5 Things Bethesda Needs To Do To Make Fallout 4 Work In VR

by David Jagneaux • May 9th, 2017

Fallout 4 VR is currently in development by Bethesda and we’re extremely excited to see what the prolific game studio comes up with. The original Fallout 4 is a great game, full of amazing environments to explore and some of the most memorable quests in the series so far.  We can’t wait to return to the Boston Wasteland.

We got to try a quick glimpse of the game at E3 2016 last year with a teleportation-based movement system that, while functional, was far from ideal. There were lots of bugs and it was clearly just a glimpse into what was possible, but now that we’re coming up on a year later since that demo, the stakes have been raised and we look forward to seeing what this year’s improved E3 demo brings to the table. Many people are hoping for this to become the “killer app” for many VR enthusiasts.

But in order for it to be an effective and joyous return, instead of one plagued by frustrating issues due to the game’s port over from non-VR platforms, Bethesda has their work cut out for them. Simply adding in 3D effects and a head tracking isn’t enough to really bring Fallout 4 into VR like it deserves to be recreated. As a result, we’ve put together this list of things Bethesda needs to do in order to make Fallout 4 really work in VR.

fallout 4 uss constitution featured image

Include Lots of Locomotion Options

We already know that Bethesda is going to include multiple locomotion options when Fallout 4 VR is released, but we still don’t know exactly what they are. Teleportation was already functional when we tried the game at E3 last year, but now that most early adopters have tasted the possibilities with full locomotion in other games, it will certainly have to be an option.

After playing the likes of Resident Evil 7 in VR with full locomotion it’s certainly possible to do it well. Arizona Sunshine is another great example. As long options exist for players that are sensitive to VR sickness there is really no reason not to let players explore the vast wastelands of Fallout 4 as freely as possible.

fallout 4 pip-boy

Let Us Use The Pip-Boy Without Pausing

One of the best things about the E3 2016 demo for Fallout 4 VR was the implementation of the Pip-Boy. It was far from complete and my character’s hands weren’t even modeled into the game yet, but it was a brief glimpse at the things to come.

Looking down at my left wrist I saw the Pip-Boy floating there. I could turn it around on my arm and look at the screen. It really made me like I was part of the world. What I’d love is for the ability to look down at it, access items, check the map, and change gear, all without being kicked into a paused screen like in the base game. Let me look down and use it in real-time, without the world freezing.

fallout please stand by

Cut Down Load Times

A big issue that has plagued Bethesda games for years is the prevalence of loading screens. The first time I played Skyrim on a PS3 it felt like I had enough time to go make myself dinner before the game would finish loading a new area. Every door that connected a building to the over world had a load screen and depending on the type of traveling you were doing it could start to feel a bit excessive. This issue persisted in Fallout 4 as well, although to a slightly lesser degree.

Long load times are a problem outside of VR, but they’re totally immersion breaking inside of VR. When I’m playing on my PC or console I can just go to another tab, open a chat window, or something else for the 30 seconds I’m waiting. But standing still, looking at nothing by deep blackness and a loading bar, is just not gonna cut it for VR games. It’s enough to drive someone mad.

fallout 4 settlement

Let Us Interact Using Our Hands

I’ll never forget the first time I played Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind on PC. I could pick up virtually every item in the game from forks and spoons to cups and plates and even eat the food right off of tables. NPCs got mad at me when I stole from them and I could kill anyone in the world, even if it meant preventing myself from completing a quest later. That sort of freedom was unheard of to me, that is, until I played The Elder Scrolls.

Now Bethesda has the chance to make Fallout 4 that sort of game for VR gamers. Let us reach out and pick up things in the world not just using a crosshair like in the base game, but by using our actual hand controllers. Let me grab supplies and physically place the walls to build structures at settlements and leave my mark on the world. The more interactive Bethesda makes Fallout 4 VR, the better it’s going to be.

fallout 4 nuka world

Give Us All Of The DLC and Mod Support

Finally, Fallout 4 VR needs to be a feature-complete game. All of the currently released DLC should be included at the base price. And while it would be amazing if all of the existing mods for Fallout 4 would work on the VR iteration, I’m not going to hold my breath. At the very least I just hope that full mod support will be included so modders can work their magic over time.

