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Virtual desktops for VR

Moderator: JC Denton

Virtual desktops for VR

Unread postby ChevRage » 15 Jan 2021 21:35

When you are using a VR headset a function that you will be using a LOT is a virtual desktop, which generally works as a screen projected into whatever 3D space you are in (either a game, or just the home environment of the platform that your hardware uses). It's essentially an easy way of accessing the desktop of your PC without having to constantly take the headset off.

Every platform like Windows Mixed Reality and SteamVR seem to have their own virtual desktop, but I've found that these are fairly limited in terms of what you can do with them, and some don't function as well as I'd like. WMR for example has a decent one, but I can't seem to get a keyboard up whenever I want, so it's like only having a mouse active. And SteamVR has a keyboard, but has some weird problem where I can't click on stuff every now and then. It's not always very comfortable to use them.

Thankfully there are a plethora of 3rd party virtual desktop apps, some of which have awesome functions like being able to append a Twitch chat box onto your virtual wrist, projecting multiple windows as if you had multiple monitors (a fucking awesome use for any DMs running D&D Battlegrounds), and I bet there are even more useful functions that I don't even know of yet. They aren't free of course, so keep that in mind.

It's kinda hard finding one that is the best, people keep recommending different programs, and depending on how far back the posts have been made, some programs might have already become obsolete. So many of these apps exist, it's overwhelming. I could probably spend hours just looking through them all. So far two stood out to me; Desktop Portal and OVR Toolkit, both of which seem easy to use, and have a bunch of useful functionality aside from just accessing your desktop. The Steam pages for which are here: ... op_Portal/

Check out their trailers, they look awesome. Look at how many windows the guy has up in Desktop Portal.

I've heard that Desktop Portal is the best out of the two of them, but at the moment nobody can buy it since the dude stupidly decided to disable it, apparently temporarily. In the Discord (found here:, he says this:

CircuitLord wrote:NOTE: Desktop Portal is currently disabled while i'm busy with my other full time job and other projects, hoping to re-enable it at some point once I have more time to fix bugs and support it!

So until he decides to re-enable it, the one I've bought and used is OVR Toolkit. Check out this guide to get a Twitch chat box attached to your hand:

How to attach a Twitch chat to your hand

The only problem is that I can't stream those windows that show up, because what I stream is the game window which only shows the game I'm in, and not any overlays I have open. A method of streaming everything you see in VR exists, but my PC is not powerful enough to do it. All you have to do is check the Enable VR View option in Steam VR, and it'll bring up the VR View window which you can capture via OBS. I can't do it because whenever I do so, my framerate goes to shit. So it looks like I'd need a second dedicated streaming PC.

There may be more useful apps than what I've mentioned here, I feel like I've only scratched the surface with regards to this. If anybody has any recommendations, post them here.
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Joined: 23 Aug 2012 21:14
Location: Victoria, Australia

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