Trying out XWAU on Oculus Quest 1

Here you can find help for how to best run and setup your XWA VR experience.
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Trying out XWAU on Oculus Quest 1

sindrix
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Post by sindrix » Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:58 am

Hello all and thanks for the amazing update of XWing Alliance! I'm new here but have tried out some of the training Missions on the Oculus Quest 1's charging cable used for the data cable and using an Alienware 17 R5 laptop, i7-8750 2.2 GHz, 16 GB, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070. I ran all of the VR choices in Babu Frik's Configurator without any slowdown.

I wanted to share/ask a few things:
- XWAU works beautifully using the charging cable that comes with the Quest 1; I didn't need to use the high-speed data cable that's a requirement for Squadrons. So if you're only going to run XWAU, you probably don't need the expensive data cable.
- The Radio Messages window on the left and the Mission Goals window on the right are much too close and too far left and right to be readable. The center seems a little low which makes reading the target distance and damage difficult. Is there a way to adjust the placement of these screens or a setting I need to adjust?
- I couldn't see a straightforward way to run Alliance through my GOG copy so I put a crowbar in my wallet and got a Steam version for $10. Seemed the easiest solution. Does anyone have a walkthrough for running a GOG copy so others don't use my impatient solution?
- Are there recommendations on other Babu Frik configurations to try for VR or are the VR recommendations in the Configurator the only way to go?

Once again, thanks for everyone's love and commitment in bringing these epic Star Wars games into 21st century graphics! (I played XWing and Tie Fighter to death but never got around to Alliance, so this is going to be a BLAST!)

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Post by blue_max » Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:52 pm

Hello sindrix.

I'm glad you're enjoying the game in VR. I don't know much about the Oculus Quest, but I think the details you posted will help a number of people here, so thanks for that. Regarding your questions:

- The HUD text boxes you're referring to can be zoomed out by pressing Ctrl+Z, but you should also be able to turn your head around to read them. They should "float" inside the cockpit. If, instead, they seem to be attached to your face, then there might be a bug in there. Also, the HUD is only displayed that way on cockpits that are not DC-enabled. There are many cockpits where the HUD is part of the 3D cockpit itself, so you won't see this problem in other missions. Anyway, the distance of the HUD can be configured through VRParams.cfg, let me take a look again to tell you which setting needs to be changed.
- You do not need to run XWA through GoG. Just locate xwingalliance.exe in your disk and run it. I think the default is around "C:\Program Files (x86)\GoG\Games\Star Wars". The same applies for the Steam version.
- The advanced settings for VR can be modified in VRParams.cfg (and other files). Take a look at the following threads for more performance tips:

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=12490
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=12827

One more thing, if you could share what desktop screen resolution you're using and per-eye resolution in your headset, I think that would also help other folks here.

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Post by sindrix » Tue Jun 22, 2021 6:37 pm

Thanks for the response Blue Max

My desktop screen resolution is 2560x1440 and my per-eye resolution is 1440x1600.

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Post by ual002 » Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:54 pm

So I have the quest 1 as well. Generally speaking I like the tech and in most flight sims the head tracking and spatial awareness far exceeds track IR. However, and I've spoken with Blue max about this, but when using Quest 1 thru steam VR for XWA, moving my head is a slightly disorienting experience. There seems to be a wobble or jitter that keeps me from flying for very long.

Have you noticed this jitter at all?

I also have Oculus link enabled, not just charging though. I have not tried anything thru air link just yet as my assumption that hard link would be better than airlink or bluetooth or whatever it uses.

Keep in mind I'm a total VR novice, I'm still trying to get my settings right for Microsoft Flight Sim. The only game so far for me that "just works" is IL2 Battle of Stalingrad.

I have to admit, between game settings, Oculus Debug tool and Steam VR settings I am generally overwhelmed with what I should adjust first to increase quality and or performance.
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blue_max
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Post by blue_max » Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:05 pm

I also think a hard link will have better performance over a bluetooth connection. @sindrix could you provide more details about your setup?

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Post by sindrix » Thu Jul 08, 2021 9:11 pm

Ok, had some time to play around with it today, but didn't get much information. So many settings to toggle back and forth between, each time checking on what, if anything, changed. I wasn't able to get to try out all of the questions I've got and that blue_max asked, but I wanted to get some information out there.
- The advanced settings for VR can be modified in VRParams.cfg (and other files). Take a look at the following threads for more performance tips:

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=12490
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=12827
-I will start going through these 2 topics' lists as soon as time permits.

