How to Play Elite Dangerous in VR – Full Instructions, Review, Tips & More

Elite Dangerous is one of the most extensive space combat and flight simulation games out there. 

With such a premise, it only makes sense that the game has a VR component to it as well. 

While the game does have it, it can be confusing for many players when it comes to how to turn on the VR version of the game. 

Quick Summary

This post will provide:

  • The different ways to run Elite Dangerous in VR 
  • A small review of Elite Dangerous 

So without further ado, let’s get started.

How to Play Elite Dangerous in VR? (Different Methods with Detailed Instructions) 

There are a couple of different ways you can get Elite Dangerous to run in VR mode. 

However, the most appropriate approach for you will depend on what your platform is and where you bought the game. 

If You Bought it on Steam 

If you bought the game through Steam, then it’s super easy to run Elite Dangerous in VR mode. 

Follow these steps: 

Step 1: Log into Steam and go to the Steam Store. 

Step 2: Search for SteamVR. 

Step 3: Download and install SteamVR. 

Step 4: Go to your Steam Library and look at the list of games on the left-hand side. 

Step 5: Scroll down until you see SteamVR and run it. 

Step 6: Once SteamVR runs, choose Elite Dangerous from the list of available titles. 

Elite Dangerous will now run on your PC in VR. 

If You Didn’t Buy it on Steam 

If you didn’t buy the game on Steam, then you may have trouble running it through SteamVR. 

Hence, the approach we provided above might not work. 


In this case, you’ll have to enable the VR mode from within the game settings. 

To do that, follow these steps: 

Step 1: Launch the regular version of Elite Dangerous. 

Step 2: Navigate to Options and then go to the Graphics tab. 

Step 3: Go to the 3D option and choose HMD (Headphones) or HMD (Speakers). Whichever one you are using. 

HMD stands for Head-Mounted Device, and it’s the option you choose to turn Elite Dangerous into a VR game. 

Choose the Headphones option if you have headphones attached to your VR headset. Choose the Speakers option if you want to use the default speakers that are attached to your PC. 

Step 4: Apply your changes. 

Step 5: Turn off Elite Dangerous and turn on your VR headset. Connect it to your PC and make sure that it’s working properly. 

Step 6: Launch Elite Dangerous again, and it should now run in VR mode. 

Elite Dangerous – A Small Review

At its core, Elite Dangerous is a game that explores the possibilities that one would have available to them if they had a spaceship, A spaceship that allows them to explore the far reaches of space and everything that it has to offer. 

You start off with 1000 in currency and the entirety of space is really your oyster. You can explore different fields and really try to figure out what clicks for you and how you’ll survive in this endless void. 

Do you want to be a bounty hunter that searches for space criminals and shoots them? Or would you like to go explore rare space rocks and harvest them to be sold at a high price? 

Traveling Has Never Seemed So Realistic 

Maybe you want to find rare spaces to sell or perhaps, you just want to explore the vast expanse. 

The choices are endless. 

Often, with a game where you have seemingly endless choices to go about it, the world can feel overwhelming and confusing at first. This is true for MMOs as well as RPG hybrids like Destiny 2 where new players find themselves extremely lost. 

However, Elite Dangerous does a great job of compartmentalizing all the different aspects of itself so that new players don’t feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content it has to offer. 

Traveling Has Never Seemed So Realistic 

The way you traverse through the expanse of space within Elite Dangerous is really something special. 

It does take a fair amount of time when you go from one celestial body to another. While this may seem like it’s boring when you think about it, it’s really not due to the absolutely beautiful graphics of the game. 

As you travel through space and go across planets, it really gives you the feeling that you’re traveling at hyper-fast speeds. Furthermore, as your destination comes closer, it turns from a pale dot to a super-giant celestial body that fills your entire screen. 

It gives weight to the journey. 

Thus, you really feel like you accomplished something just when you move from one location to another. Furthermore, as you travel, the visual fidelity, detail, and just overall feel of the game really allows you to immerse yourself in the world. 

This is, of course, made even better when you experience the game in virtual reality. 

Lastly, of course, just the act of flying around is extremely fun. The whirring and churning of the engines as you travel through the silence of space makes you feel like you’re truly controlling something extremely powerful. 

While technically, there wouldn’t be any sound in space but we’re really happy the developers didn’t take that approach. Rather, they’ve filled the world with immaculate sound design that further immerses you into the journey. 

Imagine you’re making your way to a celestial body where you believe a spice market is present. This is where you can sell all of those rare spices you got by destroying some space rocks earlier. 

Mission System 

As you’re traveling towards the body, you pass one of its moons. As you pass it, you hear the low drone of the whirlwinds that are constantly present on that specific moon. 

Subtle details like this are highly appreciated. 

It makes the world feel more full and of course, real. 

Mission System 

All across the space system are all small space stations that you can travel to. 

These space stations have small bulletin boards that are littered with all types of missions that you can choose to take up. 

They vary in terms of quality and difficulty but there’s definitely a lot of variety to explore. 

Many of the missions can be super straightforward such as delivering cargo to a certain planet or delivering certain NPCs to wherever they need to go. 

Other missions can be a bit more action-packed and require some investigative work. Examples of these include missions where you must hunt down space criminals by tracking their movements and talking to locals where they were last seen. 


So that’s how you play Elite Dangerous in VR. 

It’s a great game whether or not you play it in VR. However, we must say that the immersion does get kicked up a notch if you choose to play it in virtual reality. 

What do you think of Elite Dangerous? Did you play it in VR or regularly? Let us know in the comments section below. 


  • Victor Marquez

    Victor is the Editor in Chief at Techtyche. He tests the performance and quality of new VR boxes, headsets, pedals, etc. He got promoted to the Senior Game Tester position in 2021. His past experience makes him very qualified to review gadgets, speakers, VR, games, Xbox, laptops, and more. Feel free to check out his posts.

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