Odyssey VR performance - Mixed Reality+SteamVR vs. Oculus

Hey there.

Warning: Longish post, thought I'd write down some of my experiences and findings with Odyssey in VR.

So far I haven't touched Odyssey, because a) I'm not really interested in the on-foot-gameplay and b) VR performance even when not on foot was atrocious the one time I tested it. Yesterday I decided to tinker around a bit more.

For reference, my specs: I run a Ryzen 7 3700X with 32 GB @3600 MHz and a Gigabyte 2080 Super running on 20H2 with nvidia driver 457.30. I use the Reverb G2 at 50% SS in SteamVR and 1.0 SS/1.0 HMD in ED, and I still own its predecessor, the Rift S, which I used to run at the higher quality setting in oculus and 1.0 SS / 1.25 HMD in ED.

So yesterday I tried Odyssey again with the G2, and boy, is it a mess. I run a mix of mostly high and some medium settings, and Horizons runs okay with those settings - only issue is getting major reprojection near settlement assets and engineer bases.

With my Horizon settings I get 45 fps (reprojection) at over 67% GPU load... in the main menu. Same thing sitting still staring into the blackness of space. CPU load goes up if I fly near a landable planet, and the moment I drop from orbital cruse near a surface port I get a slideshow. 95% GPU load and 30 fps at best, often less, with major stuttering. In fpsVR I can also see a rather high CPU load with individual logical cores going to 100%. Around the time I finish glide the stuttering intensifies, and I can predictably count down until SteamVR crashes. It feels like running out of RAM or VRAM. fpsVR shows a RAM usage of 13 to 14 GB at that point, and VRAM usage is high throughout up to around 7.2 out of 8 GB at the point where SteamVR bails. I think VRAM usage is similarly high in Horizons, but Horizons never crashes SteamVR.

I managed To land somewhere reasonably far away from any surface ports (on an atmospheric planet) and get into the SRV, same deal. 45 fps @80 to 90% GPU load, if I disembark and walk around the framerate tanks even more. I belive if I turn of reprojection, the G2 never runs at more than maybe 65 fps.

I got out of reprojection and somewhat stable 90 fps after turning most settings to low and reducing the resolution to 40%, and of course the game looked like crap then. Still got the occasional SteamVR crash.

Okay, we get it, Odyssey performance is crap. So, I thought, sod WMR and SteamVR, I wonder how it works with the old Rift S, and would you believe: To my amazement I got a pretty playable experience running ED in Oculus VR, certainly as long as I avoid on-foot gameplay, which I plan to anyway (in it for the flying, not the walking).

So with the Rift S I got 80 fps in the main menu at... I don't remember. Maybe 50% or 60% GPU load? Rock solid 80 fps in space. 80 fps near planets. Reprojection near surface ports, but smooth, 80 fps after disembarking in the hangar, 40 fps with the occasional stutter at the bar.

Granted, the Rift S pushes less pixels than the G2, but still - I haven't written down exact numbers, but my G2 runs near native resolution of like 2100x2000 or something, and the Rift S is not too far off with around 1700x1800 or so per eye, and does almost twice the framerate. The difference is staggering, more so considering I upped ED's settings for the Rift. Oculus runs Odyssey waaaaaay better at higher quality settings than WMR+SteamVR and crap settings.

So my conclusions: a) either WMR and SteamVR is crap to begin with, or b) Odyssey's render pipeline has a problem in SteamVR that doesn't really surface with Oculus. I might even go back to the Rift S for a while, even though it is less comfortable, less sharp and has a worse FOV than the G2 with a 3D-printed face gasket.

Anyone experienced anything similar?
 
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So my conclusions: a) either WMR and SteamVR is crap to begin with, or b) Odyssey's render pipeline has a problem in SteamVR that doesn't really surface with Oculus. I might even go back to the Rift S for a while, even though it is less comfortable, less sharp and has a worse FOV than the G2 with a 3D-printed face gasket.
Well.

I think it is more likely option A, I am afraid.

Why is it not B? Because Karl Gosling compared the G2 and Q2 using SteamVR. He used the slider settings to match the resolutions as close as possible before testing. He noticed only minor differences, if any, in performance.

Reverb G2 VS Quest 2 For PCVR - What's Harder To Run?
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d70uxV5gslo
 
Interesting, I hadn't seen that video. I think I remember tinkering with Oculus vs. SteamVR when I got my Rift S and concluded that performance was way better in Oculus VR. No real surprise though, when I think about it.
 
Sure!
You would expect Oculus products to perform better on the native software.

The point is, my interpretation is that the Oculus software is better, with regard to higher FPS, than SteamVR.

It's not the HMDs because both oculus and G2 performed the same when set to similar resolutions using Steam VR (see video)
but I have noticed I get better peformance using Oculus runtime compared to when I use SteamVR
therefore I think Oculus software is better (performance wise) compared to SteamVR

That said, Oculus runtime only works with the literal handful of Oculus products, where SteamVR works with pretty much all HMDs out there, INCLUDING Oculus HMDs!
 
Yeah, I'm with you there. I've watched the video you linked, and I think his conclusion is slightly off. My take: It's not that there is no overhead for the Q2 for the link compression, it's that whatever performance gets swallowed by the Q2's link overhead is equally burned away by the WMR-SteamVR bridge ;) .

I'll try and see if I can have some fun in Odyssey with the "inferior" headset tonight. It's a win in my book if it runs without crashing SteamVR :) .
 
