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Optimizing RiftCat Settings

NOTE: This article assumes you have already set up RiftCat and are looking for optimizing VRidge experience.

NOTE 2: If you prefer Video version of the guide then make sure to check out Daley Tech's youtube channel. Credits for the video goes to him.

 

Connection

You can connect to RiftCat either through Wi-fi or USB tethering.

Tethering eliminates issues caused on network or by interference, if there are any. Because you are connected via cable to your PC and VR is best experienced wireless you should use USB tethering to test whether there are any network problems. And if there aren't any, you should go wireless.

If you are going wireless you should know what standard your router supports. If you routers only has 2.4GHz wi-fi then it is recommend to have it relatively close to you (same room) and don't set too high bitrate in RiftCat settings (more about Bitrater later in the article). About 12-15mbps should be enough. The other option is 5GHz router which is better in every way compared to 2.4GHz. It is still recommended to have router relatively close to you. It also allows much higher bitrate, that means if you have high-end PC and are going to play with maxed out settings you can increase bitrate much higher to obtain better quality (exceeding 50mbps is not recommend as there is little to no gain.) Usually about 25mbps bitrate is enough and there isn't much difference while going higher, but you can also go as high as 50mbps. If you experience artifacts or image-related issues with high bitrate, then try to reduce it a bit.

 

RiftCat VRidge settings

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Note: At the botton of RiftCat settings window you will see resolution, fps (framerate), and bitrate reported by your phone, however sometimes they might not be accurate so it's better to also check your phone specifications on website like http://www.gsmarena.com.

 

Resolution

Resolution represents how many pixels will be used as width and height for each image frame. The higher the numbers, the more details will be visible on screen. Low resolution can cause the image to be made of a visible single color squares and make distinguishing different objects impossible. It is recommended to select the resolution native to your phone's resolution. It is also worth noting that higher resolution is better as it provides better visuals, but requires more processing power.

 

Framerate

FPS (frames per second) means how many image frames you will see each second. Having higher FPS will increase the animation smoothness, because more frames are shown each second to the eyes, however this is usually limited by the phone's display refresh rate, which in most phones is 60Hz (60 fps). 60 fps makes VR experience more immersive compared to 30 fps. Only pick 30 fps if your PC cannot obtain 60 fps in-game.

 

Bitrate

Bitrate is the amount of data being transfered between your phone<->PC. Increasing Bitrate will also increase image quality because there is more data available to transfer each image frame. However, above certain Bitrate there will be no visible difference, so it is recommended to stay in close range to the bitrate values shown in the table below.

Bitrate is dependant on your other settings. If you select 1440p60fps that means there is lots of data needed to be transfered which means you will have to set higher bitrate to get smooth and better image. It is recommended to start off from 10Mbps bitrate and move up every 3-5Mbps, and once you start noticing lag/pixelation or image quality is not longer increasing try to drop bitrate by 2 Mbps and untill you find the sweet-spot for your settings. Below you can find table with suggested bitrate for certain criteria.

 
 

720p

1080p 1440p
60 FPS 6Mbps 13Mbps 25Mbps
30 FPS 4Mbps 7Mbps 13Mbps

 

Render Scale

Render Scale increases the resolution game is rendered at, then is scaled back down to the one you've selected in VRidge Resolution settings and sent over to your phone. This is very heavy on GPU, but in some games it's a very visible change. It reduces aliasing and improves text readability. It is recommended only if you have newer GPU, or you have trouble reading text in-game. With 150% Render Scale the game has to render 125% more pixels compared to 100% Render Scale, this is a huge work put on GPU so if you experience low FPS, try to reduce Render Scale a bit.

Note: By changing Render Scale you DO NOT need to change bitrate

 

Video Encoder

Video Encoder should be picked automatically by RiftCat Client, but you can try any other Video Encoder as long as you meet the criteria listed in brackets. It is recommend to NOT use Software encoder as it puts heavy work on CPU and might result in low performance. It is also worth noting that if you have high-end GPU (GTX 960/AMD R9 Fury or newer) you can select HEVC encoder. It is a significant improvement over other Video Encoders and reduces the Bitrate requirement by over 40%. That means if you have GPU and Phone which supports HEVC you can reduce your bitrate by about 40% after selecting HEVC Encoder.

 

VRidge mobile app settings

Currently VRidge settings are only accessible from phone, but in the future it will be possible to change them from RiftCat desktop client. To access them click settings button in VRidge.

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Frame timing

It is recommended to use 'Prefer low latency' option. However if you experience choppy image try to use either 'Balanced' or 'Prefer smoothness' option, however either of them will slightly increase latency. It is not recommended to use neither 'Synchronized' nor 'Immediate' settings, but can be used as a last resort.

 

Tracking mode

While playing you might notice that your center view is slowly moving to either side, this is often refered to as 'drifting'. It's common and very hard problem to solve in Mobile VR, but there are options which can minimize drifting. In 'tracking mode' settings you will find number of different trackings. Google VR should work the best, but if you have frequent/heavy drifting then try either of the magnetometer options, stability will probably result in the least amount of drift.

 

Display stabilization

This by default is on as it reduces the perceivable latency, however if you experience jitter you can try to disable this settings and see if it improved your experience. It very rarely increases jitter.

 

Automatic stream fixes

This settings is automatically enabled or disabled based on your phone, however if for some reasons your phone is not working with RiftCat try to either enable or disable this settings. It makes some phones compatible, more notably Samsung and Redmi phones

 

Hopefully this article helped you adjust settings accordingly to your setup and improved your experience!

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