VR quality issues

Hello everyone! First time poster and a noob when it comes to unreal and VR so please be patient with me. Any help is welcome.
I work in Archviz and have been building my first VR scene. I think I’m off to a reasonable start, but so far the negative comments I’m getting are:

  1. When moving your head side to side there can be noticeable jitters on screen. I’ve tried tightening the base stations down to no avail. Then I realized this problem wasn’t happening when playing other games on the Vive so its not the base stations and must be something with my level.
  2. Any materials with reflection seem to have a crawling effect like ants moving across it. All my materials are a mix of ones I’ve purchased from evermotion projects or ones I’ve made. Either way they all have this issue. I’m using Box reflection captures evenly distributed thought the scene but closest to window glass.
  3. And finally the worst was my boss said it looked too pixelated. This had me going back and fourth with settings getting nowhere. I tried explaining that cranking the settings up will reduce frame rate but where its at now is just unacceptable.

Now keep in mind all these issues are only seen inside the headset. everything looks great when viewed on the monitor. All my scalability settings are set to Cinematic. I turned off most of the Post Processing features like bloom, AO, DOF motion blur, Screen space reflections, etc. and my screen percentage is set to 120. I’m using forward shading with MSAA as my Anti-Aliasing Method as I’ve heard you get better VR performance this way.

I hope this explains enough to get some feedback from you guys. Otherwise let me know.

Hi Lewis,

how many FPS are you getting when you play? Is it stable or does it change a lot?

In my experience troubleshooting VR performance issues can be a pain in the back. There are so many factors to consider that it could become a daunting task. Here is what I found useful:

If your environment is particularly complex/heavy, you could also take advantage of level streaming.

Another point to address is whether you are testing in the Editor or as packaged project. In the Editor it will be much slower in general. Also mind the fact that when you package your project, some of the performance/quality settings in the Editor may not be carried over. You need to explicitely set them as part of the device profile or via Blueprints. I was fooled more than once by this, assuming whatever is set in the Editor would also be applied to the packaged project.


Hi there Lewis,

1- Regarding the jittering, it looks like you are not getting to 90 fps so you are hitting reprojection (which is more obvious with lateral movements); i’m afraid you are going to have to learn how to optimize your scene in UE4, there are lots threads and training on using the CPU and GPU profilers, etc.

2- Regarding pixel-crawl, you might want to go back to deferred shading with temporal antialiasing, this might help at the cost of making the whole image slightly blurrier (which can be compensated to a certain point by using higher screen percentage / pixel density). If you have textures in your materials you should try is using mipmaps, you could also try using some of the default reflective materials that come with UE4 and see if you have the same problem.

3- Regarding the pixelation, first thing i would do is crank up the screen percentage to 200 or 300 and then ask your boss if he finds that acceptable (disregarding the other problems for now). If he still doesn’t then maybe your company should just skip this generation of HMDs… if he does then try to find out what is the minimum value he thinks it’s ok and you can work towards achieving that target.

Since all issues are kind of related to performance can i ask, what graphics card are you using at the moment? If you are using anything less than an NVidia 1080 then i suggest getting one of the new factory-overclocked 1080 TI for a big improvement (and maybe an easy solution to some of your problems).

Also from what you said i’m guessing that you are using an HTC Vive… as a last resource if you are not able to get to 90 fps with a good graphics card after optimization (with the minimum quality that you need) you could try an Oculus Rift instead. With Oculus’ reprojection technique (ASW) you can keep a fairly smooth experience even at 45 fps, at the cost of some small artifacts here and there. The Rift also has less SDE (screen door effect) and much better clarity at the periphery of the lenses (when you look around with your eyes) which your boss might like as well. Of course, it has other disadvantages like harder to set up room-scale, etc. Another option could be simply to wait until Valve implement something similar to ASW for SteamVR, i think they are working on it but no time-frame yet.

Anyway hope this helps a bit, good luck!

Check out the ArchVirtual demo on Steam to see how smooth a well done architectural (and other) scene run. It’s one of the best I’ve seen. If your boss isn’t happy with how that looks and runs, I think his expectations won’t be met by current generation hardware.

Thanks everyone for the replies! My FPS sticks around 45 sometimes 50.