Image: Team 17/Trepang Studios
Internal tests of Praydog’s mod for bringing flat games into virtual reality show promising results. Good prospects for AAA games in VR?
The universal VR mod from software tinkerer Praydog set out to make almost any title developed with Unreal Engine 4 or 5 virtual reality compatible. This means adding head-tracking, motion control, and other features. An initial test series by the Flat2VR Discord community, of which Praydog is also a member, shows optimistic results.
According to community member “Alex”, more than 90 percent of the 255 games tested worked well with the Universal Unreal VR Injector right out of the box. The Flat2VR Twitter account reported that the games worked on PC VR headsets without any further adjustments. While not all mechanics fit neatly into VR, the basic operation works.
AAA games for virtual reality
“It will be exciting to see how other modders come together and build on the mod when it’s released this year,” another tweet reads, “fixing games that don’t work right away, adding motion controls and VR-specific mechanics, etc. PCVR modding has a VERY exciting future ahead of it!”
Fittingly, the reports included a few benchmarks along Praydog’s ongoing development. First, he developed a way to control view with head movements. In the next step, he added aiming with motion controllers.
The current solution does not yet correspond to free weapon alignment in the game, as in native VR shooters. Instead, the solution resembles a laser pointer with three degrees of freedom instead of six. The crosshairs always point in the direction you aim with the controller, even if the weapon does not follow all the movements of the hand.
Star Wars and Fortnite in VR
An exact date for the release of the mod has not yet been set, but it will probably be before the end of this year. The link at the end of the article leads to a table of the tested flat games deemed already VR-compatible through the Universal Unreal VR Injector. The table also includes details like the game’s perspective (1st or 3rd person), the engine version, and the rendering method.
Among the “perfectly” working games are Fortnite (private server), Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and the rhythm action game Hi-Fi Rush. Titles that only rated “okay” include the co-op action game Aliens: Fireteam Elite. The blockbuster Hogwarts Legacy quickly became VR-compatible thanks to the Universal Mod, albeit with high system requirements. It is in the table among the games that earned a “good” score during testing.