Am I Going Back from VR to TrackIR?

So… Yeah. I am considering it. I love flying in VR because of that feeling of ‘being there’. It’s so dang cool to do something that I can’t - fly military jets.


I have all of these beautiful devices surrounding me, and it’s a challenge to use them in VR.

That, and I am getting old. Learning all of those DCS and MSFS modules while being ‘under the hood’ and being unable to read and reference manuals and such is hard.

It’s starting to push me away from getting in game, really. Over the past year my flight sim time has been shrinking and I am starting to think that it is because of VR and the effort involved to get it all right. I can get kick arse frames with what I have outside of VR, but VR takes tweaking, configuration and management - and when I sit down at my sim rig, I am found myself getting back up and moving to another activity.

Plus … ADHD. There’s a challenge in sitting still for so long under the VR hood. And in remembering what I read just a few minutes (or hours) before getting into the sim and completing forgetting all the switches and knobs that I just tried to learn.

Anywho… Just venting to the internet chat bots that we have here. I am torn between a technology that takes me there, and that same technology that prevents me using what I have :slight_smile:


I have thought about the same thing myself…
You know how I love to build my cockpit hardware. VR is awesome, but it is far from perfect. Still, it’s getting better and better.
I’m not sure I’d be using a TrackIR though. If I were to drop out of VR I’d probably go with a multi screen setup. Maybe even projectors.


The struggle is real. I find myself in a similar situation but I’m not ready to give up VR. Sadly, AR in my realm is outside my affordability. Still, I’m hoping VR will get to a point where the tech will be affordable to most if not all.


I have done the switch back already.

The visual quality of my RiftS is just not good enough to hard-core sim. I have to be able to see more, both inside and outside the cockpit.
(Also I don’t want to make a meta account so right now it doesn’t work at all, but that’s my personal fault).

So yeah, I could get a better VR headset.
But my 2070S won’t take it and I don’t have the money to buy a new (and more expensive) headset AND a new gaming PC.

So TrackIR it is.


Not to argue or white-knight defend VR, just curious: have you tried OpenKneeboard for the purposes of having your reference materials in the cockpit in VR? It really changed how I learn a module. I can bring the whole Chucks Guide or a YouTube video into the cockpit if I want now.


How does this affect performance?

I do. I have a few kneeboards in there already with a few quick checklists to get some of the modules up and running with less fuss. My checklists are based on Chucks guides and distilled down to a 1 or 2 pager. My bigger problem is when implementing complex weapons. I often find myself lifting up the headset to consult a tablet. I guess I could do that in VR.


I’ve seen no effect on performance. I’m sure it’s there, but I guess it hasn’t affected my hardware. It’s become one of those tools I couldn’t live without now that I’ve used it.

ETA: I used it to learn the Lantin pod on the Tomcat last night. Man, Jester runs that thing amazingly well and makes the pilot’s life sweet!


The ‘being there in the cockpit’ feeling trumps all other aspects of simming for me. The caveat being that I am little more than a casual simmer these days.


These days I prefere the comfort of causal siming. flying from sofa on my laptop :slight_smile:


Same. Having the airplane around me, and depth perception really changed my flight sim life.

I’ve got a similar problem, so I can sympathize. When flying aircraft other than the Hornet, it’s difficult to find controls that don’t match up 1:1. I’ve taken to using the mousewheel and clicking things more than I’d like, but often that’s faster than remembering the binding and finding it under the headset.


I’ll never go back. Comfort is the biggest issue; I can only do 2+00 under the hood. But that’s ok.

The depth/complexity - realism - of these things is part of the problem but is what I wished for back in the 90’s. Now I’ve got it.

It’s tempting for me to approach DCS complex modules like lesser (complexity) games; grab the “G”, “F”, and “B” keys then just jump in and go.

I’ve adapted to the mouse click and point your cursor + button push methods.
For those that might not know: you can bind mouse button(s); look at a switch and press a button on your throttle/joystick, etc. I’m just used to it I guess.

And I have…let’s see here…five gizmo’s with buttons (counting stick/throttle). Going to the keyboard is the real hassle but I don’t need to very often.

No doubt it takes longer than having an actual, physical, representation of your pit.

When I get into the Phantom it’s going to be some time of just sitting there reading (classroom) and pit time on the ramp. Incremental.