I have the G2 and would agree that Odyssey VR works harder than it should. That be said, I much prefer the G2 image to Oculus as there is virtually no screen door.

As to performance, hard to say because everyone's set up is different, but I'm able to get between 45 to 90 FPS depending on where I am in the game and with fairly high settings in ED. So from a performance point of view very playable. I am however running ED on a i7800k and RTX 3080 so whatever one's view it takes a lot of grunt to run Odyssey in VR with good graphics settings.
 
I agree. I tinkered around abit more last night; the Rift @1.25 HMD runs at something around 2200x2000, and very often I got no repro and very smooth 80 fps with reprojection kicking in at surface ports and the concourse. All in all VERY playable but... not fun.

Compared to the G2, the screen door effect was very obvious and annoying, and everything was blurry. And too small. Somehow the world scale is off with my Rift S, the iCourier feels like an Eagle does in the G2, for example, and flying at 750 m/s across a planet felt just... not exciting and slow. Maybe it's the blurryness, SDE and smaller FOV compared to my G2 (which, again, I fitted with a 3D-printed gasket).

I did get my few first hours of Odyssey playtime, though. With the G2 at 40% it was okay-ish playable and didn't crash SteamVR anymore. I don't really remember if I changed anything vital, it might as well be yesterday's update.

I went on a small shopping tour yesterday, visited a few random systems and tried to buy some G3 gear (had success with the suits at least). It was fun. Flying in space was nice, sometimes even without reprojection. Image in the center of the lenses still crisp and sharp, but much blurrier at the edge, but I got used to it pretty fast. Still way better than the Rift S despite the worse performance.

Not sure I like the new witchspace animation. Approaching and landing on an atmospheric planet is just awesome, especially near the day/night border. I don't know if it gets old after some time, but that alone makes it worthwhile for me. Scanned my first organism and did my first mission, a simple fetch quest, and (dare I say it) it was fun.

Performance on the concourse is still bad, often framerates in the 30s and very stuttery. No way I cound do any combat with that performance. But then again, I don't want to do FPS anyway.

After a while I didn't even mind the virtual 2D screen anymore. The gray background could be a bit darker though, and I feel the screen is too high - maybe because I'm sitting a bit low (my pilot's chair is an IKEA Poäng), but the WMR floor correction didn't seem to change that.

Long story short, I kind of got it playable for my gameplay style. I'm cautiously hopeful it can only get better in the long run.
 
I stopped traying to convince myself that Odyssey is playable in VR, because it is not. I could get used to play on crap resolution with weird stutters and virtual pancake mode while on-foot but honestly, I chose to play another VR games that are properly cared for. I'm not playing ED again until they fix this mess. It is a shame what they did to us VR users. Obviously were not worth their dev time. Who knows if we will ever get VR for on foot... there were not any mention to VR in the last roadmap. It's so sad...
 
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I stopped traying to convince myself that Odyssey is playable in VR, because it is not. I could get used to play on crap resolution with weird stutters and virtual pancake mode while on-foot but honestly, I chose to play another VR games that are properly cared for. I'm not playing ED again until they fix this mess. It is a shame what they did to us VR users. Obviously were not worth their dev time. Who knows if we will ever get VR for on foot... there were not any mention to VR in the last roadmap. It's so sad...
The Odyssey experience certainly differs for VR players. As I stated in my earlier post, I can play Odyssey in VR with a RTX 3080, i7800k an 32GB of ram, but even then not on the highest settings and it is buggy. It takes more computer grunt than any VR game I've played recently. When I play Odyssey in 2D most problems disappear. Certainly, I can play Odyssey in 2D at high settings, with reasonable frames and not run into a lot of bugs.

I agree that FD has thrown its VR community under the bus. Apart from the fact that ED is not playable in VR for some players who were able to play Horizons, there are obvious bugs, some of the type that shouldn't have got past the door. I've encountered several. The virtual pancake mode is also a joke and completely breaks immersion. It's like opening another game. Like the OP I have given Odyssey VR some solid game play and tinkered over a number of weeks and the experience is mixed. Some of this can be attributed to the G2 which has a high resolution out of the box, but turning down the render scale doesn't solve all of the problems. Rightly or wrongly, the inescapable impression I'm left with is that FD developed Odyssey as a desktop experience (with consoles in mind up the track) and neglected work on VR or kept it to an an absolute minimum.

IMO the VR problems with Odyssey are not due to a technical barrier, but a corporate decision (e.g. policy, COVID-19 or maybe too much on FD's plate). Contrast this with NMS (which has been much maligned). It shows what a small dedicated team can do if it wants. Since 2016 the development of NMS has been prolific. Regular updates, numerous features added (base building, multi-player, different game modes, new content, improved textures, VR added, the latest Nvidia support including DSS, etc) and it's mod-able. Relevantly, the VR mode in flight and on foot and plays fine. The only criticism of NMS I would have is (like ED) there is obvious 'pop in' on planet surfaces on lower settings and I'm not keen on some of the 'kiddie' eye candy. Nonetheless, the addition of VR to NMS puts FD to shame. Before anyone steps up to defend FD, read NMS development history on Steam and remember that it was released in 2016 and is maintained by an indie developer a fraction of the size of FD.
 
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I only got into VR because of Elite Dangerous.
Different Topic: Now that Facebook has reneged on its previous word NOT to require a Facebook Account (don't want one, refuse to use one) I'll gift my Rift to one of my Nephews and settle for another branded Headset.
 
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