[How To] Play Oculus & VIVE Games With Steam VR Controls Using your phone [DIY VIVE]

In this guide I will show you how to play Oculus or Steam VR Games using your phone & be able to use motion controls using the Leap Motion to simulate HTC Vive Controllers!

Lets start this with the things you need, then I will explain what each thing does & why you need it

You probably have most of this stuff if your a gamer or a developer

The Leap Motion is optional, but why not get it anyways?
If you don’t plan to play SteamVR Games, then you don’t need steam or the Leap Motion

These are the things that provided me with the best most optimized experience:
Pretty much what I used & recommend

The free version will be limited to 10 minute sessions, enough for testing if everything goes well its worth the $20.00 USD if you have good content to run


Hardware:

  • A Powerful PC [ i5 4690k – 24GB Ram – GTX 970 ]
    A Windows Computer is needed

    This is needed to encode & run the Oculus/Steam VR Games
    The graphics card will do most the graphics and encoding work
    You can probably get by with less taxing games
    tmCDmix
  • A Decently Powerful Android Smartphone [ LG G4 – 1440p – Snapdragon 808 ]
    You can probably get by with an average smartphone
    Used to run and decode the stream/games
    DSC02174
  • A Dual Band Router 5Ghz Wifi [ Asus RT-N56U ]
    Some Smartphones don’t have the best USB Tethering capabilities
    Which may result in Artifacts and in lower quality
    That is when the router comes into play – Stream via 5Ghz
    But try USB & 5Ghz if you have it and see if there is a difference
    DSC02185
  • A Google Cardboard Headset [ FIIT VR 2S – Recommended ]
    I recommend getting that one for its ease of use
    Good ventilation and easy access to the I/O Ports
  • Leap Motion
    You will need this to simulate HTC Vive Steam VR Controllers
    Its not perfect but it is still awesome


Things You May Encounter:
[ In Hardware ]

  • PC – Compatibility issues depending on what graphics card you are running
    I have an Nvidia Graphics Card and run smoothly
    AMD Graphics & Intel Integrated Graphics will work as well
  • Smartphone – You may have a phone that likes to overheat quick
    Your phone may not have a gyroscope
    Not a high enough resolution screen
    Low Resulution = Run Games Better But Wont look too good on your phone
  • Router – You may not have one or able to get one
    But if you plan on getting a new one & on a budget
    I recommend getting the [ Asus RT-N56U ] it goes for around $65 on Amazon.com
    You must have it relativity close, I have mine on the other side of my wall
  • Google Cardboard Headset – Shouldn’t be much of an issue here
    Just get the FIIT VR 2N, it works perfectly with this setup
  • Leap Motion – You may hate how it handles
    There are games that have native LM controls
    But shouldn’t be an issue, it goes for around $30 on ebay
    Took 10 days to get here in Canada
    It also likes to run on USB 3.0 so have a close port ready or a long USB 3.0 cable
    The Unit likes to heat up real nice, its normal, do not worry


Software:

Things You May Encounter:
[ In Software ]

  • If you are a GearVR user, in order to make it work for you, you must follow this guide on how to make Google Cardboard Apps Work with the GearVR: Click Here
    galaxy-gear-vr
  • Riftcat – Currently is in closed Beta (Release on June 20, 2016)
    You may not be able to access it right now
    But when Version 1.0 is release you should be able to
    You may have to play around with the settings
    To get the most optimized experience for your setup
    Hopefully your phone supports it
    I would suggest running SteamVR Games off of steam and not Riftcat
    You may get an error but if its running, leave it to run
    [ You will know what I am talking about if you do encounter it]
    Here is the updates page for the software: [LINK]
    Here is a link as well to the [Help Page] for Riftcat
  • SteamVR – If your computer can’t run just the steam client, get a new computer 😐
    But really it should work any computer
  • Leap Motion VR Orion Driver – Should be a straight forward install
  • Leap Motion Steam VR Driver – You may encounter an issue where Steam VR does not detect it
    – To fix this, first start from Release #3, if it does not work, uninstall it, and install the next version up, #4, repeat this to the latest release
    – If all else fails like what happened to me, Uninstall what ever version you have, and install #3
    – Next goto the location of the installed driver [ C:\Program Files (x86)\SteamVR Leap Motion driver ] and copy out a copy of the “register_driver.cmd” file to your desktop and open it
    – Next Replace all the “%SteamPath%” call-outs that come after the “:start” command with your steam folder location
    [For example mine was “E:\Steam” so I replaced all the “%SteamPath%” with “E:\Steam”]
    – Another problem you may encounter is SteamVR Crashes, happens with a few people, I did not encounter such problem and there is currently no fix for it
    [More Info at the Main Github Page]
  • Leap Motion Desktop Software – There shouldn’t be any problems here as well

