Favorite DCS modules in VR?


So far I really enjoy all of the Belsimtek stuff. Their attention to detail in the pit with regards to 3D modeling and unworn textures is very evident in VR, either intended or otherwise. It’s almost as if the created everything with VR in mind. I absolutely love the F-15C, UH-1H, F-86, F-5E, and Mig-15 in VR. Have not tried the Mi-8 yet, but I’m sure that it is amazing.

The Mig-21 is so real looking, at first look you might find it frightening. It’s so worn and beat up and with all due respect, so utterly crude, that one gets the impression that they might be sitting in the cab of a steam locomotive. This Mig-21 is not one that I’ve spent much time in, but kudos to the texture artists at Leatherneck. Expecting great things in the Tomcat.

Really loving the English conversion Gazelle too. Great job here. Very easy to navigate the panel and read the instruments. The M2000C pit is just cool, but for some reason the digital guages are not as legible as I would like. If I flew it more, I’d probably adjust my eyepoint forward and down a little. The HUD works perfectly.

Which brings me to the A-10C. Beautiful textures and very clear HUD. But the text on the panel is extremely difficult or impossible to read. This is one case where Tool Tips are a necessity until you know the switchology without reference. I hope that somewhere someone is working on a VR version of that panel.

Of the 3 trainers, I’d have to say that they are rather plain in their VR implementation as their cockpits are rather simple to begin with. This is probably more of an observation than a criticism.

Have not tried the other FC3 modules.

What say you VR users?

A-10C So Far…
Likely to Be replaced w/ the F/A-18C

I have a blast flying the MiG 15 Museum Relic campaign in VR. You really get a feel for how small that airplane is when you fly it with the Rift. It’s pretty awesome. I have not spent much time with the MiG21 yet, but looking around the pit in VR it is a work of art. Highly impressive.

Right now I am flying the Gazelle single player campaign. The Gazelle is a joy to fly in VR (I’m sure it is a real handful on a 2D screen though).

I have always thought that the DCS 3D cockpits were really nice, but it wasn’t until I got my Rift that I could realize just how good they really are. The level of detail is amazing when you see these pits in true 3D.

So you guys feel the VR technology is good enough now to really allow one to enjoy those flight simulations? I’ve been thinking about taking the plunge myself but am just starting to research what is available and for what price. Not even sure they would work on my old rig. Wondering about pricing as well.

Any reviews or suggestions you all might have on the VR equipment? Will have to check MudSpike reviews and see if they have any on VR. Cheers.

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The ones that fly with it seem really happy so far. @Chuck_Owl did a nice overview of the Oculus Rift and DCS here:

Some nice first impressions from @chipwich and @PaulRix here:


You get a wonderful experience of flight, and being in the aircraft, but I find actually doing combat-y things in VR to be a major PITA. There are a few more ways the technology needs to mature before it becomes the ubiquitous sim hardware that joysticks and trackIr are now.

May I ask what specifically causes you to say this? What are the problems you see or experience in doing combat in VR?

Well at the moment: it’s getting ~30 FPS around Kobuleti :wink:

But seriously, I find the biggest issues to be how well you can see, and how you interact with the cockpit.

The HMD is a complex thing, where you have limitations in mostly resolution and field of view. Resolution isn’t great, but it isn’t a complete game breaker. Reading gauges used to be a problem, but pixel density has mostly resolved that (at the cost of performance). More I’m constantly trying to find an acceptable balance between being able to see enemies and immersion. The obvious answer is model enlargement, but I find that seeing fighters the size of airliners and tanks the size of houses creates an uncanny valley effect where I’m in this beautiful jet, but my targets are cartoonishly large… However on the other hand with the current resolution, it’s just hard to find stuff sometimes, especially ground targets and especially especially smaller jets like the MiG-21 and the F-5.

The other is field of view, which is about 2/3s of what we get in real life. The VR headsets don’t work on a curve like trackir does, so you actually have to crank your head and body around to keep sight of your opponent, meaning you have to struggle more to keep the bandit in your circle of vision. With larger bandits, like the Flanker, this isn’t so bad, but with smaller opponents like the MiG-21 and the F-5 it can be absolutely maddening. Also bear in mind that I have a Vive, which does not receive tailored updates from ED on as timely a basis as the Rift, so I don’t have any of that zoom functionality either.

The combination of these two issues means that you are far more likely to lose SA quicker, struggle to rebuild it, and have one heck of a time in a BFM engagement.

Finally I find it simply more difficult to interact with the cockpit. You can certainly use a keyboard and mouse while wearing a VR set, but it can be frustrating to try and root around for it in the middle of a flight, and I’ve had issues in the past trying to click buttons that are placed on the extreme edges of the cockpit (behind and far above or below you), because I’ll end up hitting the VR set against myself or something else. There are options to map mouse buttons to your joystick, but I’m not a fan of them because they are competing for already sparse HOTAS space which is all the more important because of the aforementioned keyboard problems.

However keep in mind that VR is in its infancy, and ED has consistently improved the experience over the past five months. You’ll also get some slight benefits. Two viewpoints means you have the ability to perceive depth, and this is one of those intangible benefits that somehow makes everything different. Formation flying, Landing, and especially gunnery are going to be completely different as you can now intuitively judge distance and closure far better.

If you enjoy flight for flight, and you are aware of what you are getting into I recommend it. However I am very much into the experience of blowing stuff up, and while I understood that VR was going to have drawbacks, I did not expect it to take as big a chunk out of my fighting prowess as it does. I do not regret purchasing by Vive by any means, but I’m not going to sugar coat it either.