#1 a) I wiped out the Alliance game and did a fresh install with XWAU2020.exe from XWAU
b) XWAU2020update_v4.0.exe from XWAU
c) XwaHooksSetup from XWAU
d) EffectsByBlueMax_beta_v2021-05-18 from XWAU
These steps are included in the 4.0 XWUA update and are unnecessary, Thanks to @Ace Antilles for pointing this out!
e) XwaHdCutscenes from The X-Wing Outpost (xwingoutpost.com) -> XWAlliance tab -> Upgrades
f) XwaMovieCrawl from The X-Wing Outpost (xwingoutpost.com) -> XWAlliance tab -> Upgrades
g) in Babu Frik's Configurator, choose "Customize the Special Effects" and then there are 3 Recommended VR settings: Shading Type set to "Deferred (Fastest option, recommended for VR)", Active Cockpit (I'm not going to turn this on while I try to get this working in VR), and Head Tracking options "Use Steam VR" though I will be trying to get AirLink running and may be changing this setting.

#2 I've had zero luck getting Oculus' Air Link to show the game on the Quest 1. This probably just means that I haven't had enough time to play around with it and the V30 Air Link Beta is so new, I'm finding almost nothing online to help with how to set it up. And the setup is very user unfriendly. The computer ( Alienware 17 R5 laptop, i7-8750 2.2 GHz, 16 GB, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070) and the Quest 1 are both on a good 5 GHz network with the laptop on an ethernet cable straight to a 4x4 802.11ac modem and 3 feet away for the Quest. They recognize each other fine but I can only get Alliance to show up as a window on the Quest mirroring the desktop, not as a VR environment. I did at one point, get a blank screen on the laptop (and in the Quest 1) while the game's audio played through the Quest, but no video. Since this was just the quarters of your room on the space station and not a dogfight, the problem was likely not data overload. If I try through SteamVR, then I have to use the charging cable to connect to the laptop.

#3 ual002
moving my head is a slightly disorienting experience. There seems to be a wobble or jitter that keeps me from flying for very long.

Have you noticed this jitter at all?
No, I haven't noticed any jittering after launching from the space dock. There is definitely jittering going on while the ship is sitting there ready to Launch and I'm looking around the cockpit. I did notice this new thread: (viewtopic.php?f=36&t=13565&p=182465&hil ... ia#p182465) where they are discussing the jitter.

I've started a google doc just trying to get a handle on the large number of settings and procedures needed to get things running. Anyone with this link can Comment and I'll see about adding information in. Mostly right now, it's suggestions from XWAU people and this forum (so what I'm looking at is all in one place), YouTube Install and Help videos (from Angel, Calmputer, Michelangelo Draconis), and notes to help me not get lost in the Configurator, etc. https://docs.google.com/document/d/14nO ... sp=sharing

Looking forward to when I get all of these X-Wings flying in formation!

And the Dream is to eventually have a Quest 2 on Air Link running XWAU and TFTC (and XWVM) with a HOTAS (maybe pedals), a haptic vest, while sitting in a Yaw2 VR Chair. Probably the closest I'll ever get to really flying an X-Wing. :D

I hope we can get this figured out so it's as awesome in VR as it is on a screen!
Last edited by sindrix on Mon Jul 12, 2021 2:31 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by Bman » Sat Jul 10, 2021 7:23 pm

Your steps #3 and 4 are backwards. Install BluemaxSpecial effects beta 5/18/21 last because that should overwrite Jeremy's draw.dll vanilla version. @blue_max , I think your beta packages are missing the more comprehensive ddraw.cfg file which should have a few more sections than Jeremy's XWAUPG version, right?
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Post by m0rgg » Sat Jul 10, 2021 8:52 pm

I would configure VR using Babu Frik's configurator after the Update 4, before installing the latest beta. The beta should be applied usually to an install already with VR configured (and usually working).
In your steps when you enable VR manually you are missing the cockpit look configuration that Babu Frik's does for you.

About AirLink Vs usb link:
Does it work with usb link?
Does any other VR app work with air link or usb link?

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Post by sindrix » Sun Jul 11, 2021 2:44 pm

Your steps #3 and 4 are backwards. Install BluemaxSpecial effects beta 5/18/21 last because that should overwrite Jeremy's draw.dll vanilla version.
Thanks! I'll fix it here and above. And should I move "EffectsByBlueMax" to the very end or just swap it with the HooksSetup? Are there other items I should add to setting up for a VR session?

