Check out this amazing video by ADSL VR -MR if you're on the fence about installing my mod, and you want to get a sneak peek of what it's like to experience GTA V “from the inside”! I recommend that you start from a clean installation of the game, updated to the current version (1.0.2189.0), with no other mods present.
Otherwise, there should be no need to overwrite any existing files: if the extraction program asks you to do that, it is probably because you have other mods installed, which you should remove at least temporarily (see point 1). Later on, if you are so inclined, you will be able to refine settings to your liking as explained in the section, in order to find the best possible balance between graphic quality and frame rate.
Put on your HMD, pick up a game pad if you wish, launch the game and marvel at the beauty that is Los Santos in VR ! Whenever you need to recenter your view or to realign the HUD in front of you, just shake your head once as though you were saying no (more details in the section below).
If tracking seems jerky or jumpy, make sure that ASW (for Oculus) or Motion Smoothing (for Steamer) is off, either globally or for the GTA V app. Slightly larger than your field of view in VR, so you'll have to turn your head a little in the direction of the HUD element that you want to observe; this way, your normal line of sight isn't occluded by the HUD elements; fixed in space, instead of somehow rotating after your head with some delay or inertia, a trick used by some games that I personally find very distracting and basically impossible to get right.
A notable exception happens when you are aiming, in which case the HUD will become smaller and deadlocked, so you'll always have all the information that you need visible in front of you even when you have to rotate your head quickly to follow enemies. In the end, if you play sitting on a couch or at your desk, the HUD will always be in front of you, just at the margins of your field of view.
If you play in roomscale, and you need to turn around, you can reset the HUD position (bringing it again in front of you) anytime you want just by shaking a single now with your head, which will recenter the headset as described in the section below. I have played every mission and activity from “New game” to 100% completion with all Gold medals, fully in VR, using an Xbox One game pad.
GTA V needs all the buttons you can find on a controller, while Oculus Touch sadly lacks a D-Pad; GTA V is a long game, and since the main focus for this mod is being able to complete 100% of the game in VR and to leisurely admire the beautiful and incredibly complex world that Rock star created, you need to be able to play seated and without holding your arms out in front of you for hours on end. Mimicking a real gun with the Touch controllers can be great fun for a short time, I know, but there is no shortage of gallery shooters to play if that's your bread and butter; perhaps most importantly, both NOLF2 and GTA V were built and designed with traditional FPS aiming in mind.
For the same reasons, I went to some effort to implement dominant-eye alignment when rendering the weapon model, so that you can properly aim down the sights as you would in real life. However, they do become quite hard on the arms in just a few hours, and as proven by Rock star's very own partial port of L.A. Noise, that doesn't work so well for vast open-world games.
GTA V has quite a few intense moments; so, especially if you move around a lot in room scale, you may frequently find yourself needing to recenter the view, in particular to reset the HUD to be in front of your line of sight, or to realign the position tracking with the character model (see also below). This recentering gesture is always available and recognized, no matter if you're in a mission, free roaming, in the menus, loading the game, and so on.
The movement will become second nature in a short while, and I find it so convenient and have become so accustomed to it that I sometimes catch myself doing it in other games and wondering why it didn't work :-) By sharp, I don't mean so hard as to hurt your neck or to have the headset slide around on your face: just enough to allow the mod to reliably distinguish the movement from a normal look-around motion; the mod will wait for a fraction of a second to allow your head position to stabilize, and then it will instruct the VR runtime to recenter the headset.
Release 4 update: Great news for those of you who like to play the story missions in VR : I finally came up with a universal FOR fix that also works in cutscenes! Mod for the almost forgotten gem that is NOLF2, I was able to offer a lot of options for viewing cutscenes, so they could be enjoyed by all kinds of people, from those who have built sturdy VR legs down to those who immediately get sick as soon as the camera moves.
So, cutscenes will be very immersive, but perhaps a little too hard on some players: the camera will zoom in on characters and move around a lot, just as it does in the original 2D version. Edit: This paragraph is no longer very relevant because of the new universal FOR fix, but I'm leaving it here for historical reasons and because it mentions the virtual screen mode, which some people may still want to use.
It automatically adapts to the varying camera FOR, so that the old problem where characters in cutscenes were frequently too close to your face for comfort, and looked somewhat flat, is completely eliminated. It also preserves the ability to look around freely, so for most users it should definitely be an improvement, which made me decide to set it as the new default.
If even this way of viewing cutscenes is too much for you, please see the section below to switch to the second new mode: a static, 2D virtual screen that completely eliminates all issues with motion sickness or emergence, of course at the cost of reduced impulsiveness. Also in, you'll find that there is one option for pitch control that you can modify, and you can even force the FOR, which gets rid of the zoom effect completely but introduces all kinds of artifacts as described in .
