You can get Skyrim VR running on a GT 1030, apparently

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Virtual reality gaming is an expensive hobby. The best VR headset (opens in new tab), the Oculus Rift, is $400, and to run the latest games you've got to shell out hundreds more for a VR-ready graphics card (opens in new tab).

Or, you can try to fudge it. That's what YouTuber LowSpecGamer did, setting out to play some of the best VR games for as little money as he could. For starters, he swerved the Rift and the HTC Vive to pick up a refurbished Windows Mixed Reality headset for $160. Then, he assembled his PC, combining parts he'd picked up for cheap with some that viewers had donated. At its core was an i5-2500K, and it had 8GB of RAM.

The graphics card was where it got really interesting. He knew he could get games working with the GTX 1050 Ti he had in his laptop, so he dialed it all the way back to the GT 1030, the least powerful card in NVidia's GeForce 10 series.

By playing around with Windows settings, he managed to get Skyrim VR (opens in new tab) running with the system. I mean, it doesn't look great, but it's running nonetheless. 

I'd recommend watching the whole video, in which he tries other games—including Superhot VR and Fallout 4 VR—with a variety of graphics cards. It didn't make me want to rush out and immediately recreate his setup, but it's interesting to see how far a limited budget will take you.

And if this just gives you a hankering for Skyrim, sans-VR, make sure to play with our guide to the best Skyrim mods (opens in new tab).

Samuel Horti is a long-time freelance writer for PC Gamer based in the UK, who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play. He's now a full-time reporter covering health at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. When he does have time for games you may find him on the floor, struggling under the weight of his Steam backlog.