Do you want to make the most of VR gaming but cannot afford the expensive Oculus Rift or HTC Vive? Do not worry as you can take full advantage of VR simply by installing the VRidge app from RiftCat on your gaming PC or smartphone. The VRidge app transforms your phone or PC into a VR headset once you have downloaded the app.
You can easily pair off VRidge with compatible Android app (now available for an iOS edition) for enjoying VR games in almost the same way as you’d with Vive or Rift. You must be wondering “why almost”. That’s because, presently VRidge is a customized app which is companionable with select VR titles, facilitating only rotational tracking (no positional tracking).
This article will walk you through the steps for streaming VR games from your PC to Google Cardboard or Gear VR.
Essential accessories you’ll need to stream PC games to cardboard
In order to enable streaming of VR games to Google Cardboard, you’ll invariably need a VR ready PC or desktop. Besides an advanced gaming PC, you’ll need a standard VR headset (Google Cardboard or Samsung’s Gear VR will suffice). Both these VR headsets are supremely affordable and come with a robust head strap- indispensable for a unique VR gaming experience.
At the same time, your PC must be running on a relatively modern Android version (Pie, Oreo or Nougat). Also, having a Leap Motion tracker or gyro mouse will allow you to take full advantage of the optimum advantage of rotational tracking.
Preparing to stream
Start by downloading and installing the RiftCat for making your desktop stream VR to Android OS. You can log in to any RiftCat tutorial for getting the link for downloading the VRidge app. After you have installed the RiftCat on your desktop, you’ll have to download and install the VRidge on your smartphone.
Next, match up the VRidge with the RiftCat. Now, log into RiftCat and use the respective tab for facilitating the VRidge connection to the phone.
Pairing the PC with the phone
Use a USB flash drive or local Wi-Fi for pairing the PC with your phone or vice-versa. Once your desktop and the phone identify each other via the USB or the Wi-Fi network, you’ll know that both the PC and the phone are paired.
Conduct a trial run of your setup
You’ll be able to play RiftCat games following the pairing of your phone with the PC. Before you can begin gaming, conduct a trial run of your setup. Take note that all RiftCat games have been configured to run on the VRidge platform.
Download and install SteamVR games
Before you proceed to launch and open SteamVR games, make sure that the VRidge has been paired with RiftCat. Once you’re through with launching SteamVR, you have to use a pin built into the VRidge for playing SteamVR games.
Now, you’re set up for VR gaming. Nevertheless, before starting, ensure that you have synced the VR settings with your play area. SteamVR statistics reveal that nearly 52% of users access a play area of approximately 53.8 sq ft (or 2.5m x 2m). So, you should target a play area of at least 54 sq ft.
Allow for a buffer-barrier of minimum 1ft between the walls of the room and the virtual border lines for setting up tracking limits. After making the mandatory VR settings, you’ll be ready to stream games to your Google Cardboard, via a handheld controller. However, you may not be able to use the advanced features of the games, reducing your experience to a passive one.
Making VR gaming more immersive
Opt for a Leap Motion Tracker controller or a gyro mouse for a more immersive gaming experience. You’ll have to affix the LMT (Leap Motion Tracker) with your Cardboard and connect the pair to OPC for making the tracker compatible with Cardboard. Make sure the cable linking the Google Cardboard with the desktop is sufficiently long or else you could trip over.
Go for a gyro mouse to enable rotational tracking
Apart from the Leap Motion Tracker, you can also use a gyro mouse for a better VR experience. With a gyro or rotational mouse, you’ll hardly experience any lag or delay. Furthermore, the gyro mouse is wireless which means you won’t have to deal with messy cables. You’ll need to pair the mouse with the Cardboard by mounting it atop the headset.
Once you’re through with linking the mouse with the headset, you’ll be able to make the most of VR gaming.
So, now you realize how easy is it to stream VR games to Google Cardboard (or any other affordable VR headset for that matter). However, keep in mind that using a cheap headset means that you have to be mentally prepared for a trade-off. In other words, you’ll not be able to enjoy the advanced VR gaming features, unless you use Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.