In case of panic, just remember that all cutscenes can be skipped after a second or so by pressing A on the controller or the left mouse button. My advice is, if you tend to get sick during cutscenes, just keep very still and don't try to follow or to counteract the motion of the camera with your own head.
There are also a few circumstances when the game will just take control of the camera, which represents your head, and will make it do whatever it goddamn pleases without heeding your input. That happens for example when you enter a car (as you know, that animation is extra-long if you are committing Grand Theft Auto), when you get thrown from a vehicle, when you slide down a slope, when you roll on the ground, and in other situations of the sort.
Please follow the advice given in the previous Cutscenes section, and as an even stronger recommendation for in-game animations, don't try to fight the camera. Just go along for the ride, let it do what it wants to do, perhaps even close your eyes for a few moments if you feel queasy, and simply wait it out.
In VR, one of the most important requisites for immersion and to avoid motion sickness is making sure that the FOR (field of view) of the game camera exactly matches the headset's. The modding community has discovered a few ways to tweak the gameplay camera FOR in GTA V, which made this R.E.A.L.
So, even though most of the time I'm able to properly set the camera FOR in a way that allows for correct rendering of all objects, there are situations when I have to forcibly override the field of view during the rendering process itself, which leads to some pop-in at the edges of the image (the game was expecting to draw a narrower portion of the world, so it didn't load some parts of it in time), and most notably to some objects in the world being drawn at the wrong positions. In that case, just concentrate on what happens inside the car, and never mind the wheels floating around outside ;-) Another occurrence of this may be during cutscenes, but only if you force the zoom override as listed further on in.
Release 4 update: It is now possible to modify graphics options without exiting the game, and you can even enable any valid combination of FAA, SAA and TAA! The only thing that still needs to be edited by hand (and kept in sync between settings.xml and commandline.txt) if you want to change it from my defaults, is the base window resolution.
Note that SAA has a huge impact on performance, so I only recommend it for people who have powerhouse GPUs (see the new section for more info). The mod also assumes that you are running the game with a square resolution (which can normally be set only in windowed mode).
In practice, what will happen is that GTA V will reset the resolution to 800×600 any time you make a significant change, and the mod will stop working or behave oddly. Mod offers some advanced options that you can tweak in real time while playing, by using keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys).
The hotkeys are disabled by default, to avoid possible problematic interactions with other mods that use the same shortcuts, and also to guard against apparent quirky behavior of the R.E.A.L. If you want to turn them back off after making your tweaks (the changed options will remain set until you quit the game) just press F11 again.
The mod will not overwrite this file, so even if you tweak the options using the hotkeys, the initial values that you set by manually editing RealVR.ini will be preserved for the next run. Beginning from Release 4, the mod uses a much improved technique for capturing the game's internal rendering buffers.
Also, thanks to Reddit users /u/LIMBO and /u/earth I found out that forcing a custom resolution in commandline.txt, instead of only putting it in settings.xml, keeps GTA V from reverting to 800×600 every time that a graphics option is changed. Together, those two things mean that it is now possible to change graphics settings on the fly while in-game, instead of having to edit the settings.xml file manually, which should make finding the perfect compromise between image quality and frame rate much faster and easier than it used to be.
FAA is extremely cheap in terms of performance (it only shaves away a couple of fps) but it doesn't help a lot with shimmering edges, and it also blurs the image noticeably. SAA is much better in terms of visual quality, but it has a huge impact on performance: even just setting it to 2x will burn away more than 30% of your frame rate.
TAA looks very good and costs basically nothing, but it only works on NVIDIA cards and in conjunction with SAA. If you have at least a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, I suggest the combo SAA 2x + TAA for extreme quality: you can win back some lost frame rate by dropping Post FX to Normal.
On top-of-the-line AMD cards, the best-looking usable combo is probably SAA 2x + FAA (I'll need your feedback here, since I cannot test this configuration directly). Last but not least, Release 4 and later are fully compatible with the latest versions of so-called graphics overhaul mods for GTA V. I have successfully tested NaturalVision Remastered, Visual, GTA5 Redux, and M.V.G.A.
My personal preference, if you're interested, goes to M.V.G.A., because it gives the most important improvements that you can get from these modifications (less fog with better draw distance and clarity, photorealistic color palette, darker nights) without being so over saturated and generally a bit over the top as some others, and without having any appreciable impact on frame rate. Redux instead appears to be very buggy, and other molders that I respect said that it's basically stolen work, so I'd advise against using it, but if you really must, make sure that you enable some form of antialiasing (either FAA or SAA) otherwise 1st person will be broken during nighttime, and set Post FX to Normal otherwise cutscenes will look fuzzy and distorted.