#1 a) I wiped out the Alliance game and did a fresh install with XWAU2020.exe from XWAU
b) XWAU2020update_v4.0.exe from XWAU
c) XwaHooksSetup from XWAU
d) EffectsByBlueMax_beta_v2021-05-18 from XWAU
e) XwaHdCutscenes from The X-Wing Outpost (xwingoutpost.com) -> XWAlliance tab -> Upgrades
f) XwaMovieCrawl from The X-Wing Outpost (xwingoutpost.com) -> XWAlliance tab -> Upgrades
g) Edited the file VRParams.cfg to this value "VR_Mode=SteamVR".

@m0rgg
In your steps when you enable VR manually you are missing the cockpit look configuration that Babu Frik's does for you.

I'm just now getting into XWAU and the configurations so help me get caught up to speed: When you say "enable VR Manually" you're referring to
the file VRParams.cfg to this value "VR_Mode=SteamVR".
, correct?
and the "cockpit look" in Babu Frik's Configurator is the "Active Cockpit options" and choosing "Enable the Active Cockpit (Recommended if using a VR device)"
About AirLink Vs usb link:
Does it work with usb link?
Does any other VR app work with air link or usb link?
The USB charging cable that comes with the Quest 1 works just fine. I haven't noticed any issues. So, you probably don't need the more expensive data cable (but it's only $25 on Amazon) that's required to play Squadrons.
I'll see if I can get Beat Saber working on the Air Link later today /em crosses fingers.

THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR THE HELP ON THE VR AND MAKING THIS AWESOME AND BEAUTIFUL MOD!
Last edited by sindrix on Sun Jul 11, 2021 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Ace Antilles » Sun Jul 11, 2021 3:02 pm

sindrix wrote:
Sun Jul 11, 2021 2:44 pm
Your steps #3 and 4 are backwards. Install BluemaxSpecial effects beta 5/18/21 last because that should overwrite Jeremy's draw.dll vanilla version.
Thanks! I'll fix it here and above. And should I move "EffectsByBlueMax" to the very end or just swap it with the HooksSetup? Are there other items I should add to setting up for a VR session?

#1 a) I wiped out the Alliance game and did a fresh install with XWAU2020.exe from XWAU
b) XWAU2020update_v4.0.exe from XWAU
c) XwaHooksSetup from XWAU
d) EffectsByBlueMax_beta_v2021-05-18 from XWAU
e) XwaHdCutscenes from The X-Wing Outpost (xwingoutpost.com) -> XWAlliance tab -> Upgrades
f) XwaMovieCrawl from The X-Wing Outpost (xwingoutpost.com) -> XWAlliance tab -> Upgrades
g) Edited the file VRParams.cfg to this value "VR_Mode=SteamVR".

@m0rgg
In your steps when you enable VR manually you are missing the cockpit look configuration that Babu Frik's does for you.

I'm just now getting into XWAU and the configurations so help me get caught up to speed: When you say "enable VR Manually" you're referring to
the file VRParams.cfg to this value "VR_Mode=SteamVR".
, correct?
and the "cockpit look" in Babu Frik's Configurator is the "Active Cockpit options" and choosing "Enable the Active Cockpit (Recommended if using a VR device)"
You don't need steps c and d. It's all included in the XWAU Update 4
Chief XWAU Team annoying nitpicker.
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sindrix
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Post by sindrix » Sun Jul 11, 2021 5:30 pm

Thanks, @Ace Antilles ! I'll update my posts when I get home so they don't have the unnecessary steps.

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Post by m0rgg » Sun Jul 11, 2021 8:10 pm

sindrix wrote:
Sun Jul 11, 2021 2:44 pm
When you say "enable VR Manually" you're referring to
the file VRParams.cfg to this value "VR_Mode=SteamVR".
, correct?
and the "cockpit look" in Babu Frik's Configurator is the "Active Cockpit options" and choosing "Enable the Active Cockpit (Recommended if using a VR device)"
No, I'm referring to setting tracker_type = SteamVR in CockpitLook.cfg
When you enable SteamVR in Babu Frik it will configure both VRparams.cfg and CockpitLook.cfg

Active Cockpit is for having an interactive cockpit to click on, but better leave it off for now to eliminate variables while troubleshooting.
The USB charging cable that comes with the Quest 1 works just fine. I haven't noticed any issues. So, you probably don't need the more expensive data cable (but it's only $25 on Amazon) that's required to play Squadrons.
A USB3 cable may give you better visual quality but using the included charging one (usb2.0) shouldn't negatively impact performance.

