- Best Entry Level VR Headsets - December 25, 2022
- VR Games on our Radar in 2023 - December 15, 2022
- Ashok Interview - December 1, 2022
Fallout 4 is undoubtedly one of the most divisive games in the series, but when the game was moved to VR, everything changed.
That wild and dangerous world now becomes your own with Fallout 4 VR, and the concept alone was enough to sell a boatload.
Unfortunately, it was a bit of a rough start for Fallout 4 VR as the initial launch was brutal, with things like graphics and performance being completely disastrous and some aspects feeling decidedly not VR friendly.
Despite that, I took the plunge in 2019 into Fallout 4 VR after being thoroughly impressed with Bethesda’s first outing with Skyrim VR.
Once I got over the jank and tweaked a bunch of things to get the visuals I was looking for, the world took over, and I felt like I was experiencing Fallout 4 for the first time again.
The grime, the despair, and the pain of the Fallout world comes through in VR in a much stronger way than you could ever get from the flat screen.
There is a ton to get into when it comes to Fallout 4 VR, so we’re going to find out how to play this game with the Oculus Rift, how to make it run well, and all of the mechanics involved as well as some mods that can make the experience feel like a modern VR game as well.
Starting It Up
You can play Fallout 4 VR through both Steam VR and the Oculus app. Both of these are accessible from the Oculus Rift headset.
I have always played through Steam VR as it’s the easier interface, but when you start up Fallout 4 VR, you will choose whether to activate it through Oculus or Steam.
The major difference is that the buttons will show up as Oculus Touch controllers rather than custom bindings you might download. Once you make your choice, you’ll be all ready to go.
Playing Fallout 4 VR in True VR
One thing I’d like to make clear before starting this guide up. Fallout 4 VR is nearly unplayable in its vanilla state. The lack of care given to the VR aspect from everything from moving around to interacting with the world is so blatant here that it’s honestly a shame.
Luckily, like most Bethesda games, the modders fixed the game for them, so I’m going to be recommending a handful of mods that make the experience far more enjoyable along the way.
If you’re playing Fallout 4 VR, there is no reason to punish yourself and not use these mods as they completely upgrade the experience to feel like an actual VR game should.
Moving Around the Wasteland
You’ll have multiple options for movement in Fallout 4 VR. First off, you’ll start the game with teleporting as the base form of movement.
This will warp you around various distances depending on where you activate it. If you ask me, this method is more sickening than moving normally and shouldn’t be the default for any game whatsoever.
You can change this form of movement in the VR menu by pressing start. Along with that, you can change your vignette filters, snap turning speed vs. smooth turning, and one of the more unique things I’ve seen in a VR game, world scale.
The world-scale determines how big the world is in comparison to yourself. Changing this can be a jarring effect, doing things like making Dogmeat, your trusty canine companion, appear massive or cause the people of the world to feel tiny. Play around with this a bit to figure out what your happy medium is.
You will click in the left thumbstick on your Oculus Touch controller to sprint. Letting go of the thumbstick will stop your sprint. Your walk speed starts out slow, but in VR, you have the ability to change that in the menu if so prefer.
You can change it so that your walk speed is nearly as fast as your sprint, which in my opinion, makes the game more fun to move through, and you can always lessen your walk speed by tilting the control stick slightly forward as opposed to all the way.
If you’re playing with your headset wire mounted to your ceiling, you can actually turn around as well as move around in the game, as Fallout 4 VR does support room-scale.
I assume you don’t have a 10×10 space readily available for VR, though, so in that case, you’ll be largely standing still during your playthrough.
Physical sneaking is a big part of many VR games, and luckily, it’s fully involved with Fallout 4 VR as well. If you so choose, you can play the game as a stealth character, staying quiet and taking out enemies when they haven’t noticed you.
There is actually a number of bonuses you can get in the game by taking out enemies quietly, and while you can crouch with a controller button, it’s much more fun to actually crouch and sneak around in real life.
Enemies in Fallout 4 VR are very perceptive, and many of them have traps or alarm systems set up that you can accidentally trigger, and when you do, the whole area will be alerted to your presence.
Crouching can void some of these unwanted consequences while also keeping you active during the game as well.
Immersion with the World and The Mods That Help You Do It
Fallout 4 VR is far from a modern feeling VR game, but there are certain cool functions that the VR version of the game does introduce. One of those is how the Pip-Boy works in VR.
Instead of pressing a button to bring up the iconic Pip-Boy menu, in VR, you will actually need to bring your left wrist up to your face to view the menu on it. There is a comfort option to make this more viable, as holding up your wrist for an extended period of time can understandably get a bit tiring.
You will also be able to pick up objects in the world, but unfortunately, this is done via a button press rather than actually picking up the items in-game. While most of the game remains how Fallout 4 was on a flat screen, there are a few mods that create a more modern-feeling Fallout 4 VR game.
One of those that is integral to the experience in my mind is Virtual Chems. This will let you physically inject Stimpaks, ingest things like Nuka Cola and Jet, and lets you interact with any of the healing items in a game how it was intended to feel in VR.
