want to Play Minecraft with Oculus Rift S in 2021? Here’s How:

Minecraft VR vs. Vivecraft - Which is ultimately better?

Getting an itch to play Minecraft with Oculus Rift S?

Then there are some things you should know then (I updated this article and removed old information).

There are two Minecraft versions for VR:

Minecraft VR and Vivecraft are both playable with Oculus Rift headsets

Minecraft VR is an official app made by Mojang, creators of original Minecraft.

It was released in 2016 on Oculus Store, and it’s still available. Despite it saying that it’s FREE, it is not free. After a trial, you will still have to pay the sum.

If you already have the Windows 10 (aka. Bedrock) edition, then it is free for you.


Vivecraft is a mod for the official Java Minecraft that allows VR devices to play official Minecraft.

Back in the early VR days, we had something called “Minecrift”. It was the only option to inject VR into Minecraft.

Unfortunately, the mod creators got threatened by Mojang back in 2016 (when the official one came out).

Turn on light mode (upper menu) if the text is too dark.
Minecrift shutting down due to request by Mojang from r/oculus

 

They requested Stella Artois, Darktemp, Mabrowning, Jademalo, and others to shut down the site because of its “name” conflicting with theirs, and so the modders complied.

That is when other users had no choice but to support Vivecraft instead (It would be unfortunate if they get the shutdown notice if the Vive headset gets an official Minecraft support…).

But, why didn’t people just download the official version?

Minecraft VR vs. Vivecraft – Which one is better for Oculus Rift?

That’s the main question.

Despite the one having official backing, it doesn’t always translate to better VR experience.

Here are the pros and cons:

Minecraft VR Vivecraft
Better performance. Simply because it’s built solely for VR. Slightly worse performance. It still uses Java engine, which causes performance spikes for VR users. However, Vivecraft comes with Optifine.
Minecraft VR servers only allow VR users. Vivecraft can be played on any Minecraft server. That means non-VR friends see you as well. Be careful not to get kicked (since your head may hover and people think you are cheating).
Installation is very straightforward. The steps to perfect setup is longer.
Modding capabilities are very limited. Modding capabilities are enormous, since most mods work with Vivecraft.
All buttons are available. One less button available since SteamVR steals your right menu button slot. Not a big deal.
Texture packs are behind paywall 3rd party shaders and textures are available. That means you can make Minecraft as pretty as you like.
Blocks and creatures are smaller. Blocks and creatures are humongous (can be changed).
Only room-scale version is available. Room-scale and seated VR experience can be used.
Updated immediately Updates are slightly delayed (if the bug appears) due to waiting for other parties.
Limited motion controls Better motion controls
In-app purchases No in-app purchases

As you see, each version has their own pros and cons. It’s up to you to decide what version works best for you.

In summary, if you prefer stability and performance, go with the official Minecraft VR. If you want bigger customization and bigger player base, choose Vivecraft.

My opinion? I prefer Vivecraft. Despite less financial resources that modders have, it suits me better (If you want to support him, check the Patreon page).

I don’t really experience that big of an FPS dip, as some (maybe since I use the new RTX 3070 that will be obsolete in a few years). I like the fact that I can switch to seated mode, or that I can install SEUS shader (to enjoy the lag fest).

Not only that, I like that fact that I have to squat to get to some areas. I am part Russian, so I squat a lot.

As everything is much bigger, I get more immersed. For me, size matters.

But it’s all up to you, so choose.

Want to setup your Minecraft? Let’s start with the easy one:

 

Set up the official Minecraft VR version for Oculus Rift S

Before you start, know that the recent update has broken the launch. By the time you read this, it may have been fixed. Check recent reviews on Oculus page for that.

buy the game from mojang - setup guide for minecraft with oculus rift S

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Go to Oculus Store and install Minecraft VR version.
setup guide to play minecraft with oculus rift S - go to oculus store

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • It should immediately start the game.

That is it. There is nothing hard about it, you can’t really mess this up.

For Vivecraft, things are slightly more difficult:

 

Setup Vivecraft to play Minecraft with Oculus Rift S

Although the steps are a bit long-winded, the end result is worth it. Just bare with me.