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Post by sindrix » Sun Jul 11, 2021 11:10 pm

If I understand you, using the 3 VR settings in Babu Frik (Shading Type, Enabling Active Cockpit, and Head Tracking Options) takes care of the VRparams.cfg and CockpitLook.cfg settings unless you're trying to tweak things in VR.

In other words, set the Babu Frik settings to VR and your pretty much good to go for VR, no need to mess with the .cfg files.

Can you tell me about/direct me to a description of what Cockpit Inertia does?

Also, what's a good mission to use to test system limits? Or better, is there a CPU/GPU ranking for the missions on what pushes their limits? Or just a small, medium, and heavy load? I'd like to try and be a little methodical on my testing.

Thanks again everyone for the help :^^:

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Post by sindrix » Mon Jul 12, 2021 4:13 am

SUCCESS on AirLink on Oculus Quest 1!

Ok, got the AirLink on Quest 1 working and it works well (some quirks I'll get to), though I still need to test on a level with a lot of ships.
Here's what I've learned so far:
How to Set Up Air Link-
  • If you don't want to read this first part, Naysy just uploaded a How To video (https://youtu.be/jnsiCaylSoI)
    To set up AirLink, you need to have the Oculus software on your computer.
    Next, open the Oculus software on your computer and on the left hand list, select "Settings" and on the right you will see tabs for "Account Privacy Payment General Beta"
    Select "Beta"
    Under "Beta" you will see "Air Link" near the bottom. Turn it to "On" and it's 'switch' will turn blue.
    Now put on your Quest Headset, turn on, set up your Guardian, etc. and you need to choose "Quick Settings" and then "Settings" and then, on the left list, scroll to the bottom and select "About". Make sure you have Updated and are running Version 30.xxx. Oculus does NOT update all sets at once, so if you're still at Version 28 or 29, try again the next day. I didn't get my Update until about 2 weeks after the V30 release :/ I
    If you have Version 30 then go to "Experimental Features" (two up from "About") and switch "Air Link" to "On" and it's 'switch' will turn blue.
    Ok, now that everything's turned on, go back to "Quick Settings" and in the lower left should be a button labeled "Oculus Air Link". Click it.
    An "Air Link" window should come up that shows your computer as a selection and at the bottom a "Cancel" and "Launch" button. Choose your computer and select "Launch".
    Your Quest's Home Screen should vanish and be replaced with that white, gridded horizon-line room (I think that was the old Rift room?) and on the left you should see a Selection of your games and SteamVR. Choose SteamVR and wait a bit. Now start up XWing Alliance and you're good to go, but there's some quirks. I think you can just start up XWing Alliance and SteamVR will automatically start, but I don't have time before bed to test that.
    Also, if you're in your Oculus (NOT STEAM) VR "Home", you can get to the 'SteamVR' by choosing the Compass needle icon called "Explore".
Quirks:
-My joystick didn't work and didn't work and didn't work until suddenly it did. No idea.
-When selecting a mission on EmKay, there's a lot of jumping around by the load screen image. The mission briefing and EmKay's walkthrough are fine EXCEPT when EmKay is showing a 3D rotating image. Then there's a lot of, um, bouncing of your view.
-When I'm in the cockpit (still parked in the hangar) but before I press "Launch" (spacebar) the image is jittery when you look around BUT that disappears as soon as I launch and the view during the mission is fine but...
-The VR looks great, but it seems that when you turn your head left or right, the screen starts by very briefly moving the OPPOSITE direction. Maybe my room needs to be brighter for the headset to track properly?
-Pressing Ctrl+Z helps push back the HUD screens, but they're still pretty tiny to see. Is there a way to enlarge them?

Last bits: I didn't have time to try anything other than getting the AirLink up and running. I still need to test real missions and controls. Bedtime for this Bonzo....

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Post by m0rgg » Mon Jul 12, 2021 5:52 am

Test your tracking with other apps/menu to find out if lighting is an issue. Bad lighting can indeed cause ssues but that should be apparent outside of XWA.

The menus and loading screens are not perfect in VR. They're designed for 25fps, which is very choppy. You can try to cset this in VRParams.cfg
concourse_animations_at_25fps = 0;

Also, loading screens are static images where rendering is blocked by disk reading, so framerate is really low. This could be eventually fixed but it's not a priority.

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Post by shrineas » Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:28 am

I'm using Virtual Desktop (vrdesktop.net) on my Quest 1 to stream VR games wirelessly. I bought the app before there was even the possibility of using the Link cable, let alone the Air Link.
I've not yet tested Air Link, but from Naysy's video it seems it may not provide better performance than the current Virtual Desktop setup.

