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Comprehensive VR Guide
By Sienihemmo and 1 collaborators
This guide looks into the VR version of Payday 2, explaining all about the VR version and the differences it has compared to the desktop version. The guide will assume basic knowledge of the desktop version, which can already be found elsewhere.
This guide is still a work in progress

This is a guide for everyone starting their PD2VR journey, and to those interested in the differences between the two. If you are a fresh player coming straight to VR without having ever played the desktop version, I would advice you to also read up on the game elsewhere in addition to this guide, as there is far too much content in the game to go through without focusing on the VR specific bits.

I would suggest simply playing the game to learn the basics, and then reading more about the mechanics on The Long Guide:

Now then. As for VR compared to desktop, it is (in my opinion) not overpowered, nor is it underpowered. It works so differently that it's hard to even compare the balance between the two. Harder than trying to balance PC players and console players in the same game. I just look at it as a different way to play.

Part of my reasons for writing this guide is to try and dispel the false assumptions about the VR, and to help VR players get a painless start to the game.

The game will start you up in a main menu or lobby environment, which is a warehouse with 2 massive screens along with decorations. Let's go through the active portions of the environment.

Front screen
In front of you when you launch the game will be the game menu proper. It has all the same functions as the desktop menu. It is navigated by pointing the laser in your gun hand toward the button you want to choose, and pressing trigger. Grip reverses you back to the previous menu.

Not much else to say about this, really. If you have difficulty reading the text on the screen or pointing the laser accurately, you are free to move closer to it.

Left screen
On the left of you when launching the game will be the VR options screen. This is the big one, with lots of settings for VR and a button layout for the system that you are currently using. This screen is also available in the pause menu during heists, with all settings available. We'll have an in depth look at the settings available in the next chapter.

Other elements
Standing between the two screens you can see your character, with any equipped weapons, masks, armor and skins shown just like they are on the desktop.

In multiplayer lobbies you will see other joined players' characters standing on your right, similarly as on desktop with nicknames, infamy and current rank shown. You are free to move about the lobby area and have a closer look at any skins or masks they may be wearing, if you wish.

Graphics settings
The graphics settings on the front screen are very similar to the ones on desktop, but with some removed and one added. While the settings are best tweaked depending on your PC, here are some pointers to keep in mind.
  • The most important one in VR is the newly added Adaptive Quality setting. Turning this on will make the game drop the quality whenever the framerate drops below the optimal 90 frames per second. Dropping below 90fps and especially a fluctuating framerate can cause heavy motion sickness in some people, so turning this on is heavily encouraged.

    If even adaptive quality cannot keep a steady 90fps, look into turning down the other settings. I'd suggest trying to keep the texture quality as high as possible, because that will have the most drastic effect on the visuals.

  • I'd advice going through the color grading options and picking one that you like, because the standard colors can look quite bland in VR. I like the 'PD1: Dinero' one because it makes the colors much more lifelike.

  • Ambient Occlusion has very little effect in VR, you may consider turning it off to conserve performance.

Pause/Preplanning Menu
When you load into a heist, you will be in a dark room with only the floor under you lit, with 2 screens next to you. The left one is the same VR options menu seen in the main lobby warehouse. In the front will be the preplanning and loadout screen. During heists you can press the menu button to pull up this same space, except the front screen will have the pause menu from the desktop version.

This same space will be used if you are spectating from custody or while using security cameras, with the view replacing the front screen. In this case the camera angle can be controlled with one of the touchpads, and zoomed in with [TBD].

The same space is also used during ziplines and parachuting, if you have the comfort camera turned on.
VR Options
Let's have a look at that lefthand screen now, shall we?

If you look down while in this menu, you can see your belt. You can grab the different arrows to adjust how wide the belt is, how big it is and how far it is from your body.
  • Player Height
    Use this to calibrate your height. Stand comfortably straight and press the 'Calibrate' button while looking straight ahead. This will be used to detect when you are crouched. If you want to give yourself more room to bend over before the game considers you crouched (with regards to dodge chance and crawling under obstacles), you can calibrate your height while being slightly hunched over.

