WHY and HOW TO: Use Oculus Rift on SteamVR!

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Even though SteamVR is entirely made by Valve company, and that exact Valve company made their own VR headset called HTC Vive, they don’t hold any grudges to their main competitor Oculus.

You can safely surf inside SteamVR with your own Oculus Rift, but for that, you do need to certain steps in order to make it work.

Let’s get right into it without wasting much time:


HOW TO: Use Oculus Rift on SteamVR

Step 1 — Make Sure Your Oculus Rift is Properly Installed. oculus-rift-steamvr

Completely standard procedure, but it is something that is important in order to make everything work without issues. If that is something you haven’t done, you go to this Oculus link, download the setup and go further from there.


Step 2 — Enable Unknown Sourcesoculus-rift-steamvr

This part is crucial for Oculus Rift SteamVR connectivity. As is explained on the Oculus Page:

1. Start up the Oculus App on your PC.

2. Click on Gear VR icon.

3. Go to Settings.

4. From there select “General” on the left.

5. Find “Unknown Sources” section.

6. Toggle and allow it.


Step 3 — Have SteamVR Installedoculus-rift-steamvr

You can do that by going to your:

1. Steam account

2. Click on “Library”

3. Type in the search box “SteamVR”

4. Install it.


Step 4 — Try Out Oculus Rift With SteamVR

That can be done by:

1. Clicking on the VR icon on the top right side in Steam (Rift should be already detected).

2. Put on Oculus Rift.

3. If you don’t see anything, click on the back button on Xbox One controller.

4. Try out different games.

See also: Does Oculus Rift actually work with Xbox devices?


All in all, this is how it should look and how to buy games:


Issues That You May Encounter

Problem: SteamVR Gives Errors with Oculus Rift CV1: Error: SteamVR failed to initialize for unknown reasons. (Error: Not Initialized (109)

Solution: Try uninstalling your GPU drivers with Display Driver Uninstaller, and then installing the latest GPU drivers.


Problem: SteamVR games don’t let audio go through Rift headphones.

Solution: Go to SteamVR → Click on drop down arrow → Settings → Audio → Set playback device to: Headphones (Rift audio). After you don’t use the Rift, change back to Standard speakers. There is a nice guide for it on vrheads.


Problem: SteamVR says “Not Ready” or “Waiting” in status bar while headset itself is detected.

Solution: Don’t use Chrome Remote Desktop. For room setup you need a monitor display, not HMD.



WHY Would You Want to Use SteamVR for Oculus Rift at all?

Now this comes down to one question: Is SteamVR really better than Oculus Home? After all, Oculus Home is specifically made for Oculus Rift, and thinking that their own personal program is more comfortable should be logical, right?

Wrong. Sadly it’s not the case. Oculus Home is amazing in its own way, but in my opinion their content platform is a bit green. You can’t verify files if anything goes wrong while downloading, so you’ll have to re-download an entire game.oculus-rift-steamvrSteam has a lot more reviews of a specific game, and it has a better review system overall. Obviously it is not a surprise to anyone considering Steam’s overall experience in selling and offering games, but still, it truly shows in their structure and website build.

Another good reason to use SteamVR (at least for now) are refunds. You can refund games if you don’t like something in SteamVR, whereas Oculus Home has no such thing.

Download speed is something that I have not been testing out on Oculus Home extensively, but I’ve heard that you sometimes run into limit cap and it takes you more time than usual to finish downloading something.

There are also a lot of discounts seen in SteamVR. Just be sure to keep an eye on prices, and you’re guaranteed to see a variety of different percentage drops.oculus-rift-steamvrAll of these reasons above do make SteamVR a much more appealing option for VR gamers, and though I do believe that Oculus Home will keep on improving, SteamVR is the way to go for now.

Oculus Rift is fully compatible with SteamVR, and if you follow the steps above, you should have now issues with games. Almost all the games you see on Oculus Home (apart from exclusives which I disapprove of), are available on SteamVR, so don’t worry about not having enough options and variety.

I think Oculus Home is going to change as soon as Oculus Touch controllers come out. If not the website itself, then UI in Oculus Rift display should witness some changes to support Touch surfing. I am actually interested in seeing how they handle the menu experience, as HTC Vive one could use some improvements like making a controller laser a bit less shaky (huge issue for me in SteamVR menu) and stuff like that.

But for now, just stick with SteamVR, less hassle.


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