Welcome to the November 2023 edition of VR Modding Monthly, a monthly article to keep you up to date about all the exciting things going on in the wonderful world of the Flat2VR Modding community!
As always, this has been a huge month for VR modding! As if right on cue to mark the fictional start date of Sword Art Online, one of the best and largest MMO’s in the world, Final Fantasy XIV is getting a VR mod, Praydog has made some huge breakthroughs on his Universal Unreal Engine Injector VR mod, Puredark and Praydog have made some huge breakthroughs that could increase performance in many games (not just VR mods, but VR games too), and much more!
If you’d like to learn more about the Flat2VR modding community itself, check out our first issue where we introduce ourselves, and if you want to get involved, check out the official Discord server or Twitter.
Final Fantasy XIV VR Mod
First, the extremely talented modders Marulu & Streetrat who worked on the already acclaimed Half-Life 2 VR mod have been working on a full 6DOF VR mod for one of the best MMOs, FF XIV. The mod will support 1st & 3rd person, motion controls, and more!
At first, the mod will focus more on playing the game using your motion controllers like a gamepad (the game has fantastic gamepad support out of the box), but will later support actual motion controls (you can also play with mouse & keyboard too if you want too).
For fans already of the MMO, it’s such a treat to walk through the familiar streets and see beloved characters up close for the first time in stunning VR. For raids and actually playing, you’ll most likely want to stay in third person for now as you’ll be able to have a great view to look around the battlefield and see everything that’s going on in full gorgeous 6DOF VR.
Over time, the mod team has plans to add full motion controls, Half-Life: Alyx-like selection menus like this, etc.
I’m a huge fan of one of VR’s only MMO’s, Zenith (not just because I helped work on it!), but if there’s one thing VR has desperately needed, it’s more rich MMO’s with deep worlds players can get lost in.
There’s a series of channels setup in our Discord, so jump in if you want to keep up to date on the mod’s progress and try the Alpha version soon! The mod will be completely free and open source when it launches in alpha in two weeks!
STAR WARS: Jedi Knight II – Jedi Outcast VR Mod
Jedi Knight 2 VR Mod Gets Better & Nearing Public Release!
The Jedi Knight 2 beta gets better with motion controlled force powers & is nearing a free public release on Sidequest!
— Flat2VR (@Flat2VR) October 21, 2023
Jedi Outcast is a game that I fondly remember after getting it one Christmas nearly 20 years ago. It’s hard to describe the waves of nostalgia that can hit when you first load up one of your favorite games and are—for the first time—truly in the game like only VR allows. TeamBeef’s latest VR mod, Jedi Outcast VR is only the latest VR mod to do this for me.
The mod, like many other DrBeef ports, runs completely standalone on the Quest (Pico 4 support coming soon). The visuals hold up quite well and all the incredible work to add full motion controller support on all the guns, lightsabers, and force powers make it truly a dream come true to play.
DrBeef’s VR mods are all highly praised and have been downloaded several million times. Like his other mods, it will be free and open source when it releases.
If you want to download the Jedi Outcast VR mod now (the whole game can now be played from start to finish), support the team’s work on Patreon where you’ll gain early access to this and other WIP TeamBeef mods. Support for the sequel, Jedi Academy is also planned.
Bendy & The Ink Machine VR Mod
Another TeamBeef VR mod that’s been in the works is a VR mod for Bendy and the Ink Machine. This highly praised horror game is getting the full VR treatment with 6DOF roomscale support, motion controls, and more! Support for the first chapter just released on TeamBeef’s Patreon and the whole game will be playable in VR from start to finish for free when the mod publicly releases a little later.
Half-Life VR Mod
In the last couple issues of VR Modding Monthly we covered our Half-Life 2 VR mod that released directly on Steam to ‘overwhelmingly positive’ reviews. We were quite humbled when Kotaku reviewed the port and said it was “almost too good to be true.” There’s still a lot of exciting updates coming out soon for Half-Life 2 VR, including additional mod support, updated graphics and the Episode 1 & 2 expansions (and much more). But what about Valve’s game that started it all? DrBeef and team did an excellent job porting the original Half-Life to the Meta Quest a couple years ago, but what about for PCVR players?
That’s where Max comes in and has been hard at work for the past few years building a port for PCVR. The port has been built from the ground up (separate from DrBeef’s work) and has new features such as physical ladder climbing, hands, a special VR HUD, and more. Though released directly on Steam, it’s still in Early Access and there’s still a large roadmap Max has planned for the port. If you want to jump into the game that started it all though, you can play it all the way through from start to finish now still. Download the mod free on Steam (you will need to own a copy of the base game).
Left 4 Dead 2 VR
Speaking of Valve, one of the best co-op shooters of all time, Valve’s Left 4 Dead 2, has had a VR mod for a little while now and has been getting a steady number of updates. The mod currently supports motion controls, full 6DOF synced eye rendering, and even supports additional mods and custom maps!
This Halloween, a team from our community, SpecialAgentinChargeWd40 & Deanoov91 made a total conversion Ghostbusters campaign to be played with the VR mod in mind.