  • Belt Snap Angle
    This adjusts the snap angle of your belt, meaning how much you have to turn your head before the belt moves with it. Increase this to give yourself more room to look around the belt without it moving with your head, I find 15 degrees to be good for myself, but use whatever you are comfortable with. Look down at the belt to test it out.

  • UI Belt
    In this menu you can customize your belt by moving the different boxes around, as on the screenshot to the right. Normally they can also be resized by grabbing the boxes with two hands, but at the time of writing this function is bugged and doesn't work. Remember to save the layout when you are done, or it will revert to the last saved layout.

  • Auto Reload
    When turned on, reloading will work identically to how it does on desktop. Press Grip to reload, wait for the timer to run out, and you'll have a full magazine.

    When turned off, however, the reloading is slightly more complex. When pressing the grip button, a progress bar will begin in the 'reload' box on your belt. Once the bar is full, there will be a full magazine available in the box, which you can recieve by sticking your gun into the box. But at any point during the reload, you can take a partially filled mag from the box with your offhand using Grip, and take it to your gun to reload it partially. This lets you abort reloads midway for slow weapons like LMG's, making it extremely powerful.

  • Weapon Hand
    Quite simple, switches which hand is used as the weapon hand. The other hand is automatically changed into the offhand which is used for movement.

  • Tablet Hand
    Again, quite simple, this lets you choose which wrist the tablet is on.

  • Aim Stabilization
    Adds very slight aim stabilization which is so slight that I cannot even confirm that it is functioning.

  • Keep Items In Hand
    Does what it says on the tin. For example, if turned on and you throw a grenade it will automatically put another grenade in your hand until you run out of grenades or put them away by pressing grip. If turned off, grenades and other multiple use equipment will automatically holster after being used once.

  • Movement Type
    Here you choose whether you want to use dash only, or a combination of direct and dash movement. I recommend using direct+dash unless you get motion sickness from direct movement. Even then, I recommend trying it for a few days in very short sessions (5-15 minutes at a time) to see if you start getting used to it.

  • Dashzone Size
    This adjusts how large the dash area from the middle of the touchpad is. If using dash movement only, you probably want this quite large. If using direct+dash, I recommend setting it to 5-20% on the Vive, depending on your liking. I use 5%, which can sometimes be a bit tricky to find in heavy combat.

  • Deadzone Size
    This adjusts how big the deadzone in the middle of the touchpad is, where direct locomotion will not happen. I recommend having this slightly bigger than the dashzone, so that you won't move when you're aiming a teleport. I have the deadzone as 5% larger than the dashzone.

  • Dash In Deadzone
    Turning this on will effectively turn the deadzone into the dashzone. Use this if you dont want an empty buffer between the dashzone and the deadzone that does nothing.

  • Automatic Dash
    Turning this on will let you hold down the touchpad/joystick and automatically keep dashing in the direction you're pointing as soon as the teleport has recharged. Personally I think it's good for long distances, but in smaller spaces it's better to teleport manually. You can make the game automatically do slow long dashes or quicker short dashes, depending on your preference.

  • Grip Toggle
    This is meant to lock your grip during interactions so you don't have to keep pressing the grip button. Sadly it seems to be broken, as it doesn't actually lock any interactions that I've noticed. Do not count on this when answering pagers.

  • Comfort Camera
    This setting is for those that experience motion sickness. If turned on all ziplining, parachuting and other such possible movements will take you into the pause menu with a cutscene type of view. Note: This will not affect vehicles such as boats, cars or motorcycles. If possible, I recommend keeping this off as it will hinder your situational awareness.

  • Collision Fadeout
    This lets you change how the game handles your head going into solid objects. 'Instant' will, well, instantly black out your screen when you go too close, which can be quite jarring. 'Smooth' will gradually darken your vision as you get closer. 'Stepped' will do the same as Smooth but with only a few steps instead of a smooth gradient. I prefer smooth, but use whatever you like.

  • Collision Teleport
    If turned on, this will teleport you out of solid objects to keep you from "getting lost inside them" where you dont know which way to move to get out. This can sometimes cause issues where you are trying to take cover, accidentally go into an object and the game will keep teleporting you out of cover.
In this chapter we look at the various differences in the controls compared to the desktop version. Also included is a full button mapping for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift controllers.

