VR and Vatsim?

With the release of VR, I wonder if there are already first experiences of combining VR and Vatsim? How can a client window like Vpilot be addressed in the VR view?

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There’re several possibilities, actually. It’s basically the same way I do it in P3D by using overlays in your VR.

If you’re using standalone WMR, go to the cliff house before launching MSFS and click on the Desktop application. Make the window to follow you (icon on the upper right corner of the window) and disable “switch desktop automatically” on the bottom right. When switching on VR in MSFS, the desktop window should be visible for you in VR.

The second option, and the by far most sophisticated one, is to use SteamVR for WMR and purchase the Steam app OVR Toolkit. It will let you show whole desktops and/or individual programs (like vPilot) in VR, and you can resize and place the windows around you in whichever way you want (NB: You need to change a parameter in its config files to show the mouse cursor on these windows, but I can elaborate on this later if requested). You can even let it hide the windows when you’re not directly looking at them, so that the immersion in the cockpit doesn’t suffer.

I’m a bit surprised that it works right out of the box also in OpenXR, as I was under the impression that it’s limited to OpenVR for now. This little tool has a great support, weekly updates and is the best thing ever for a VR pilot. I myself mirror my old MacBook in VR and have all the information (like flight plan, check lists, weather, etc.) right there with me.

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I’m more on Pilotedge these days so I guess my question is are you doing text or voice? If its voice its literally no different. I never need to see anything on my machine unless I need a frequency or to write something down. In that case I usually just flip the headset up and let it rest of my forehead a sec, write/get freq and back to vr. If its text based that could get clunky since you’d need a keyboard on your lap. +1 for OVR Toolkit though, I’ve used that to bring in my iPad or a streamer chat window and such. The UI might be a tad confusing at first, but you figure it out pretty quick.

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It also depends a bit on the plane you’re flying, ofc. In the MD-80 and some others, you can access METAR via ACARS, hence no need to have a browser window around you. It’s a different story with your flight plan and the checklists, though…

On VATSIM it’s also a bit different from PE because you often get a call by a controller, requesting you to contact him on his frequency, which you’ll need to look up in the client. On PE you’re covered from A to Z and don’t need to look up frequencies, I suppose.

However, and that’s something important I forgot to mention before: You need charts! I’m using Navigraph on my MacBook–and thus in VR via OVR Toolkit–as well.

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It would be fan-freakin-tastic if the dev of avitab made his plugin for this sim. That plugin is top tier for XP11.

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I’m trying to get the first solution to work (WMR/OpenXR without SteamVR). The process works until I try to bring a different app than MSFS into focus. Once that happens, MSFS loses audio and input. Is there a way to make this work?

I always tried with a whole desktop on a another display. I assigned ALT+TAB and WIN+Y to two buttons on my mouse and was able to control the programs over there…

Not entirely sure what you’re looking for, but if you want to give SteamVR a shot, OVR Toolkit is the best, most flexible and most elegant way to go.

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If someone at Asoso/Microsoft had spent some time doing market research (eg actually trying the other major sim on the market that has VR) then they would have included some kind of virtual tablet in the implementation from the beginning, as well as controller support. And split rendering between the interior of the cockpit and the outside world.

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@TheMacallan1605 if you post a video on YouTube or any of Facebook MSFS VR groups, so many, and I mean SO MANY will appreciate it since we all want to bring other windows especially ForeFlight in my case to look up approach charts and even do a VFR flight using a sectional chart. Please let me know if you’re able to do a tutorial or even a text document on how to, we all will much appreciate it :+1::+1::+1: BTW thanks for your reply and directing me to the post .

So it does look like it should be possible to bring individual apps (rather than the entire desktop) into WMR/MSFS using the WMR Follow Me button as @TheMacallan1605 suggests. I tried this last night bringing just the Windows 10 Photo Gallery app into the cockpit which worked fine; the only (possible minor) issue is audio of the flight simulator disappears when manipulating the Gallery window/slate. It might be possible via an audio mixer setting to solve that, but I’m unsure.

So I guess the challenge might be to find out how to make the desired app to appear as an option in the available list of WMR apps. I’m not a Vatsim member (not brave enough!), so I’m not sure what exactly is needed.

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I just flew a full vatsim flight with the desktop app/follow me method and had no issues with audio or anything. I pulled my desktop into the cockpit and had it sitting roughly where the EFB/tablet holder is. I had my navigraph charts and flight following working with no problems and also the vatsim app and also an internet explorer app for when I got bored.

As OP suggested, I assigned alt-tab and win-y to my mouse and was able to switch back and forth without problems.

I don’t know if it matters, but I have two physical monitors and have all my addons open on the 2nd monitor and the game itself on the first monitor. That way when I use the desktop app, I only have to disable automatic desktop switching and keep everything on the 2nd monitor’s view.

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I’m (@TheMacallan1605) not the OP but still happy that it worked well for you! :slight_smile:

I also had my first VATSIM flights in MSFS tonight (2,500+ hours in P3D though) and I had a nice experience using OVR Toolkit. It works nicely, just need a new rig for better performance.

I’d love to, but I neither have the time nor the skills to do this… But I’ll try my best to write a little tutorial here, of course.

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Guys, I reached a solution through OVR Toolkit but I am unable to bring the new window Inside MSFS because I am not seeing my headset controllers
bring the windows in…any thoughts? I think I may be doing something wrong but not sure what

Just to follow up my own post, I found an in-game option ‘mute audio in background’ which when turned off resolved the audio switching issue.

Thanks for all the replies and recommendations here. From your feedback, as some of you have managed to find a working solution with 3rd party tools, I am still wondering if importing windows into the virtual cockpit is a functionality so essential that it should be included into the sim itself.

This brings me back to a pre-VR post of mine where I collected some VR feature requests, see here.

I wonder if it would be worth opening an official VR feature request list for VR? How could this be done?

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The ominously empty tablets and tablet holders present in the airliners are just begging for charts and other windows to be put in there. Charts are coming, supposedly. Not sure about other things.

VATSIM staff here :wave:

One thing I come across from time to time, is having to forcefully disconnect someone as they are unresponsive, only to have them reconnect or send me an email afterwards explaining they were in VR and couldn’t see messages in the client.

You need to make sure you’re able to see and respond to messages in a timely manner - you can change the default incoming message sound to make it louder should that help. :smiley:

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The ideal 3rd party solution for bringing thins into VR would be VRK (Virtual Kneeboard), I need to look into that… I could never make it work in XPlane, but the developer is very active. It wouldn’t work for the client though, I don’t think…

I’m currently working on a MSFS addon called “Virtual Flight Bag” (aka Avitab for MSFS) that will allow you to bring PDFs, images, maps, Charfox and eventually Navigraph and various other things into a native MSFS UI window in VR.

For VATSIM use it’ll also allow you to type text notes or draw notes with a stylus and graphics tablet.

I’ll look at any ways to integrate more VATSIM functionality if any of the VATSIM clients have APIs

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You’ve got my vote. And a big thank you! I imagine this will be a complex process.

Cheers

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