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How To Nail the Best Flight Simulator 2020 VR Experience

We will help you nail a known-good VR capable state, gaining some added knowledge of what to tune for your particular
Simulation Rig.

Pre-Work For VR

Start by making sure you’ve properly installed your VR Headset and have tuned and overclocked your Simulation Rig. Without this tuning and setup, you won’t have all the horsepower needed to gain the full benefit of the VR experience.

Information and links to articles on tuning for VR below…

Scroll Down for SteamVR & Oculus Info

Software Required all Headsets

WMR Must be the Most Recent Release

  • 104.2012.9003 – or later


OpenXR & Tools

LINK: OPENXR Developer Tools

  • This utility for headsets will allow you to enable Motion Reprojection when running MSFS 2020 in VR
  • Your use depends largely on your rig horsepower and the current state of MSFS 2020 builds. 

Assume you need this feature at this time

MS Store: OpenXR Developer Tools

After Installation

    • Run OpenXR Developer Tools
    • Select the DEVELOPER SETTINGS tab
Openxr tools 1

Developer Settings Tab

  Turn ON “Use Latest Preview”
  Select the Motion Reprojection state as desired
  Click X to save and close

 Then restart your Rig…

Openxr tools 2
12/22 – UPDATE:
Updated OpenXR Developer Tools for WMR adds CUSTOM RENDER SCALE
    • Initial Setting 100%
    • Testing and more info to follow

SteamVR Use
As of  22.Dec.2020

  • Microsoft recommends Deactivating Game Theatre Mode as it may interfere with the sim’s VR mode
  • To use MSFS 2020 in VR using SteamVR you must use the current Beta version of SteamVR
  • Enable this in your Steam Library by R-Clicking on SteamVR and selecting PROPERTIES
In the SteamVR – PROPERTIES Window
    • Select the BETAS Tab
    • In the Select Dropdown, choose STEAMVR Beta Update
      (no code is required)
    • Hit CLOSE to save

Oculus Users

Before using VR in MSFS with an Oculus headset, the computer needs to know the location of the OpenXR runtime to use. 

This may already be set for you and no change may be required.

 Follow these steps to set this location in the registry

  • Right-click on your Start menu and select Run
  • Type in “regedit” (without quotations) and hit Enter.
    This will launch the Registry Editor
  • Locate the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Khronos\OpenXR\1
  • For ActiveRuntime change its value to the one that matches your platform (note: default path is shown below):
    • C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-runtime\oculus_openxr_64.json
  • Close the Registry Editor
Oculus Stencil Mask Issue
  • This has been fixed in the latest Oculus software Beta update!
  • You should be able to force the update by going under Settings – Beta – and deactivating and activating the Public Test Channel.
Microsoft LINK: Known Issues
  • The sim’s performance may be poor with the Mixed Reality Portal running in the background when not in VR mode
    • Workaround: Close the Mixed Reality Portal when not flying in VR mode
  • A few instruments may not always work properly in VR
    • Example: Setting the trim by clicking and dragging on the trim wheel will instantly set the trim to its maximal value
    • Workaround: Use the mouse wheel to adjust the trim
  • Assistance notifications will not appear when in VR mode
  • Labels in VFR map are cut in half
  • Gray boxes appear around signs and markers when selecting a Travel-To option
  • The panel reset feature is broken in VR and therefore has been deactivated in VR.
    • A fix is on its way
  • When both game menus (foreground) and toolbar menus (background) are open, the mouse cursor may jump from one to the other when moving across the menu.
  • There are a few instances where an item behind another will be displayed in front of it
    • Toolbar vs toolbar menus, location markers vs toolbar menus
  • When the toolbar is opened at the same time as the toolbar menus and when interacting with the menus, the cursor may position itself on the depth of the toolbar and not of the menu.
    • Workaround: Close the toolbar

Preparing MSFS 2020 for VR

Running MSFS 2020 in VR requires several controls be mapped and awareness of the settings that effect performance and the view.