Bethesda is great at releasing games that feel dense and elaborate in their own right, but they always continue to add onto them and allow players to craft their adventures. Bethesda claims that “all of” Fallout 4 will be included with its VR release, so hopefully that means the DLC and mods are coming along too.

That concludes our list of things Bethesda absolutely needs to do in order for Fallout 4 to really work in VR. A bonus item is they really need to figure out a way to make VATS work and not feel clunky or odd when in VR. Best of luck on that front.

What do you hope Bethesda is able to do while porting the experience over to VR devices? Let us know down in the comments below!

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What's your reaction?
  • JMB

    I really, really want Falout 4 VR to work, and I am sure Bethesda are putting their best effort into it.

    It’s just that going bei their track record with regards to technology and its efficient implementation, I have very serious doubts. The engine is an ancient behemoth, with physics directly linked to framerate. How they will force it to display at 90 fps is beyond me, and from a UI point of view, sure all the assets are there but the entire system of interaction and object collision would have to be built up from the ground.

    So as much as Fallout 4 VR has the potential the be THE killer game that could drive adoption rates significantly and usher VR somewhat into mainstream focus, I am extremely worried that a lackluster port will in fact have the opposite effect.

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed and await E3 with bated breath. What they show there should be pretty damn close to gold master.

    • rabs

      I’m also more worried and cautious than excited…

      • I could be wrong, but I seriously do not think that they’d work on it this long and not deliver. There are always going to be people that are unhappy, regardless, but I’m thoroughly excited. I’ve actually been waiting to play Fallout 4 UNTIL it comes out in VR!

  • jimrp

    Last thing someone needs to hack it for Oculus use.

    • André Marques


    • 1droidfan

      I imagine it will get hacked, but it will pale in comparison to the native Vive support. Pretty much what RoboRecall plays like on the Vive, i.e. chuggy, laggy and with poor button mapping.

      • Justos

        pretty much every steamvr game for me.

        • 1droidfan

          True that.

        • Tenka

          This .. so much … ugh.

        • brandon9271

          yeah.. Most SteamVR games are crap for me.. I just assumed they’d be crap on the Vive too. The “Trials on Tattooine” experience is COMPLETE GARBAGE.

      • Mane Vr

        it’s no a vive exclusive they said it would be on psvr and whatever ms hmd is as well. I am sure they not saying oculus solely because of the sue case but at the end of the day it’s about getting this on as many hmd as they can

        • braylien

          i havent seen any confirmation its coming to psvr. do you know where you saw that?

      • Mo Last

        There’s something called roborevive which makes it play like an official vive port with nothing wrong with it……

    • Donnie

      I’m willing to bet that it will work fine but with no ‘official’ Oculus support

  • Joan Villora Jofré

    I really hope this time Bethesda does not leave so many bugs. In virtual reality that would be deadly for the player.

    • Tenka

      Why do people think this? People already deal with bugs/lag/judder in VR, it’s just as annoying as it is on a flat screen. Being in VR doesn’t suddenly make the game “dangerous” LMAO.

      • NooYawker

        Well, jutter and lag makes it feel like my brain is being pulled out of my head.

        • Tenka

          Pff … casual.

      • Joan Villora Jofré

        Annoying on a flat screen to the point of puking?

        • Tenka

          For some people yea. Plenty of people still get motion sickness from standard first person shooters. You just don’t hear about it because John Carmack never made a twitter post saying “first person shooters are basically poison”, thus validating the idea that we need to cater for the weak willed/ weak minded for flat.

