Immersion Breaking in VR

I flew a flight in late evening today and noticed some things that I think Asobo & Microsoft should address to improve the immersion of MSFS2020…while flying I noticed that the clouds on Real Weather were occasionally popping into another form and then returning to the previous look they had just a moment before. The cloud reflections (I have them on the highest setting) did not fully resemble the formations of the clouds in the sky…this is something I can overlook as it still looks beautiful as is…but, it does break the immersion with these issues. The terrain (mostly where cliffs were present) did the same, adding and subtracting sections as I neared the area and were mostly stable as I was over the sections in question…this should happen at a distance and lock in prior to becoming visually noticeable (maybe 3-5 miles away)…I know this is probably a setting that MS & Asobo have set so as to allow more systems to run the software at a reasonable rate…I also know that we can alter this somewhat with changes to the (I think .ini) file that controls visual distance. My system is set mostly for default and using OpenXR and OpenXR’s SteamVR implementation…which helps with these issues very little. So, I am wondering if anyone out there in SIM land has effectively dealt with issues like this to lessen or eradicate it? And if not may we get some input from the power that be at Asobo & MS to let us know if this is something we can fix ourselves or have to live with it.
Also, I have been trying out X-Plane 12 and thought it is far from MSFS2020 for the terrain and such…it does have a few features I would like to see implemented into MSFS2020. Such as, power lines at airports like S50 (where they are at the North end of the field and require planning to climb out sufficient to avoid them). Also trains moving on the tracks in the scenery. And the roads not including the tail or headlights of traffic in the actual texture file. Also, the vehicles have too short a track to follow so that they turn 180 degrees during the time you are observing them. Objects that are close to the water not to have water textures that mess with the building and bridge textures. And lastly the lighting of taxiways having taxiway lights in the middle of the taxiway…I know this might be fixed by third party scenery designers making airports more real world than what is default in the sim. And don’t get me started on the default IFR/ATC. Also, at airports that have ILS rabbits they are seen from too far off runway center line. And the airport beacons are not seen far enough away for realism. I think they should be visible out to 20 miles? Does that sound reasonable? These are a few of my gripes about the immersion in MSFS2020 and I love the sim as is but it could mature into the premier go to for simmers to learn and interact with these procedures and make the sim much better. If anyone has solutions for these issues please post them here…and not what I can do with issues (trust me I know where some want me to stick them HAHA). Anyway my system I run this on is PC i9-10900KF, RTX 3090, PIMAX 8KX VR, 32GB RAM 3200mhz, Samsung 970 EVO NVME (I think that is the name or could be SSD). Thanks for reading.


One other thing I did notice at KTIW was the windsock changes position on the field randomly or has multiple ones that are not one the plan view of the field. Just another gripe…sorry

There are about dozen various complaints in the first message, most of which (or all) were already mentioned in separate topics before.
And none of them is specific to VR, so topic caption is misleading.


Do you mean the approach lights (running rabbit)?

Imo the max. distance at which they can be seen - in particular during day time - is close to reality. And unlike RL they can be seen just as good and from far out in hazy conditions.

Well said as is the rest of the post.

Terraforming terrain: the most immersion breaking element in my opinion, and I too don’t understand why this is happening.

Flying through a beautiful valley somewhere, low and slow while enjoying the scenery. Just a bit to the left approaching me I see the side of the mountain with it’s colorful textures (I take another deep breath). Suddenly, right before my eyes the contour on the side of the mountain changes, it pops in and takes a different shape, and the texture also shifts and jumps (hello!, welcome back to the real world).

But the mountainside was drawn in fine before the annoying terraforming, why change it. And though I do see this happening in other VR or flat games, this should absolutely not happen in a VR title where immersion is key. Is it a bug, a design flaw, or is it a question of priorities between realistic GA flying from high above, or flying for sightseeing and exploration, seeing the world from the air and enjoying it’s wonders.

More attention should be invested in making sure that casual flying needs are cared for. There are other options out there for study-level aviation but none of them come near to being as breathtaking and immersive as Earth in MSFS from 800ft. That is the competitive edge.


I see the terrain morphing too, but not all the time… each flight seems to be different even when flying the same route.
Don’t know if anyone here is on the beta but .17 was absolutely insanely good for me and a lot of others, I even had tlod up to 200 and it was smooth, I knew it wouldn’t last and it didn’t, latest beta has improved on cpu but gpu is suffering even on 100 tlod. Now I feel like uninstalling it and washing my hands of the whole thing.
Can’t help thinking that they’re trying to balance it for xbox, and that’s ruining it for pc, especially vr users.
I’ve seen what is possible for vr and it was amazing but now it’s gone.
Hang on though, just set the toolkit to 23.5 locked and it’s butter, whereas on default when it dropped to 23.5 it was a stutterfest.
And 23.5 looks just as good as 31.

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I figured that was the case…but posted anyway…thanks

Yes the approach lights, but they are seen from an angle to the side that is un-realistic…should be about 15 degrees of of centerline. As far as distance out I have no problem with this setting when within the 15 degrees or less of centerline…thanks

I do not use OpenXR toolkit…does it make a huge difference?

It adds a few fps for me, and the colour settings give the terrain more realism.

I think you can avoid the popins by upping the OFF SCREEN TERRAIN CACHE option to med or high. Even low seems to help.

Biggest VR immersion killer for me is the camera position jumpimg around at the end of the flight when killing engine and electrical power.

I HATE it more than any other issue in the sim by a thousand times. It’s just sloppy, half done programming.


Yes, I can relate! Seems odd that’s the only way a flight could end if you want to go to cold and dark. Maybe the next sim update will fix it…snicker. :wink:

You should really give it a try!
The sunglass presets work really well if you feel the default daytime lighting is too bright and washed out. The dark tints make the 3d features pop out more looking down at terrain.
Also there is this cool night shade preset that makes nights darker and all the lights down below pop out on terrain. It gets even more immersive when you are coming in for a landing and pass all of the street lamps and houses at night. I can’t fly without OpenXR at this point.

Like why should my head pop off my VR shoulders and hit the cockpit ceiling when I turn the battery switches off :joy::rofl:


Yes, like every other issue is more a random annoyance. Things that are even normal in most 3D games.

Every time I end a flight in VR, my face is smashed into the instrument cluster, and then my head is rammed into the ceiling.

Someone mentioned the log book popped up at that point. It annoyed everyone so they removed the menu but kept the part that reloads the flight. Which for some reason tosses the camera position around.

They could make it a live menu, like the checklist, and eliminate the abrupt transitions.

In VR, it’s a violent and unsettling end to the flight.

I’ll usually close my eyes and curse Asobo when I hit the power switch.

I totally agree: I hate this disturbing end fo flight!

I never have this problem in VR with shaking of the cockpit at shutdown…what plane are you experiencing it in?

Every airplane does it. Do you have the log book come up? Do you do a full shut down to cold/dark?

One thing that aggravates it more is to reposition your VR camera position.

Steps are:

  1. Set “End Flight When Aircraft Shuts Down” to Off in Assistance Options
  2. At end of flight, exit the runway and park
  3. Turn Off Engine(s)
  4. Turn off main power bus switch

You should then get attacked and beaten up at the end of the flight.

I have “End Flight When Aircraft Shuts Down” on default…whatever that is…but I taxi to parking and turn off all switches on panel and then turn off pumps and batteries…then turn the magnetos to off…and the props stop spinning and no exaggerated motion in cockpit…just the log comes up and I select return to main menu…VR view stays calm…so I never see what you describe. I don’t know how I would get it to happen the way you all describe it. Sorry