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80 Level Digest: Developing VR Games in Unreal Engine 5

For this week's 80 Level Digest, we collected some informative tutorials for you to get started with developing virtual reality projects in UE5.

Over the past few months, we've seen more and more VR Game Developers starting to create their incredible virtual reality experiences and upcoming games using Epic Games' Unreal Engine 5, which is not surprising, considering that the latest updates the engine received completely overhauled its VR Template system and gave it the ability to support almost any headset via OpenXR.

While experienced devs who've been creating VR projects in Unreal Engine for years quickly comprehended all the recently-added novelties, many aspiring developers might still find it challenging to get started.

To help creators make their first steps in developing virtual reality projects in UE5, for this week's 80 Level Digest, we've collected some amazing tutorials that will overview the engine's VR tools and explain how to use them to set up mesmerizing experiences.

The first video we'd recommend checking out is the lengthy in-depth presentation titled Virtual Reality and OpenXR in UE5, shared by the Unreal Engine team a couple of months ago during the Unreal Fest 2022 event.

While not a tutorial, the presentation provides tons of important information regarding VR in Unreal Engine 5, overviewing VR Template's features and tools, explaining how to use them to get the result you envision, and reviewing the aforementioned novelties the toolset had received. By viewing this presentation, you'll become familiar with the virtual reality capabilities of Unreal Engine 5 and how it can be used to create impressive projects.

With UE5's Lumen and Nanite tools being the most prominent features of the engine in general, the next tutorial we'd recommend watching is the incredible Definitive Guide to Lumen & Nanite shared by Alex Coulombe, a.k.a. iBrews, back in October 2022.

In this guide, the instructor overviewed the upgraded version of UR5.1's VR Template, shared some tips on adjusting the system for optimization, and, of course, explained how to use Nanite and Lumen for virtual reality projects.

Up next, we've got an amazing How to Setup VR in Unreal Engine 5.1 tutorial released by Smart Poly, a channel dedicated to educational content on all-things game development. With this guide, you'll learn how to set up the Quest 2 headset for UE5.1, how to utilize SteamVR, and the techniques necessary to get started with developing virtual reality projects with the engine.

The next tutorial on our list is the informative Unreal Engine 5.1 VR Vaporwave guide by the DrakeMakes YouTube channel. The tutorial demonstrates the entire working process behind creating virtual reality environments with an aesthetic vaporware-style level serving as an example. The creator revealed the workflows behind the project, shared some neat techniques for modeling the scene for a VR project, and showed how to work with lighting.

The next position of this week's digest goes to Quinn Kuslich's 3-part tutorial series VR Hands and Animations in UE5 & UE4.27. By the end of this series, you'll learn everything there is to learn about adding custom hand assets to the engine and using them for your projects.

Over almost two hours worth of footage, the developer covered a variety of topics regarding VR hands, explaining how to create animations, how to work with UE's blueprints, how to make grip poses for held objects, and much, much more.

The next spot on our list goes not to any particular tutorial but rather to an enormous collection of incredible demos shared by Solo Game Developer Khena B. For those unaware, over the past half a year, Khena has been working on a yet unnamed aquatic VR experience, sharing mind-blowing demos and demonstrating new additions and updates along the way.

With dozens of such demos published, the videos themselves and the comment sections beneath them eventually turned Khena's Twitter page into a comprehensive compendium of knowledge on creating realistic water for VR projects in Unreal Engine 5.

Whatever your problem or question is, it is likely that the developer has already covered the topic, shared some tips on how the end result was achieved, and presented some mesmerizing eye candy as well. So, if your goal is to set up outstanding virtual reality oceans, Khena's page should probably be the best place to start.

And finally, we've got one more tutorial by DrakeMakes, this one dedicated to VR level design in Unreal Engine 5. In this video, the creator showed how to put together a lounge scene using UE5's VR Template, explained how Stable Diffusion-generated imagery was used for reference and inspiration, and shared tons of tips and tricks on level design.

Don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platformour Reddit page, and our Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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