How to play Oculus Rift games on the HTC Vive

PC gamers have long been proud of their peacefulness (other than a few mild dust-ups with the console armies). There hasn't been a war between PC gamers in years!

Keeping with the trend of sharing and caring, LibreVR created Revive, software that lets HTC Vive owners play Oculus Rift games. Why can't Rift games by default be played on Vive? We'll get into that.

Let's take a look at how Revive works, a little history about Oculus games, and finally a list of all the Rift games that work with Vive.

What is Revive and why does it exist?

Simply put, Revive was created by LibreVR in order to solve a crisis; Rift games exclusive to Oculus Home (the Rift's platform) couldn't be played on the Vive. Gamers were loving Revive and the ability to play Rift games on Vive, at least until an ill-fated Oculus update.

Back in May 2016, Oculus updated their Home app and introduced digital-rights-management (DRM) software, effectively shutting down Revive just as they were getting off the ground. The amount of feedback from the community was overwhelming, and Oculus reversed their decision about a month later. The DRM software was removed, and Revive became fully functional again!

Oculus has stated that they will never implement DRM again, but will go ahead with platform exclusive titles — hard to vilify them for the latter statement. Judging from the amount of flack they received the first time they implemented DRM, it's hard to believe Oculus would do the same thing again.

Why use Revive?

Thanks to Oculus shoveling a ton of money to developers in exchange for exclusive rights, some of the best VR games we've seen so far are only available on the Rift. Games like Lone Echo, Echo Arena, and Robo Recall have pushed what we knew as the boundaries of VR.

Steam also has a huge selection of VR games, but a lot of them are not much more than tech demos. We aren't vilifying either platform; it's simply a result of the different methods of promoting content creation.

For much more information, check out our look at how Oculus has helped put an end to the argument that there are no games for VR.

Oculus has put an end to the 'no games for VR' argument

How does Revive work?

To really dumb things down, Revive essentially grabs function calls on their way to the Vive headset and detours them to the Rift. When you're in your Vive looking at the SteamVR dashboard, you'll notice a Revive button near the bottom. If you click on it, you can bring up your games in the Oculus Home library.

It's incredibly easy to use, and it's also painless to set up. First things first: you need to download the Oculus app on your PC.

How to download and install the Oculus app

Before doing anything else, you need to download and install the Oculus app. There is an important process to follow so that you don't get stuck in a setup loop that requires you to actually have a Rift available — if you have an Oculus Rift, you don't have to worry as much.

  1. Navigate to the Oculus app download page.
  2. Click Start Download.
  3. Click Save.

  1. Click Run.
  2. Click Let's Go.

  1. Click Agree.
  2. Click I Understand.

  1. Click Next.
  2. Click Install Now. The required files will now be downloaded.

  1. Click Next.
  2. Click Rift.

  1. Click Next.
  2. Click Next.

  1. Click Skip Setup.
  2. Click Skip Setup.

How to download a game in the Oculus app

Now that you have the Oculus app installed and set up properly, you need a game or two in your Oculus library.

  1. Launch the Oculus app from your Start menu, desktop, or taskbar.
  2. Click a game you want to purchase and download.

  1. Click the blue button with a price tag on it.
  2. Click Add a credit or debit card or click Add your PayPal account. In this case I will add a credit card.

  1. Type in your information.
  2. Click Save.

  1. Type your PIN.
  2. Click Purchase.

  1. Click Install. Your game will begin downloading.
  2. Click Library when the download is complete.

  1. Click Finish Install.
  2. Click Install to complete the installation process.

Ensure you go to your library and complete the final two steps once the game has downloaded — if you don't, the game won't work with Revive.

How to set up Revive

Now that you have a game in the Oculus app that you want to play on Vive, it's time to download and set up Revive.

  1. Navigate to the Revive installer page on GitHub.
  2. Click ReviveInstaller.exe.

  1. Click Save.
  2. Click I Agree.

  1. Click Next.
  2. Click Install.

  1. Click Close.
  2. Launch SteamVR from the Start menu, desktop, or taskbar. Revive will launch automatically alongside it.

  1. Put on your Vive head-mounted display.
  2. Click the system button on the Vive controller. It is located just beneath the trackpad.
  3. Click Revive.
  4. Click an Oculus game you want to play on Vive.

The Rift game will open and you can use your Vive to play.

How to enable the Revive button in the Vive dashboard

If you can't see the Revive button below your Vive dashboard when you're wearing your Vive, take off the headset and follow these steps on your PC.

  1. Click the dropdown arrow next to SteamVR.
  2. Click Settings.

  1. Click Applications.
  2. Click Revive Dashboard so that a checkmark appears.

How to inject Revive into a standalone game

Some games that you haven't downloaded through the Oculus app or through Steam, like the VR-compatible ARK: Survival Evolved, can still be used with Revive.

  1. Right-click the Revive tray icon in the bottom-right corner of your taskbar.
  2. Click Inject.

  1. Click a standalone game. In this case, I don't have any installed. Remember, this is only for VR games that were downloaded outside of Steam and the Oculus app.
  2. Click Open.

How to patch Rift games downloaded through Steam

Steam has a few games that are only available for Oculus Rift. If you want to play one of these games on your Vive after downloading, follow these steps.

  1. Right-click the Revive tray icon in the bottom-right corner of your taskbar.
  2. Click Patch.

  1. Click a Steam game you want to play on Vive. In this case, I don't have any installed. Remember, this is only for Oculus-exclusive games downloaded through Steam.
  2. Click Open.

How to restart the Oculus Runtime service

When you download a new game through the Oculus app and attempt to launch it through Revive, you might see an error pop up that says Entitlement check failed. In this case, you must restart the Oculus Runtime service.

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Click Search.
  3. Type services.
  4. Click Services.
  5. Right-click Oculus VR Runtime Service.
  6. Click Restart.

Which Oculus games work with Revive?

The LibreVR GitHub page contains a long compatibility list of Oculus games that is updated quite frequently. When attempting to get an Oculus Rift game working on your Vive, remember that Revive is a work in progress and won't always provide a flawless result.

The following Rift games have known compatibility issues with Revive:

  • ADR1FT — Works well most of the time. Some users have reported performance issues.
  • Dead and Buried — Broken due to performance issues.
  • Edge of Nowhere — Can be completed by disabling Asynchronous Reprojection.
  • Giant Cop — Broken, but there is a Steam version available.
  • Minecraft VR — Broken due to performance issues. Check out Vivecraft.
  • The Climb — Can be completed by disabling Asynchronous Reprojection and enabling Interleaved Reprojection.
  • The Unspoken — Playable, but has some performance issues.

The devs behind Revive work hard to keep the most possible Rift games compatible, so even if your favorite game is currently experiencing issues, check back often to see if it's been fixed.

Your Rift and Vive

Do you use your Vive to play Rift games? How does it work? Let us know all about it in the comments section below.

Updated February, 2018: We've refreshed this list to ensure you're still getting up-to-date information about Revive.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.