How to play Duke 3D in virtual reality

    If you played games for a while, you know of course who is Duke Nukem is. Duke Nukem 3D is a first-person shooter developed by 3D Realms. The full version of the game appeared for MS-DOS in 1996. Duke Nukem 3D is the sequel to the platform titles Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem II which were released in the early 90s.

    The story

    There is almost no a storytelling in the game, except for a short text under Help and a few short cutscenes after completion of an episode. The story continues after the events of Duke Nukem II. Duke returns to the earth and descends on Los Angeles hoping to enjoy a well-deserved vacation. But his ship is shot by unknown enemies. Through an emergency signal he finds out that aliens try to invade earth. Duke used the eject button and descends on the roof of a building. It’s up to you to do whatever is necessary to stop the alien invasion.


    How to play Duke 3D in virtual realityThe first release of Duke Nukem 3D had three episodes. In November the Plutonium pack was added, this expansion added a fourth episode to the game. Later these two parts were combined in the Atomic Edition. In 1998 several extensions were released and these were combined in the Megaton Edition in 2013. The Megaton Edition is available on Steam.

    Virtual reality mod

    How to play Duke 3D in virtual realityIn 2013 Malcolm Smith created a mod that offers Oculus Rift support for Duke Nukem 3D. Since then we have arrived at version 2.4 which supports 75fps, Direct HMD Access and the latest runtime. You can play the game in two different modes. You can play the original or use the High Resolution Pack so graphics are a bit more polished. In the original. Both versions of the game are equally playable. If you played the original game in 1996, the game original version without the HD mod is more nostalgic. We explain both gaming options in this how-to.


    Although the Shareware version is delivered for free with Duke VR, you can find the full Duke Nukem 3D on the software platform Steam. With Steam you get the Megaton Edition. The game costs €9.99. After purchase, you can simply install the game using Steam. The game takes about 300 MB of space. If you’re not a fan of Steam, you can also find the game on Good Old Games, but this is the original version and not the Atomic Megaton Editie. You’ll have to copy the duke3d.grp file described in the next step.

    How to play Duke 3D in virtual reality

    Duke VR

    On the website you will find Duke VR. Download file and extract it to a desired location (I use the folder Duke VR). Open the folder and right-click the file eduke32.exe and choose Copy to / Desktop (create shortcut). Now you can open the game directly from your desktop. If you used the Steam version and all goes well it will automatically recognize your installation so you can simply start the program. Make sure the checkbox for Polymer is selected. Click start to begin the game. If you use the GOG version or the installation isn’t recognized, go to the installation of Steam or GOG. For Steam this is usually c:Program Files (x86)Steam. Open the following folders: Library Steam steam apps common Duke Nukem 3D game root classic. Copy the file to the following file to the folder Duke VR folder: duke3d.grp. Double-click on the desktop shortcut to start the game.

    How to play Duke 3D in virtual reality

    High resolution Pack

    The High Resolution Pack can be found at This mod is still well maintained by the community. The latest version is released on June 15, 2015. The easiest way to use the Self-extracting archive (Duke3D HRP v5.4 FULL SFX). Download and open the file and extract the archive. Open the extracted folder and copy the folder autoload to the root of the Duke VR folder. Start Duke VR and select the check box “auto load” folder. Press Start to start the game in high res.


    The easiest way to play Duke in VR is with your Xbox 360 / One controller. Because aiming is done with your head you can get a bit nauseas. Try to take a break at least every 15 minutes. Try not to run too much and don’t turn with the right control stick to much. Besides that it is an amazing game to play in VR. Enjoy!

    Gameplay video