Pavlov VR Not Launching Oculus? Here’s How To Fix It

If you want to have the best PC VR gaming experience, you need the best VR headset in the market today. By some counts, the Oculus Quest is that VR headset. And if you’re looking for Oculus Quest VR experiences from lesser-known developers, you should give some time to Pavlov VR Lite/Shack or just go with the standard version of the game.

The only problem is that sometimes playing Pavlov VR is difficult due to several technical issues plaguing the multiplayer shooter game. Gamers should know that the Pavlov virtual reality game is still in the early access phase on Steam. That means there must be a Pavlov VR roadmap somewhere in the developers’ offices that will guide them as they eventually get rid of common problems such as Steam VR loading screen issues.

Of course, Steam VR games aren’t exactly error-resistant either. Because of the nature of how virtual reality games work and the kind of hardware they require, it is common for VR players to run into problems when using a virtual audio cable or using the Oculus Mode (or Oculus Rift mode) instead of Steam VR mode or Steam streaming.

An image featuring an excited person using VR Oculus concept

In any case, let’s take a look at some of the most common Pavlov VR Oculus software problems you’re likely to face if you have some hardware from the Oculus store and have the game in your Steam library.

Settings Not Saved

Sometimes Pavlov doesn’t save your settings. This can cause your server filters to malfunction as well.

To fix this problem, you need to go to your AppData folder, locate the associated Pavlov folder and then delete it.

You can delete your Pavlov local AppData located in:


This method will work with not only Oculus but any other mainstream VR headset you may have.

Pavlov Won’t Launch and Presents a Black Screen

The game’s developer hasn’t commented on this problem. But those who have encountered the issue know it is not just a black screen. Generally, black screen problems are typically related to audio.

To get rid of these problems, you need to make sure your third-party applications are not interfering with the audio mixer you’re using. A non-Oculus application could include a virtual audio cable, your big screen TV or streaming devices.

When you have done that, you need to check if Oculus Home, SteamVR and Pavlov have access to the correct audio sources. The headset microphone and headset audio you’re using need that during the game start phase. Also, consider updating your motherboard’s audio drivers.

You Can’t Launch Pavlov Oculus Version Updates

It is time to revalidate your files and get rid of the download cache. After you’re done, you will need to start the game again. You may see the black screen again. In that case, wait for around 10 minutes for the system to sort itself out.

To get started on clearing the download cache, you’ll first need to follow these steps:

An image featuring a download cache concept
  • Go to your Steam Launcher or client.
  • Click on “Settings” through the panel that says “Steam.” (This item is usually located in the top-left corner of your Steam screen.)
  • Once you’re looking at the Settings panel, click on “Downloads.”
  • Then, click the button that says “Clear Download Cache.”
  • Click the OK button that appears. You may be asked to provide login credentials again. Go ahead and do that.

Now, we come to the step where you have to revalidate your files. This is how you do it for Pavlov, the multiplayer shooter game:

  • Go to your Steam library and then right-click on the item that says Pavlov VR.
  • Then, click the item labeled “Properties.”
  • When finished, click on “Local Files.” This option should appear as a tab on the left side of your screen.
  • Finally, click on “Verify.”

Following the steps above, your Steam will validate your game files.

Once it has finished, you’re free to launch your game and try out the different game modes—but not before letting it run for around 10 minutes for the blank screen to go away.

An image featuring Oculus VR concept with a person using the Oculus

If your Pavlov game won’t start and your steam loading screen in your VR equipment is stuck, you should try to complete the following steps to see if the problem goes away:

  • Put your Pavlov game in Beta Mode.
  • Then, make your way to Steam/steamapps/common/PavlovVR/Pavlov/Binaries/Win64
  • Find this file: Pavlov-Win64-Shipping
  • Open it.

Your game should run smoothly now.

Problems for Makers of Custom Maps in Pavlov’s New Virtual World

If you make maps and are unable to work with your custom map library, then a recent update might be the cause.

