How To Play Alien: Isolation In VR Right Now On Rift And Vive

by David Jagneaux • August 31st, 2017

Alien: Isolation is a great game. Like many survival horror titles it seems to have gotten better as time goes on as the subtle intricacies of its design are slowly uncovered and appreciated. Some people even regard it as the best-ever game based on the popular Alien series of  films. I tend to agree with those people.

Back when the game first came out there was a way to play it by modding the game files and unlocking an “experimental” VR mode, but that didn’t work on consumer headsets like the Oculus Rift CV1 until very recently and didn’t work on the HTC Vive at all until just last week. With the latest patch to a mod created by a developer that goes by Nibre, you can finally play Alien: Isolation in VR through direct SteamVR support. Here’s a video of me playing it with a Xbox One gamepad, seated, in an HTC Vive VR headset:

Having played plenty of VR horror titles such as Resident Evil 7 on PSVR, which is also seated, as well as standing motion controller games like Killing Floor: Incursion, and full-blown roomscale experiences like A Chair in a Room: Greenwater, I can honestly say that Alien: Isolation is still a top-tier VR survival horror title. The simple fact you can look around inside of lockers while hiding makes it so much more terrifying.

Granted, it was not designed exclusively for VR or officially ported directly so there are still some rough edges. Text and numbers from menus and interactive objects are very tough to read, some of the camera placement is wobbly and wonky, and it’s definitely going to make some people sick. But I’d assume if you’re a VR consumer you’re used to a bit of experimentation.

Installation

So if you want to play Alien: Isolation in VR on your Rift or Vive right now, you need this mod. Installation is dead simple as even I (someone that is typically terrified of tinkering with game files) easily got it to work. All you do is download the mod files and drag the one named “dxgi.dll” into your Alien: Isolation game folder. If you also want SteamVR support for a Steam copy of the game then drag over “openvr_api.dll” into the game folder and ad “-steamvr” to the Launch Options in Steam too.

That Launch Options setting took me a few minutes to find. Just right click on the game’s title in your Steam library and then left click on “Properties” down at the bottom of the drop down menu. Under the default “General” tab click on the “Set Launch Options” button, type “-steamvr” into the field, and click “Ok.” Now when you launch Alien: Isolation (and have your VR headset plugged in with SteamVR running) it should automatically open up in VR. All you have to do is hit play!

You can see some more gameplay in another video embedded above. For more detail on why we’re so obsessed with playing this game in VR, don’t forget to read this detailed analysis of why it’s so immersive and terrifying. Nibre is planning to eventually add motion controller support, but it’s just keyboard + mouse or gamepad for now.

Have you tried Alien: Isolation in VR? You can buy it on Steam for $39.99 (or $49.99 with all DLC) or in this currently active Spooky Horror Humble Bundle for less than $10 until 9/4/17. Did you try this latest mod? Let us know down in the comments below!

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  • Rothgarr

    “Having played plenty of VR horror titles such as Resident Evil 7 on PSVR, which is also seated”

    I’m not sure how anybody can play this sitting down without getting sick. I had to play it standing up and physical turn my body in whatever direction I wanted to face. I only used the movement controls to move forwards and backwards. (then again, I played using smooth turning, just like I did with Robinson)

    • Motion sickness impacts everyone differently. The creator of the mod recommends sitting down and that’s what I always prefer for gamepad titles, especially ones that lack positional tracking. In terms of not getting sick, I’m just one of those lucky people that don’t ever experience it. I wish everyone were like that :/

    • 1droidfan

      I dont feel sick at all but it scares the heck out of me.

      • You and me both.

        • iUserProfile

          I played while beeing seated and wasn’t scared shitless nur motion sick. I enjoyed and platinumed it. Now I stuill come back for the DLC here and there. It’s an awesome game. Has Alien Isolation positional tracking or is it just gyroscopic senoring?

    • CHEASE

      How long have you been playing VR?

      • Rothgarr

        Um, maybe nine or ten months? The only thing that makes me sick is pivoting using a controller. So long as I physically turn my body I’m good.

        • WhywasIbanned

          I’m with you on this one and got instant nausea too. I guess it’s just bad luck that we’re affected as I can’t find a solution. Racing games like Redout, Pcars is fine though, it’s only certain motion types.

  • johngrimoldy

    From the second-to-last paragraph of this article: …don’t forget to read this detailed analysis of why it’s so immersive and terrifying….

    No link to any detailed analysis. Not sure if that sentence is referring to this article itself, which is not detailed nor analytical.

  • Dakota Dunn

    This is perfect timing! I just saw that the game is 75% off right now and bought it blindly knowing that I’d figure out the VR situation later. Thank you for the help!

  • Ninjai71

    I’ve loved this game and now I can play it again with the Oculus Rift and it’s despite the minor “problems” soo great in VR. It’s already a must have for every VR Fan 😉 A Version with perfect motion controller support like in Lone Echo would be an absolute dream 😀