Don’t let Bethesda’s laziness affect your gameplay; the mod is free and does nothing to harm performance, so just install it ASAP.
Another hugely important mod is Virtual Holsters. This adds a much-needed VR aspect that is completely missing from the game, as the only way to equip anything is by selecting it from either your favorites menu or scrolling endlessly through your Pip-Boy.
Neither of those is fun, and they definitely aren’t immersive either, so we need to fix that. Virtual Holsters gives you exactly what it says, seven customizable holsters that let you put any weapon you want into them.
This gives you so many options, and each one requires you to physically pull the weapon out as well. It’s a huge boost to immersion in Fallout 4 VR and makes the prior way of equipping things seem positively primitive by comparison.
The last piece of the puzzle for getting Fallout 4 VR to feel close to a modern VR game is FRIK. This stands for Full Player Body With Inverse Kinetics, and to say it’s a game-changer is an understatement.
This mod adds a full body, arms, legs, and hands into the game to give you an actual sense of self in VR, which is a world of difference compared to the floating gun and Pip-Boy that you’re stuck within the basic version of Fallout 4 VR.
Seeing your actual hands holding the awesome weapons of Fallout 4 VR is just awesome, and when you combine the Virtual Holsters with FRIK, you actually have a fully functioning VR body that makes it feel like you’re part of the Fallout world and not just a bodyless passenger.
Combat in Fallout 4 VR
Combat takes center stage in Fallout 4 VR, and there are some marked changes that you need to take note of here. Instead of aiming with a controller, you’re going to be using motion controllers and your actual hands to take your shots from now on.
The guns range from pistols to shotguns and even mini-nuke launchers, but regardless of the gun you choose to use, you need to understand that there is no weight involved with any of these guns.
That’s probably a given considering you’re not actually using a weapon in real life, but plenty of games simulate the weight of guns of different sizes, with some requiring you to use two hands to aim them, but Fallout 4 VR does no such thing, and the result is that every gun feels as light as a feather.
In addition to your guns, you can also use ranged weapons like Molotov cocktails as well as grenades. Luckily, the VR aspect comes in full force here as you need to actually throw the grenades and other throwable items that you’ve got.
The force you put into each throw is pretty well measured, so you can pull off some amazingly destructive attacks if your arm and arm strength are in tune. It’s pretty much the best part of the base game and makes the combat far more immersive compared to the other aspects that feel decidedly weaker in the VR Sense.
When it comes to combat, you’re going to be facing off with some intimidating enemies of various types.
You will find yourself against plenty of monstrosities in the game, but a lot of the time, you’ll be doing battle against normal people like yourself, and they’re going to be peppering you with a very accurate hail of bullets throughout the game.
You can choose to take these attacks head-on, but even with your best armor, you’re not going to last all that long. In order to counter that, you can take actual cover around corners, behind random desks, and pretty much anything else you can find.
That means you’ll be physically ducking and taking a knee while you’re playing, so be prepared and stretched out beforehand as things get pretty intense in Fallout 4 VR. Your head is pretty much what takes the damage in here, so get ready to weave in and out of the bullet storm that will be coming your way.
The collision detection is a bit spotty, and if your enemy has a shotgun or a gun with a large spread, you’ll find it pretty tough to dodge any bullets coming at you, although VATS will definitely help a bit.
Your enemies will also be throwing grenades and launching explosive weapons like rocket launchers at you. You can dodge these in the game like you normally would by running away, but if you’ve got the space available, you can also hop out of the way while playing.
I recommend setting up your boundaries in room-scale here so you don’t crash into anything, but being able to play this way makes it a whole lot more intense and fun as well.
While you likely won’t be doing a ton of melee here, as guns are generally the best form of attack you’ll have access to in the game, you will need these weapons on occasion. They do not have any weight to them either, and you can swing them as much as you’d like.
The only thing governing your swings is a stamina meter, which will drain during power attacks. Your weapon doesn’t really interact with the enemies you hit, so keep that in mind when swinging. The only thing that will let you know you’re hitting an enemy is their reaction and some blood effects.
I would recommend tweaking your settings in the Fallout 4 VR config .ini. You can find this by going to User\documents\My Games\Fallout 4 VR\ Fallout4VRCustom.ini. Once you’re there, you’ll find the option called MeleeLinearVelocityThreshold.
You can tweak this however you’d like, and the higher the number you put, the more force you’ll have to put into your melee swings.
I know not everyone wants to get a workout in VR, but waving your melee weapons around like they’re the weight of a fork does nothing for immersion, and that’s what VR is all about.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, just because Bethesda didn’t care about making the VR aspects of the game feel like VR doesn’t mean you have to suffer as well. One of the lacking aspects here is the melee combat, especially when it comes to the various bladed weapons you’ll find.
You cannot stab anything in the game and rather have to resort to wild slashing. With Bladed Weapons Redux For VR, you simply pull the trigger on your Oculus Touch controller when thrusting your bladed weapon forward, and you’ll do damage.
