Virtual Reality and Chief Architect Products

Reference Number: KB-03092
Last Modified: March 25, 2024

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect InteriorsHome Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite


I would like to use a virtual reality (VR) headset with Chief Architect products. Is this possible, and if so, what should I know beforehand?


Virtual reality headsets that connect directly to a Windows system via a wired connection and run SteamVR are supported in Chief Architect X10 and newer versions, as well as in Home Designer 2024 and newer versions. Supported headset models include:

Virtual reality in Chief Architect products is not supported on macOS systems at this time. The Apple Vision Pro is also not supported.

Prior to using virtual reality with Chief Architect products, there are a number of requirements that must be met. Once you've met these requirements, you will want to follow the recommendations mentioned in this article to get the best performance possible when using virtual reality.

Hardware and Software Requirements

In order to run virtual reality, your computer must meet Chief Architect's system requirements. In addition, you will want to ensure that: 

Turn Off Other Applications

To avoid slow performance that could result in motion sickness, turn off any other processor and graphic intensive applications on your system before using virtual reality with Chief Architect.

Adjust Camera Settings

It is recommended that you disable Ambient Occlusion (set to 0%), Reflections, and Show Shadows prior to launching virtual reality in Chief Architect. These setting can be found in the Camera Specification dialog, which can be accessed by navigating to Tools> Active View> Edit Active View or 3D> Edit Active Camera  while a camera view is open.

It is also a good idea to turn off any unnecessary lights. An efficient way to do this is using the Adjust Lights* dialog, which can be accessed by navigating to 3D> Lighting> Adjust Lights* . You may want to create a custom Light Set** specifically for use in virtual reality.

*The Adjust Lights dialog is not available in Home Designer Suite.
**Light Sets are not available in Home Designer products.

Enable Virtual Reality

With the headset connected, and a perspective camera view open in a Chief Architect plan file, navigate to 3D> Virtual Reality to open the Virtual Reality dialog. Click the Toggle Virtual Reality button to turn virtual reality on or off.

Note: To learn more about the various options in this dialog, as well as how to to navigate the 3D camera view using virtual reality, click the Help button at the bottom. 

If your headset is connected but is not recognized by Chief Architect when you select the Toggle Virtual Reality button, make sure that Steam and SteamVR are both installed and running, and that your headset's software is up to date. If problems continue, refer to your headset's documentation to make sure that it is connected properly.