Requirements for VR
The Rift requires a PC in order to run, with a gaming GPU. The minimum PC specifications are as follows:
- Video Card: NVIDIA: GTX 1050 Ti / GTX 960 or greater | AMD: RX 470 / R9 390 / R9 290 or greater
- CPU: Intel i3-6100 / AMD FX 4350 equivalent or greater
- Memory: 8GB RAM
- Video Output: free HDMI 1.3 output
- USB Ports: 1x USB 3.0 port plus 2x USB 2.0 ports (3x USB 3.0 recommended)
- OS: Windows 10 64 bit
All games and apps on the store run smoothly on these specifications, and most VR developers target these specifications for their content. If you are building a PC or upgrading your PC for VR, the above specifications should be met.
To check if your PC meets the minimum specifications, please use the Rift compatibility tool.
Do I have to build my own PC?
Prebuilt PCs guaranteed to be VR ready are available under the Oculus Ready PCs program, starting at $699.
In the USA, you can get one bundled with an Oculus Rift for $1099, making the effective price of the PC just $499.
How much would it cost to build my own Oculus Ready PC?
This depends entirely on the current market prices of the components that you choose, as well as whether you already have a copy of Windows to use or not, and what case you desire. The following are examples of Oculus Ready builds from scratch:
NOTE: The above builds include a copy of Windows. Subtract $90/£85 if you already have a copy to transfer the license from.
Can I use Windows 7?
Windows 7 (64 Bit) will work, however:
- Some apps like BigScreen, Virtual Desktop, and Minecraft VR require Windows 10
- You will need to meet higher hardware requirements – i5-6400+ and GTX 970+/RX 480+
Windows 10 has low level optimisations for VR, and so it is highly recommended that you update to Windows 10 for smoother VR performance with less possible issues.
Can I use a laptop?
Due to the way that GPUs work in laptops, most laptops do not work with VR headsets (they will literally be unable to output), however there are exceptions.
Only laptops that have been certified VR-ready by Oculus are guaranteed to work with VR. An example of such a laptop is the Late 2016 Razer Blade.
My video card falls just short of the minimum. Will I be fine?
Unfortunately, if your GPU is weaker than the GTX 960 or R9 290, then you will need to upgrade it to properly meet the minimum specs and not have a terrible experience.
NOTE: AMD cards predating the R9 200 series and NVIDIA cards predating the GTX 900 series do not meet the minimum specs!
How many USB 3.0 ports do I need?
The Rift headset itself requires 1x USB 3.0 port.
The tracking sensor(s) can be used in either a USB 3.0 or USB 2.0 port. USB 3.0 will provide slightly better tracking quality.
How long will these specs last me? How soon will I need to upgrade again?
These minimum specs are for the lifetime of the Rift headset.
When the Rift 2 is being released, it’s possible you’ll need to upgrade your PC (though this is unconfirmed).
Can I use SLI/CrossFire with the Rift?
Standard SLI and CrossFire does not work in VR, and cannot be used for Rift content.
NVIDIA and AMD have each been working on a new technique for multi-card rendering, called VR SLI or VR CrossFire, in which one card renders the left eye view while the other renders the right eye view.
VR SLI/CrossFire support is currently limited to tech demos, but with major game engines like Unreal Engine and Unity supporting it soon, it is expected to get increasing support as time goes on.
Can I use a weaker PC for basic content?
With weaker hardware, it may be possible to run very graphically simplistic content like virtual desktop, virtual cinema (for watching movies), and 360 videos, however you will be totally on your own without support if you choose to do this, and it is unlikely that there will be many (or any) games that support lower specs.
If you do wish to take this non-recommended path, your PC must at least meet the absolute and utter minimum requirements:
- Video Card: GTX 650 / AMD 7750 desktop GPU or better and newer
- CPU: Intel i5-750 / AMD FX-4100 or better and newer
- USB Ports: 1x USB 3.0 port + 1x USB 2.0 port
- Video Output: free HDMI 1.3 output
- OS: Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer
Do I need a soundcard / headphones / microphone ?
The Rift has high quality integrated headphones and a high quality integrated microphone as well as having a built in DAC and amp, so you do not need any audio hardware at all.
If you prefer earphones to headphones, you can buy Oculus Earphones for $49/£49/€59/C$69, which connect directly to your Rift. You can buy them directly on the Oculus website (worldwide), or any of the following retail partners:
- USA: Amazon | Best Buy | Microsoft Store
- UK: Amazon UK | GAME
- Canada: Amazon CA | Microsoft Store
- Germany: Amazon DE | MediaMarkt
- France: Amazon FR
Can I use macOS or Linux?
The Rift does not support Linux, though Oculus want to support it in the future. For now, you require a 64 bit version of Windows 10, 8.1, or 7. Windows 10 is recommended for the smoothest experience.
macOS support will not be added until there are Macs that meet the recommended specs. As of Q4 2016, there are no Macs that meet the recommended specs.
Can I use 32 bit Windows?
No, sorry. You will need to uninstall your 32 bit edition of Windows and install 64 bit Windows (10, 8.1, or 7). There is no other workaround.