HTC Vive Button Layout

Oculus Rift Button Layout

The game uses 2 different movement (from here on referred to as locomotion) systems. The first is the 'dash' locomotion, which is the most common locomotion seen in Rec Room, The Lab and countless other VR titles, often referred to as teleport locomotion. The other is the 'direct' locomotion, which is often found in competetive VR titles such as Pavlov, Onward, Stand Out and plenty of others. It's often referred to as 'slide locomotion', 'walking', 'touchpad movement' or any number of other names.

Dash locomotion:
You move by putting a finger on the touchpad to bring up an aim circle. Point it at the spot you want to teleport to, and press down on the touchpad to teleport there. If you have automatic dashing turned on, you can hold down on the touchpad to keep teleporting where you point as soon as the dash has fully charged again. Dashing spends stamina with each teleport, and if you run out of stamina you can only teleport very short distances.

Direct locomotion:
You control your movement just like on desktop, with the touchpad/joystick replacing the WASD keys. Instead of pressing Shift to sprint you click the touchpad, after which you will sprint until you stop moving. It's not necessary to hold the touchpad down to keep sprinting, just pressing it once is enough and will prolong the controllers lifespan in the long run. Sprinting uses stamina just like on desktop. Dashing is still available with this locomotion, and still gives the dash exclusive bonuses if used.

Jumping and ladders
To jump up to something you simply point the teleport circle to a higher point and teleport to it. This can let you make some insane jumps that are nigh impossible to accomplish on desktop, since you have all the time in the world to aim your teleport. Jumping down is usually easier by dashing than by direct locomotion, because with dashing you can teleport to a midpoint that won't give you as much fall damage.
Climbing ladders works by pointing at the orange circle visible at both the top and bottom of the ladders, and then teleporting in the direction you want to move in. So if you wanted to climb up ladders, you would first teleport at the orange circle at the base of the ladders to 'attach' yourself to them, then you would teleport yourself upwards to move up the ladders until you reach the top. There's no limit to how fast you can do this, but be careful not to go too fast or you might end up accidentally teleporting yourself off a ledge once you reach the top. You'll get the hang of how many teleports the more common ladders require after a while. For example, the ladders in the diner of Birth of Sky take 3 teleports to climb. If you spam teleport one too many times, you'll teleport straight back down into the side alley of the diner.

Weapon handling
In VR you have to consider the handling of the weapons from a new perspective, namely on whether the weapon is capable of being steadied. For example, the Mark 10 is a great weapon but because it is a pistol style SMG, it is very hard to aim steadily at long ranges.

Remember to relax. If you try to go hard and keep your hand stiff like a movie star, your hand will twitch because the muscles are tensed up, making aiming difficult. It's also not unusual at the start of a session to have shaky aim, because your adrenaline levels haven't calmed down yet.
  • Pistols and small SMG's:
    Held with 1 hand. You can lock the other hand into the same grip, but this serves no purpose but appearances. The hand will disconnect if you move the controller far enough. The best way to aim accurately is to use your offhand to steady your gunhand, but freehanding works fine at close to medium ranges.
  • 2 handed weapons and SMG's with a foregrip:
    You can grab the foregrip with the other controller, giving you more control over the weapon. The further forward the grip is, the easier it will be to steady your aim. So while the Kobus 90 does have a foregrip, it is so close to the gun hand that most of the time it will actually make it harder to aim.
  • Semiautomatic and sniper rifles:
    It's recommended to always use either a physical gun stock or a two handed grip on these weapons at anywhere above ~10 meter ranges. Other weapons let you miss some shots by spitting more lead in the general direction, but sniper rifles don't have this luxury. Especially if you are using a zoomed scope, you're going to need every bit of control over the gun you can get.
The HUD in VR is similar to the desktop HUD, but it's chopped into pieces and spread around to make it easier to read and somewhat less immersion breaking. Let's go through the different HUD elements, and how they differ from the desktop version.