      • CazCore

        you must have forgot that if you die in VR you die IRL

  • wrapter

    they need to release it!

  • Mane Vr

    I agree on all the points you made but I have to say picking Arizona sunshine as an example of a good setup of full locomotion says a lot. I would think Serious Sam vr would be the nest example of giving locomotion options it adds forward lock to playspace as well as with hand and head that AS does more control over speed while AS feels way too slow and don’t let you change it. in fact Serious Sam vr is the only vr game that can truly cover every play style which is what Fallout will need to be like to succeed and we need fallout to succeed so the rest of the AAA devs will see they can add vr modes to their games

    • mirak

      Arizona Sunshine locomotion is garbage. I prefer teleport.

    • Tenka

      I found Arizona Sunshines Locomotion pretty good, but yes OP is correct on all counts in regards to SS:TFE VR. They did it right, just include every fucking option possible!!

  • Eric Willhelm

    Ummm maybe fix the bugs that STILL plague players?

    • Joan Villora Jofré

      It’s what worries me.

    • Charles Holmes

      Better idea: STOP USING AN ENGINE THAT’S TEN YEARS OLD. Seriously, this is practically the same engine that TSO: Oblivion was made with!

  • iUserProfile

    Make VATS mode play like Super Hot VR ^^

    • Tenka

      If they manage to keep in mod support, someone has to make this happen!

  • Sonny Bono

    Any system powerful enough to render Fallout 4 on two independent screens at 45-60FPS each would cost SERIOUS money. My system costs roughly $1500 to build (would cost more to have it built for you) and it barely pushes 50FPS on one screen in Ultra detail 1080p. This seems like wasted effort. Not enough people have VR, much less super-powerful VR. Who is going to buy this?

    • Tony_Neville

      Fallout 4 is capped due to bethesda’s implementation of physics simulation. Mine’s at 72 fps with a factory overclocked 1080 ti. Your graphics card isn’t the bottleneck and can render far higher fps with the cap removed, but with the risk of visual anomalies.

    • Tenka

      AS of NVidia’s VRWorks, the whole “rendering two screens” thing is going to be a non-issue. Single-Pass Stereo rendering solves this problem. They are no longer rendering the world twice, they are rendering it once and taking 2 pictures of it basically.

  • Ethan James Trombley

    Actually the first thing it needs to do is come out.

    • Actually, I’d contend all of these things need to happen first, as in during development, before it comes out. But hey, we’re on the same page here.

  • Cl

    I think they need to make fallout 4 VR a DLC so people who bought the game already dont have to pay full price twice for the game and the DLC they already have.

  • Onyx Blue

    I trust they will do a great job

  • I totally agree with everything said here.

  • Fear Monkey

    It needs to come out on PSVR even if its just a PSPRO game and Scorpio. It needs to be on every platform possible to sell VR, even if its performance isnt perfect.

  • Jolard

    I am not sure I want there to be no pausing when I look at the pip boy. If I am going through my inventory trying to find the right object, weapon, or buff I don’t want to be having to rush through that process because an enemy is bearing down on me. At the very least it should be a choice, or maybe just slow down the action a little.

  • Moose

    even if it’s a buggy mess, ill play it.

  • High Altitudes

    IF DLC’s are not included, it won’t be a deal breaker for me, still interested in it. That being said, I’d spend 2x as much to get the DLCs included.

  • 農場祭司

    maybe I just have good balance but walkabout locomotion blows me away. if you have a massive playspace, it’s the best. managing the space you have to walk in just becomes part of the game. you totally forget about the space somehow.. like, pacing becomes part of the movement mechanic and you only think of the space in the context of how you can rotate the floor bounds to best suite your intention… it’s kind of like billiards… where you’re the ball… anyway, you just get so lost in the game… it’s amazeballs. I feel like any developer worth their salt should be using something similar…

  • 農場祭司

    If it doesn’t have something even vaguely resembling walkabout locomotion, I probably wont buy it.