With FSA on VR in flight sims

Last week, Pimax teamed with the FSA for a seminar on flight sims and VR. See the whole recording here:  


Here we go over the most common questions asked during and afterward:


1. Is it difficult to use your keyboard or joystick when using a VR headset?

This isn’t a huge problem, because even if you play without a VR headset, you may rarely look at your joystick, yoke, or keyboard; it’s all muscle memory. So also while using a VR headset you can keep using this hardware. Another option is to use hand gestures, either with the supplied hand controllers (depending on your VR set), or using hand-tracking so that you can directly operate this in VR. (Here’s a demo.)


2. Is my computer good enough?

Probably here means “good enough to reach a basic level of performance”, because if you want to run a flight sim on 8K (4+4K) you need quite a stellar rig. 

Most of the time, we only need to consider the GPU when upgrading the PC. DCS (Digital Combat Simulator) may be an exception, It requires high performance from both the CPU and GPU.

To give you an idea, for the Pimax VISION 8K X, the minimum estimation is:

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
  • 16GB RAM
  • i5-9400 or AMD equivalent
  • 16GB RAM


But recommend is: 

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (or above)
  • i9-10900K or higher
  • 32GB RAM


Then for an even higher resolution VR headset, the requirements will also increase. For the Pimax REALITY 12K, that recommended RTX 3080 is the minimum you’ll need.


3. What are some things to improve performance?

Yes, you can do some things to make it better. Remember that smooth & stable gameplay is more important than ultra settings (also because of the nature of VR, even a low setting can blow you away). 

Tips from Martin:

1. Don’t automatically set everything to Ultra. In VR, your perspective is completely different compared to watching a PC monitor. Some details are completely redundant in VR, regardless of resolution.

2. VR does not “need” an extremely high LOD. The LOD slider massively affects performance. You will hardly notice the difference. Mainly because of how stereoscopic 3D view makes objects far away actually be far away.

3. Adjust your resolution for optimal cockpit clarity and not for the buildings or trees 3000 feet away.

4. Don’t overdo it with supersampling. Super Sampling only improves clarity to a certain point.

5. For better clarity in most VR flight sims, use a higher “base resolution” and lower the render-scaling in-game, rather than the opposite.

6. A smooth VR experience is your target. Big frame rate fluctuations are bad for VR. That means a more stable 30fps or 40fps frame rate will feel much “smoother” than a frame rate jumping all between 30 and 60 fps.


4. How difficult is VR to set-up?

The headset hardware is probably the easiest, plug and go. But the driver software setting may require some setting up the first time you use the headset. Pimax has a guide, and there are also tutorials on YouTube. If you have troubles still, you can always contact Pimax at the community forum

You can also get help setting it up through FSA’s Ben, see https://bit.ly/FlightSimCoach


5. Which flight sim titles support VR?

There is native VR support in:

  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020
  • X-Plane 11, X-Plane 12
  • DCS World, Digital Combat Simulator
  • Prepar3D
  • IL-2 Sturmovik
  • Aerofly FS 2, FS 4
  • FlyInside Flight Simulator


6. How does foveated rendering work?

The best way to use foveated rendering is to use eye tracking. It reduces the performance requirements of GPU through the fine rendering of eye gaze position and rough rendering of the surrounding environment. If the performance of your GPU is relatively weak, you can turn on foveated rendering to improve the overall experience. If your GPU performance is strong enough, we recommend turning off foveated rendering to get the most complete 8KX experience.


7. Will I get motion sickness and how to prevent it?

Seated VR experiences like flight simulation or racing sims don’t evoke nausea as much as regular VR games such as shooters.

Martin’s best tips:

1. High refresh rates with low latency rates reduce the risk of nausea

2. Wide FOV VR reduces the risk of motion sickness

3. High clarity tends to improve realism and reduce the artificial feeling that contributes to motion sickness

4. Fixed reference points in VR prevent nausea (such as cockpits)

5. Initially, take it easy and don’t do extreme maneuvers while flying.

6. Give it some time. Practice makes perfect. 


8. Can I use prescription lenses or glasses while using a VR headset?

Yes. Actually, due to the wide FOV of Pimax headsets, the interior space is the largest of any VR headset. Therefore, it is completely possible to wear 8KX while wearing glasses. But there are even lens inserts for Pimax headsets as well, see VR Rock.


9. What are other good resources?


Also, if you wish to get in touch with the presenters from the webinar, email to info@flightsimassociation.com


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