Ammo and Health
Your ammo for primary and secondary weapons, along with your health and stamina are displayed floating next to your gun hand. These work the same as on desktop (with the exception of stamina, which is not displayed on desktop), but do require you to physically turn to look at them instead of glancing at the corner of your screen.

An extra thing to note is that the DoT health meter added by the Stoic perk deck is very faint, you will need to bring the health meter close to your face to make out the DoT dashes on the meter.

Teammate information and chat
Your teammate information is displayed on your wrist tablet. The tablet has 3 screens, each of which serve a different purpose and which can be scrolled through with your hand by swiping left and right on the screen with your opposite hand. Even if your opposite hand has a gun on it, the gun will disappear when you are swiping the screen.

The middle screen shows teammates health, armor and ammo. Also in the corner is shown an objective reminder and the amount of hostages. The right screen shows the items your teammates are holding, things like keycards and gas cans. The left screen shows the chat, same as on desktop. If the chat appears pixelated, try bringing the tablet closer to your face to get a clearer look. Also of note is that you will not be notified in any way of text messages, so if playing with players who aren't using voice chat, make sure to check the chat often in case they have something to tell you.

Next to the tablet is a wristwatch, which will display how long the current heist has lasted.

The tablet will be on your left hand by default, but can be switched to either hand from the VR options screen.

Arguably the most important part of your HUD is the VR belt. This is what allows you to switch weapons, to take bags off your back and to quickly place deployables. The belt is used by reaching down into one of the boxes until the box lights up, and pressing the grip button to activate it.

The belt layout can be altered in the VR options menu. You can scale the width of the belt, and you can change its height and distance from your body to fit your specific preferences. You can move the different boxes around to get them just right. Normally you should be able to also resize the boxes, but last I tried adjusting mine the resizing was broken. I've made a bug report about it.

When considering the height of the belt, remember to test how high it is when you crouch, because the belt doesn't move down at a 1/1 scale to your head (to stop the belt from going under the floor). If you can still use it while crouched and can reach all the boxes when you're standing, it's probably fine.

Other HUD elements
Objective markers will appear floating in your view like on desktop, including arrows pointing towards them if you are looking away from them.

Spotted enemies, converts and other players will have outlines identical to desktop.

If your health drops to zero, you will go to bleedout by your camera lowering to almost ground level. A white circle appears around you with floating icons of a man lying down, signifying that you are down. If your bleedout health runs out the circle will turn red, the floating icon will turn into a red skull and your weapon will disappear from your hands until you are revived. During bleedout, your wristwatch will display the time remaining until you go into custody.
The VR version adds VR specific bonuses to a lot of skills, and all of the perk decks. Some of the skills are also pointless in VR because they add or affect stats that are removed in the VR version.

All of the "when moving" type of bonuses function as they do on desktop if used with direct locomotion. The "when aiming down sights" bonuses will be active when you have your gun near eye height and in front of you. You don't have to be actually looking down the sights.

  • Quick Fix Basic:
    Reduced utility, since deployables can be put down instantly from the belt. Useful with FAK's.
  • Stable Shot Basic:
    The stability bonus is nonfunctional.
  • Rifleman:
    The only functioning effect is the increased accuracy while moving, from acing the skill.
    VR bonus:
    Basic: Each kill made while aiming down sights will regen 2% stamina.
    Aced: The accuracy bonus lasts 1 to 5 seconds after dashing, depending on how long the dash was. Nonfunctional with direct locomotion.

  • Shotgun CQB:
    The steel sight speed bonus from acing it is nonfunctional.
    VR bonus:
    Aced: Each kill made while aiming down sights will regen 2% stamina.
  • Shotgun Impact Basic:
    The stability bonus is nonfunctional.
  • Close By Basic:
    Unlike on desktop, in VR while shooting your sprint will only be slowed for the duration of the shooting, making the effect minimal since there are no animations to slow the process down.
    VR bonus:
    After dashing, all your kills have a 100% chance to fear enemies within 8 meters for 1-3 seconds, depending on how long the dash was. Nonfunctional with direct locomotion.
  • Overkill Aced:
    Weapon swap speed is nonfunctional.

