Cannot access SteamVr menu when using Oculus Rift


With SteamVr open, and Orbus opened from within the SteamVr home, Orbus opens the standalone application and does not hook into steamvr.

As a side effect, this means that both steam home is running and orbus. While this is not necessarily an issue since you can choose orbus from Oculus Dash to view that Vr application it does provide an issue when wanting to screenshot within the game since the oculus controls do not support screenshotting of any proportion.

I imagine this issue is due to the standalone for oculus overriding the menu button on the left controller that is used specifically for the steamvr menu.

[RESOLVED] Unable to access SteamVR dashboard on Oculus

So just to be clear you want to use a Rift but you actually want it to go through SteamVR and not use the native Oculus SDK?


If you wouldn’t mind. If you could add a launch argument like -steamvr to force it that’d be great.

It’s just the fact that I’d like to take screenshots or invite friends to watch me play and I can’t access the steamvr menus even when running the SteamVr stuff


I brought up the same issue. In every steam game I play the left menu button brings up the steam overlay, but in this game it brings up the in game menu. on rift there is no way to get around this. if im not mistaken there are a total of 3 buttons that bring up the ingame menu on the rift, is it possible to remove the one on the left menu button?


You can add “-vrmode openvr” to the launch options in steam. That’ll make it launch through SteamVR and you’ll have access to the steam overlay.


Okay so I tested this briefly and it does work. How to do it specifically:

  • Right-click on the “OrbusVR” item in your Games list on Steam, select Properties…
  • Click on the “Set Launch Options…” button
  • Type in “-vrmode openvr” in the box, save and close.

However, note that what this does is force the game to use SteamVR instead of the native Oculus SDK. This does give you access to the SteamVR overlay while you are in-game. However, keep in mind that:

  • You are now using SteamVR as a middleware layer in front of Oculus, so there is some overhead associated with that.
  • You are losing out on some Oculus-specific features, such as for example pressing the Grip button and pointing your finger no longer does the point gesture.
  • The angles of a few things will be different, such as the hands and the bow, because you’re using the SteamVR “rig” instead of the Oculus “rig”, where we adjusted those angles to better match the Touch controllers.

So yeah just letting you know what’s actually going on there. But if access to the SteamVR overlay is your top priority, those trade-offs may be worth it for you.

[RESOLVED] Unable to access SteamVR dashboard on Oculus
Implement SteamVR overlay for VR Treadmill Compatibility
Redundant buttons on oculus and steamVR menu don't work

Yep, understand that (I dabble in Unity a bit which is how I knew the command line) but I use OpenVR advanced settings quite a bit to make changes to my play space/orientation/etc. Having access to that is worth the trade offs. (Which I’ve not really noticed much anyway…) Thanks.


Oh yeah for sure, thanks for sharing that! I’m glad there was a built-in way to do it!

Just making sure the other folks in the thread knew what was going on, so they weren’t confused in case they noticed something different. I figured you already knew about those tradeoffs since it was your tip :slight_smile:



That’s pretty useful, thanks! I’ll give it a try and see if I prefer the oculus one, but the tradeoff should be worth it


Riley, could we have an extra option to make it behave like it’s an oculus touch for pointing/angles or is this a limitation of SteamVR API? For example, we could add another option such as “-vrmode openvr -simulateoculustouch”.


I can certainly look into adding that in the future. I’m not sure if it’s a limitation or not I’ve just never had a reason to try before.


If it’s many hours that is better spent on bugfixing or new features then please don’t bother. Thank you for looking into it though!


Will this allow programs like OVRdrop to work? If not could you look into it? OVRdrop is a Steam program that allows you to bring a window from your pc into the virtual world. It allows me to watch streamers while I play.

OVRdrop works with all Steam VR games I’ve tried except this. I don’t buy games from Oculus so I don’t know if they work with that.

The app was originally not on Steam. So I have a feeling it still works without Steam.

I’ll be home in a few hours to test what you said above.


Yes it would cause it to work.

That said there is an alternative that works natively with Oculus someone shared but I can’t find the link right now. That might be worth trying as well since it’s more performant to use the Rift SDK natively than to use the SteamVR layer in-between.


Thx for the info. OVR was the only program I found online for this, but I’ll check again.


oculus lets you do this natively on rift core 2. you just need to opt into the beta under settings

once in game hit your oculus menu point at the button almost all the way to the left to bring up your desktop view

then open your browser or whatever viewer you use. and "grip it to pull that window into your 3d space

resize it rotate it and move it until it’s setup comfortably so it wont interfere too much with the game. then point at the thumbtack at the bottom of the window to pin it.

then go back to the game. you’ll now have that window visible wherever you placed it in room scale. i generally place it at my feet or just under the experience bar in orbusVR. you can have multiple windows from your desktop so you could have CAM benchmarking software OBS streaming window and Youtube stream manager windows all open in game. none of them show up on a stream either. the only performance issue i’ve seen is when you have a dual monitor setup and your grabbing windows off the 4K monitor. too many pixels probably


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