VR User Interface

Having tried almost all of the VR flight sims out there, my biggest fear is how the VR UI will be implemented. Taking examples from FlyInside or X-Plane is hopefully not the intended path. I have no idea how to draw the devs’ attention to it, but Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) has the best VR UI I have experienced yet.

  • Single dot in the center of eyes that acts as a mouse pointer
  • Bindable left and right mouse click buttons
  • Bindable mouse scroll up/down for know turning.

This configuration easily allows you to fly mouse/hand controller free the entire time. I can cold start an F-14 and deploy complex weapons systems simply by looking at the button and interacting with it quickly. It’s flawless.

Asobo, PLEASE note this and explore it? DCS has a lot of work to do but their VR UI is second to none.


I prefer use the oculus touch to take the throttle and push and pull with my hands. A point into the center of view is annoying. It’s better to switch the panel with hands. Mouse into VR is awful and a 2D heritage. If I fly into a VR cockpit without table I can’t use the mouse, however I can use the yoke, pedals and touchs.

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Agreed! The hand controllers are for sure fun to use. However, when using a HOTAS, that’s the last thing you want to be reaching for. Too cumbersome grabbing the throttle, dropping flaps, lights, etc. on final while fumbling around to grab the throttle again in VR without haptic reference and make digital contact to a throttle handle you can’t feel.

DCS offers the use of the hand controllers as well as a specific version of haptic gloves (not sure of the name) but a majority will fly with the look and click due to HOTAS use and QoL.

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I know it. I use Saitek/Logitech yoke and quadrant for throttle/rpm/mix and the Oculus touch at same time. I place the Oculus touch over the copilot seat in a real chair. When I have to switch a control I use the touch, when I have to give power, the quadrant. But the mouse, never!

I like hotas + mouse in VR most too. X-Plane have some problems with WMR controllers. Like if you want to use switches, controller should be up side up. With mouse it is easier and faster (like DCS). I fly behind table and sometimes table is in way when I try use controllers.

It would be best if we could use both ways. X-Plane VR mouse have (or had?) serious problems with cpu speed so I have used VR controllers with that. Maybe I should try mouse again if vulkan has fixed that.

I think Aerofly FS2 have the best VR implementation.

None of us can afford an augmented reality headset that can do 4K at high fps (probably doesn’t exist yet). But I’ve wondered about physical controls and VR. An AR headset that allowed you to see controls down at laptop level but still projected wraparound VR around the room at a higher level but overwriting the background with the sim view you’re supposed to see. With more cleverness, AR could make the physical controls in front of you seem as if they were really part of the sim plane’s structure. I imagine if this were at all achievable, it’s years down the road.

I agreed, but Aerofly2 isn’t a full world flight sim imo

I have several VR flight simulators & I agree Aerofly probably has the best interface. Since I can’t see my yoke & buttons on it, it’s had to use so I want to do everything in the VR cockpit. You do need to rest your arm on a armrest, so kind of like flying a Cirrus with the side stick even when it looks like a traditional yoke. Looking forward to tying MSFS 2020.

I felt if sims focused on polishing Leap Motion support more we could have had something golden.

Flyinside were the only ones to do anything with it.

Now Leap Motion is pretty much in the junk pile of obsolete hardware/software along with 3D Vision.

I hate when this kinda tech doesn’t get it fair chance at being great.

BTW shout out to Flyinside staff for even giving us a breath of new life into FSX back then!
I had a great time with it!

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I agree, Leapmotion works well in Flyinside flightsim :slight_smile:

I’m a big fan of the Xplane implementation. I can do everything with Touch controllers and my rudder pedals. Using a yoke with Touch controllers is awkward at first and never that great but the ability to just reach out and flip switches and twist dials greatly increases immersion.

Flying helos with Touch controllers is really good because the level of sensitivity is so high you can just think what you want to do.

I concur, the DCS head mouse is very intuitive for flipping switches and knobs even in combat. Bind mouse buttons to your throttle or use a finger mouse just for the buttons and scroll wheel.

I tried many simulator in VR mode and i think the best is the solution of Xplane.
If you do not have space the touch controller can resolve this problem, it is sufficient point the button you desire or any other object in the cockpit to activate it.

Flyinside or Aerofly FS2 are surely more immersive because they use your (virtual) hands but you have to physically move to reach the command, it becomes difficult for those who do not have space and you risk bumping into something (the monitor, the desk, etc.) without activating any especially into very large airliners cockpits.

I hope than Microsoft and Asobo take in account this, before to release the VR version…

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I use them all and they all have good aspects. I’m a big fan of the X-plane interface, but think Aerofly is the best, but also love the way the glove latches on to the controls in DCS, so I’d like the best of all three if that’s possible. I want the hands from Aerofly, the pop up menu from X-plane around the hands, the ability to customise the controllers from X-plane and the latch on to controls from DCS.

Yes Xplane VR i find more natural than P3D especially with how the controllers are used. Its pretty intuitive. Have not tried DCS in VR although it looks amazing. I hope VR in this is implemented similar to Xplane. The Zibo is definitely more VR compatible than the NGX was in P3D for me. VR was an after thought for the NGX. I hope the new NGX3 is made with VR in mind from scratch.

Default X-Plane has nailed VR as long as the developers use the right manipulators during the aircraft development.

If you want the gold standard of VR, look at the Zibo 737 - You go to grab a knob that requires twisting, you get your controller and you reach out and twist it. You want a 2 or 3 position up/down switch, you reach out, grab it and move it with your hand.

Just don’t forget the yoke and pay close attention to the throttle system. It’s easy to get caught up in trouble here with multi engine aircraft and those with reverse/beta.

No need to reinvent the wheel here like the Camera system in FS2020, borrow from people that have done the hard work before you is my opinion on this.


Using your hands to reach out and touch things is a problem when you’re trying to do it near a desk. That’s the main trouble with trying to use physical controllers and VR controllers together. But with xplane, I sit in the middle of my living room with only rudder pedals at my feet and use the Touch controllers for everything else, from navigating menus, dialing, flipping switches, even the yoke and throttles, and it works quite well. The yoke is the only part that isn’t great, especially when you have to look into the cockpit to adjust something. It’s easy to get off course when you have no visual or motion cues. But otherwise, it’s the closest you can get to feeling like you are really there. Especially for flights where you will be using mostly autopilot and only using the yoke for climb out and landing, is really the way to go.

I just had an idea about how to overcome the problem of losing the sense of yoke position when looking into the cockpit while using Touch controllers for yoke. If there was a small cross maybe a top corner of the screen that indicated aileron and elevator deflection that appeared when you looked into the cockpit, or a small artificial horizon. That would go a long ways towards countering that problem.

Personally I’ve been using a visor without VR controllers: joystick, throttle and trackball (VR mouse pointer), all securely in their own spot and easy to find when I’m in VR. Hated the VR controllers after doing my very best to like them in at least 3 flight sims, ymmv of course.

The idea of the ‘dot between the eyes’ is ok. If you tried Elite Dangerous in VR you know it works very well :slight_smile:

I don’t doubt the dot between the eyes works well, but for me it breaks immersion in a big way since that’s not how you do it in real life. In Elite Dangerous, that wouldn’t be such a problem because who’s to say that isn’t how things will work once we’re regularly traveling the stars but for planes, I like to reach out and move things.

To each his own.