  • Steady Grip Aced:
    The stability bonus is nonfunctional.
  • Fire Control Aced:
    VR bonus:
    The decreased accuracy penalty lasts 1-5 seconds after dashing, depending on how long the dash was. Nonfunctional with direct locomotion.
  • Lock'n'Load Basic:
    See Close By Basic.
    VR bonus:
    Every 40 points of stamina consumed by dashing will refill 5% ammo to your automatic weapons. Nonfunctional with direct locomotion.

  • Duck and Cover Aced:
    VR bonus:
    The increased dodge chance lasts 1-5 seconds after dashing, depending on how long the dash was. Nonfunctional with direct locomotion.
  • Parkour:
    Ladder climbing speed bonus only has effect with direct locomotion. Aced version has no effect because VR players can always reload while sprinting in any direction.
    VR bonus:
    Aced: After dashing you will get a 20-50% reload speed bonus. No duration mentioned, possibly lasts for one reload.
  • The Professional Basic:
    The stability bonus and snap to zoom bonuses are nonfunctional.
    VR bonus:
    Each kill made while aiming down sights will regen 2% stamina.

  • Equilibrium Basic:
    The effect is nonfunctional.
  • Akimbo:
    The stability bonuses of both levels are nonfunctional, leaving the 50% ammo capacity as the only bonus.
  • Running From Death Basic:
    The weapon swap speed bonus is nonfunctional.

Perk Decks
Each perk deck has a dash bonus in addition to the normal deck effects. They only trigger with dashes however, so you can't take advantage of them if you want to exclusively use the direct locomotion.

For simplicitys sake, I'm going to list all of the bonuses at 1/9 and 9/9, skipping the intermediate levels since they are always just a straight increase.
The format is "X-Y/X-Y", where the first 2 numbers are the range at 1/9, and the second is at 9/9.

Perk Deck
VR Bonus
Crew Chief, Muscle, Gambler, Grinder, Ex-President, Kingpin, Stoic, Tag Team
Per dash, regain 0-3/0-15 health depending on how much stamina the dash spent, capping at 50 health every 5 seconds.
Armorer, Hitman, Crook, Infiltrator, Sociopath, Yakuza, Biker
Per dash, regain 2-6/10-22 armor depending on how much stamina the dash spent, maximum of 3 times every 3 seconds.
Rogue, Burglar, Sicario
Per dash, gain 1-6%/1-10% dodge for 3 seconds depending on how much stamina the dash spent.
Per dash, regain 1-3/5-11 armor depending on how much stamina the dash spent, maximum of 3 times every 5 seconds.

Extra note: The damage over time health meter added by Stoic is barely visible at present, so using Stoic will need some extra attention on the players part.
Weapons and other equipment
Using and customizing your weapons and other equipment has some differences compared to the desktop version. Let's have a look at some of them.

With the exception of the bows, the Little Friend assault rifle and the chain whip, all weapons in the game can be used in VR with varying levels of efficiency. However, here are some main differences.

  • The stability stat has very little effect on weapons. It only starts taking effect after long bursts, and works by dynamically decreasing the accuracy of your weapon. Doing short bursts negates it completely (which you should be doing anyways).

  • Akimbo weapons can be aimed independently. You can either use them to shoot in two directions at once, or you can use them as a single weapon with twice the ammo capacity, because the two guns share the same magazine and ammo pools. And since akimbo weapons' only downside is occupying a primary slot and having a stability penalty, they are a very attractive choice for VR.

  • LMG's can be aimed. Unline on desktop where LMG's are forced to be either hipfired or mounted on a bipod, in VR you are free to use the sights on them. However, usually it is better to aim just with the laser because the LMG iron sights are quite obstructive.

  • Snipers are difficult to use, simply by the fact that aiming fast and accurately is hard in VR, especially if using a high powered scope. With a scope it can take several seconds just to find the reticle inside the sight. I would recommend steering clear of the zoomed scopes, since the ranges are rarely long enough to need them anyway. But again, feel free to use whatever you want if you feel you are proficient with it.

