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The "Why I Still Love My Oculus Rift CV1 in 2021" Thread

Level 16


I've gotten slightly tired of repeating all the awesome stuff about the Oculus CV1 on Oculus Subreddit and in here - so why not try to collect all the great arguments for still using the Rift CV1 in a thread? 

1. It's oled. Even with the oled mura (SPUD) Rift CV1 is still a lot darker than lcd hmds. It may not matter to all, and sure you can live just fine with lcd, but for those of us wanting to experience a really dark night in Skyrim, wanting to have true night vision in Saints and Sinners (and not constantly needing a flashlight) - and to enjoy all the very dark horror games - oled is still king. Although Rift CV1 and the original Vive aren't completely the same, they both use oled panels - and these results indicate differences in blackness comparing oled (Vive) and lcd (Index) hmds:

"Black level in nits:

  • Index: 0.153

  • Vive: under 0.02 with true blacks turned off via black smear compensation (default).

  • Vive: 0 with true blacks turned on, black smear compensation disabled via running the headset in secondary display mode."


In a few games, like Saints and Sinners - and Westworld Awekening - I found some very dark locations where I basically can see nothing using the Index (lcd), while I clearly can make out objects using Rift CV1. In those cases Rift CV1 provides true night vision, while lcd cannot show very poorly illuminated objects making everything vanish into a grey lcd-fog of pure nothingness 😉 That's probably why all the otherwise dark tunnels in Alyx are lit up with so many lamps, because you need light to create great blacks using lcd, and Alyx was made for lcd (Index). Also having oled or not in extremely dark games like Phantom Covert Ops is the difference of being able to see all the awesome tiny ripples and subtle reflections in the surface of the water or not. 

2. Sound is second to none using the CV1, primarily the deep bass, thanks to the awesome Rift CV1 headphones. Even Index cannot provide the same bass as CV1 - at all. It's very easy to test. Try the song Embers in Pistol Whip and compare CV1 with whatever hmd you'd like. Even Index has close to no bass in that song, while the CV1 is simply perfect - the difference is close to day and night:

Also the larger Oculus exclusive games took years to make, like Asgard's Wrath, Stormland, Defector and Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond. Although such games were launched when Rift-S and Quest 1-2 hmds were available, these games were primarily developed using Rift CV1 hmd. In short, if you do not use Rift CV1 for these games, you're not experiencing sound effects and music exactly like the devs intended. This may mean you're getting too much or too little bass, and that may affect immersion. Maybe casual gamers don't care about this and might even accept the extremely poor piped-audio quality of Rift-S and Quest hmds, but getting the optimal sound experience should matter to audiophiles and enthusiasts.

3. Rift CV1 Touch controllers are built like tanks. Using Oculus subreddit, the amount of photos showing broken Rift-S and Quest controllers are numerous, and there have been many statements about the poor quality of newer controllers, also including Valve Index controllers. The new Reverb G2 controllers do not get a lot of love too, but more due to design and weight distribution. Instead, old Touch are still considered the reference when it comes to quality, design and durability. Batteries may even last for months - while some never controllers (like for the Reverb G2) may eat up batteries like there's no tomorrow 😉

4. Tracking. Although having sensors is quite a hassle for those needing to set them up for each VR session, permanently placed sensors provide next to no inconvenience and provide a level of tracking probably only beaten by the base stations used for Vive and Index hmds. Having used the Valve Index for 19 months, I really do not notice much difference between CV1 and Index tracking, which is a testament to the awesome tracking provided by the CV1. Although CV1 isn't included here, Index tracking was scientifically measured to be extremely much better than what inside-out solutions provide: 

Results - tracking accuracy - lower scores are best (hint: Cosmos did not win ;))


I would be very surprised if Rift CV1 is much worse than Index. Using Rift CV1 360 degrees tracking (needs at least 3 sensors) you can hold your hands on your back for as long as you'd like - you'll never lose tracking. And you can play in a totally dark room, you do not need any light for perfect tracking. Also @kojack  compared CV1 tracking here to both HP Reverb G2 and the Quest 2 - I hope he doesn't mind quoting him here:

"Tracking seems fine on the (HP Reverb) G2, it just has way worse coverage. It's too easy to lose sight of the controllers below or near the headset. Hold your hands out in front and they seem ok. While moving around the WMR home scene, there's big panels to look up at and I kept the controllers at waist level. The laser pointers on the controllers made it obvious every time the position tracking dropped out when I tilted my head up a little.
CV1 tracking is great, I prefer it to anything else. Q2 (Oculus Quest 2) tracking seems ok, but also has worse coverage than CV1. For example in Audica, if I try to throw the guns underarm from a resting position, they just release from my hands and float at my side, while on the CV1 they'd be thrown correctly."

5. Using temporal antialiasing (TAA) does not create a blurry image with the Rift CV1. Some may not be aware of this - and that's entirely plausible for those never having tried using an oled hmd. In games like for example Ark Park, Robinson the Journey, Asgard's Wrath and Stormland, enabling TAA using a lcd hmd easily creates a very blurry image quality. Like having your eyes dropped with liquid butter - or something. Using TAA with Rift CV1 you get super-sharp image quality, maybe due to the screen-door effect (SDE) fooling our brains to experience a holistic and sharp image by filling out the blanks (blanks = the black stripes between rows of lit pixels which essentially make up the SDE). Furthermore, compared to other kinds of antialiasing like MSAA, TAA does not cost a lot of gpu performance. Having to replace TAA with 4xMSAA (or worse) may provide ok-ish image quality by severely reducing frames per second (fps), especially when combined with high levels of super sampling (ss). 

