Optimizing Skyrim and whether to use parallel projections

Optimizing Skyrim and whether to use parallel projections

Does anyone have any advice on optimizing Pimax for Skyrim?

I’ve done some testing and realized you can see how much of a performance hit PiTool settings have by changing them, then looking at the SteamVR->Settings->Video-> Application Resolution recommendation, which changes each time you change certain settings like parallel projection (pp). PP takes a massive performance toll on the GPU, but without it, I generally see a lot of distracting artifacts in Skyrim, mostly at the corners of the screen. Anyone get Skyrim to work without needing parallel projections?

TIP: It seems that letting SteamVR to set your application resolution (super-sampling) automatically is a good strategy as it automatically sharpens the graphics on some games based on your current PiTool settings. Change the per application resolution in SteamVR only if you have performance issues.

For those interested, here’s my observations in Pitool v132 (Skyrim TAA and dynamic resolution are off), Pitool rendering=1. Smart Smoothing is always off as it trashes performance in Skyrim, especially when using Natural locomotion. (Note: I have a very high-end 2080TI rig OC and i7-8700K CPU @4700ghz, DD4 4000hz 16GB)

PP off. Recommended Application Resolution in SteamVR jumps from 86% to 130%. Basically, parallel projections cuts performance by 1/3 when on, but if I leave it off, I get too many artifacts in Skyrim, which is a shame. Love to have a fix for this!
Pitool Rendering=1. Normal FOV. Pretty solid 72FPS in Falkreach. Leaf shimmer on trees is gone (seems to be the case when super-sampling/resolution is 130% or more. Sharpness is improved. It’s not perfect as character faces far away still blur out, but it feels much more real. HOWEVER, graphical artifacts mostly on the display edges appear without PP. This happens frequently, which is a shame.

PP OFF and Small POV resolution = 150%. So FOV from normal to small makes a pretty big difference. I still get artifacts mostly at outer 25% of the screen (flickers, flashes, brief blurred areas). Trees and sharpness was very good because of the high super-sampling (best of all the settings). Characters close up are amazingly sharp and clear.

PP ON and Small POV changes resolution to 120%. Tree shimmering was minimal (but practically gone when at 150%). No PP artifacts. Random split second CPU spikes cause a couple of stutters going thru Falkreath this time. Not sure why? Mostly 72fps, but entering Falkreath drops into 60’s. FPS is mostly 70-72.

PP OFF and Small FOV re-test. Got CPU stutters again just like with PP ON. So, don’t know why those happen? Graphics were excellent and for some reason, artifacts were minimal this time with PP OFF. Maybe I forgot to reboot the HMD and PP was actually on?

For me, running PP ON and FOV at small keeps FPS near 72 and seems the best compromise, though less than perfect. However, I’d prefer to have resolution higher than 120%, but that cuts into the FPS. Anyone get better results with other settings or with Pitool 180?


@fresco plays a lot of skyrim with mods & would be a good one to ask.

1 Like

I started with theses mods:

A Quality World Map
Birds of Skyrim SSE Edition
Book Covers Skyrim
Cutting Room Floor
Enhanced Blood Textures
Glowing Arrows V3 SSE - The Remaster Edition
HD Road Signs - 2K and 4K
Imersive Characters Overhaul
Lanterns of Skyrim SE
Lightweight Grass Overhaul
Obsidian Weathers and Seasons
Realistic Lighting Overhaul (RLO) SSE All-In-One Installer
Realistic Ragdolls and Force
Realistic Water Two
Reverb and Ambiance Overhaul
RS Children Overhaul
RUSTIC CLOTHING - Special Edition
Skyrim 2017 Textures by Pfuscher
Skyrim Flora Overhaul SE
SkyrimVR - USSEP Compatibility Patch
Sounds of Skyrim Complete SE
Static Mesh Improvement Mod
Unique Uniques SE
Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch
WICO - Windsong Immersive Chracter Overhaul
Zim’s Immersive Artifacts V1.4

Pitool settings:
Smooth On
Normal fov
Mask On
Contrast +2
Brightness -2

SteamVR Video 138%

Launching from Mod Organizer 2

My Rig:
I5 6600K @4.5, Gigabyte GA-Z170XP mobo, Corsair H80i Liquid Cooler, MSI GTX 1080 ti Gaming X gpu (factory OC), SoundBlaster X-F1 sound card, 16 gig Corsair Vengeance ddr4 ram @ 3200 , 3 ssd hds

Pretty happy with the game and performance.


What version of PiTool are you running? For me, smart smoothing caused my Natural Locomotion app that let’s me jog in place around Skyrim to badly stutter. Or it may have just made all Skyrim movement stutter as I never tested it without Natural Locomotion.

When you run with parallel projections off (which I’d love to do as it improves performance 30%), do you not get the weird graphical artifacts randomly appearing, generally near the outside of the lenses or do you just ignore them?

I also run with Mask On and 72hz, but I have a lot more mods than you do.

I am running Ptool 180 and seems to be fine for my purposes.
I don’t see any artifacts with PP off. Maybe it’s a mod you are running that I am not or maybe I am just lest sensitive . I still play In Death in my Rift and the borders disappear once I start playing.

I’ve tried Skyrim with both regular game and modded with visuals. Up close it looks fine but beyond 20:ft or so it looks really blurry. Is it just because it’s an old game? Or are there settings I should be running that I’m not?

I have a 1080ti, running it with PP off, pitool render at 1, 72hz, large FOV, steamvr set to auto resolution, Skyrim menu dynamic off and super sampling off.

