How to make Virtual Reality in MSFS feasible for longer flight sessions (VR)

I love VR! But: It can get quite exhausting, especially when you’re supposed to stay in VR for an extended period of time (like almost ANY FS flight :smiley: ).

Hence, I was wondering if Asobo and MS have any plans to integrate kind of a “hybrid” VR mode. Here’s what I mean and what I would love to be able to do in MSFS:

  • Use VR for taxi, takeoff and departure
  • Put my HMD aside and fly enroute with my normal 2D-screen. Not just a mirrored, letterbox-like VR image, but rather something more elaborate; with capabilities like mouse-controlling knobs in the cockpit, using ATC etc.; basically the “classic” 2D-screen flight sim experience
  • Then for approach, landing and taxi put my HMD back on and seamlessly return back to VR

Hope that makes sense. Asobo said “We have started with VR, but we want to do it right.” - To me, this addition would make a perfect flight sim experience :slight_smile: Please consider it, if it is doable from a technical point of view!

I like the idea and thanks for it.
Hope to see it soon.

Yeah, the perfect solution is to be able to enable and disable VR at any point you want rather than launching the sim in a ‘VR Mode’ as some modern games do and the only way to disable it is to restart the game.
I think XP11 had something like this and you could ‘easily’ turn VR on and off but it was annoying as you had to go to settings every time and then it would load some stuff again so you’d be stuck on the loading screen every time.

You need to understand VR is very heavy on your PC. Simply turning off VR and turning it on isn’t as simple as you make it out to seem like. XP11 has all the loading because the game is being rendered differently than it is on the desktop. Being able to hop out and in VR while in the sim isn’t something that can be done right now unless you are a coding genius. As someone who has used VR for the past 5 years and currently owning a Valve Index, your idea is something that doesn’t even exist in current games or applications*. Most requiring you to restart to switch.

*seamlessly, its not possible. To switch with the app still running is possible but can cause lots of artifacts in your app such as memory leaks and overall low FPS. Take XP11 for example.

You need to understand VR is very heavy on your PC. Simply turning off VR and turning it on isn’t as simple as you make it out to seem like.

I agree! And, obviously, there must be a reason why modern games, as you mentioned, do not offer such a “hybrid” mode. I assume that there are technical issues on one hand, and “gameplay” reasons on the other: Most VR games are built as VR games from scratch and would not even work on a regular 2D screen (see how clunky HL Alyx with its 2D mods, for example).

Being able to hop out and in VR while in the sim isn’t something that can be done right now unless you are a coding genius. […] seamlessly, its not possible

We are talking about MS (and its contractors) here. They are the owners of the underlying OS as well as the Windows Mixed Reality platform as a whole. If anyone is capable of pulling something like that off, it’s them.

And at the end of the day: This is a wish list. My dad used to tell me that I could wish for anything. If I would ever get it is a different story :slight_smile:

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I have Prepar3D v4.x and you can turn VR on / off as you like. I don’t remember whether you could map a key or button to do so but def via the menu.

Of course it doesn’t matter now cause fs2020 on a monitor is better than P3D in VR - even with my Orbx Pacific Northwest scenery.


That’s what exactly I’m thinking about. As mentioned by others, Prepar3D have the magic switch of turning on/off VR, but at the meanwhile it is somewhat not quite VRized as XP, for instance, there is no support for VR controllers.
Give the option for switching back to flat-screen flying during cruise will help alleviating eye-strain and other VR induced uncomfortableness when you flying for long hours.

Isn’t this exactly the way it is implemented now? I know this is an old topic, but I think it can be closed.

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Yeah, you’re about 7 months late to the party :slight_smile: But I agree! It can be closed.

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Usually there is a message at the bottom of a thread like " This topic will close a month after the last reply."

Looks like this thread does not respect that rule? Maybe the mods should close it - I’ll flag this post to let them know.

To be honest I don’t think so, because while you can easily switch VR on and off - for me to be able to properly run VR means changing my ‘PC’ resolution to 640x480 windowed with low-end settings. This way the game renders full power to the VR headset and not to my 2D screen. If I want to fly on 2D screen I have to go to settings and reconfigure it all to whatever is best for 2D experience again.

If they could build it like I could switch to VR while it also automatically makes the 2D screen go to superlow settings, and when I disable VR it goes back to 2D settings that are how they should be in 2D - Only then this hybrid mode would work properly for me :slight_smile:

The auto-close feature has been removed from some categories on the forum. In particular wishlist topics, VR, Bugs & Issues. Some topics may still have the auto-close if they were created prior to the removal. If you do see a topic that is auto-closed and you feel it has value for the community, send a private message to @moderators and we’ll re-open it.

Wishlist topics are only closed when a feature has been fully implemented.

Isn’t the 2d image just a copy of what is sent to the headset? It shouldn’t require extra gpu power

I agree and I respectfully disagree with @Bamsnl ! To me, it sounds like what you are doing is redundant/not effective. From my experience, settings for VR and desktop are treated separately. What you may consider is setting MSFS up for windowed mode when flying in VR as that allows you to change the size of the desktop viewport on the fly. You shouldn’t have to switch 2D settings to lowest when flying in VR. Do you actually notice a difference?

Interesting, I set it like this as it is mentioned in several VR performance guides. I do see a huge leap in loading times. The game boots and loads flights much faster, like literally a full minute faster. However I have not tested if it actually saves in FPS in the headset, I basically took that for granted as it was highly recommended in several topics. But if this is the case, that it only saves loading times then I may just go hybrid mode from now on!

I fail to understand why it needs to display any image at all. It’s not like it’s useful for anything. A normal window stating you are in VR and should CTRl-TAB out of it would be enough.

Wait what??
Switching in and out of VR is seamless with MSFS.
I simply mapped one of my HOTAS buttons to VR Mode switch and another to active pause and another button to VR recenter.
Its like muscle memory clock work for me now to go in and out of VR when I feel like doing so.
I don’t get any lag or stutter while doing so as long as I hit active pause button first and the VR/2D switching is pretty darn smooth.

If this is true for you then you’re not using the sim correctly. It treats flat-screen and VR settings completely separately. You absolutely should NOT have to adjust any of your flat-screen settings to make any difference in your VR settings. They are not related to one another at all.

“Mom, Bathroom! Bathroom, Mom!”

I tested it yesterday and to me it drastically lowers loading speeds when both booting up the game as well as loading a flight. I also get a lot of stutter in my VR headset when the flight just loaded up, I have to wait a minute or so for it to settle, then its fine. When in low-end and 640x480 settings this stutter issue is gone - and boot times are so much faster I’ll stick with it for now.