VR: DCS vs X-Plane & mild woes with the latter

I’ve been playing so much DCS in VR lately that when I went back to X-Plane in VR this weekend a wave of utter disappointment came over me.

While it’s still wonderful to sit inside my Piper Archer III or the majestic DBM 900, I strain more to see gauges and basic instruments in X-Plane than in DCS. I have to zoom-in to read most things and especially the G1000 twiddle-fest. This got me thinking: is there not a way to set the VR default view in X-Plane to be slightly more “zoomed-in”? Sure it’s first-gen VR but I can view gauges and DDI info much easier in DCS.

Once I’m up in the air things are not so bad. ORBX True-Earth GB South and Central looks absolutely stunning…so long as there isn’t a cloud in the sky and visibility is no more than 25 miles say. But flying with Active Sky XP (which I waited for, for years to arrive in X-Plane…) is totally unusable. I now enjoy summer blue sky flying in the UK, which suits the ORBX one season scenery quite nicely :wink:

DCS: I can fly in a storm and land in cloudy low-viz in the rain. I’m not saying DCS is perfect, it has it’s own limitations but given that both have had to adapt to and essentially adopt VR, I’m currently feeling deflated at X-Plane’s current VR experience and state.

Wondering what your thoughts are? Is there something basic that I am missing that might enhance VR in X-Plane? I am trying to enjoy the experience for what it is while not looking at the numbers, but stutters when closing a cockpit door for example, bring me right back to pre-VR/pre-TrackIR FSX nightmares and those ‘tweak more than fly’ days of old!

(Note:I have lowered resolution, run in windowed and followed all the tips, tricks and plugins I can find)

I also attempted to fly with TrackIR again, but I’ve become a VR addict. I don’t care what the quality is, I just need it man!


Edit: using the Odyssey+

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I think that DCS is one of the best VR experiences out there. ED have done a great job with it’s implementation.

If you are using a Rift, DCS uses the native Oculus drivers/platform, whereas X-Plane uses SteamVR. That gives it a slightly different feel. It also doesn’t play well with Oculus ASW, so you have to switch it off if you want X-Plane to run without glitching.

I really wish Laminar had implemented the Oculus drivers if you are using a Rift, because I believe the results would have been great. Of course, it would create twice the work, seeing as no other headset can use the Oculus platform. Anyway, DCS right now is the gold standard for VR flight simulation.

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If you’re using an O+, give these a try:

OpenVR ignores all those settings.

I think it is more to do with just how efficient X-Plane is at rendering. In 2D do you get better performance in X-Plane vs DCS at the moment? It would be about the same sort of performance regardless of using the Facebook/Oculus drivers direct or not I think, and nothing to do with VR particularly. Laminar doing all this Vulcan work should help, but we’re not going to see that soon - maybe end of this year.

VTOL is nice. IL-2 BoX and Aerosoft FS 2 could make a strong case as well, if we are just talking about VR implementations and performance.

Thank you for the feedback @PaulRix I’m glad I’m not the only one :confused:

@fearlessfrog thanks for the O+ post and link. I’ve done something similar to this before but with all the tweaking I know some things are not set the same… will report back!

I do enjoy VTOL-VR and yes, Il2 BoX is possibly on par or ahead of DCS with VR adaption/adoption!

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One other X-Plane specific tip in VR, is that I do hate that ‘dip’ in framerates on coming up to a complex airport. I used this to try to help that, it isn’t super simple to set-up but does work quite well for VR. It adjusts your scenery complexity on the fly, to keep the frame-rate a little higher for VR:

Yeah…honestly, as far as painless setup, beautiful graphics, and a generally great feeling of flight…Aerofly FS2 is really nice. I really love shooting approaches with that HUD in the Q400…and the VR hand controller integration is really good.

Strange, because I have to disable ASW using CTRL+Numpad 1, otherwise it gets kind of jumpy. So, Open VR may well ignore it, but I guess the Oculus side of things needs ASW switched off with X-Plane.

Agreed, all the sims you mention are great in VR.

More for @Lennyman as he doesn’t have a Rift, although I don’t know when he edited and added he had an Odyssey.

On my Rift some of the highest FPS and smoothest sim VR I’ve seen has been with the OpenVR only IL-2 BoX.

I think X-Plane being macOS as well has to avoid the Windows only Oculus SDK.

That makes sense. BoX works well with my Rift, no argument there. Imagine how great it would be if it used the Oculus drivers! ;). I’m just joshing with you :crazy_face: .


When Facebook sell the PC VR business unit to Lenovo and just move to mobile only, then hopefully they’ll take out the ‘if Steam then Sleep 200ms’ code bits in the Rift driver. :wink:

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I never even considered that.

Has Facebook actually ever SOLD anything I thought they just devoured thing horizontally and vertically. Have they bought Snapchat and Instagram yet?

They’ve never sold anything, other that your data :wink: but then again in the first five years of their existence neither did MySpace. In the last five years MySpace sold a lot of things, so you never know. :slight_smile:

Facebook own Instagram but not Snapchat. If any social network gets traction they buy them, they’re up to about 79 acquisitions so far.

Thanks @fearlessfrog, I’ve got that up and running and do see a couple frames improvement.

@BeachAV8R I never considered Aerosoft FS2 until today. How do you guys find it. Like you guys I love accuracy and procedures, does it come close?

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I think aero FS2 is best as a VFR sim, as I don’t think it has things like FMS’s or SID/STAR support as yet. It runs really smoothly in VR, but for IFR and heavy metal then I don’t think it’s close to XP11 or P3D as yet.

Sorry to not have read this whole thing but I am forced to a quick browse this morning.

With my Rift X-Plane was a problem. That is until I learned about the Oculus Diagnostic Tool [EDIT: Oculus Debug Tool, actually]. With this I can kill ASW (essential on my machine) and apply a 1.8 multiplier on the pixel count. I am sure whatever platform that drives your headset has a similar workflow to achieve the same thing. With it, I find X-Plane looking better and clearer than any other sim I play.

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