How the Oculus Rift Works

System Requirements

The Oculus Rift device and Software Development Kit (SDK) support Linux, Mac OS and Windows operating systems. To use the device with your computer, it must have either an HDMI port or a DVI video-out port. VGA is not supported.

There are no specific minimum system requirements, however some recommended guidelines include:

  • Windows (Vista, 7 or 8)
  • Mac OS 10.6 or higher
  • Linux (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS)
  • 2.0+ GHz processor
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Direct3D 10 or OpenGL 3 compatible video card

Performance should be better on a computer that can handle heavy-duty gaming. Per the SDK documentation, the Oculus team has found that a MacBook Pro Retina with an Nvidia 650M graphics card will work as a portable VR workstation.

The SDK also includes support for some game controllers, including the Xbox 360 wired controller for Windows, the Logitech F710 Wireless Gamepad for Windows and Mac and the Sony PlayStation DUALSHOCK3 Controller for Mac.

To use the headset, you connect your computer to the control box via the USB port and one (but not both) of the video input ports (either HDMI or DVI). Then plug the power cord into the box and an electrical outlet. When all three necessary cables are connected, the screen will activate. Your computer will essentially see the Rift as another display, and you can adjust the display's settings through your computer's display control panels.

It currently only works with personal computers, but support for mobile devices is in the works, and gaming systems may be next.