Also be mindful that the more realistic lighting conditions that all these mods enable, even though they can look astounding in VR, can sometimes mess with gameplay; for example flying at night becomes much harder and frustrating, especially in 1st person, because you can hardly see the terrain. A few users with very powerful video cards, wanting to really push their rendering resolution to extreme values, asked whether it is possible to raise the frame scaling multiplier further: unfortunately it cannot be done, as
However, what can and should be done if you want to achieve higher super sampling in the VR headset is to increase -width and -height in the Grand Theft Auto V\commandline.txt file, always keeping them identical. More than that, especially with SAA turned on, will bring even the most powerful GPUs available today to their knees and kill your frame rate.
HUD: fixed a game issue where if the aspect ratio is not 16:9, the left and right sides of several menu pages would get cut off the screen Please note that except for the troubles with the 1:1 aspect ratio and the menus being cut off to the sides, all the above problems are not bugs with the game per se, but only issues that stemmed from the VR conversion (similarly to what happens when a game meant for a 2D monitor is coaxed, with the help of 3D Vision, into performing stereoscopic rendering).
Also note that when the game is being forced to do something that Rock star's original implementation would forbid (like looking all the way down toward your feet, especially while in a car) there might be some artifacts and/or camera twitches. Stereoscopic rendering, which is essential in VR, would require the scene to be drawn twice as seen from the two eye cameras, and at the exactly same moment.
No doubling will be seen when you rotate your head, however, even if you do it very fast, because I took provisions to have the VR runtime compensate with Asynchronous Time-Warp or reprojection. You can disable it, but you will lose the 3D effect (as I said, there is currently no way of achieving 90 fps in stereo with GTA V without alternate-eye rendering).
So, try looking around with your head, using the right stick/mouse, and/or the left stick; if nothing works, please open an issue on GitHub and remember to be very specific about the situation where it happens and any additional mods that you might be using. However, if you are really bothered by smooth turning, you can just play in room scale and always use your head to look around just like you would in real life; as I mentioned above, through all the game missions and activities there are only a couple of brief scenes where headlock had to be disabled.
Please make a Armed for game SuchAndSuch 6, I've never programmed in my life, but I know it can't be too hard, I believe it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours. Modding GTA V was actually even harder than NOLF2 (to the point of becoming soul-crushing at times), because it took a lot more reverse engineering and trial-and-error, and because the game is so much vaster.
This one is a lot of complex work for relatively little benefit, so only consider it if you love hard challenges and have plenty of spare time on your hands: it would be nice to split rendering of a. the really-close objects attached to the camera (hands, weapons), b. the player's body and vehicle, and c. the rest of the world, into three separate Oculus SDK layers, so that correct ASW/ATW could be applied to each of them, which is especially important for the “stale” eye, i.e., the one that is not being rendered for the current frame. The result could approach the visual quality and stability of simultaneous eye rendering, but again, it's quite a big effort and there are no guarantees.
If you want to tackle this problem, and you are knowledgeable about all the areas involved (GTA modding, 3Dmigoto, and native rendering with the Oculus SDK), please contact me. I have a nagging suspicion that the developers put this option in the menu because they too weren't completely satisfied with the implementation :-P If, after looking at the code, you have fresh ideas to make it work reliably (in particular when the player is aiming towards and across the cover, instead of away from it) please let me know.
If you are a VR C++ developer with a non-Oculus headset, and you want to undertake the semi-arduous work of making a native Steamer/Opener/Opener version of the mod, do get in touch and I can give you pointers to get started. For instance, it would be nice to have the option to disable user control of the camera when the character is rolling on the ground during combat (AI::GET_IS_TASK_ACTIVE(PLAYER::PLAYER_PED_ID(), CTaskCombatRoll) doesn't seem to ever return true).
Can the non-graphics menu settings (e.g., “First Person Head Bobbing”) somehow be controlled programmatically or through an .ini file, so that the mod could make the few tweaks it needs at the beginning without user intervention? Even if that figure might be exaggerated, because it's likely that only a part of those people worked continuously on the game for the whole 6 years, it's still an astounding achievement.
Next, kudos to the brilliant community of GTA V molders that found and documented a huge chunk of the secret, inner workings of the game engine and of the mission scripts. Last but not least, my warmest thanks to the unbelievable community of Shaderhackers who for so many years have taken games programmed to be viewed on a normal monitor and “fixed” them, so they could be enjoyed in perfect stereoscopic 3D using the (now sadly moribund) 3D Vision technology.