Any suggestions?

Thank you!!

1 Like

Currently playing through it.

My differences are:

  1. I have a 2080ti
  2. Playing on Normal FOV @72Hz instead of Large
  3. But I have PP on (likely eats up a good chunk of difference between the 1080ti and 2080ti)
  4. I have TAA disabled - which results in some shimmer but nothing is blurry
  5. I am heavily modded - went heavy on many textures (due to the large VRAM of 2080ti) but light on most performance impacting mods (such as grass).
  6. There is a “High Fidelity ENB” made for VR that tone maps for LCD headsets. I recommend it. It also has sharpening applied in the ENB that is designed for running with TAA on. TAA and this sharpening takes resources so I disable TAA and reduced the ENB sharpening to deploy the resources elsewhere.

I’m quite happy with how the game looks on the 5k+, there are times the game and engine show it’s age but then other times it looks incredible. There are times (usually outdoors and in bright of day) that the shimmer is distracting but most of the time it’s not a huge problem.


this is my skyrim vr : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkyeK8klREA&t=216s


The game ( skyrim vr ) is unplayable without taa , its like red dead 2 in 4k without aa :smiley:

Meh. That’s your opinion. TAA in this game is pure trash and just blurs everything excessively.

I wanna see a screenshot how your skyrim vr is looking

Could you share your specs and settings? I’m mostly looking to improve far off visuals. I’m satisfied with close up.

It looks very good, a screen shot of it on screen in the mirror versus the headset aren’t going to be comparable. It’s not uncommon or rare that people dislike the TAA in SkyrimVR (dont know about flat as I haven’t ever played it flat), so much so that many run without it, and others are using console commands/scripts everytime they launch the game to tweak Skyrim’s TAA implementation. I certain would prefer less aliasing, but not at the cost of what I find to be excessive blur. It’s so bad it makes me feel like I don’t have my glasses on.


Ugh, this is a massive topic and it too me a LONG time to fix Skyrim VR. I’m now running it VERY well on a relatively modest (by VR standards) system. 4.4Ghz 6700K (liquid cooled overclock) and a 2080 Super with basic overclocking. I’m running solidly at 45fps/90hz using Brainwarp smoothing at 122% SteamVR SS (PiTool at quality 1) but am using the SkyrimVR fps Stabilizer to maintain that in the worst places (without it I go as low at 39fps = bad). I am not using TAA as I’m one of those users who finds that 100% unacceptable. I can’t believe anyone can look at that for more than a few seconds honestly. I’ve never seen so much blur. Of course, I couldn’t stand TAA in FO4 either, I think it’s utter crap on any display. I did manage to get the ENB for Skyrim VR installed and tweaked to my liking, and it included a usable FXAA (off by default). Combining that FXAA with the sharpening in the ENB and then turning down some of the ENB’s other adjustments that I didn’t like at all, plus adding the Imaginator mod and plenty of CRISP BUT NOT SUPER HD TEXTURES I finally managed to get a Skyrim VR that was non-jaggy and reasonably crisp at the same time, but damn it was a major haul. For tree jaggies try Simply Bigger trees with the optional “HD” textures, an absolute must. I lost about 12% steam SS when adding the ENB, but worth it overall. I play with PP on (I have to, I’m one of those users to whom the shadow, light, and water issues with leaving PP off are incredibly glaring, but apparently some other people don’t notice them much, so if you are one of those people you are lucky) and Normal FOV and found that I still have sufficient performance to run Dyndolod, so I don’t feel like I have a world that’s rendered about 10 feet in front of my face and the rest of the world isn’t there. Oh, and BTW the devs didn’t bother to fix the Bethesda physics bugs that effect gameplay above 60hz refresh rates. So if you spike to 90fps when you enter indoor areas and suddenly hear items flying around in rooms you haven’t even entered yet that’s why. You can either cap the fps using something like Riva Statistics Tuner (I cap mine to 47 so Brainwarp gives up and almost immediately stops trying to achieve 90. If I set it to 45 I get stuttering), or you can install a physics fix, or both. Basically, SkyrimVR is a serious fustercluck. Frankly, running an older title like FO3 through vorpX was actually a hell of a lot easier in the end. Set it to 3840x2160, set the AA to 4x, turn the vorpX sharpening to your desired amount and maybe throw in one of the nicer texture packs and you are done. Seriously, FO3 is just about the best looking “VR” game I have. Smooth and crisp with non of the BS soft-focus or jaggy stuff that plagues SkyrimVR.


show us your results as I did on youtube pls

What are you using to record your VR? If I get some spare time I would be willing to give it a whirl. (Also, how do you keep YouTube from butchering the quality so extremely that there is no point in bothering. The only time I tried this YouTube botched things up so badly that there was hardly any point to having done it in the first place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16LGyikJwuA - That’s FO4 running stereoscopic Above/Below).

1 Like

I am using nvidia shadow play

Doesn’t that just support flat-screen capture? (I also don’t have GeForce experience installed - I try to keep my game rig really, really, really spare - even many of my “basic” utilities like Discord are actually installed in a second, sandboxed installation of Windows running inside VirtualBox, so nothing gums up the works).

I don’t think recording my screen will probably show anyone anything? I don’t know, I haven’t researched this end of it at all as game streaming etc does not interest me. What’s the best tool to record what we see in our HMD for sharing with other HMD users?

I recorded my screen and the result was fantastic as you can see . I generated 10k views lol