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SteamVR - Run Multiple Games?


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I know this is not actually a Vive question, but the SteamVR discussion listings on the Steam website have been largely unhelpful, so I figured I would throw my post here as well.

Is there any consistent way to launch multiple games while SteamVR is running? Not multiple VR games, just multiple games, such as 2 non-vr games, or a vr game a non-vr game. I have been able to do this inconsistently by launching multiple games back to back until some of them stay up in unison, but that feels like a hack and I don't necessarily understand why it works.


Can anyone shed any light on this?

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It's probably always going to be a bit "hacky". Most apps are programed to throw up errors or close out other games when during the executable's initialization phase. There are basically two common things at play here - SDK and Engine support.


Most SDKs such as Steamworks SDK will shutdown other SDK enabled apps as part of the default initialization params.


Most engines will only allow once instance of that engine at a time and the engine initization usually preforms a check - i.e. you can only run one instance of source engine at a time. In some cases you can run try running a Unity, and Unreal, and a Source instance all at the same time but it really depends on how those apps are configured and how they are programed to communicate with the GPU.


You can also try VMing but that's a rabbit hole and is more trouble that it's worth in most use-cases.


You can certainly only run one instance of SteamVR per windows instance; the only way to get around that limitation is VMing. 


Overall, it will always be a bit hacky because both developers and engine makers don't really want you to do this. 

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Thanks again for the help, . I can easily say that you alone are helping justify my purchase of a vive. :manwink:


That makes a lot of sense actually, because now that you mention it, that's exactly what I've been doing is launching Garry's Mod (Source), then then the second, actually desired application, which has only reliably worked with games running on Unreal, such as Killing Floor 2, then finally VRChat (Unity). I suppose I'll just have to screw around with it on a case-by-case basis, and do as much as I can outside of Steam.


You're probably right in that a virtual machine would cause more issues to my setup than it would solve, but if it proves impossible to run particularly important games in tandem, I guess I may just have to look into it. 

Thanks again for your help!

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