Also if you fly mostly helicopters, don’t think, buy it. Helicopters are the exception to all of my gripes. Helo’s in VR are the beeeeeeeeeessssssssssttttt.


Also the original topic. The best answer is UH-1H. All the awesomeness of helochoppers, none of the piercing, unyielding gaze of your gunner like in the Gazelle.

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Inside the cockpit is fine, but identifying anything outside more than a couple thousand meters is hit or miss. In other words I can fly a Huey gunship and kill like the grim reaper, but flying air combat is challenging unless your bogie has a lot of contrast.

FWIW, I’m trying to get through the Red Flag 16-2 campaign for the F-15C completely in VR. I’ll admit that I’ve switched on tags every now and then with a button on my HOTAS. So, BVR is no problem because you are using sensors anyway, but you know how that goes. If you are 2 against 4, even if you get lucky and smoke a couple before the merge, that quickly turns into WVR. And unless your a saddling up for a gun shot, pretty hard to find your prey in the furball, much less see an inbound IR missile. That’s to my middle aged eyes. YMMV.

Having said that, VR is like crack for me now. In the furball example above, you really have to crank your head around, not just cheat with TIR. Your neck muscles must comply, because it’s now a really big sky. Everything is so much more real. It’s really had to put into words, but 2D is so blah now.

That’s a big affirm. I’ll never fly a rotor craft without VR now. It’s like crack on steroids :slight_smile:

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I’ve found that if possible, try and keep your head constrained to up/down motions as much as possible. If you look up and crank your neck you can wrench it further back then otherwise possible, and there is the added benefit that it keeps your vision in line with your lift vector, which allows you to more easily intuit what your jet is doing, where the bandit is in relation to where you are going, and how to maneuver the jet (I.E. center the bandit in your vision and pull harder).

I’ve got a gut, so I find leaning forward and then over rotating my torso around will have adverse effects on my ability to control the stick :wink:.

Finally in the eagle at least, I find the less time you’re spending pointing away from the bandit, the easier it is to maintain sight. This means you want to be get your max performance turn down to muscle memory, If you’re lucky you should be able to figure out if your bandit is going to action high or low as you blow past the merge, and then do your break turn quick enough that he won’t have too much time to get out of where you expect him to be.

In anything that’s more than 1v1 however… well, preparatory CM is always your friend.

I had to try this in my office just now and you’re right!

Interesting. Thanks gents for the perspectives. I will continue to let this all sink in and research this a bit yet.

For me, whatever handicaps come with VR are more than compensated for by the sheer experience of feeling like you are actually there in the cockpit. It makes a flat 2D monitor seem, well, very flat. The fact that it is harder to check your 6 than with a Track-IR or keep track of an adversary in a turning fight isn’t a negative point for me. IMHO Trak-IR makes it WAY to easy to do those things.

Labels are a big help in spotting distant targets. The problem is that they are a little bit too visible. I have done some tinkering with the labels config file and made things a lot better in that regard (Air Defense Gray labels for both sides, ID tags only popping in at 1 mile and then removed completely at half a mile). It’s not perfect, but a decent step in the right direction I think. If anyone wants to play with my labels.lua file let me know and I will send it over to you.

Hey Guys,
While there are some limitations, VR is the way forward. I tried to some training in the F-5 and I could not stand TIR. I just solved my USB loss issue by going into Device Mngr and turning off the pwr save feature for all my USBs.
I think PaulRix Nailed It! The handicaps are compensated by the sheer experience of the feeling. I say, I have never felt so connected with the aircraft and that makes me a better vehicle operator. I feel more invested in the proper handling of the birds now.
MiG-21 is just amazing in VR. The 15 really feels small and cramped. Like a Russian Lada (car) The F-86F is roomy and heavy like a Cadillac. However this week I am in the WW2 birds. All have different personalities and I think its unfair for me to say I like the 109 over the Mustang. The Kurfurst is Dark and Deadly, simple… The Stang looks the business with lots of systems and switches to learn. In both of these I love to hang my head outside and taxi. My roommate thinks Im nuts. The F-5 is also beautiful.

Aircraft unlike girlfriends, don’t care how many you take for a ride.

I’m still having issues getting halfway decent performance in DCS with the Vive, Not sure if its my settings or system. I am going to upgrade in the near future but I’d like to squeeze out playable framerates if possible. Right now the reprojection/judder is nauseating. I can get decent frames high up or looking at horizon or above, but looking down or into some cockpits is a nightmare.

I5-4670k, GTX970, 16gb ram. Game’s on an SSD

The Huey is amazing in VR btw. I was never a big helo fan as the lack of ‘feel’ for me was a major handicap, (I dont fly IRL but its not hard to see where that missing sensory input is a major disadvantage). But with VR just the sense of space and motion is so much improved that hovers and transitions are wayyy, wayy easier.

And I love how cramped that little F-5 feels!

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Mapped the UI VR Zoom toggle setting last night. Really nice. Solves some of the distance identification challenges IMO. Also makes the pits with small instrument labels much easier to read.

I just love VR in DCS!
I sold my 3440x1440 curved screen… Not going back!
I have model enlargment set to small, and yes, it’s hard to spot enemies. But this is not an easy task IRL either. I read that even as close as 2-3NM a trained fighterpilot has a 50% chance of spotting an enemy fighter.
About checking 6… Try leaning forward and turning your torso and neck to look at 5 or 7, IRL while being strapped to the seat and pulling G. I also try to keep the view, and the fight, in the vertical, which also is quite realistic. Forget Top Gun and grabbing the canopy to look back :smile:

Edit: Oh, yes! Fav. VR aircraft right now is the F-5E!

I’m jealous of all you guys. :angry: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: