Best 8K-X settings for PiTool, SteamVR etc

I just received my 8K-X shipping confirmation (Pre-Order SO4669, ordered on 10/31/2019). Over the past weeks and months there were so many suggestions for recommended settings (PiTool, SteamVR etc.) on the forum (in various threads) that I am a little desperate right now.

I am looking for a single source or a summary that reflects the current status on best settings for SteamVR, PiTool and anything else that needs to be modified, so the 8K-X can operate as it should.

Any help is appreciated!


Get ready for a LONG Read. Also, congrats welcome to the club.


Can you post your system specs as well?

Without more info on your system and the games/apps you intend to use, it’s impossible to give “best” settings, since best is subjective.

Therefore, I’ll give you a reasonable starting point.


  • Quality to 1.0
  • Smart Smoothing to Off
  • Parallel Projection to On
  • Fixed Foveated Rendering to “Close” (off)
  • Hidden Area Mask to enabled
  • Contrast to +1
  • Brightness to -1
  • Backlight to 3 (1 notch down from max)
  • FOV to Normal
  • You should be running “Native” resolution at 75Hz


  • Render Resolution is set to Auto
  • Everything else on the defaults

You will likely want to tweak at least some of these settings, but this is a good place to start.

EDIT by @Davebobman
This is a good list if you are looking for a simple starting point but leaves a lot of room for improvement.

  • Parallel projections is needed to fix some games (some won’t run and some will have visual artifacts, cross-eyed effect, visual effects only show in one eye) but comes at the huge cost of ~30% performance reduction.
  • Fixed foveated rendering can sometimes give substantial performance increases (20-30%) when you use the more aggressive settings, which might work for you depending on your tolerance for the reduced resolution on you peripheral vision.
  • Setting Render Resolution to Auto often results in poor visual quality. If you are willing to sacrifice framerate for visual improvement, then you should set it to manual.

I dont think they enabled backlight settings for the 8KX even with the new Pitool and beta FW, since I cant change it.


OK. Don’t worry about it. Personally, I’ve found that increasing the backlight brightness somewhat improves the feeling of immersion in my 8K.

That differs from the “Brightness” setting, which I decrease to counterbalance the increase in Contrast. The lowered Brightness prevents light areas from becoming washed-out. Together, these settings help to reduce dull LCD colors, for a more vibrant image.

Some people prefer +2 and -2 or more, but imo, the colors start to look fake and cartoon-like.


Thanks alot for the support so far! A lot of these suggestions remind me of my Pimax 5K Plus-, Pimax 8K- and Pimax OLED-days (in the end I sold them all in favor of the Valve Index). I didn’t post my system specs because I am very forgiving when it comes to low fps. What I can’t stand is compromises in visual quality. So I personally prefer visual quality over smooth fps any day! But anyway…here are my specs:

Windows 10 1903


You’re welcome. Given your GPU, I think you can boost your Pimax Quality setting to 1.5 to 2.0, depending on the game.

Not every game needs to have Parallel Projection enabled, which is about a 30% performance hit. I usually just leave it enabled, for simplicity. Some games, like Half-Life: Alyx, can be run without PP, but only if you provide some specific “Launch Parameters”.

Some people prefer to set SteamVR per-eye resolution manually. I generally leave mine at 100% and then adjust PiTool Quality to get a reasonable framerate. I find that this gives a superior image (I think it skips an image resize), but it limits your performance choices to 25% increments (in PiTool).

If you don’t have fpsVR (from Steam), I highly recommend it. It’s cheap and very helpful for fps tuning and it has some nice features like a clock.


I disagree with some of this.

  1. First of all, stay away from parallel projections unless required by a specific game (like EIite Dangerous). It’s a huge burden on the system,plus it changes the rendering resolution.
  2. Fixed Foveated rendering on the 8K-X is MUCH harder to notice but gives a bigger benefit than on the 5K+ due to the larger resolutions. I’m using it wherever I can, even in roomscale games (some don’t tolerate it, like ALyx where it leads to rendering anomalies).
  3. Contrast and brightness are highly subjective and I find it works differently on the 8K-X. I’d start with setting brighness to -1 and maybe go to -2, but be careful with Contrast as it leads to color crushing.

Already mentioned, no backlight controls yet.

Native 75Hz and normal FoV is the way to go, yes.

EDIT: Also, leave Pitool resolution at 1.0. SteamVR percentage gives you a much more granular level of control + you can do it per app and it will apply automatically, as opposed to fiddling with Pitool all the time.


Thanks again for all the help. Indeed, it seems not much has changed in terms of fiddling with a Pimax headset to get it run properly! :slight_smile:


Soon if not now you can use Pimax Experiance and there you will be able to use other players settings and then tweak for your self and the game.


