Star Citizen, the space adventure game seemingly in perpetual Early Access, has been committed to adding VR support since well before consumer headsets existed. As time passes though and the game grows evermore ambitious in scope and scale, the possibility of VR support seems to have been indefinitely back-burnered. Not so, says one of the studio’s team members. Support for VR headsets will eventually come.

Developers Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) have been fairly quiet about VR support since late 2017 when they last said they’d be focusing on it alongside a new UI built with VR in mind. CIG Junior Engine Programmer ‘Silvan’ has however reaffirmed that VR support will eventually arrive.

“One of the reasons why [I] joined this company is to bring VR to Star Citizen. And there are also other people here in the company as dedicated about that as me,” Silvan writes in a CIG forum post.

There are of course challenges ahead. Silvan says that while implementing VR into the game engine itself “isn’t a big deal,” that making it actually playable is actually the true task at hand.

“I’m mostly concerned about tieing [sic] it into our animation system and what locomotion we can offer. Nobody wants to have teleporting players in the verse right?”

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Beginning development as a Kickstarter project in 2012, Star Citizen has exploded in terms of its scope and scale. It’s no doubt thanks to its now $303 million in funding, practically dwarfing its original $2.1 million from Kickstarter backers. The game’s persistent universe has since added in missions, cargo delivery, piracy, bounty hunting, planetary landings, first-person combat, and mining—plenty of things to design around should the game ever support VR headsets.

Silvan admits there are still some unknowns to building VR out which require a team effort to address.

“I imagine we will implement VR in stages, e.g. for a first step just being able to view ships in the hangar or using it in a cockpit,” Silvan adds. “But a full VR implementation similar to Half Life Alyx is a whole different story. I can’t and won’t make any promises but my personal goal is to have something similar to Alyx but with a visible full body and IK. I was never a fan of just seeing your hands in VR.”

Silvan says that there are other big proponents of VR at CIG, and that “we will do anything within our capabilities to bring [VR] to Star Citizen. It will be a huge task, it will take a while, but i [sic] have no doubt we will get there.”

The game’s publicly available roadmap, which is projected out to Q3 2020, still doesn’t mention VR. While that’s not a definitive sign, you probably still shouldn’t hold your breath either way.

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  • DanDei

    I think one key important thing would be to switch from VR to non-VR within the game. Because I would rather play the shooter bits on mouse+keybord on a flat monitor and the flying and socializing on station in VR

  • Dan Lokemoen

    How are they going to “get there” when they’re not even working on the game? The SC team left to make another game, and when that’s done they’ll probably move on to another one (or go bankrupt). Development is DEAD on SC.

    • dingle

      Are you insane? You can play right now. The team hasn’t left and they are working on the game. Trolls be trolling.

      • JakeDunnegan

        He’s probably talking about the SQ42 coming out first, and CIG said they’d be focusing a bit on that first, and like so many people who don’t understand the first thing about Development (including many folks on the CIG forums) – 90% plus of the stuff they do in SQ42 will be used and applicable in SC.

        He’s just not the brightest bulb in the light fixture, ya know?

        • Dan Lokemoen

          If they’re working on SC, why don’t they work on SC instead of . . . ugh, forget it, you don’t understand development.

          • JakeDunnegan

            Right. Not like I don’t do that for a living or anything. Why put out SQ42 first? Because that was the original game, but more importantly, it’s EASIER to put it out, and make some money which would then further development of the rest of the universe. Single player games are nearly universally easier to produce than multiplayer games, particularly of that scope.

            So, yeah. Putting out SQ42 makes perfect sense.

      • Dan Lokemoen

        Look at their roadmaps from the past four years and tell me they’re making progress. Yokay, they’re working on it, yet somehow nothing is getting done.

    • kuhpunkt

      What other game?!

    • Pablo C

      What other game? SC has gone sloooow but steady and it´s already a great game (albeit without real progression). Still, I get the point, they are taking way too long to deliver an actual game. For now is a great experience, which VR users are use to in most VR games.

    • DanDei

      Quick! Get this boy some water! He is in delirium.

    • Joe Blobers

      Quote: “Development is DEAD on SC.”

      There is a bunch of remaining haters, those claiming “collapse 90 days top for sure!”… back in 2015 now claiming with the same force: “scam, ponzi scheme!”… but not even them pretend CIG stopped SC development…

      Just a massive LOL :)

    • Hivemind9000

      Troll

    • JakeDunnegan

      I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say you are probably saying that the solo player game is taking precedence over the persistent universe? (Squadron 42 is the solo player game, and they do plan on launching that first.)

