raceroom-vr-supportRaceRoom Racing Experience has received a major update that introduces Vive and Rift support through SteamVR. The update also includes a number of improvements and adds new content to this often underappreciated racing sim.

Developer Sector3 has been largely silent about potential VR support for RaceRoom, despite the title offering an excellent, experimental VR mode for the Rift DK2 dev kit back in 2014. Today’s update has, along with some major feature and content additions, enabled a ‘first pass’ of VR support, much to the delight of the community.

RaceRoom can be considered an established racing sim at this point, despite being technically still a ‘beta’. It has a colourful history, having been originally developed by the SimBin, famous for classic racing sims such as GT Legends (2005) and GTR (2005)RaceRoom’s approach was different, both in terms of being a free-to-play title with paid additional content in the form of cars and tracks, as well as aiming to have accessible physics. This lead to the sim being dismissed by large sections of the community, and ultimately, the demise of SimBin.

Now that Sector3 is at the helm—which operates effectively as a restructured SimBin— RaceRoom is back on track, having seen massive physics and force feedback improvements, making the sim far more appealing to the enthusiast. The return of VR support is another indication that RaceRoom is heading in the right direction.

Review: 'DiRT Rally' VR

The update, detailed here, also adds leaderboard divisions, a revamped multiplayer browser, manual pit stops, AI changes, DTM physics improvements and the Silverstone and Stowe circuits.

Here are the steps to enable VR mode, according to the developer post on the Sector3 forums:

• In your Steam client library, right click RaceRoom and select “Properties”.
• In the Properties pop-up window, under the “General” section, click the “Set Launch Options…” button.
• In the dialog box that opened, just type in “-vr” (without the quotation marks) and it will use the default value for render target multiplier, which we currently have set to 1.5.
• To experiment with different render target multipliers, you can simply add the desired value after the argument, for example: “-vr 2.0” will start the game with the multiplier at 2.0. This multiplier can go as low as 0.5 and as high as 4.0 which is very high, so we recommend small steps here.

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  • Pre Seznik

    YES! The best feeling racing sim finally gets VR. I love this sim, but haven’t touched it since I got VR.

    • eddiespag

      Is VR really that good? I use triple screens and was wondering. Thanks.

      • George Vieira IV

        I run VR and triple screens. Current VR has trade offs, like seeing stuff off in the distance, like braking points, but makes up for in the ability to judge apexes, and just how much it make you feel like you are in a car. If you are just about lap times right now I’d say it’s a wash, but when they get higher res screens in there it’ll be a no-brainer.

        Currently It is still hard for me to play a race sim that isn’t in VR now.

        • JKay6969

          I can personally state that for me VR in racing games like Project Cars and Assetto Corsa, with Project Cars having the all inclusive VR immersion, has changed everything for me. I have learned more about driving fast since I got VR than I have ever learned from any racing game, EVER!

          I have found driving in VR to be the closest I have ever come to actually being there. Don’t get me wrong, there are many improvements required, as has been stated, before VR is perfect.

          I just find the feeling that you are in the car with the automatic orientation that brings coupled with the ability to look to the apex and effectively use the dashboard and mirrors while driving in cockpit view naturally and effortlessly allows you to focus on the task at hand, which is driving the chosen car.

          I have shaved an average of 10 seconds off my lap times just through driving in VR.

          I now don’t like playing driving games on a screen even though before VR I was happy playing on my 40 inch 1080P Samsung TV, now it’s too flat, the awkward press a button to look left or right and you don’t feel the cars like you do in VR.

          The resolution, or lack of it, is the first thing that everyone I have demoed it to points out but after 10 mins driving round Brno in any car they all agree that it’s still awesome fun and that everything else VR brings more than makes up for that.

          I currently have a self modified DK2 that I augmented to drastically reduce the Screen Door effect by putting a matte screen protector on the Samsung Note 3 display nestled in the DK2. The effect is profound but is not perfect, when you focus on the screen rather than the image displayed on it you will notice the tiny pixels in the texture of the matte screen protector but before the augmentation you could clearly see the space BETWEEN each pixel, this was very noticeable and off putting. The Matte Screen Protector optically pulls the pixels tightly together effectively negating the screen door effect.

