Best VR Headset and what gear do I need for PC

Hi guys,

still a bit new to this but looking for best possible VR headseat for MSFS and also, what else do I need to interface.
Any ideas?? Thanks :slight_smile:

The PC side is easy, the fastest currently available. I have a 4090 & 13900k and I run it locked at 45fps with no issues (TAA not DLSS) but I’m nowhere near maxed out graphically on the settings.

Headset is a little more subjective. The pixel count doesn’t tell the full story. I still run a valve Index which is really comfortable, great field of view & has active cooling (an addition). The resolution is showing its age against the latest offerings. I’d tried a Meta 3 which had amazing colours and clarity but the comfort for me was bad and the lack of cooling was apparent almost immediately. The owner of said headset is really pleased with it after sending back a Vive Pro 2 & Pico 4. I would suggest you try a few headsets out. I’m waiting for the fictitious Valve Deckard to be released…

For the best VR experience I would suggest the best PC with the best CPU and the best GPU you can afford.
I currently use the AMD 7950x3D cpu and still a rtx 3090gpu, while waiting for the upcoming rtx 5090 to arrive in about a year from now.
As for the VR headset, I use the Pimax Crystal, which currently seems to give the best possible picture.

so these don’t connect to graphics card at all, through USB-C or what? Apologies I’m a nerd but not that much here I’m afraid.
My graphics card processes the display and somehow produces via USB or what. I have no idea!

I’ll add the pc is
12th Gen Intel(R) Core™ i7-12700 2.10 GHz
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070

Usually the VR headset have two connectors. The larger plug connects to the display port of the graphics card and USB plug goes into a regular USB port on your computer backside.

@OriginalHaggis For hardware your absolute priority in VR is the GPU. At the resolution even a ‘middle of the road’ headset like the Quest 3 needs, not even an Nvidia 4090 can run it smoothly with maxed settings. You will pretty much always be GPU limited in VR.

Nvidia 50 series cards are rumoured to be releasing towards the end of this year though, with hints at raster performance being ~50% better than a 4090 at the top end. That probably still won’t be enough to run the sim with anywhere near maxed out settings, but it will be a welcome boost, perhaps even finally allowing native 72 or 90 fps in some cases with medium settings.

CPU is the second most important, and unless you plan to run a lot of side applications at the same time as FS then an AMD 7800x3D is probably your overall best choice. For raw CPU performance specifically in FS, it goes AMD 7950x3D (properly tweaked), 7800x3D, and then Intel 14900ks in third place. The AMDs are a lot easier on your electricity bill in the long run though.

As for headsets, there really is no “best” in a way, it’s all a matter of priorities, preferences, and cost.

The Pimax Crystal could arguably be considered the simmer’s choice at the moment, but the software is buggy (though slowly improving), it weighs a ton, is expensive, and as mentioned is very much a tinkerer’s headset. The image quality it can provide is currently unmatched, but you have to be prepared for some frustration and significant tweaking to get the absolute best out of it.

For decent image quality, ease of use, and good performance vs price the Quest 3 is an easy choice. Its resolution can’t touch the Pimax, and investing in a third party headstrap is pretty much mandatory to have any hope of comfort while wearing it, but it’s relatively light and easy to set up, and performance is quite good with virtual desktop.

Both have built in inside-out tracking as well, which is a major help. I primarily use the Crystal when simming for pleasure, but when developing it’s Quest 3 all the way, just for the ability to put on and take off the heasdset quickly and easily, without having to worry about any wires.

The “one headset to rule them all” for simmers though (maybe) is on the horizon, the Somnium VR1. It will have the same resolution and clarity as the Crystal but in a much lighter and more compact form factor, and with higher FOV than either the Crystal or Quest 3, and wired, so no battery life nonsense. The downsides are that it will be very expensive, probably $3000 - $4000+ all in, and it will require Steam VR base stations for tracking, which are also kind of pricey, and can be hard to get sometimes. It should be launching in the next couple of months sometime.

Hope that helps! Whatever you decide to do, VR is totally worth the hassle!

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I can only second the advice above:

  • 4090
  • fastest CPU you can afford (7800x3D)
  • Pimax Crystal (if you budget can accommodate it)
  • Quest3 (if your budget is limited).