These are best performed BEFORE you jump in, giving you a better overall experience.

If you want to fly in VR immediately after completing the setup, be sure to start the WMR PORTAL or SteamVR or Oculus VR software before launching MSFS 2020.

Watch for your headset to time-out before completing these steps, manage accordingly.

wmr portal
LAUNCH your VR Headset Software before launching MSFS 2020
  • Minimize the VR Software once it’s running
  • Start MSFS 2020
  • From the home screen, select OPTIONS/GENERAL to configure the VR settings
  • You can enter VR from the Main Menu by pressing CTRL-TAB and using the floating menus while in your HMD

    For illustrative purposes, this tutorial assumes you remain in flat screen until ready for takeoff
VR Control Location – GENERAL
Graphics: Click the Highlighted Slider shown for VR Settings
Switches between PC (Flat Screen) and VR Settings
The Graphics Controls shown effect only VR
Traffic: Click the Slider that says PC and switch to VR
VR Mode: Controls for entering VR and adjusting Pilot view
Rig: G2 / 9900K@5.2 / 3080 FTW3 Ultra / 32gb RAM / OS Tuned for VR
The VR settings items are similar to what you find in the
PC Graphics setup
  • Know that you will start with fairly low settings and work your way up, learning the impact of changes relative to what is most important to you in flight.
  • These settings are adjustable while in VR Flight by pressing ESC and selecting GENERAL from the menu.

Sample Settings and mixes will be supplied in another article.

Cockpit View Adjustments

Once you are in VR and have re-centered your VR Headset, you may need additional fine adjustments to the pilot view position.
 VR Mode Tab
  BUTTON to switch to VR (other than using CTRL+TAB)
  Translate Pilot View Controls Be sure to map DEPTH
  CTRL+TAB To Enter/Exit VR
Cockpit Camera: Translate Cockpit View
  • After making your selections, APPLY & SAVE the changes, and return to the Home Screen
  • At the Home Screen, select NEW (World Map) to start a flight

Flight Planning & VR Controls

  • This sample flight is in a Cessna 172 Skyhawk from KOSU in Columbus
  • Once your flight is planned, press FLY to begin the flight
CLICK the Pic to see more details
  • The AI is positioning the aircraft onto the runway for takeoff
  • Press READY TO FLY to gain control of the aircraft and be positioned for takeoff
CLICK the Pic to see more details
  • Positioned on the Runway
    (or parking spot of choice)
  • You have control of the aircraft
    (check the controls)
    When in VR
  • PRESS CTRL-TAB to enter or exit VR
  • TAB will enable the Pop-Up menus
  • ESC will bring up the OPTIONS menus
  • The distance of the toolbar menus from the pilot can be adjusted by left-clicking on the top bar and scrolling with the mouse wheel

Menus now remain in position when in VR and do not rotate with head movement

CLICK the Pic to see more details
  • After pressing CTRL-TAB to enter VR you will be presented with the centering request.
  • PRESS the SPACE BAR to recenter your headset.
CLICK the Pic for more details
Welcome to VR!

17 thoughts on “How To Nail the Best Flight Simulator 2020 VR Experience Leave a comment

  1. A dollar. I can’t thank you enough for your assistance. I was totally stuck until I found this. Oculus should say thank you too, the Rift S was heading back to Amazon.

  2. Any ideas on a VR overlay tool in WMX (OpenXR)? The standard WMR Virtual Desktop is quite limited in capability vs OVR Toolkit and OVRDrop but they work in SteamVR only. Also, for some reason the WMR VD keeps crashing MSFS when activated through the controllers.

  3. Thanks for the article Thud.
    Did u hear anyone else having world scale issues on FS2020? I actually have in all VR games, but DCS has the Force IPD that can fix it. Other games dont have anything similar.

  4. What about the SS resolution ratio of the G2? For DCS needs to be set to 50% for native resolution, otherwise the performance drops. Here is happening the same? Inside developer mode you can monitor the FPS and it says something about different resolutions.

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