Now assuming you have got the right hardware and software and understand what everything is for

Lets start connecting the dots.. dots…. dots…. dots…..


For people without a Leap Motion:

  1. Launch Steam & Riftcat & VR Ridge
  2. Next Make sure you have USB Tethering/Plugged into your PC or Connected to the 5Ghz Network
    How to USB Tether: On your phone go to settings > Tethering & Mobile Hotspot > USB Tethering, then plug your phone in
    Choose one and disconnect the other
  3. Goto VR Ridge on your pc and click on the “VR Ridge” Tab a window should popup and ask you how you want to connect, just click on “Automatic“, It should instantly detect your phone, so go ahead and click “YES
    VR Ridge Connection Newconnection YesNo
  4. Next place your phone inside your Headset
  5. And now you may want to experiment with the quality settings, by clicking on The Wrench Icon
    Streaming Settings Wretch
    You can start with the suggested settings that VR Ridge lists at the bottom of the window you gotta run something first like STEAM VR to test with. Select the right encoder for your GPU
    (These are my settings for Nvidia GPUs)New-Settings
  6. Now YOU ARE READY TO PLAY! =D
    You can start by downloading some experiences if you haven’t already Oculus or SteamVR Games, you can start checking out the ones listed in the VR Ridge ‘Library” Tab
    Games
    – But if you already have something downloaded that is an exe, you can goto the “VRRIDGE” tab and click on “PLAY OCULUS Rift Games” and browse and select the exe, for example the game BLOCKS you can play it without Steam VR but you need the leap motion for those awesome hand controls!
    Blocks

For People with a Leap Motion:

  1. First You want to strap it on your headset to do that grab some black or any color electrical tape and tape the Leap Motion like you see in the picture
    DSC05951DSC05952 DSC05956
  2. If you have that to keep it focusing on your hands
    Electrical tape is the cleanest most secure way that I have found that works without leaving big mess
    And make sure its plugged into the nearest USB 3.0 Port, you can use a USB 2.0 cable but it will be laggy
    DSC02214
  3. Follow The steps above “For People Without a Leap Motion”


Note: That The Leap Motion Steam VR Beta Controls have limited playable games

You are now done, you can play what ever runs on your computer that is if everything runs smoothly for you on your phone as well

What I enjoy using my setup in, is in an awesome Game/App called
VR CHAT you can download it and run it in desktop mode or in VR
I recommend downloading the Steam VR Version of the app.

What VR CHAT is basicly a social VR app where you can chat & create anything you want using the Unity engine, you can import any avatar/character you would like and create your own world/room that you can visit with other people in VR. I have my own room called Komrades Lounge in game you can come visit VR Chat get a feel for it before you dive into VR, you can meet me there, I hop on from time to time, I am Deadpool in game.

VR CHAT Menu

I have been enjoying waving at people & gesturing with the simulated vive controls in game using the Leap Motion, it is very finicky tho, but I got used to it and can control it properly and pickup some stuff such as light sabers in my room, just tons of fun


Well hope this guide will help you get a little taste of what PC VR is like
Let me know if you have had any questions or problems, I will make a video tutorial in the near future to go along with this guide

Again hope you have enjoyed this as much as I did making it 🙂
Good Luck!

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