      Thing is, as has been said in various ways by the Devs of SC – nearly everything they put into SQ42 will be useable as assets and tech (even questing, voice acting, et al) in SC.

  • antonio mora

    In this life?

  • Eric

    wow the comments are so negative. And what other game are you talking about that they are working on? I cant find any information online about this statement….

    • mfx

      You must not have searched very deeply…
      the official website > games > two games: StarCitizen and Squadron42.

      • JakeDunnegan

        And nearly all the assets and effort spent on SQ42 will be used in SC.

  • VRagoso

    All right! Looking forward for this! It will be awesome! Keep it up guys :)

    • DanDei

      Me too. Only problem is: looking forward to this and actually seeing it on the horizon requires the Hubble telescope

  • 3872Orcs

    A public playtest for the VR community would be something I would love to participating in. Otherwise I have my doubts we would ever see it :p

  • Sam

    This is great news, one to tell our grandchildren to watch out for, because we sure as hell wont be living long enough to see it happen.

  • impurekind

    That’s the day I will care about it.

  • Back in Jan 2016, right after receiving my Rift CV1 pre-order, I was looking for things to play in VR, and, hearing about Star Citizen, gave them $125 USD for a ship (I wanted one large enough to have a second seat for a friend). That was back when VR was Big News and they were still promising support at the time. Needless to say, at this point I hope all those crooks die in a fire.

    • Joe Blobers

      Do you know that only a a 45$ starter package is needed and that flyable ships can be bought with in game credits only, not $?

      Pledge cost of bigger ship was an argument for some against SC. It is not anymore. Knowing big ship have to get crew, guys with big pocket can’t be competitive with either escort or crew made from us “peasants” :)

      That is the beauty of SC. No-life player can get more with time like any MMO. Guys with big wallet but no time are not excluded anymore and participate to game development.

      • DireWolf15

        Unfortunately I actually sold off my concierge account assets. I was a heavy backer and defender of the game but VR has taken over my game lifestyle. I just can’t go back to flatscreen gaming after VR immersion. We’ve actually crossed paths on some threads before as well in regards to StarCitizen. Regardless, Played through every patch from 2.6 to 3.8. Although they have designed some things with VR in mind (like the mobiglass), I just don’t have the hope I used to have for CIG to reach a point in which the game will still remain relevant as a major space game with VR built around it.

        I do see VR becoming the future of gaming eventually within the next decade. I still hope for Star Citizens continued development but seeing setback after setback, like watching Salvage mechanics being moved 5 or 6 times when the reclaimer was dropped in 3.1 for what exactly? And the Carrack getting delayed by nearly two months before a pandemic even hit? I can only imagine the delay the pandemic has put on the project as it is.

        And too few VR games? Like what? You did happen to notice that VR headsets are consistently being sold out and were continuing to do so also before the pandemic and will continue to do so in the future.

        The demand is extremely high right now for VR and the immersion to flight sims and simulators in general is huge. Unless you’ve used a VR headset to fly a ship or even just a jet then you’ll understand.

        Also motion sickness in VR, as well everyone is different, yes but its sort of akin to becoming sea sick. After a while, you eventually get your VR legs just like most get their sea legs. First heavy motion games I played I had to stop after two hours. Now it hardly phases me. The trick is staying hydrated and keeping hunger low by eating in advance to playing.

        Game industries change with tech as it becomes cheaper and more common practice as we saw with shifts from 2D games to full 3d games with more immersion, better graphics, etc. The same will apply to VR and its already here and its here to stay for good this time as we have reached that point.

        Also, I have a massive backlog of VR games already that are just waiting.

        • JakeDunnegan

          Have you seen the new Star Wars flight game coming out in October? That has the chance to be an crazy popular VR, flight/space game. With 5 on 5 squadrons fighting together… I know I’ll be dropping my $60 or whatever on that game, and though I’m still an SC backer, I have the sad feeling I’ll get far more enjoyment out of that “space sim” (particularly in VR) than I will in SC for a long time to come.

          • DireWolf15

            I haven’t seen that no, lol another game to add to the back-list of logs. I have so much time on Onward, Pavlov, Half life Alyx. Ironwolf VR. I own Asgard’s Wrath and Lone echo and haven’t even touched those yet. Played the shit out of Blade & Sorcery (The game is great by itself but fuck me sideways, throw in the Star Wars mod “The Outer Rim”. fighting Storm troopers with dual light sabers and force grabbing or force pushing everyone away, feels so realistic and just overwhelmingly awesome and or going to straight medieval for vanilla taste of the game and even some john wick shit, like holy shit lol, its a pre-alpha with 3 games all in because of easy to install mods).

