MechWarrior 5: VR

Image: Piranah Games

Image: Piranah Games

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries was said by the developers to include VR support during the pre-release development, but somewhere along the way the developers forgot their promise. When the game was released it never got the VR support that many Mech fans including myself were waiting for. Almost two years after the release a group of people has made their own mod to enable VR in the game.

This guide will take you step-by-step through how the mod can be installed and used with the Steam version of the game using the Pimax 5K XR on Windows 10.

The game is not optimized for VR and is therefore very demanding of the CPU and GPU. My old GTX1080ti running on an Intel i7-7700K CPU was barely able to run the game with every graphical setting put on low. I was only able to run the game at a steady rate of about 35 - 40fps. Keep that in mind when trying to run the game on old hardware.

After I upgraded to an RTX 3080 the game became much more playable, especially with DLSS enabled. Feel free to read more about the impact of CPU vs GPU for VR games.


Download the mod

The game is released on nexus mods. To download mods from that site you have to create a user account. Create one, and sign in. The mod can be found on its mod page. If you don't have an account on the site, create one, and download it and the dependent mod, MW5 Mod Compability Pack.

Extract the mods, and save the files into the games mod folder <SteamLibrary>\steamapps\common\MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries\MW5Mercs\Mods

After the extraction, you should have two folders inside the mods directory, each containing its own mod.

Screenshot from the mods folder after the file extraction

The games "Mods" directory after the two mods are installed

Steam setup

In steam there is little you have to do except having the game installed. The only thing you have to do is to add a couple of launch options.

-allowhmd -d3d12

The first option, allowhmd will make the game start Steam VR when the game launches and make it aware of the game. The second option, d3d12 will make the game able to actually make use of the VR hardware.

Screenshot fro Steam game properties

Screenshot from the Steam game preferences

The launch option can be set by right-clicking on the game in your steam games library, and opening properties

PiTool setup

The game does not require that parallel projection is enabled. if it is activated, it will cause the framerate to drop significantly.

Game Config

Start the game from Steam, and enter the Mod menu, and activate the mods:

  • VRWarrior
  • MW5 Compability Pack

Exit the game to apply the changes.

It's important that the game loads the Compability Pack Mod before the VRWarrior mod. This is by making sure the mod is listed in the correct order in the modlist.json file that the game crates after the mods are enabled. You find the file in the root of the mods folder.

			"bEnabled": true
			"bEnabled": true

Now you can start the game and make the final preparations before playing in VR.

To make the game run on in VR it's important that you disable FidelityFX Sharpening in the graphics options. If you don't disable it the game will crash once you enter the 3D part of the game.

Put all the graphical settings on low, before you launch your first mission, and then gradually increase the settings while monitoring the framerate.

OpenVR FSR App

Upscaler for VR games

One tip to improve the graphical performance of the game is to use video upscaling software. The OpenVR FRS app is perfect for this. Follow the instruction to install the plugin on the game, and experiment with various settings to find what works best for you. Please note that this plugin causes some more CPU usage.

HOTAS setup

The default joystick configuration is horrible for this game. Especially the stick dead zone, which is 10% of the range. That amount of dead zone makes the game playable on a gamepad, but unplayable for me with a proper joystick. To edit the HOTAS mapping you can edit the file located in the folder: