Game in 3D on the Cheap

Joker 3D

Not wanting to be left out by the big CES 3D hype(and cos I don’t have any rumours on the iSlate) I thought I’d teach y’all how to activate 3D for anyone gaming with a Nvidia card. This is also the first of what I hope will be several tutorials we hope to produce.


So first off a warning: Its only anaglyph (that’s the red n blue glasses in layman’s terms) so you’ll need a pair of them to start with. The polarised glasses used by cinemas won’t work. That also means it’s not going to look too great, and not repetitive of ‘Nvidia 3D Vision Kit’ (Nvidias fancy expensive 3D stuff).

However you can also use these perfect eyeglasses similar to tortoise shell glasses uk in some of your activities like gaming!

You will need the latest Nvidia drivers(need version 186 n higher). You can pick that up from here on the Nvidia site.


Once installed (you’ll need a reboot) go to Start>All Programs>NVIDIA Corporation>3D Vision. Then click on “Enable 3D Vision Discover”. The Disable option is to disable, keep that option in mind for later. You are now taken through a set-up wizard. Make sure you click ‘3D Vision Discover’ for the cheapy option. (A slight technical error means I can’t give you screencaps for this process) You run through some simple tests, some check you can see in 3D, and others just make sure the depth is correct. Mostly involving covering up eyes and clicking pictures. All fairly simple. You then get a nice slideshow at the end of various games running in 3D.

Once it is all up and running load into any game and it’ll appear in 3D. Each game has little pop up telling you how well it is supported. Most games run fine, though Nvidia won’t yet of tested every game to check. If its DirectX, it’ll run is a good rule of thumb.


You can adjust the ‘depth’ using the ctrl+F4/F5 keys and enable or disable the effect on the fly with ctrl+t. You’ll find that each game, or each game type at least tends to do best at certain ‘depths’, and its a good idea to start low and boost the ability over time. In the above image I was about half way up the bar.

One thing to note is that it can have a hefty penalty on your frame rate. For example in L4D it dropped from 60fps down to 30fps. But some games don’t take as much of a hit.

The resulting look is games that pop out of the screen (well duh!) Some games work better others, FPS games tend to gain the biggest boost, RTS on the other hand doesn’t gain too much. Also all games tend to have HUD issues where the HUD doesn’t get any 3D data and just kind of floats. You can see in the above image the HUD appears normal. 3D is a small change, but one that can make games rather pleasing to play and I strongly recommend you at least try it out.

p.s if anyone knows of a screencap program that’ll work with a hotkey that’d be great. One that works with games. FRAPs doesn’t work :/

Nvidia Drivers

Nvidia 3D Vision Kit

3D Vision Discover

Categorized as Tutorials Tagged

By Dean Bowes

Founder of the site. Based in Britian I'm primarily a PC gamer, looking to spread my wings to the best the games industry has to offer.