With the recent Mega Patch 4, I fully reinstalled the XWA and the upgrade and I'm very impressed and happy with the result of the configurators. They make life so much more easy than trying to figure out which settings to use or which file to open. Much thanks for that!

A few things I've experienced:
  • when not in-flight (so on the Concourse, or any place there's a static screen), the image starts to shift in an unexpected angle when I tilt my head up a bit and look lef or right
  • the performance of the patches has improved the VR experience quite a bit, but given the nature and limitations of the engine, it has always felt a bit "laggy" (especially when you compare it with the Oculus Home or even SteamVR Home)
  • since a few days I noticed a very annoying delay/lag when looking left or right. In briefings I see the spinning logo stop for a fraction of a second and I see the black borders of the image rendered, before it gets refreshed. In-flight, I have the same problem. Looking left or right just freezes the image for a fraction and displays the black borders.
This last issue has started after I saw a notification of SteamVR being updated to 1.18.6. I'm using the beta channel of SteamVR (not sure if it's available outside of beta). According to the release notes of 1.18, it's supposed to bring better support for the Oculus headsets and OpenXR users, but seeing this annoying issue I'm not sure that version is the best.

I don't know if any of you have experienced similar things or if you know of a fix for these, but any help or suggestion is welcome.

One of these days I'll try to setup the Air Link and see if that provides any improvements.

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Post by shrineas » Mon Jul 12, 2021 9:56 pm

Small update:
I may have had some issues on my wireless setup. I noticed some very bad througput today, so I rebooted my wireless access point.
That has, for the most part, removed the issue with the slight freeze. So the general lagginess stays, but it's playable. Good enough to relive this great game in VR with new visuals! :D

Tried to setup the Oculus Air Link just now, but my machine is probably a bit too old to handle that as well. The Oculus Home app was already laggy as hell and quality was below par.
Perhaps my machine is not fast enough to provide me with a lag-free VR experience for XWA either :)

@sindrix perhaps you can try out the Virtual Desktop app to stream your game(s) ? The app is not that expensive and provides you with a great VR desktop (as if you have a mega screen ;)), but also has a very nicely working streaming for Steam VR games. Especially now that the features are supported out of the box (no more side-loading the "somewhat official" app), I really recommend this setup.

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Post by m0rgg » Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:06 pm

One important recommendation for wireless VR game streaming is to have the PC wired to the router with an ethernet cable, with only the Quest as a WiFi device.

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Post by sindrix » Tue Jul 13, 2021 3:12 pm

@m0rgg Yes, thanks, I neglected to mention my laptop is wired to the router. Is there another setting besides Ctrl + Z to change the HUD? It's still very hard to read the small font. Thanks!

@shrineas What are your machine's specs? I'll take a look at the Virtual Desktop and see how it compares.

Some stuff I've learned just playing with the settings:
- I didn't notice any change when toggling Cockpit Inertia (Ctrl+I). What's its function?
- When I changed the Shading Type (Ctrl + Alt + O) objects became much brighter and noticed no change in performance
- When I toggled FXAA (Ctrl + Alt + F) Disabled makes objects brighter but the edges of objects are noticeably more jagged. Enabled is the opposite and no noticeable change in performance.
- I just tried the Death Star Shield "The Shield is Down" mission to see what lots of objects did and there was a big jump in lag, but still playable. I'm going to buy the high data USB C cable and see how that helps.

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Post by shrineas » Tue Jul 13, 2021 6:25 pm

@sindrix my specs are i7-4790K CPU, 16GB, GeForce GTX 970. Basically almost 7 years old. It's considered VR Ready though, so it works for the lower end of VR gaming.
Whether or not XWAU in VR is considered low-end, I'm not sure. On this machine I can't even use the USB-C cable, since I don't have a USB port fast enough to support the throughput :/

The Cockpit Inertia will slightly move the position of the head in the cockpit forward or backward to simulate the acceleration or deceleration of the craft. It's subtle and in VR probably only noticable if you can sit still enough (and there is not too much jittering in the image).

@m0rgg Indeed only the headset is wireless, on a 5GHz channel wifi (so it's great if it's not acting up :^^: )
In Babu Frik's configurator, I typically choose to preserve the 16:10 format of my physical screen which affects the choices in-game for resolution.
However, I don't know if actually changing that resolution will have any impact in VR (and thus performance)?

What I did notice (and this may be interesting for @sindrix) is that selecting a lower 4:3 resolution in stead will move the HUD closer together and more in view of the player.

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