Melee doesn't necessarily work as you'd expect it to, if you've played other VR games with melee combat. You can melee enemies either with the weapon butt (which is always active on whatever gun you're holding) or whatever melee weapon you bring with you.

You can press the trigger when holding a melee attack to charge it for a more powerful hit, but this takes a moment depending on the weapon. The controller will vibrate more depending on how charged the melee is.

After a successful melee hit (even on the environment), you temporarily do less damage depending on the expire time of the weapon (refer to the Long Guide). The damage gradually builds up to full again, assuming you don't hit anything in the meantime.

The weapon butt has a 0.1 damage multiplier in VR, meaning you will deal 3 damage per hit with it. This means that even the weakest of security guards will take 14 hits to kill if they manage to spot you. For the weapon butt the expire time is 0.6 seconds so at least you will be free to hit them nearly as fast as you physically can, but in loud you should only use the weapon butt for knocking down enemies instead of killing them.

Weapon Customization
Weapon customization differs somewhat in VR from the desktop version. Since stability is never an issue, you should always avoid equipping stability increasing mods over other stats. If a weapon can only equip a mod that affects stability and nothing else, then pick one that you think looks best. Or just disregard that mod slot completely.

Lasers are much stronger in VR than on desktop, because the gun can swivel around independently of your view making aiming without one harder. I recommend turning the lasers brightness to 0.70 to make it easier to see in daylight. Avoid using red lasers, they will confuse your teammates because the police snipers have red lasers.

Flashlights have a visible cone of light both on desktop and in VR, but in VR it appears strong enough to obstruct your vision instead of helping it. Check the Mods chapter for a recommended mod for removing the visible cone of light, making the flashlights more useful.

Check out the chapter after this one for details on the differences in scopes and sights.

Other Equipment
If you pick up a throwable from your belt, there will be a line going out from the throwable approximately in the direction you're pointing with your controller. That line works as the aiming tool for the throwables, but it's not really accurate and I wouldn't recommend using throwables further than a dozen meters or so unless you can risk missing the throw.

Deployables can be instantly put down once you pick them from the belt, cutting out the interaction timer from them. Especially handy during stealth for fast deployment of ECM's, as long as you find it from your belt fast enough.

Masks can also be put on instantly by bringing it to your face before pressing trigger. Handy if you're spotting for a stealther and they need help fast.
Scopes and Sights
Sights vary hugely compared to desktop. Many of the sights have different zoom levels, starting from the red dot style sights with no zoom, going all the way to the massive Theia scope which has an insane amount of magnification. Which you pick is up to you, however.

If you have difficulty finding the red dot inside the sight, I recommend switching the reticle to the big plus sign (example on the right). I also recommend keeping the reticle as red, since the Vive has double the amount of red pixels than any other color, which can make any other colors seem dim compared to the red. But if you prefer another color or want a dimmer reticle, the choice is yours.

The rangefinders on the Theia, Box Buddy and Reconnaissance scopes also function in VR.

Here is a comparison of the most common sights. The left images are from VR, where as the right ones are from the desktop version. I apologize for the low quality in some of the VR screenshots, they are captured frames from a video.

Speculator Sight
Notable: All red dot and holographic sights in the game will zoom exactly as much as this one, meaning not at all. That includes the military red dot. Recommended to pick the ones with the largest viewport to make it easier to find the dot inside. Avoid surgeon sight since its viewport is so tiny.
Combat Sight
Milspec Sight
Reconnaissance Sight
Acough Scope
Box Buddy Scope
Notable: In addition to the tiny viewport, the black rubber eye seal around the scope will block a large portion of your field of view. Avoid using this scope. It zooms as much as the Theia scope, so use that instead.
Theia Scope
The gameplay itself is probably the part which separates itself the most from the desktop version, with multiple playstyle altering changes which make even veteran players to alter their tactics.

Damage Reduction
All VR players have damage reduction which scales with range, meant to balance for the fact that VR players cannot see as far as the enemies with the current resolution of VR headsets. The Damage reduction starts out at 10% which is always active, and it scales up to 75%, capping at 60 meters. Meaning at 60 meters and anything further than that does only 25% of normal damage to VR players.