This is just an example of one of the hundreds of campaign maps you can download and have a blast playing with your friends together, surviving zombies (or ghosts) in full VR.
Universal Unreal Engine VR Injector Mod
Last month, we covered some of the exciting things master modder Praydog has been up to with the ‘one mod to rule them all’, a universal mod that adds full 6DOF VR support in nearly every Unreal Engine game (UE4 & UE5 specifically) ever made. That’s thousands of incredible games with many in the AAA category.
There’s still no exact release date, but Praydog has been making huge progress and is making fast work of things that need to be done ahead of the release.
One thing that he’s been working on is a framework so that other modders can add additional features to specific games. In just two days of work, Praydog made an example mod, adding in full motion controls to a game using his framework. The first game to get motion controller treatment is Severed Steel and serves as a fantastic template to add motion controls in other Unreal Engine games for other modders.
🔥 Severed Steel VR With Motion Controls (Upcoming Praydog Mod) 🔥
In just two days, Praydog managed to add full motion controls to Severed Steel, giving an example of how easy this can be done for other UE VR Mods pic.twitter.com/LAYhQVTO1J
— Flat2VR (@Flat2VR) October 21, 2023
What Unreal Engine games are you most excited to play in VR when Praydog’s mod releases? I’ve put together a list of a few hundred games here.
Vote for your top picks here so we know what to focus on in terms of additional polish!
Updated VR Mods For All Modern Resident Evil Games & Shadows Of Rose Expansion Support
As if Praydog wasn’t already doing enough and doing the impossible, he’s still managing to work on a pretty huge update for his existing RE Engine VR mods. Praydog has worked with PureDark to add DLSS + FSR 2.1 support into the game’s engine to greatly reduce the GPU performance requirements. He also managed to get single-pass stereo rendering working which greatly reduces the CPU requirements.
Here’s a before and after of a certain room in the game that’s been infamous for being a heavy hitter in terms of performance:
A sneak peek at the upcoming DLSS + single frame multi-pass rendering update for Resident Evil mods by Praydog & PureDark.
This room used to absolutely kill even high-end systems (Before & After) pic.twitter.com/HIAvdAiObG
— Flat2VR (@Flat2VR) November 1, 2023
Another major update to Resident Evil 2 VR specifically is a 4k texture pack that Ashok has created, giving players the ability to really look at things up close and see a level of detail that was before impossible.
🔥 Resident Evil 2 Texture Pack 3.0 Update 🔥
Ashok has worked extremely hard to make Resident Evil 2 absolutely stunning when playing in VR by replacing nearly every low-res texture in the game so you can really lean in and take in the world up close.https://t.co/cBGogXR4t2 pic.twitter.com/nnCdPgE9I0
— Flat2VR (@Flat2VR) November 4, 2023
Our friend BeardoBenjo recently did a video on just how good the game looks at max settings on his shiny new 4090. Praydog’s update should allow more people to experience the game like this soon.
In addition to performance updates, Praydog is also adding first person VR support to the brand new ‘Shadow of Rose’ expansion for Resident Evil Village (normally only a 3rd person game) and should be coming out soon.
Skyrim & Fallout 4 VR DLSS & FSR Support
Incredibly talented modder PureDark (whose Gunfire: Reborn VR mod is releasing very soon) has been working on tackling the issue of high performance costs on some of these VR ports and mods. Since VR requires rendering both a left AND right eye separately + reaching 90+ fps AND rendering at high resolutions, it’s no wonder the specs required to run VR are quite high.
PureDark started to wonder ‘what if Nvidia and AMD’s cutting edge performance enhancement tech like DLSS and FSR 2.1 could be modded into VR games to get those great benefits too?’ The process of doing this is quite daunting and up until now, no one else has been able to crack it. DLSS is an AI machine-learning upscaler that requires deep knowledge of the game to work well. It needs to be fed motion vectors, the game’s depth buffer, along with control to do jitters, etc.
PureDark first created a framework to add DLSS in almost any Unity game. Then he began experimenting with other engines. He worked with Praydog to add DLSS & FSR to the Resident Evil games and then began work on adding it to Skyrim & Fallout 4 VR.
Skyrim and Fallout 4 have thousands of mods that can push the game to look like a next gen title (at the expense of your poor GPU heating up the whole house and crying for mercy). PureDark’s work should bring down the barrier of entry performance-wise on many games along with letting us push the graphics even higher than was possible before.
Speaking of Skyrim, Skyrim VR continues to be one of the best VR games period thanks to the incredible work of so many modders, giving it almost Blade & Sorcery levels of VR control.
Our friend BenPlays recently did a video on just some of the latest Skyrim VR mods that bring the game to the next level.
Get Connected and Stay Up to Date on VR Mods
Well, those were some of the biggest Flat2VR updates this month, look out for another issue next month! If you’re interested in learning more, need to get help with installing/using any of these mods or just connect with an amazing community of enthusiasts follow along here:
- Join the Flat2VR Modding Community Discord Server!
- Stay up to date with us on Twitter
- Or tune into our podcast where we cover Flat2VR news, interview modders/developers and go into more details about various projects at work