            Then if you go SIM racing or fighter jet flying, VTOL VR literally only needs the controllers to use the flight stick and hit all the switches, no memorizing a hundred keybinds and different axis, just using the cockpit switches as one would in real life). Then there is DCS world and war thunder. For Space VR there is Elite dangerous and No mans Sky in VR but I refuse to play because I’d rather see space VR in Star Citizen. As for sim racing I’ve already got a whole setup for Assetto Corsa and especially Dirt 2. Oddly enough for when I feel like just going for a cruise I have American truck simulator setup for VR but the downside to that is the multiplayer mod dosen’t support VR and likely won’t for a while. Then the Walking Dead Saints and Sinners which really brought a new standard of VR physics and VR gameplay overall and I can deffinitely say the same for Boneworks which although I’m not a fan of the story, I do feel like the developers did a great job with the physics whether it was the players body or the environment.

  • Grey Lock

    It’s a cool alpha, but I can’t imagine VR support in the next two years – they have a lot of other higher priority bugs to fix first.

    • JakeDunnegan

      I’m a backer. I hope the game is the best thing ever, and hope it has VR.. but, have VR in two years? We’d be lucky to see the solo player game in 2 years, much less the MMO (persistent universe) – and VR? Oy vey. At their current rate, that’d be 5 years down the road, at minimum.

      I truly, truly, hope I’m wrong.

  • p-dawg

    “I have no doubt we will get there”

    I have much doubt that you will get there.

  • PJ

    As star citizen backer and player, and VR enthusiast, this is music to my ears

  • doug

    Is Bethesda’s Starfield likely to have VR support? Will high polygon counts to wow the flat crowd be a problem?

  • Hivemind9000

    Star Citizen is an admirable, ambitious game, but it can barely run at a decent framerate on the best PC hardware available today (see their FPS tool here https://robertsspaceindustries.com/telemetry). What the tool doesn’t tell you about is the big framerate dropouts you get in the game (aka jank) due to ships and other high-detail models spawning in.

    Even if they do eventually support VR (which is dubious, especially when this statement is coming from a junior engine programmer), decent VR performance in SC is going to have to wait for that 2023 RTX4080ti. They might even be in early beta by then…

    • Joe Blobers

      Getting in Alpha development process from 30 to 65 fps with a GTX 1070 is more than satisfactory to enjoy the very unique SC universe. That will improve knowing optimization is the last part of game development process. OCS (Object Container Streaming) alone double and even triple fps after implementation.

      SQ42 beta planned in few quarters at worst not 2023. Also the VR statement is not only from a junior dev but from CR himself. Last point, as long VR do provide an unsatisfactory experience to player, either because of too low resolution or sickness, it in not urgent to focus on it. The best set are pretty expensive. I could afford one myself but did not because way too few good games in 2020.

      • Raphael

        You started off well with your statements about alpha and the optimisation. Then you go and ruin it with some generic cliche nonsense about VR.

        “I could afford one myself but did not because way too few good games in 2020” – VR has some really amazing content. Some people aren’t able to see it. Either they just don’t study or perhaps they have that type of personality where nothing is able to reach their “high standard”.

  • Raphael

    When you look at what they’ve achieved so far and how groundbreaking it is in many ways… I have little doubt they will achieve VR support. Or reinstate VR to be more precise. In VR SC will surpass all other space sims. I actually won’t be putting any money into it until VR comes though. I only purchased No Man’s Pie once they announced VR.

  • Alexisms

    “I have no doubt we will get there”. Indeed but sadly the people who will see it happen have yet to be born.

  • JP

    Being a backer of almost $500, I love the idea of VR support! It is the reason I bought the Carrack! VR isn’t SCs largest problem though. SCs largest problem is lack of intuitiveness. Fix the intuitiveness, get more backers – it’s that simple.

  • They should have capped development goals wayyy back then, but they have piled on so many features on an already ambitious game that everyone informed *outside of the already pledged) is rightfully skeptical about this game. It would do them good for the company to go dark until an open beta is ready, imo.

    In an alternate universe where crowdfunding is illegal, Chris Roberts stayed the path to make a Wing Commander successor and secured $75m privately for the most incredible space sim of all time. It released in 2018 after being in development for an agonizingly long 6 years, and still remains hugely popular to this day — even without creepy face tracking and an impossible to fathom “100 Star Systems”. It has yet to receive a planned VR update.