To counteract this, all enemies within 20 meters of a VR player will prioritize them over other players. This results in the VR player taking more fire at close range, but less at longer ranges, which is fairer since VR players can see better at short ranges. So far it is unsure if this prioritization is a percentage that can be counteracted with Optical Illusions Basic and the Rogue perk deck, or if it is a hard coded effect that renders the aforementioned bonuses nonfunctional.

In VR you can no longer simply tap the crouch button to peak out from behind cover, and to quickly move from low cover to low cover. In VR you have to physically get down, and depending on the cover that might mean literally down on your knees. And if you wish to do that rapidly over and over again, you will need proper physical fitness.

Because of this, it's easy to forget to use cover in VR at all, because you need to exert yourself physically every single time you want to get down.

Then again, if you really want cover then it's easier to find in VR than on desktop. Since enemies always target your head and not your body, you can hide behind literally anything that is solid enough to block bullets and that you can stick your head behind without the game blacking your screen out.

You see a flower pot? Literally lie down on the ground and put your head behind that flower pot. You are now in cover. See a desk that has the perfect view for defending the objective? Lie down and stick your head literally under that table for maximum cover. See a computer chair? Stick your head behind that chair and you're good.

All of this also applies to stealth. Guards and civilians won't spot you if your head is behind any solid object. This is your most valuable tool while stealthing as a VR player. It will make it extremely difficult for enemies to see you behind any kind of desks or other obstacles, even low ones that couldn't normally be hidden behind on desktop. On the right is a video demonstrating some of these possibilities.

Tactical reloads
Using manual reloading you have the ability to interrupt the reload at any point in exchange for a partially filled mag. Use this to your advantage while using weapons with slow reloads. Even if an LMG has a reload time of 4 seconds, you can still interrupt the reload after under a second and still get several dozen bullets in the magazine. This progression is in proportion to how full the mag was when you started reloading.

Shooting and interacting
On desktop interacting with objectives or other things under fire is always a risk, because you are essentially defenseless during the interaction. But in VR your gun hand remains free to shoot, and despite interacting you are still free to move about your roomscale play area, taking cover behind objects as needed. In stealth you can cover yourself while answering a pager, and freely look around to make sure nobody is nearby.

Dash bonuses
The dash bonuses from the skills and the perk decks are meant as a balancing feature to bridge the gap between dashing and direct locomotion. While using only dashing, tracking enemies with your gun while moving becomes difficult, in some cases impossible, while with direct locomotion it's easy to track enemies while smoothly moving. Dashing also requires you to point your controller in the direction of the teleport, which will hinder bag moving and almost certainly stop you from interacting with your belt with any kind of efficiency. Dashing is still available while using direct locomotion however, and gives the same bonuses.

Dash allows you to stealth more effectively, because your detection only increases between the dashes, not during them. This can let you completely bypass guards standing in thin corridors by simply dashing from one side to the other, and cross larger areas by chaining together a few dashes and reaching cover by the end of it. In essence this works similarly to the crouchjumping trick on desktop.

Swan Song
Swan Song's effectiveness is slightly reduced in VR, because at this time there is not much else you can use to tell when you are in swan song except looking down at your health meter, or noticing that you're moving slower than usual. There is a light flash at the edges of your view when you hit swan song, but it's easy to mistake for your armor breaking.

Special Enemies
  • Shields
    If you're feeling too lazy to flank shields, you can stick your gun through the shield and shoot them. If you really want to get into it, bring a gun with a longer barrel so you can do so from further away.
  • Tazers
    Getting tazed has no effect on your aim in VR, so the biggest obstacle is to simply find the tazer. The tazer makes an electric crackling while tazing someone, use that to your advantage.
Most Payday 2 mods that don't affect the HUD will work fine in VR. Glove replacement mods don't work unless they are made specifically for VR, because the VR gloves use a separate model from the desktop ones. So far there are no HUD mods made for VR. If you have a VR only mod that you would like me to link here, I can be contacted on Discord under the tag of Sienihemmo#9999.

