Most new users to the VR gamespace usually ask, How do I know what my FPS is while in VR? While this is a great question, there is however a small issue, when in VR FPS is irrelevant as it’s just an average, frametime is what matters.
For example, 11.11ms between frames is 90FPS | 16.66ms between frames is 60FPS | 33.33ms between frames is 30FPS and to make it even more confusing your frame-time will vary from second to second. Sometimes you can have 22.22ms frametimes (45FPS) for half a second and then having 7.40ms for the next half of a second (135FPS) will average out to 90FPS. 45FPS is entering reprojection and 135FPS becomes very pointless.
It’s about reprojections
But once you know your average values, things start to make sense, alternatively, you can use open VR advanced settings with that you can keep track of a percentage of missing frames. E.g. advanced settings show 4% reprojection. 100-4=96, So 0.96 x 90 = an average of 86fps. It will vary of course.
One moment you will be running 90fps and the next moment you will be running 75. The percentage though will give a good ballpark of how your system is running the game. If you are like me and would rather play the game than do maths you can get apps like fpsVR if you are using SreamVR and get it to do the heavy lifting for you.
So what can you do?
As any good gamer would know, better gaming experience or VR experience as a whole does better the fewer frames are dropped and the higher your FPS value is. To attain the best performance in VR would depend a lot on what your hardware is but there are a few key things that you can do to make sure you are running at optimal fps.
First is to update your drivers, this might sound simple but don’t ignore it. It’s best to always have the latest drivers for either your graphics cards or your VR hardware as companies will release patches, fixes, and upgrades via updates that could impact the experience you have while in VR plus such updates are usually tuned to bring out the best performance of your hardware with newer titles.
Next, keep things cool, doesn’t matter if you are using the latest hardware of VR headset, you need to keep things cool, using your gear in a high-temperature environment without adequate cooling is going to lead to reduce performance. There are a reason games go to incredible lengths to keep their rigs cool. You don’t need to go all crazy with LNG2 cooling but having good airflow and being in a cool environment helps. That way you do burn out the fragile chips within your device, this applies to both mobile devices, desktops or VR/AR headsets.
Moving on to configurations, depending on your hardware you might want to tinker around with your game or VR settings to get the best configuration that works for your hardware and the application you are running. Turn off what you don’t need or what your hardware can’t handle well and finetune everything till you hit that sweet spot.
While there are many more ways to increase your FPS, like getting newer hardware, doing the basics listed above will get you good performance. But don’t be scared to get your hands dirty, after all, on the road to better FPS, you will need to do some work.