What Is Revive And How Does It Work?

For everyone new to the VR scene and wondering what exactly this ‘Revive’ thing is that they’ve been hearing about. We’re here to explain.

Title exclusives have long been a contending point amongst gamers. And it’s no different for the virtual reality variety. But the PC community hasn’t ever let that stop them. The gaming community pride themselves on getting past hurdles like exclusives, DRM’s and the like. And when Oculus decided to wall off some of their titles, the community did what they do best and started finding a way in. Revive can be called a hack, a mod or even an emulator if you will. Because what it does is essentially allow HTC Vive players to get access to games that were previously locked away from them. In the form of Oculus exclusives.

What is Revive? A Way to Bypass Title Exclusives

It has been said (by Tim Sweeney no less) that trying to monopolize the industry at such an early stage can lead to the downfall of a company. He was, of course, talking about Oculus at the time. Is exclusives in such a young industry the best idea? Maybe not. But that hasn’t stopped the community from trying to bypass them anyway.

That’s where Revive comes in. It was created by LibreVR in a bid to bring HTC players access to the games that they were denied. It’s not the same as piracy, though, because the Revive ‘mod’ simply allows Vive players to buy and play Rift games as if they had the headsets themselves. The creator of the software told Road to VR last year that he created Revive because he wanted to play Rift games on his Vive headset and because he “strongly believes that VR should not have artificial barriers preventing users from playing certain games just because they bought a different headset than the rest.”

Though there have reportedly been cases where players were able to play games that they did not pay for through the Revive ‘mod’. LibreVR, however, did say that this was not his intention when he created the software.

Platform Politics

Last year, only a short while after Revive was created, it started receiving a lot of positive attention from the gaming community. But this in turn soon led to Oculus releasing an update that included DRM software that blocked Revive.

HTC Vive (and a couple of Rift) players didn’t look too kindly upon the matter and after overwhelming feedback from the community, Oculus succinctly removed their DRM software. But that’s probably not the end of it. As soon after they said that they couldn’t promise that future updates wouldn’t mess up the software again.

It’s quite interesting to see this move from Oculus, considering Valve launched their OpenVR SDK, which powers the HTC Vive roughly around the same time. The OpenVR SDK also has built-in Rift integration that allows Oculus Rift owners to play HTC Vive games.

How Does it Work?

Currently, there are still only a number of Rift titles that Revive definitely works on. But that list keeps growing at a steady rate as more people try out new titles with Revive. There have been kinks and bugs along the way, but resourceful people always seem to find a way around them.

Revive according to its creator is an injection driver project. In simple terms, Revive patches the game to use a different implementation of Oculus Runtime. It redirects all communication to OpenVR, which is used by the Vive headset. Oculus Runtime is the component that communicates with the headset – sending tracking information and rendered frames to the headset.

If you’re a Vive player who wants to buy and play some Rift titles, then you can get Revive here. Just download the installer and follow the installation instructions in the Readme. And here’s a working list of Rift titles that definitely work with Revive.

However, remember that this software is not officially supported by either HTC or Oculus and that there can be updates that render it unusable in the future.

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