I have indeed high hopes for the Pimax experience…but being a “Pimax veteran” I know that their “coming soon”-claim doesn’t really mean anything.


Lots of us are beta testing Pimax Experience and so far it’s looking really, really promising! :wink:

Also, keep in mind that it’s @SweViver’s project. Not another random extra feature/gimmick.

I really do believe it’ll be what both sets Pimax apart from others but also what gets rid of a lot of the tinkering currently needed with Pimax headsets.

If You just want to play just use the public profiles and if You want to tweak, customize them… :+1::upside_down_face:


I don’t know of Pimax Experience but

“gpuSpeedRenderTargetScale” : 2.0m,
in your steamvr.vrsettings has taken the 8K-X for me from being a blur to desktop clarity in view.

Makes a huge difference as does not pushing to much per eye render target in SteamVR. Anyway, that thread has all the details and it will be interesting to see what Pimax Experience delivers to us as well.

For now though, I feel the 8K-X a great upgrade in VR fidelity.


Tested with my old 8K and it works well with that headset too. Just have the differential in SteamVR Video Render Targets to accommodate (to get similar per eye resolution).

Il2 World looks much clearer at distance then previously on both headsets.

1 Like

If i try to enter 2.0m, and save the file. Then open it again it states 0.200etcetera. Am i doing something wrong?

Hi Bouli,

If SteamVR keeps reverting the steamvr.vrsettings file after your change, there might be a syntax error in the change you have made to the file.

This is the section out of my file which has stayed unchanged since modification

“GpuSpeed” : {
“gpuSpeed0” : 1020,
“gpuSpeed1” : 1025,
“gpuSpeed2” : 1025,
“gpuSpeed3” : 1022,
“gpuSpeed4” : 1023,
“gpuSpeed5” : 1023,
“gpuSpeed6” : 1022,
“gpuSpeed7” : 1022,
“gpuSpeed8” : 1023,
“gpuSpeed9” : 1026,
“gpuSpeedCount” : 10,
“gpuSpeedDriver” : “”,
“gpuSpeedHorsepower” : 1023,
“gpuSpeedRenderTargetScale” : 2.0m,
“gpuSpeedVendor” : “NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080”,
“gpuSpeedVersion” : 2

You’ll notice every line ends with a comma ,
Except the last line I’ve posted as that is followed by a section end of }, on the following line.

Maybe that is left off on your change - you might be deleting it by mistake???

It is the only thing I can think of.

You can also try Pimax Experience software where by the advanced options for each game config there can be edited on a per game basis from what I am reading of the 0.60 Beta version.

The thing with PImax Experience is the default game settings use Parallel Projections which I find gives a 25% performance hit and is best turned off where possible.


Yeah I saw @SweViver and @arminelec mentioned this is the default. I understand they don’t want new users to get double vision, but the problem is that there a number of users on here who have said ‘I don’t want to tweak any settings I just want literal Plug n Play’ - those people are likely getting a massive unnecessary performance hit on many of the apps they use which don’t need it, and then thinking the 8KX has terrible performance. I know they should learn what to do, but not everyone has tech skills.

All I can say is that my dad is never going to be a VR user, he still finds a mouse and keyboard / replying to emails way too difficult, and he’s been somehow using the net for 20 years :smile: Anything I teach him falls on deaf ears!

The PE makes use of the same game profiles that exist in PiTool. PE is ‘just’ a UI to control what’s happening in SteamVR and PT. The profiles are the only way I load apps now, otherwise you won’t get proper optimisation per app for the Pimax headsets. Never launch apps directly from SteamVR without ensuring the correct profile is loaded in PT or PE.



With mouse and keyboard - I just started Alien Isolation and given I am still waiting on Sword Controllers and base stations - I have a choice of X-Box Controller or Mouse and Keyboard. After using both in VR in that title - I’ll take Mouse and Keyboard anyday and don’t understand why this combo can’t be used in VR headsets…

Maybe you can set your dad up with Alien Isolation to help teach him mouse and keyboard control :slightly_smiling_face:

The defaults in PE, although they can look good - on my 2080, with eye candy, run slow. 30fps to 35 on some titles and people were complaining to me about me hooking up my 8K to a laptop with a GTX 1070. Yes - it wasn’t great but the 8K could still be run off such a system and not at the 90fps everyone 2 years ago were saying was the minimum you needed for VR.

When I suggest alternative settings to PE defaults with reasonable resolutions (and I use the vertical res as my guide), and decent fps - well, the response is quite toxic.

Such is life in a little pond.


Thanks. It was an extra space i entered!