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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Use a Webcam for Head Tracking

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More or less everyone is familiar with Virtual Reality, but more often than never, the prices of VR headsets bury the dream of using VR for day-to-day gaming. But there is another alternative that is not very well recognized. That is head tracking. Although it lacks implementation in most games, it can be a lifesaver for some. For example, flight simulators, simracers, Elite Dangerous, etc. But most of the head tracking solutions available in the market aren’t very cheap either. TrackIR 5 for example, costs around hundred and fifty bucks. Thankfully, it can be done for free if you have a webcam. This article will act as a tutorial to set up head tracking using a webcam.


Required Software Programs

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The following software programs are necessary for the process:

  • FOXTracker: Uses AI to track your head
  • OpenTrack: Transmits the information to the game


Setting up FOXTracker

As mentioned above, this application uses artificial intelligence to track your head. You have to download it from their GitHub page.

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After you download it, just unzip the file and pin the .exe file to your start menu. Do note that FoxTracker might take a minute or two to start up, so you have to be patient


Setting up OpenTrack

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OpenTrack sends the tracking data to the game. Once again, you have to download it from their GitHub. Once you install it, change Select UDB over network for the input, and freetrack 2.0 Enhanced for the output.

You can also assign some games opening which will automatically start OpenTrack. FoxTracker offers a profile for OpenTrack which is fairly good. After downloading it, click Profile and select Open configuration directory. Copy-Paste the file there. After you restart OpenTrack, you should be able to select the profile by selecting dcs.ini.


Supported Games

Now you have successfully set up head tracking. You should be able to use it in all supported games. The games should detect it as TrackIR 5. The following are some of the supported titles:

  • Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • American Truck Simulator
  • ARMA 3
  • Assetto Corsa
  • DCS World
  • X-Plane 11
  • Prepar3d and Flight Simulator X (Note: You need ChasePlane to get it working)
  • Il2 Sturmovik
  • KartKraft


Thank you for reading. Happy Tracking!

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