          I have also played Project Cars on the HTC Vive using the same Logitech G29 Force Feedback Steering Wheel and while the resolution was better, it was still not much better. I will personally be waiting for a VR HMD that has much better resolution per eye as well as foveated rendering so that the GPU I buy to power it will be able to drive it properly. Cough *VEGA* Cough :-)

          • My Fove arrives today :) Now how do we convince Sector3 to add full support?!

          • TheVillasurfer

            Let us know what the Fove is like. I’ve been interested in it for a long time, but you’re the first person that I’ve heard confirm ownership of one. I currently use a Rift so I’ve no need or desire to change hmd for a while, but the Fove has some interesting things going for it.

          • Here are my initial impressions on the hardware. I only JUST got to actually try the HMD about 10 minutes ago (they just released the SteamVR drivers). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPAn4pIzpbA

          • TheVillasurfer

            Thank you. I watched the whole video. It’s a shame that it wasn’t quite what we’d hoped it would be. Let us know again when you’ve used it a bit more. Do you know if they plan for OSVR?

          • TheVillasurfer

            Great post.

        • NooYawker

          For me it seems more difficult to drive in VR plus it still makes me a litttle woozy. But everyone is different. But you’re literally in the car so it’s worth it.

      • Pre Seznik

        In my opinion, at the moment VR is not better in “every” way to a triple screen setup. The main thing is FOV and resolution, but as soon as that gets better, there’ll be no contest. Even now, I’d choose VR over triple screen simply due to the insane levels of added immersion.

        Something like TrackIR + a good screen setup is still a pretty cool alternative, though.

        • JKay6969

          I will grant you resolution is inferior in VR but the FOV in VR is adequate, I feel like I’m looking through a helmet so the FOV is spot on IMHO. Give me much better resolution at the DK2 FOV and I’m interested. larger FOV wouldn’t be the killer feature I need to justify buying a new headset but a large resolution jump or large reduction in price would also peak my interest :-)

          • Pre Seznik

            I wear a racing helmet often enough to know VR FOV is not enough at the moment. It’s more akin to scuba diving goggles than a helmet. It’s not horrible, but it needs more FOV for sure. Personally, I’d want FOV + wireless before higher resolution, but that’s subjective.

      • Raphael

        If you look on frontier forums (elite dangerous) VR sub forum… the general consensus is that almost no one regrets ditching triple monitor for vr. The gains for vr are with the curent limitations. I would never return to using a tiny 2d rectangle for gaming and that sentiment is increasingly common with vr users. Personally i’ve never had a triple monitor setup… i always felt it was a clumsy and ugly solution.

      • Dee Double You

        I haven’t used the triple screens but i do have a Vive that I use on iRacing. The only thing I would say the triple screens would have over the VR is that once you’re in a race, under the hood you’re there for the duration. If you live by yourself and there’s not much going on around you then VR is the obvious choice. If you have people around or even pets then triple screens may be the best option since you can interact a bit more with the “outside world” with them.

      • TheVillasurfer

        Yes VR is really immersive (certainly on the Rift or Vive). My friend came round to try Project Cars in VR (he has owned the game for ages in 2d as he LOVES his realistic race sims) and he was BLOWN AWAY with it on the Rift.

        If you want to feel like you’re playing using 3 screens, then play with 3 screens. If you want to feel like you’re actually inside the vehicle you’re driving, play in VR :) Of course VR will improve. You won’t see the resolution that you’ll achieve on your pc monitor(s) for a while(!), but for me, I’m delighted to sacrifice some clarity for the immersive experience of VR.

    • Thoemse

      I sold my three screens after getting the Vive. :)

  • Yay!

  • ♛ Juuzou Suzuya ♛

    The game launches but my controller won’t work so I can’t get past the “press any button to continue” screen. My controller works when i’m not using VR but won’t when I activate VR. Any ideas?

  • Bruno Xa

    Thank you very much for the tip. The “-vr” worked like a charm. I was so disappointed with Project Cars the resolution is TERRIBLE and the game is unplayable on HTC Vive. RaceRoom is pretty good and now at least I can play it.

  • Corne Game’s

    For some reason when i start it its just a picture on the bottom of my vr. Like if i was in a black room and on the floor there was a screen with the game on it xD