Starting in Desktop vs VR modes.

I have a project that allows users to start in VR (if they have one) or Desktop. The Desktop and VR characters are children of a base class.
VR mode works fine. So why post in the VR forum?

First things first, to establish a starting point:

In the start menu, I have a check: Is Head Mounted Display Connected. This does not seem to work as it ALWAYS returns true. So, is it safe to assume it may not just be checking a hardware connection?
As a backup, I add another check: Get HMD Name. If it returns “None” then I flag the blueprint as no HMD connected. This worked at first (seemingly), but now returns a value of “SimpleHMD” even when the HMD is not connected.

Simply put, the game thinks there’s an HMD connected. This is not too much of an issue, but it keeps my start menu from blocking the start of a VR game.

So, let’s put that aside for a second.
When I PIE (in editor or new window) and select Desktop for my mode, it works. The Desktop Character works fine and the view is one single image.
When I start the PACKAGED project, things go haywire. I can select Desktop mode, but the display becomes the mirrored HMD view (Desktop Character controls works EXCEPT for mouse looking up and down). THIS ONLY HAPPENS WHEN AN HMD IS NOT CONNECTED (which makes it hard to share with clients without HMD’s)

EVERYTHING works fine if a headset is connected to the system.

Lastly, and less important at this time…the lighting is different in VR than it is in Desktop mode. In VR, it seems like the skylight isn’t working.

I know it’s a long post, but I wanted to try to be concise and quick at the same time. Any ideas?

Follow up: Starting with the -nohmd switch works. It will NOT launch SteamVR with this switch.