Triple monitors vs. VR, which to choose for Sim Racing or Flight Sims?

Updated on
Triple monitors vs. VR, which to choose for Sim Racing or Flight Sims?

If you're into sim racing or flight simming, and not sure whether you should use triple monitors or Virtual Reality (VR), well, read further. Dive into the world of simulation with this comprehensive guide that navigates the benefits and advantages of each setup, helping you choose the perfect immersive experience.

When it comes to stepping into the virtual world of sim racing and flight simulations, the battle between triple monitors and Virtual Reality (VR) is a hot topic, with especially the latter having great advancements in the last few years.

Both setups promise a level of immersion, but they come with their own set of advantages and considerations. In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of using triple monitors and VR for sim racing or flight sims, helping you make an informed decision that suits your preferences.

Triple Monitors


Wider Field of View: Triple monitor setups offer a significantly wider field of view compared to standard single monitors as well as entry-level VR headsets. This expanded vision closely mimics real-world peripheral vision, enhancing your situational awareness and overall experience.

Realistic Distortion: The curvature of the monitors in a triple setup can replicate the natural distortion that occurs at the edges of our field of vision, contributing to a more realistic simulation.

Customization: With three separate screens, you have the flexibility to arrange and angle the monitors to match your preferences. This customization extends to multitasking and other activities when you're not immersed in sim racing or flight sims.


Cost: Creating a triple monitor setup involves investing in three high-quality monitors, a powerful graphics card, and potentially a sturdy mount. You may also need a bezel kit to make the monitors line up perfectly. The cost can be a significant barrier for some enthusiasts.

Space Requirements: The physical space required for triple monitors is more substantial compared to other setups, making it less suitable for users with limited room.

Setup Complexity: Achieving the perfect alignment and angles can be challenging and time-consuming, requiring technical know-how.

Lack of immersion: You cannot look around in a triple-setup which breaks immersion. Your view is always fixed.

Virtual Reality (VR): Diving into Immersion


Unparalleled Immersion: VR takes immersion to another level by placing you directly inside the virtual cockpit. The sensation of depth and scale can be breathtaking, providing an unmatched sense of realism. It's also said that it's easier to get adapted to new situations or tracks in using VR, or that for instance, details are easier to spot (such as puddles of rain on the road).

Situational Awareness: VR allows you to look around just as you would in the real world, enhancing your situational awareness and making it ideal for flight simulations and close-quarters racing. When you move your head, the whole vision changes. In flight sims, you can look at the scenery, but for racing you can really look into a corner or look at the competitor next to you. Many VR users also report better depth perception, which makes for instance taking corners on the racetrack easier.

Physical Interaction: VR setups often include hand controllers, enabling you to physically interact with the cockpit and controls, further deepening the realism.

Easier to set up: Triple monitors can be tricky to set up (as you need the bevel exactly right) and take up a lot of space in your room. Not everybody has that. With VR, you barely need any additional space, especially if you use a headset that doesn't require base stations but inside-out tracking.


Motion Sickness: Some users may experience motion sickness or discomfort while using VR, which can impact the overall experience and playtime. But you can definitely overcome this with some tips.

Hardware Requirements: Running VR smoothly demands a powerful gaming PC, including a robust graphics card and sufficient RAM. Although having eye-tracking on your VR headset helps with performance because of Dynamic Foveated Rendering.

Comfort: Even though modern VR headsets and more and more comfortable (especially when modded for personal preferences), obviously not wearing anything on your head is more comfortable. Nothing weighs on your head and less heat is trapped. VR also puts more strain on your eyes.

Streaming: Many streamers prefer a regular monitor so it's easier to interact with the chat, and a VR headset also affects the viewing experience for the viewers.

Triple vs VR discussion in video:

Can VR be better than triples?

With the Pimax Crystal, with 2880x2880 pixels per eye and a wide FOV, VR can compete with triples in terms of clarity and field of view.


Many sim-racing pro‘s still prefer triples, as do streamers (for different reasons). Will this change in the near future? We already see in iRacing Off-Road races that many pro's use VR (including the Pimax Crystal). And many people say that when they go for VR, they cannot go back to triples.

Choosing between triple monitors and VR for sim racing or flight sims hinges on your priorities, budget, and physical space. Triple monitors offer a wide field of view and customizable setup, but they come with higher costs and setup complexity. On the other hand, VR delivers unparalleled immersion and situational awareness, though it requires a substantial investment in both hardware and potential comfort adjustments.

Ultimately, both setups offer thrilling and immersive experiences, but your choice depends on whether you value panoramic realism or being physically transported into the cockpit (whether that's a racecar or plane).

Updated on