To get rid of the problem, delete this folder:


That should allow you to play your game without having to install Pavlov Shack again on your Oculus Quest.

Keep Your Cables In Order

VR downloadable games are still not as streamlined as traditional video games. So, if clicking Pavlov icon does not launch the game for you, or if you are missing some audio, you need to check your cables.

Depending on your Oculus device and the version of Pavlov you’re playing, you may get better performance on USB 3.0 rather than USB 2.0.

Moreover, sometimes a USB type A to type C cable would work perfectly with Pavlov. Make sure your USB type C ports (and USB type C cable) are clean from dust and other irritants.

Is Pavlov VR Dead?

If you mean if the development cycle of this Oculus VR game is dead, then the answer is no. In fact, Pavlov’s developers updated the game earlier this year.

If you go on Steam and search for Pavlov VR, you will find that it is still in the early access stage. The developers have shared plans to bring new content to the game. They have discussed how they want to introduce new community tools and content for specific historical settings that players can participate in. Also, if you head on over to the Steam video game community pages, you can see that plenty of people are still using the community tools to generate custom maps and props.

An image featuring the new Oculus VR

All of this means constant improvements for the game from both the developers and the broader community. Credit also goes to Oculus Quest, which has allowed such an ecosystem to exist in the first place.

Now, the other way to think about the same question is to consider the number of players. An Oculus Quest game could be regarded as dead if there aren’t many players using it simultaneously. In that regard, Pavlov VR is nowhere near finished. You can still go to your Steam client, launch the app and find other players to play this VR-mode multiplayer shooter video game.

Finding Other Oculus VR Mode Players

With that said, the matchmaking process is not the greatest you’ll find. And if the other players are waiting instead of joining, you may not be able to join a Pavlov VR multiplayer shooter session quickly enough. The wait is not due to a lack of players but is instead associated with an underdeveloped matchmaking feature.

The obvious solution to this problem would be to try and join online matches during peak times. You will have to take into account your time zone to really zero in on the best time to find scores of Pavlov VR players. If you want to check which VR mode games are the most popular at any given time, you can try using the site VRLFG. At the time of writing, Pavlov VR was the third most popular VR title in the world, and it may rank even higher if you only consider VR multiplayer games.

It’s also worth mentioning that VR multiplayer games are still not as popular or widely played as single-player games. So, it wouldn’t be fair to compare the number of players playing CS: GO at any given moment to the number of players playing a VR title.

Apart from that, the mapping community is still going strong. There is also a modding section for those who like to customize their VR games to the limit. Finally, if you are ready for some Search and Destroy mode VR gaming, Pavlov even has a league for it.

All these factors indicate that Pavlov is very much alive and kicking, not only on Oculus but also on many other platforms.

What Is Pavlov Lite?

Pavlov Lite was a free-to-play version of Pavlov’s standard edition. It was slated to come out sometime in 2020, but there is still no store page for Pavlov Lite, nor is there a trailer.

What Is Pavlov Shack?

Many believe that Pavlov Shack is what Pavlov Lite would have been. And since, officially, the lite version of the VR game hasn’t come out, we have no other choice but to consider Pavlov Shack the Lite version.

The Shack version is not only available on Oculus Quest but also PlayStation VR. The Shack version of the game is actually what the Lite version would have been since it’s also free and could be considered a down-scaled version of the game on PC VR. If you want to play the Shack version on Quest, you’ll have to get it through SideQuest.

Of course, there are still some problems with Pavlov Shack. For starters, installing the Shack version of this VR game is not a simple task. Generally speaking, sideloading VR games and apps from sources such as SideQuest requires users to complete a couple of steps.

An image featuring a drawn person using Oculus representing VR games

More specifically, they would first have to create a developer account and then sideload the VR content they want to consume on their Oculus device from a PC. This is not the case with Shack, though, since it’s now available on App Lab. You can install it directly from App Lab, either on your Oculus Quest or Quest 2 device. You do not need specialized USB cables or any type of hardware for your Shack to work with your headset.

