Recently I came across my old Oculus DK2, my first HMD and although there ware no real games for it, the device made me buy a HTC Vive 🙂

The Oculus Development kit 2 (DK2) was released back in 2014. Long before Facebook even tough about putting its greedy fingers on Oculus, and long before the release of the Oculus rift and the HTC Vive.

The DK2 was ahead of its time with specs relatively close to the later released Oculus Rift and HTC Vive (2016).

Oculus DK2Oculus RiftHTC VIVE
Resolution960×1080 per eye
1920×1080 total
1080×1200 per eye
2160 x 1200 total
1080×1200 per eye
2160 x 1200 total
Refresh rate75Hz90Hz90Hz
Room scaleNoYesYes

Although the DK2 lacks room scale and controller support it can still be very useful for simulation type content such as Space/flight sims and race sims. in my case i wanted to try Elite dangerous on it because my “normal” Vive setup is not ideal for playing siting games.

Although the DK2 is no longer supported officially, it still works with the regular Oculus software, there are however a number of “problems” because the DK2 does not support controllers

Lets start with downloading the Oculus software from there site: we need the version for the original Rift which is located at the bottom of the page.

During the installation the installer will download around 6 GB of data (it looks like a lot, but steam VR is also around 6GB). I won’t show the installation (you can only click next anyway).

After the installation is complete you will have to configure the application:

First you will have to logon to the store, this can be done with a Facebook account (I don’t like Facebook and don’t have an account so I used my old Oculus account)
After signing in, the wizard asks for a location to download games to. If you plan on using the store you will probably want to select a location with lots of free space.
I did skip setting up a payment method (I only need the software for Steam VR).
You will need to skip the headset selection window (the DK2 is not listed). Don’t worry we will fix this later.
Directly after finishing the initial wizard the application will detect your DK2 (if its plugged in) and it will ask you to setup your “Rift”.
Just select next
And select skip during the setup (the “Rift” will not be detected because we don’t have a Rift)
Yes we want to skip the setup 😉
And there it is, the DK2 is fully detected (orange light is a USB2 connection, an USB3 connection is recommended for the IR camera)

Nice, the DK2 is detected and should work (display image and track movement). But we are not there yet, we have a big “health and safety” notice in the middle of the screen. And we won’t be able to display SteamVR games on the DK2 because the Oculus application disables this by default (Thanks Facebook).

Navigate to the “settings” tab (on the left side of the screen) and select the “General” tab at the top of the screen.
Now Enable the notice after “Allow Unknown Sources” (SteamVR).

You will be greeted by the following popup, select “Allow” to allow SteamVR to display games on your DK2.

Next up is the big “health and safety” notice. disable the switch after “Rift and Touch Safety”.

Select Play video now on the popup.
Review the Video or skip it.
Acknowledge the health and safety notice
Your settings screen should now look like this.
Now we need to restart the Oculus software for the settings to take effect (or restart the computer if you like). You can restart the Oculus software by clicking: “Settings”->”Beta”->”Restart Oculus”.

Running Games 🙂

To run a Steam game on the DK2 you will need to start the applications in the correct order (otherwise it will not be outputted to the DK2.

  • Start the Oculus software, and wait until the DK2 turns on and display’s output;
  • Start SteamVR and wait until the DK2 shows the SteamVR output;
  • Start the Game;
  • Have fun playing games 🙂
SteamVR even has icons for the Rift/DK2 🙂

I hope this was helpful if you find yourself with a DK2.

Featured image from extremeTech