Star Citizen Will Still Get VR Support, Chris Roberts Confirms

by Jamie Feltham • January 29th, 2018

Star Citizen has been around about as long as the Oculus Rift has, and the crowd-funded massively multiplayer online (MMO) game once even supported VR in an early development build. But, as the years have gone on, VR support has become an increasingly distant subject for the high-profile project. But it sounds like it’s still very much on the way.

Chris Roberts, Game Director at developer Cloud Imperium Games, recently confirmed as much in a video interview (starting around the 27:00 mark, pointed out to us by UploadVR reader Kraig). He explained that much of the game was still being built with VR in mind but, because so much of the game was still being envisioned and optimized, it made more sense to actually implement headset support later down the line.

“So our biggest hold back on VR really is we’re still doing so much base-level refactoring and the engine, the renderer, we’ll be starting on Vulcan, DX12 refactor as well and we’re doing so much optimization that we feel like we’ve got to get that done first and get the base level engine stuff more finished, not constantly working and refactoring, and then we’ll put VR [in],” Roberts said.

“Because we actually had VR support quite a while ago but, of course, as we change stuff it breaks and then, your engine team, are they going to go and fix the VR stuff or that new procedural planet system that everyone can experience. So that’s what’s always happened in those situations but once all that stablizes of course, yes, we’re going to go and put that support in .”

He continued, confirming features like the ability to disconnect your look from your aim inside VR. While it’s encouraging to hear that VR support is still very much on the table, it doesn’t sound like we can expect it to pop up any time soon; Star Citizen is a massive project that’s been in the works for about seven years and we have no idea when the team will be happy with the optimizations its made, especially considering all the extra stresses VR brings about.

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  • antonio mora

    OMG!!! This is fantastic news!

    • wrapter

      for sure! I just hope they get it out sooner than later. If its a year from now…who cares. give us something ASAP!

      • gothicvillas

        A year from now would be a wishful thinking.. but I’ll keep my fingers crossed 🙂

      • Walextheone

        What? I rather have it in a year if it not really working now.

      • KennyStetson

        No need to rush it. The vast majority of people can’t run this game at 30fps on a monitor, let alone 90 fps in VR. hopefully when next gen VR headsets and graphics cards are out.

        • antonio mora

          No rush is something they are very good at. I say it’ll be well worth the wait for VR even if it takes years.

        • Peter Laurent

          It’s pretty easy to hit 60fps in Arena Commander or Star Marine modes using current gen graphics cards, it’s just the main game needs much more optimization. They’ll get there… one day

  • Terrence Giggy

    Sadly, it sounds like more lofty promises from CR. They can barely get 20ish frames per second in-game excluding VR right now. It’s hard to see how they optimize this enough to make it render well enough to implement VR.

    • Bundy

      Came here to say exactly this. Performance in 3.0 is so bad right now.

      • Ken

        Very little of the core optimizations have been done. They also haven’t implemented network culling. We already know there are huge performance jumps on fresh servers because network culling hasn’t been put in yet.

      • Raphael

        🙂 Just wondering how many Alpha games you’ve played… I’m guessing maybe
        zero to one? Alpha is never optimised to run well. SC is pushing very
        high visual fidelity and for an Alpha even 20 fps is good given the
        level of detail. Are you even vaguely aware of DX12 or Vulcan and the
        big increase in draw-calls they can bring?

      • KUKWES

        I didn’t find the performance that bad at all.

    • Raphael

      Just wondering how many Alpha games you’ve played… I’m guessing maybe zero to one? Alpha is never optimised to run well. SC is pushing very high visual fidelity and for an Alpha even 20 fps is good given the level of detail. Are you even vaguely aware of DX12 or Vulcan and the big increase in draw-calls they can bring?

      • Icebeat

        Are you even vaguely aware of that the problems they have, has nothing to do with draw-calls? Why in a fresh and empty server the game run at 60 fps but after 20 minutes it goes down to 10? where are your draw calls on the freaking server?

        • Raphael

          Are u even vaguely aware of what an ALPHA game is? Show me a long list of WELL OPTIMISED ALPHA games. Twat.

    • Jonny

      Haha, Captain Clueless makes a grand entrance. The FPS is tied to the way physics are implemented now, illustrated by the fact that you can get 60+ FPS on a fresh server. The fix is in the works and will likely significantly improve performance. Also, alpha… you know?

      • Terrence Giggy

        And the SC fanboys come out after sunset… How much money you have emotionally invested in it? Come on now, don’t lie.

        • Bobby Bob-Bob

          I’ve invested roughly zero pounds but I’ve been watching development for years now, simply because their weekly updates are a continuing masterclass for anyone interested in game development (as in I’ve literally used ideas I’ve seen on their weekly shows in my own work). I do love it when someone calls another out as a “fan-boy” just because they have have a different opinion to you. Stella rebuttal.

          • Terrence Giggy

            I didn’t start the funk buddy. Dude called me Captain Clueless for not believing the line Chris Roberts is taking.

    • Mtom

      Well considering optimizations are usually one of the very last things in development it’s not really surprising.

      • Icebeat

        Yeah, back in the’ 90s when no one in the industry had a degree in Computer Science and a development team used to be 5 buddies.

    • Thoemse

      By the time VR is in – my guess is that will be after release – the geforce 1380Ti will be able to render 90 FPS.
      I am not trying to be funny. Real commercial release for star citicen will not be before 2020 if you look at their roadmap.

  • Christopher Stockman

    Yeah, I call bullshit on this. Maybe in 10 years (if the company is still around).

    • Raphael

      Your calling bullshit on something is as relevant as a mouse taking a shit in darkness.

      • Christopher Stockman

        Your reply falls under the same category.

        • Raphael

          3.0 shows what the team is capable of. Stalker took 7 years to develop and it was a very simple game compared to SC. Making a cliche sc dick statement suggests you aren’t very good at thinking.

          • Christopher Stockman

            You resorting to personal attacks illustrates your weak and ignorant position.

          • Raphael

            It’s not personal flappy. Your statement about SC was brainless.

          • Christopher Stockman

            You obviously have no clue how games are made so just keep living in fantasy land.

          • Raphael

            “Yeah, I call bullshit on this. Maybe in 10 years (if the company is still around).” << So this cliche anti-SC troll statement implies you're a game developer with decades of coding experience? Idiot.

          • Sandy Wich

            Vr was working in development previously, was it not?

            I don’t understand the negativity… Well, I do. But I won’t go there.

  • metanurb

    Time flies, but somehow faster retrospectively 😛 I backed this in 2012. Never played this a lot, been sporadically testing it now and then. The last time a couple of years ago, or maybe it was last year, I literally uninstalled it after just minutes (after dl all those GBs). Was unplayable on my then GTX 970. I fear it’ll be equally unplayable on a GTX1080 Ti.. especially in VR, and this is a game I’d want to play in VR ! So good news I guess? I have my doubts as to when.. Guessing years and years still, so not holding my breath for it.

    • Bobby Bob-Bob

      My colleague recently upgraded from a 980 to a 1080Ti and had zero fps increase (about 5-10fps). He then tried it on his laptop with only a 980M and it ran at 30fps but his laptop had a 6700K vs a 2600K on his desktop with the 1080Ti so it turned out that the CPU was more important right now. I expect when they have finished the port to Vulkan the GPU will be doing more of the heavy lifting but for now I’d stick with your 970.

  • Wow …. People still believe “Star Citzen” is a thing, huh …?
    Awww, that’s cute. lol
    Oh well, there’s one born every minute, I guess.

    • Ron

      lol, says the guy that’s still buying icrap

    • Mtom

      Apart from uninformed shitposting i’m curious what makes you say that.
      Yeah people still believe because there are constant updates, and communication from the developers.
      People still believe Cyberpunk 2077 is a thing tho theres not a word about it, and it was announced the same time as SC.

      • Raphael

        Shitpost trolls only entertainment is saying random bollocks they think will start an argument. It’s always cliche rhetoric they copy from other trolls.

  • Raphael

    With Vulcan and DX12 the game should run quite a lot better. VR support will certainly reappear down the line and it takes much less effort to implement than the game elements they’ve introduced so far.

    • visual

      What magic bullet does Vulkan or DX12 bring that change programmer’s habits towards spaghetti? Just because they use Vulkan or DX12, doesn’t mean a developer can’t be inefficient with those APIs too.

      • Raphael

        I’m still amazed so many kiddies don’t know what an Alpha is. They think Alpha should be well optimised. Making an assumption about inefficient use of API is childish yes? Unless of course you’re an expert programmer with access to the code… I call bullshit on your childish assumption.

        Go and educate yourself on the various stages of game development flappy. Learn the difference between alpha, beta and gold.

        Direct-X earlier than 12 are grossly inefficient. We need more expensive GPU’s to compensate for that inefficiency.

        • visual

          I’m a product manager for a software company. I call bullshit on your bullshit.

          • Raphael

            I call bullshit on your product management skills. Do you like pineapple on pizza?

          • visual

            Shitposting must be hobby for you.

          • Raphael

            That’s hugely disappointing flappy, I wanted it to be a profession.

          • Raphael

            I’m a watermelon farmer for a family run watermelon farming business and I call bullshit on your bullshit.

  • Jean-Sebastien Perron

    No Man’s Sky was supposed to be a PSVR launch title. Star Citizen will never be VR so they will never get my money. I will give my money to Elite Dangerous VR instead. There is nothing to do to convert a game to VR, it’s just stereoscopic rendering with head tracking.

    • Bobby Bob-Bob

      You keep riding that hypothetical train 😀

  • Paul B

    Slight correction: 5 years in February, not 7.
    Development started Feb 2013
    Everything before that was the crowd funding sales pitch.

  • PJ

    Hopefully it will have full on motion controls!

  • Andrew McEvoy

    We live in hope, Chris. Would love to try your game once its VR enabled 🙂

  • ZeeWolf

    The situation hasn’t changed. They don’t have working VR and it’s entirely clear from that quote/video that they just don’t have the engine (Requires major refactoring), frame-rate isn’t anywhere near good enough even on a top of the range gaming PC. Roberts was promising a full commitment to VR at the beginning of 2016 which never materialised, the only working implementation we saw was the dreadful DK1 support for the hangar module in 2014 yuck. Roberts doesn’t seem to have a very good understanding of how VR works and seems to think slapping on UI “in world” is VR friendly, but the game will need major rework for locomotion support and has major challenges in integrating non-VR FPS play with VR players not to mention what on earth those animated arms are going to be doing while your controlling your player around like a tank? This is just more free press for a perpetual crowd funding company that does not deliver. Please, no more Star Citizen VR news until they produce something that stands up on it’s own merits eh?

  • impurekind

    Great news however I look at it to be honest.

  • Hyco

    In a game that can’t get above 10fps–VR is totally coming!! Chris Roberts just needs 10,000 fools to buy a few more $400 spaceships and that should be enough for Chris Roberts to start working on the “fundamentals” or “refactoring” or some other made up buzz word to keep milking the broke brained still giving him money.