The other huge issue with combat in Fallout 4 VR is how the guns work. Fallout 4 is an RPG, and with every RPG comes some form of behind-the-scenes wizardry that determines how much damage you’re going to do.
With Fallout 4, that came into play with the guns, as no matter how accurate of a shot you thought you were, sometimes some random behind-the-scenes actions would cause your shots to miss. In Fallout 4 VR, that song remains the same, and it’s immersion-breaking in the worst possible way.
To counter this, we have the More Accurate Weapons mod. This mod takes away that behind-the-scenes magic and actually lets you shoot your guns where you aim them. This makes things like pulling off headshots far easier and leads to much more immersion as well.
The other thing to know in the combat here is the changing up of the VATS system that has been in the series for a long time now. Instead of things freezing time to a turn-based system, the action just slows down instead, allowing you to target specific limbs.
From here, you can take calm and calculated shots at your enemies, and after building up a meter with normal attacks, you can press the A button to ready an extra powerful shot that will completely obliterate your opponent when you decide to pull the trigger.
When Fallout 4 VR was first released, there was a complete lack of scopes in the game. The sniper rifle had something resembling scopes, but to say they were subpar is an understatement. In order to make things much more manageable when firing guns, download the See-Through Scopes mod.
It’s not an option; it’s a necessity when it comes to Fallout 4 VR. This mod adds scopes from 2.5x, 4x, and 8x times what you normally see, and they look amazing in VR. You can add them to most guns, too, making the aiming in Fallout 4 VR so much more enjoyable than it previously was.
Power Armor in VR is a completely different ballgame than it is in the flat screen version. In VR, you’re meant to feel everything you’re doing, and that includes the power that comes from wielding this walking tank.
When you jump into the Power Armour for the first time, you will be surrounded by the actual armor in your headset. That means your HUD will change completely, and you’ll feel like you pretty much just got into Iron Man’s armor.
There are mods that you can get at this point to make that immersion even more complete, such as Kabuto VR.
Once you’re in it, a few things will feel different. You will be moving far slower than before, and your jumps will now thump, leading to an accompanying loud boom when you land, and this is especially true if jumping from a tall height.
In addition to that, you’ll be able to wield weapons that before would likely have put you over the weight limit, including the minigun.
When you take damage in the Power Armor, it will shroud your vision even more than normal in VR, so it’s important to keep a strong grip on your surroundings even if you’re more or less a nearly indestructible tank.
Seated Vs. Standing
Fallout 4 VR is an enormous game that is full of content to explore, enemies to fight, and things to collect, and you can find yourself spending a ton of time in the world.
While VR is meant to be experienced while standing, that can get tiresome after a while, so some might opt for the seated experience on occasion as well.
If you’re seated, you’ll be perfectly able to enjoy Fallout 4 VR. You can still aim with your arms and interact with the game world and even be able to use most of the mods I suggested above.
You’ll be missing out on things like realistic dodging and sneaking, which might matter a lot for some, but the plus side is you’ll likely be able to spend as much time as you’d like playing Fallout 4 VR without getting tired.
For some people, this will be the only way they can physically play, and that kind of flexibility is a great thing, and you really don’t miss out on a ton when it comes to playing the game seated.
Standing is the way VR was made to be played, and here, you will get some great physical interaction while playing the game and standing up will allow you to do things like ducking, sneaking, and, best of all, dodging enemy’s attacks.
You’ll also be able to fully interact with the melee mechanics and also be able to throw grenades and other throwable things far more effectively than you would be while seated.
Games Like Fallout 4 VR
- The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners
- The Walking Dead: Onslaught
- Into the Radius
- Resident Evil 7 VR
- Resident Evil 4 VR
- Skyrim VR
- Asgard’s Wrath
- After the Fall VR
- Arizona Sunshine
Question: Is Fallout 4 VR the only Fallout Game in VR?
Answer: Officially, yes, Fallout 4 VR is currently the only Fallout game in VR. There are some ways to play the other games in VR, though those come without complete VR functionality and are similar to the regular games, with being able to look around the world freely being the biggest change.
Question: Is there a Reload Mechanic in Fallout 4 VR?
Answer: Unfortunately, even the most basic VR features like reloading were left out of Fallout 4 VR, and it doesn’t seem like something that can be modded into the game either, leaving it feeling pretty weak mechanically compared to modern VR shooters like Pavlov VR and Half-Life: Alyx.
Question: Does Fallout 4 VR Come with the DLCs?
Answer: The base game does not come with any of the DLCs included, so you will have to buy them separately.
Fallout 4 VR is admittedly not the best VR game of all time, but it offers you something that pretty much no other game has.
It’s got an amazing post-apocalyptic VR world to explore with hours and hours of content to explore.
You won’t get the most modern and interactive VR mechanics here, but the exciting fights, terrifying creatures, and gripping stories told throughout the game are surely enough to keep you playing for a long time.
Side Quest vs Virtual Desktop: Everything You Need to Know