Always keen to jump on new technologies for the advancement of interactive entertainment, Valve has been one of the key supporters of the Oculus Rift headset since it’s initial unveiling. The development studio has been retroactively updating some of their most popular titles to use with the headset, beginning with Team Fortress 2. Still hugely popular and now free-to-play, Team Fortress 2 is arguably the best place to start with a new Oculus Rift headset.
Once you’ve taken your Oculus Rift out of it’s box, plugged in the legion of cables and calibrated the motion detection and stereoscopic 3D, you’re going to want to jump straight into a videogame. However, at present, while the technical demonstrations offered by Oculus are immediately compatible full release titles are not so easily configured. Team Fortress 2 is perhaps the easiest to jiggle into position, and so VRFocus has chosen it to be our first ‘Mod of the Week’ title!
Before beginning to play Team Fortress 2 with the Oculus Rift ensure you’ve played through the tutorial on a standard monitor. The videogame features text that is relatively hard to read through the Oculus Rift headset.
Once you’re ready to begin true, exit the videogame and ensure that your Steam client has downloaded all available updates for the videogame. Next, right-click on the Team Fortress 2 listing in your Steam Library and select ‘Properties’. Click ‘Set Launch Options…’ and enter ‘-vr’ (without apostrophes) into the command line. Close the Properties box. At this point there may be an additional update for Team Fortress 2: allow Steam to complete this process before continuing.
Once Steam has completed all of it’s updates launch the videogame. You will now see that an ‘Activate Virtual Reality’ option has been added to the main menu. However, we’re not quite there yet. Next you should exit the videogame once more, ensure that your screen resolution is set to 1280 x 800 pixels, and then return to the videogame. Click the option to activate the virtual reality software and begin playing!
Don’t worry if the menus and option preliminary screens are centralised and not filling your field-of-view. This is a common problem, but the in-game aspect of Team Fortress 2 will honour the IPD rules that you have set through the initial Oculus Rift calibration.