As a side note, the two benefits mentioned above are why the game saw a rise in both new and returning players. This also shows the power of the Oculus Store. That is, if developers put in the effort to make their Oculus virtual reality game available via the Oculus Store or the App Lab, people will come and play the game.

If you want to play the Shack version of the game, which is 100% free via the App Lab, click here.

Conclusion: Pavlov’s All-in-One VR Experience via Steam VR, Oculus Quest/Oculus Rift

It wasn’t long ago when Palov VR developer Davevillz announced that a new version of the game would support Oculus Quest. But instead of being called Pavlov Lite, it would be called Pavlov Shack.

Games like Pavlov have changed VR forever, to the benefit of gamers around the world and the gaming industry as a whole. Oculus Quest 2 and Oculus SDK have played their part as well, and so have the various Steam audio game modes. Now we see the rise of the App Lab platform. When the App Lab is combined with the official Oculus Quest Store and Pavlov Shack community events, it makes Pavlov via Oculus the all-in-one VR gaming experience.

But is Pavlov’s initial release VR’s answer to PC counter strike? We think it is. Who needs co-op games when you can run a virtual desktop environment video game via Pavlov on your own.

An image featuring a person using an Oculus and is playing some VR game

On an ending note, we would like to reiterate that there are several common problems with the game. Players might get a blank screen or three white dots flashing on the screen, or maybe they won’t even be able to start the game at all. These issues occur as a result of a bug, and most of the time, you can fix them by just uninstalling and reinstalling the game. Make sure you wait for around five minutes after turning your headset on and before you open any other applications.

For all their greatness, VR headsets are not powerhouses like desktop machines with solid-state drives (SSDs). If you open applications right after your headset turns on, it will start to show you the dreaded flashing dots. So, be patient and wait, and your problems should fix themselves on their own. If that’s not the case for you, follow the steps above to fix common Pavlov VR problems.

FAQ: How to Fix Pavlov VR Not Launching Oculus

Why Is My Oculus App Not Working?

An image featuring a person using their laptop that says application failed on it

If you are facing problems with opening your Oculus app or any Oculus game, the most helpful thing you can do is restart your computer. After you have done that, you should restart the Oculus app on that computer.

If that does not solve your problem, the obvious next step is to uninstall and then reinstall the Oculus app (or the other game that’s giving you problems).

Next, restart your computer/device again to check if your Oculus Rift or Oculus Quest VR headset problems have been resolved.

Is Oculus Quest Obsolete?

That depends on how you define obsolete. Yes, it is true that you can buy Oculus Quest 2 now. The support cycle for the Quest device will also likely come to an end in the very near future. Polygon reported last September that Facebook would stop production of the Oculus Quest in 2020 so that the company could give space to the newer Oculus Quest 2.

An image featuring VR games concept

However, you still shouldn’t have any problems playing video games on your Oculus Quest. The Oculus Quest 2 improves on Oculus Quest in terms of resolution, field of view, refresh rate, tracking and Wi-Fi standards. But that does not change the fact that Oculus Quest, in its own right, still has the hardware and software for playing VR games.

Older VR game titles will work similarly on either device. That is unless a given game’s developer decides to update their Oculus Quest game for Oculus Quest 2 and hence provides VR users with better graphics on a game like Pavlov VR.

Of course, it wouldn’t make much sense to get a hold of the Oculus Rift or Oculus Quest at this time since there are new models out there in the market. If you get Oculus Quest or Oculus Rift as a gift, then you should use it to play Pavlov VR as much as you want. However, since Facebook would be concentrating on the Oculus Quest 2 version of Pavlov VR and other multiplayer shooter VR games, you won’t get much support for solving the “Pavlov VR not launching Oculus” problem.



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