The realism-complexity thing stands out when I switch planes. It would be very frustrating in VR - I guess you could say I treat 2D as my “class room” - big foldout of the cockpit layout taped to the wall , manual on one knee…dig in…

When I threw the Mud Hen into my system I was like, “Uh…I can’t even change the radio here!”

HB’s up-and-coming feature will help this (love HeatBlur).
Back to work :wink:


Why I like generic HOTAS gear; the major bits are always in the same place; gear, flaps; throttle; stick; ‘bang’ button; MFD [buttons]. My keyboard keypad is what gets used the most though it is ‘upside down’ compared to most of the jets I fly.

VR helpers like Scratch Pad and OpenKneeboard are great aids.


The thread a week or two ago that had the cost break down for a VR setup, had me wondering if a projector setup would be any more expensive, and I’m pretty sure the answer is no. With the advent of cheap 3D printing, I’d hazards building a pit and installing a projector system could be done for cheaper than an all-out VR right that would be obsolete in 3-5 years.


I’m pretty much the same as @jross, with the addition of that I take my time to gather and assemble a bunch of keyboards for reference. I’ll download maybe 2 or 3 different community made kneeboards, chop them up, and arrange in a logical order, starting with quick start and end with nav data / plates. I’ll have procedurals and RAW data charts in between. Then assemble with Kneeboard Builder. I’ve been meaning to try OpenKneeboard, by haven’t found the time.

On every module HOTAS setup I have the same 4 buttons programmed, usually on a 5 - way switch. Toggle KB, next, last page, and show position. As far as 2D, life is too short to fly/drive in pancake mode. I’ve made one exception, because of that damned @Chaz creating the Mudspike WRC Club :laughing:. I had removed my monitor from the driving rig and donated it to the kids’ flight sim rig. I’m driving EA WRC in 2D from the Oculus Virtual Desktop on a Quest 3. It’s not VR, but rather like wearing a monitor on your head. Whatever it takes.


I agree!
I am torn…
VR is really cool and immersive in that I really feel I’m there. But the best flightsim experience I’ve ever had was in a fully built Viggen cockpit with 3 big screens in front…
There’s something about flicking real switches that is so important.
But I can’t have a cockpit for every aircraft I want to simulate, so it would have to be generic.
I don’t know.
Both options are very good and have their pros and cons.


we all know the narrated DCS training missions where the instructor is talking and the game is highlighting all the needed knobs, switches and dials in the cockpit.

what would be cool is to have this also as a interactive checklist in single mission, campaign or even online (doesnt MSFS have something similar?). oc minus the narration :slight_smile:


In all honesty, I absolutely love VR when I’m playing online with you guys. But when I’m on my own i still prefer to use Track IR (the one i got from @schurem) its much easier, i can get check my phone as well etc.
I very much enjoy VR, but I’m genuinely worried about the effect it feels like it has on my vision. Its probably unrelated but it feels like my degradation in eyesight (I’m 37…) and VR are not coincidence


Yes. Checklists can highlight switches, and the flight lessons have both that and voiceovers.

…man MSFS does so many things right. I am itching to play again.


VR is cool no doubt. Many moons ago, I had a triple screen setup. I thought I was the coolest kid on the block. Then VR came on to the scene and it seemingly filled that void of depth perception. I was all in for VR.
But in recent times, I have found myself going 50/50… VR/pancake, for many of the reasons Fridge and others listed above. There are still too many quality of life tidbits that need to be ironed out to make it truly plug-and-play, without any hassles like a desktop monitor. Turn on, play, turn off. Will it ever be truly plug-and-play without the need for constant tweaks by 3rd party apps or notepad file tweaking? I have invested in more peripherals this year and tend to enjoy the visuals of actually seeing my controls, even if with just my peripheral vision. No pun intended.

To satisfy my pancake gaming immersion, Instead of going triples, I went with a 49” ultra wide monitor, Samsung Neo G9. 5120x1440 resolution. Basically 2 x 2560x1440 monitors. Beautiful picture. 240 fps with my 4090 OC. Btw, Samsung recently their 4k version. 57”…. 7680x2160 resolution. Tempted to upgrade.
Meanwhile, I plan to ride out my HP G2 til it burns out and/or struggles in future games.