What about a cockpit sharpness slider in options?

…kind of when they go low, we go high?

I have been involved in FS for decades, but admittedly am a complete noob regarding VR, having received my first headset (G2) just recently.

Waiting for the 22nd, I installed Aerofly FS2. Wheew, breathtaking immersion with great clarity in scenery and cockpits! A fascinating new world opened up, and then FS was just a few days out!

Unfortunately, FS quickly turned out to be somewhat disappointing. Not because of the notably lower framerates (to be expected with tons of additional computations and processes to handle), but mostly because any text in the the cockpit is so very hard to read unless I zoom in very close. I find myself more deciphering the PFD or the MCDU than actually enjoying flying the plane. In Aerofly an A320 flight from SF to LA had me smiling all over, the same experience in FS is tiring and makes my eyes feel strained.

I have read uncountable posts on how to optimize and have experimented for hours. I indeed got the VR visuals to improve, let’s say from frankly unuseable to acceptable. But whatever I turn down mostly results in better framerates, but hardly raises instrument sharpness, sometimes even degrades it. A trade-in of features and lower scenery quality for higher cockpit rendering seems impossible.

So here is my question: Since for the sake of VR I am willing to sacrifice a lot of the features like traffic, reflections, bloom, water waves, rain, high LOD, photogrammetry, you name them, sparing the engine from a lot of computations, shouldn’t I be rewarded with sharper and eye-friendly instruments? Is there any way to achieve this, or will any downgrade in features, or upgrade in graphics card/processor only further raise frames but leave the cockpit clearness basically untouched? Or has the FS rendering engine been written this way (low scenery quality=low cockpit quality) and I am just looking for the impossible?

Specs: 377X with 32 Gb, RTX 2070S, Reverb G2

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I heard that a lot of other sims render the cockpit completely separately to the outside world in VR. Xplane apparently does this and so does (I think) Aerofly FS2.

They do this because the cockpit is relatively ‘light’ to render, but has a massive effect on smoothness and the VR user experience, whilst the outside world is ‘heavy’ to render but it isn’t so noticeable if it slows down from time to time. For example you will very easily notice laggy, blurry instruments and a juddery cockpit when looking around, but if a distant tree is a bit blurry or the scenery rendering drops a frame or two it is hardly noticable.

I am not sure if MSFS is using this technology, they did talk about it in one of the preview videos a long time back (before the game came out) so maybe they are, but from the VR experience I have had I don’t think it’s working right, if it’s being used at all (the cockpit experience often lags and judders here).

Using this technique you wouldn’t need a slider as the cockpit is always rendered in much higher detail and as a much higher priority, as it’s much more ‘in your face’ so to speak. It’s probably why you notice things are much clearer in other sims.

When you go into general options in VR one of the top things on the right is a resolution slider. This only works for VR and it directly influences the sharpness of everything you see, including the text. The higher you go, the sharper the image but it does hit frame rates. At 120 the text looks perfect, but I run at 80 for butter-smooth frames and I just lean forward if I need to quickly read something small.

Set it to 120 and see if your hardware can maintain framerate.

Certainly true, but it impacts the whole rendering process incl. scenery and kills frames. Having the cockpit rendering in a separate process would allow us to choose between better scenery resolution OR better instrument readability without sacrifying frames.

Please read this:

What is affecting legibility (far and close)

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Thanks Captain, not one post of yours I would miss. As a non-techie I am basing all my settings experimentation on your findings and suggestions.

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I found on my Reverb G1 that i had to open Mixed reality portal display settings and set “Experience Options” to best visual quality and resolution to native instead of adaptive/upscaling. Once in set this i had perfectly clear instruments. I still have pixelated poor visual quality outside world - so for me still some way to go to find the right settings and enjoy VR.

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