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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