  • Go to Vivecraft mod page.
  • Click Downloads.
  • Download the latest version you see (in my case Vivecraft 1.16 X).

download the latest vivecraft version- setup guide to play minecraft with oculus rift S

  • On GitHub, click on the first installer version.

download the first github vivecraft version

  • Once opened, change your destination to whatever you want. ↓

vivecraft installer

  • Check the “Install Vivecraft with Forge”.
  • Change Ram Allocation to half of your PC’s RAM(click here if you don’t know the number). For example, I have 16 GB, so I change it to 8 GB.
  • If the Minecraft launcher is closed, just click ‘Install’.
  • Once it is installed, start up your Oculus Rift (through SteamVR). Without it, it can get quite buggy.
  • Open the Minecraft launcher, and choose ‘Vivecraft’ version. It should be there by default.

vivecraft guide to install

  • Launch the game.
  • You should be in Minecraft VR version now! (if not, scroll down to troubleshooting section).
  • Play the game. If you don’t like the keybindings, you can change them to your liking. Here is the default that I use:

vivecraft oculus touch controller bindings for buttons

 

Things to Know With Vivecraft when you play Minecraft with Oculus Rift S

  • There are 2 modes: Standing and Seated.

That is one of these things that separate this version from the official Minecraft.

As you get tired, swapping to seated mode is an awesome feature.

  • There are two movement options: controls and teleport.

Controls in Vivecraft move your body by joystick or trigger button. This is a perfect option for seated experience (you can also move forward and steer with the headset).

Teleport is more suited for standing VR experience. VR motion sickness is enhanced when you are standing. The balance is off.

This is why teleportation may be more to your liking (may not work in a multiplayer server).

Experiment with both!

  • You can physically mine blocks, attack, swim and climb.

you can climb in vivecraft

Vivecraft allows to physically swing your arm to destroy blocks, attack monsters, climb, and swim with swimming motion.

That’s for those that want full (exhausting) immersion. I like it, as I can finally work out while also properly entertain myself.

  • Damage is also shown by getting a red screen.

As VR is immersive, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of what is going on. 

That is why they made the red screen as the first indicator that you are low on health.

  • Eat with hands.

We are devolving, boys! Knives and forks are not a thing anymore. Instead, we take the food and place it close to our mouths.

It’s a really immersive function that adds to the whole VR Minecraft experience.

  • Vivecraft is streamer friendly.

That means also for making YouTube videos.

All this can be done in VR settings for the game.

  • The world is really huge.

I mean in a ‘you’ll-be-surprised’ huge. All the blocks are 1 meter in height, which means the game can be quite jaw dropping.

However, should it be overwhelming, Vivecraft supports resizing. You can be either a giant or a dwarf. 

I personally left it as it was.

  • Vivecraft already comes with Optifine

That means, you don’t have to download a specific mod for further optimizations. If you have performance issues, you can only troubleshoot your way out of it.

Otherwise, don’t really change anything.

If you want more information, visit Vivecraft.org.

 

Vivecraft Troubleshoot

These are the most common problems:

getting black screen with vivecraft

Problem: I get a black screen upon launch.

Solution: Click wherever to open it fully.

 

Problem: I have performance issues on laptop.

Solution: Make sure that in NVIDIA Control Settings – ‘Manage 3D Settings’ menu the preferred graphics solution is set to ‘High Performance’.

 

Problem: The game cannot detect my HMD.

Solution: Open SteamVR before opening the game. Make sure that all VR components are turned on.

 

Problem: I still have performance issues with Vivecraft.

Solution: If your fps is low in Vivecraft, then you can either:

  • Make sure that SteamVR supersampling is at 1.
  • Lower the draw distance in Video Settings menu.
  • Turn down VR render scale in Stereo Rendering menu.
  • Make sure that you allocated enough RAM in installer.
  • Use default shaders and shaders, not 3rd party ones.

 

Problem: Vivecraft stutters a lot.

Solution: This again may be because of RAM. This time, allocate only 2 GB to Minecraft.


If you still have problems, I recommend checking out more information on Vivecraft. 

 

Conclusion

2nd Pic

As I’ve said, I use mostly Vivecraft. 

It’s very well polished, and I am glad to see a big community behind it.

There are Oculus Rift games out there that are made specifically for head-mounted displays, and there are driver injectors like vorpX that let you play triple-A titles with an Oculus Rift S.

Then there are these games where mods volunteer their free time to give people a chance to have a virtual reality experience within their favorite games.

If you want to support the mod maker Jrbudda, consider helping him through Patreon.

Adventuring in different places in Minecraft gives you different kind of emotions. 

VR doubles those feelings for me.

What I really like is looking around the corners. It does not matter what game it is, GTA 5, Alien: Isolation or Minecraft, hiding somewhere and using only your head to peak is something that literally gets me off. 

Of course, Oculus Rift horror games will always have a slot in VR due to the level of scares it provides. But I never thought that Minecraft can be that scary.

Try it out for yourself! 

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Stay safe!