6. Some games profit from the SDE and reduced res of the Rift CV1. Although many are annoyed with the Rift CV1 due to the low res and especially the SDE, sometimes the SDE can be a friend. Using high res lcd hmds with tons of subpixels may provide clarity so far ahead of the Rift CV1 that there's really no comparison. Unfortunately such clarity may also reveal tons of flaws and shortcomings in many (older) VR games. Using high-res lcd hmds, low res textures may easily be spotted and may reduce immersion. The advantage of the Rift CV1 SDE may in many cases be like having scanlines in MAME games (MAME = Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) - or just an interlaced image quality. Remember how some games looked on lcd monitors, when some of us switched from using CRT monitors (or TVs)? The difference in image quality using Rift CV1 or a newer high-res lcd hmd may easily be like:

Image quality with scanlines (like CV1 SDE)

Image quality with no scanlines (like modern high-res lcd hmds)

There are many games where low-res textures look so much better thanks to the Rift CV1 SDE, while everything looks a lot more pixelated using high-res lcd hmds. Again a game like Phantom Covert Ops comes to mind - that game looks great using Rift CV1, but using Index you can easily see all the ugly low-res textures. Even a game like Arizona Sunshine looks so much better using Rift CV1 due to lack of jaggies and it's much harder to notice any low-res textures. One thing that amazed me in that game was the thorns on the cactus plants which looked very real using Rift CV1 ss 2.0, but using Index it's so easy to see the low-res 2D thorns on the plants which now looked incredibly fake and thereby broke the immersion. 

7. Physical interpupillary distance (IPD) slider. With the Rift CV1 you do not just have one big panel like in Rift-S and Quest 2, but you have two separate oled panels. One for each eye that can be physically moved. This allows for simply perfect IPD adjustment (or close), covering IPDs from about 58 to 72 mm, probably only beaten by the original Vive hmds allowing for up to 73-74 mm. Rift S is more or less locked to 64 mm, while Quest 2 has three locked positions (58, 63 and 68 mm). 

8. Comfort. This is a matter of individual preferences, but it's my impression that many still find the comfort of CV1 as second to none. Personally I do find CV1 comfort a lot better than the Valve Index, even though the Index is great. With the small weight of 470 grams and the way you wear the CV1 hmd, I rarely notice it's on my head when I'm using it. 

9. Using high levels of super sampling, visual acuity may be a lot better than many persons seem to believe. Having tested the Rift CV1 with high levels of super sampling I found some quite surprising results. This is a comparison of how many meters you can go back from a text and still be able to read it - note that higher res provides increased ability to zoom out while still sharply seeing objects and textures:

Rift CV1:
Ss 1.0 = 4 meters
Ss 2.0 = 6 meters

Valve Index:
Res 100 % = 4.5 meters
Res 200 % = 6.5 meters


I consider these results quite amazing, and they prove that increasing levels of super sampling has a profound effect on Rift CV1 image quality. I've heard several CV1 users say that you don't benefit from more than ss levels 1.3 to maybe 1.5 using Rift CV1. That's why we need science and to test subjective experiences thoroughly. Properly testing the Rift CV1 there's even a noticeable difference comparing ss 2.0 and 2.5. Going from ss 2.0 to 2.5 will probably require a RTX 3080/3090 or better to get 90 fps in many games, and the difference between 2.0 and 2.5 is more subtle than going from 1.5 to 2.0. For many it may come as a great surprise that perceived sharpness and ability to read signs etc. (=visual acuity) may really not be much different using Rift CV1 ss 2.0 or Valve Index res 200% - even though persons subjectively may feel that the res is so much better using a lcd panel with tons of subpixels, like the Index. 

10. Many games were made for oled hmds - thus using an oled hmd may be the only way to play these games "the way it's meant to be played". This is one issue I've become more and more aware of since I got the Index. Many games made for Rift CV1 simply don't feel "right" using other solutions than the Rift CV1. Chronos may be a nice example. Chronos plays nicely using the Valve Index, but even forcing res 200% I can still see some jaggies and pixel crawling. And the blacks, textures and colors are nice too, but seem to lack something here and there. Now, using the Rift CV1 ss 2.0 there's simply no doubt I get the vision the devs intended to provide. I no longer see jaggies, and blacks and colors look the way the should - and I no longer notice any textures I think would benefit from a slightly higher res. Same with Mage's Tale: using lcd many surfaces look fake, like made of melted plastic - gold surfaces look fake - but using Rift CV1 everything looks so much more real, even including the gold. In short, there are still many of reasons to love the old Rift CV1. Even if the competition is fierce these days, there are many games and apps where the old Rift CV1 stands tall and bows to no one. 

I've probably missed something - do let me know in a post below, if there're even more reasons to still love/like the Rift CV1! 🙂

Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"


I still have 2 fully working CV1s, used one yesterday for a few new games, Abe VR looked extremely good using ss 2.0 - also thanks to ASW 2.0. I prefer CV1 to the Index (lcd) in many games.

Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"

Level 16

Saw this a few days ago - another awesome CV1 ss 2.0 experience - and it's free:

Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"

Level 16

Me and some Astro dudes still know what's best - and yeah, she's getting old, but with some mods here'n there she's as fine as ever - image below just taken on the ISS - once you go CV1 oled, you just can't go back





Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"