Known VR only mods
VR Improvements Mod:
Adds a bunch of VR exclusive options. The mod has issues though, and as it stands I wouldn't recommend using it on Deathwish or above.

Other suggested mods
Adds a few new hud elements which stick to your view. 2 bars, one for health and one for armor, which update correctly. The health bar has a down meter for reminding how many times you've gone down (so far the only available down counter available in VR). The armor meter has a timer for showing how long until your armor starts regenerating, or with anarchist it shows how long until the next tick of armor.

No Flashlight Glow:
Just a simple mod that removes the flashlight cone of light that can block your view, making flashlights look more realistic.
Change Log and TBD list
Added BangHud into mod recommendations

Added chapter on scopes, with comparison screenshots

Added mention about Little Friend being unusable in VR.
Added paragraph about manual reloading.
Added section about weapon handling.
Added mention about tazers.
Improved wording and added clarifications.
Added several screenshots.
Changed the Rift button layout to an accurate one.
Separated melee from weapons to its own thing.

Added button layouts.
Added VR options chapter.
Added paragraph about snipers to the weapons chapter.
Added a few screenshots and improved wording in places.

Added a paragraph about shields to the gameplay chapter.
Added a paragraph about melee to the weapons chapter.

WIP version released.

To be added
Screenshots everywhere
Random tips
End Notes
The guide is still a work in progress, but I wanted to get it out for people to use while I'm still finishing it up.

If anyone has suggestions that I overlooked or corrections for something I got wrong, I'm always open to constructive criticism.

And as always, if you liked the guide or if it helped you get some clarity, please remember to rate it. Thanks.

Admiral_Knox for suggesting improvements and giving ideas
Zdann for suggesting fixes
BillyCrusher for the Rift layout
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[LOS] CryseTech Jun 8 @ 2:01am 
Awesome work you have done herre!
Very good and understandable written,
i learned muchnew things here, thank you very much :melogold:
Badstormer May 3 @ 1:26am 
BangHud link seems to be dead.
gameps2 Apr 30 @ 4:51pm 
we need valve index
DeeEcks Sep 26, 2019 @ 4:52am 
ive made a mod that makes the stoic dot easily visible but i dont want to share it atm because its pretty dodgy, but here are the asset files that have to be modified to make it work:
Mr. Wallet Jan 29, 2019 @ 9:38am 
Hey dude, I dunno if you're still updating this, but it seems like the best VR guide so I thought I would share what I know in case you might add it:

Heavy Impact has no effect in VR. You can spam an entire machine gun into the front of a shield and they will never stagger. This is especially bad because there's no VR bonus for taking the skill. I suspect Shock and Awe aced is also useless, but I haven't tried it.

You might also mentioned that taking cops hostage is tricky in VR and care must be taken to keep the center of the player's view directly on the cop, or else they will tend to reset the surrender process even if shouting at them constantly.
Zdann  [author] Jun 2, 2018 @ 10:37am 
There is no Push-to-Talk by default in the VR version; you'd need to install the VR Improvements Mod for that.
As for bipods, they currently do not function in VR.
prizrak83 Jun 2, 2018 @ 6:43am 
Very good instruction, but in this manual I did not find how to use the voice chach in Push-to-talk mode. Just as interested in how to use bipod on a machine gun.
Zdann  [author] May 21, 2018 @ 11:45am 
Also, I decided to grab some of the FOV values for magnified scopes:
A5 Scope (Repeater 1874 Sniper Rifle) - 12
Barrel Sight 44 (Broomstick Pistol) - 9
Default Sniper Scope - 9
Theia Magnified Scope - 7

All other magnified scopes use 13 for the FOV value.
Zdann  [author] May 21, 2018 @ 11:34am 
Don't think it was mentioned, but you can instantly mask up by placing the mask near your face and pressing the trigger.

Once again, this is never explained by the game.
Shady May 11, 2018 @ 3:50am 
Im seeing if I can replicate the issue, but the mods i currently have installed goes as follows
-VR Improvements

I downloaded the mod from modworkshop since it seemed like a more recent upload. And in the mod's comments there was a post about manually downloading the assets folder for the mod so that may be a possible fix.