How to read the manual

The manual can be roughly divided into two parts: a tutorial part that will introduce you to the VR interface and what the available options are, and a pitfalls part that will explain (current) known shortcomings of the VR port and pitfalls of VR in general.

The rest of this page will explain some terminology.


A brief explanation of terms and abbreviation
  • VR: Virtual Reality (duh)

  • VR Stage: Your physical play area

  • Mirror texture: The motion picture shown on your pancake monitor when you are playing in VR

  • OpenXR: An Open Source interface for accessing AR/VR devices.

    This is the VR equivalent of Vulkan, developed by the same group as Vulkan: Khronos. OpenXR, like Vulkan, is purely an interface and not an implementation.

  • OpenXR Runtime: An implementation of the OpenXR standard.

  • VR Runtime: The software interfacing with your VR device. An OpenXR Runtime is a subset of a VR runtime.

  • Native Runtimes: The VR Runtime provided by your device drivers.

  • SteamVR: Valve’s VR Runtime, shipped as a part of Steam. SteamVR, native to the Index, acts also as a non-native runtime to all other headsets

OpenXR vs What you’re used to

Before moving on to the manual contents, I would like to note that OpenMW-VR uses the OpenXR API to access VR.

Most VR games you’ve ever played use vendor-specific APIs, such as OpenVR (SteamVR), Oculus VR, WMR, etc. and not OpenXR. OpenXR is very new, with most vendors only releasing stable implementations this year (2021). This means that while playing OpenMW-VR you may see bugs originating from your VR runtime, that you don’t see in other games. This will diminish in time as OpenXR runtimes mature.

As an example, SteamVR’s OpenXR runtime neglects to map some controls (thumbsticks and the menu button), rendering them inoperable.