Why is there no support for VR controllers?

I use head tracked target in DCS and find that to be pretty fast, but it requires that left and right mouse clicks can be bound to joystick buttons. It doesn’t require me to fumble around with hand controllers or a mouse. My hands stay on stick and throttle. The down side is needing to look down at the switch. But GA aircraft have all the switches in front of you for the most part. Instead of the cockpit neck yoga I have to do in the Tomcat occasionally.

I really liked XPlane’s implementation - but just for menus and moving and resizing windows within the cockpit.

I also have yoke, rudder pedals and a range of switches and panels built into a cockpit. My hands just know where to go to set switches. I don’t need to see my hands to find them. If you have yoke and pedals you cannot hold a controller all the time and you don’t need two controllers. When I fly in XPlane I just use one when I need a menu and then put it down and fly with my yoke, pedals and panel.

I think controllers will be necessary as there are far too many pilots out there with differing needs and budgets. Many will just want to dip in to flight sims from time to time and we need to accommodate them to keep the sim alive and in development. My solution is expensive and works well for me as I tend to fly just one plane.

For me the mouse is OK. I just need to build a flat surface into my cockpit as rolling the mouse over my leg is not the best experience.

My main concern is being able to bring in windows from other flight sim applications. I haven’t figured out how to do this yet.

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Have you tried the existing plugins\tools for it like OVR Toolkit? I am going to try it, but I am skeptical it will work as it appears MSFS does not implement any of the VR stuff other programs do. I have never tried OVR Toolkit, but am very spoiled by MoveVR in X-Plane.

MSFS simply has to add a ton of features to catch up with x-plane. It will be years. And just like the x-plane community, many salty over-stressed sim-users will always be screaming bloody murder about what features and bugs should be prioritized.

One funny one I saw in the Wishlist queue thing was “Replays, especially for landings”. Now, this sounds simple enough and indeed ‘FSX had it in 2006! FS had it in the 90s!’, but with this dynamic world I think they have a bit of a problem! LOL! At least that is what their response of “Investigating” implies to me.

Anyway. I really hope they fix controller integration both in VR and for G1000\GNS\etc. simulators. The old simconnect.dll methods are currently broken, and there are no joystick bindings in the controls setup screen - unlike x-plane where they have both comprehensive API access to these instruments, but also user configurable joystick inputs for many features missing in MSFS.

They have some update for joystick controls on the schedule for February. So fingers crossed I guess. Welcome to the ride of new massive software releases. I put $100 down to get the full version, figuring even a few planes and airport expansions easily cost the difference - and it would be easy to complain right now - but I figure, like x-plane 11, which I have had like 10 major updates and it has gotten truly badass, hopefully msfs catches up.

ALSO - hopefully X-plane figures out how to pipeline in the existing high-quality methods we use to create our own terrain and auto-gen sets for xplane. X-plane CAN look fairly close to MSFS with like 150gb of extra maps that take hours to crunch. That is a problem MSFS solves with cloud, but x-plane is not incapable of this level of effort. We have seen them do major overhauls with their modest team and their sim is still far superior to MSFS in all ways except those beautiful MSFS graphics. MSFS is gorgeous for sure!

“Have you tried the existing plugins\tools for it like OVR Toolkit”

I have been able to bring simcharts in game with OVR Toolkit but there is a noticeable performance hit when the chart is displayed (hiding the windows brings the performance back to normal so I use them for brief checks). I also noticed instability at one point which crashed MSFS when working in the chart window. That was my experience using it a few times.

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I quite like the current implementation of VR in FS2020, the immersion is miles ahead of staring at a flat screen. Mouse interaction kind of works, but is cumbersome at times. Would love to see support for VR controllers, and I urge the developers to have a look at the implementation in Boundless Dynamics excellent title “VTOL VR” - this is brilliantly done. Have only briefly tried VR in the free version of XP11, and liked how it worked there.
Just my 2¢.

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MSFS is absolutely stunning. A technological milestone in gaming of any type, and particularly flight simming.

That said the current VR implementation is 1/10. It is literally terrible. I understand your statements: VR in flight sims in general is incredible, and MSFS VR offers a compelling experience.

See. I agree. But the thing is, it is a 1/10 for VR flight simming. I can go on with a long list of why if you really like. The VR mouse is effing terrible, by the way. It isnt even close to workable. Not even close.

The VR expereince in XP11 went from a 1/10 to a 8/10 (what I rate it now) in 2 years. I expect MSFS to take years to mature to what we expect from x-plane (full instrumentation interface for our flight gear (simconnect in MSFS is whacked), and a workable VR experience).

Thank you for the report. I, sadly, find VR in MSFS to be unusable right now. The lack of full controller bindings for the G1000\etc combined with the lack of VR controller support means it is not yet usable in my opinion.

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I’m not sure how so many people seem not to have issues with the 3D mouse. For me, it takes ages to make it snap to the correct position to select the parking brake, or to get the “distance” right when trying to hover it over the options menu to change the weather etc.

I’m not sure whether this is a problem with this particular implementation of the 3d mouse, or with 3d mice themselves. Either way, the VR controllers are a far superior way of interacting with the cockpit. They truly exist in 3d space, just like the environment of the cockpit, and they increase the immersion by putting your hands in VR, as well as your eyes.

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I’m not sure how so many people seem not to have issues with the 3D mouse. For me, it takes ages to make it snap to the correct position to select the parking brake, or to get the “distance” right when trying to hover it over the options menu to change the weather etc.

I have the same problems as well. The mouse is on a different depth than the actual switches and sometimes it takes a little fiddling to find the right spot to click a switch. If the mouse worked smoothly and was in the correct “depth” it would be a lot better for using the mouse, but I do agree with you that it’s clunky and a pain at times in the way it is currently implemented.

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Their implementation is trash. The 3D mouse in Xplane, while few love it, actually works quite well.

At this point when people are defending basicall indefensible things for giant corporations I just assume they own stock, are totally fanboys, are shills, or all of the above. Mostly I assume they own stock.

We now also have a plague of RTX 30xx owners who want everyone to care how low their FPS are when they set everything to ‘Ultra’ and refuse to lower anything. It is like they have never flown a brand new flight sim before and are trying to apply gamer-logic to something that simply is not a game.

Edited to add: I assume they will be fixing all of these things and am relatively content to wait. Some acknowledgement that they will be fixing these things is always nice, but presumably they will update their roadmap thing soon enough, or maybe already have.

Try the Kensington Expert Wireless Trackball Mouse at Amazon. I saw a YouTube by a pilot who is using it with a knee pad strapped to his leg. It has a large dial that you can change frequencies and etc.

He says he likes it better than the controllers with his G2. I just ordered one and it will be here on Tuesday.

How does he know if he likes it better than the controllers if controllers do not work in MSFS?

Why amazon? B&H have it cheaper. The big ring wheel does seem good for simming, but the VR mouse is so unstable, keeping it centered with the trackball while twisting with the big wheel ring seems hard!!

I have a Logitech G502 Hero so I can “unlock” the scroll wheel and let it spin freely or “lock” it like a normal scroll wheel for fine tuning. None of that is an issue, the issue is trackball or regular mouse, it’s a pain to get the cursor to line up correctly on the switches and dials to actually do the action you want to do. The mouse cursor is either on the wrong “depth” most of the time (almost in your face at times) or is very finicky on the placement to get it to work the switch/button/menu you want to use.

The mouse in VR is very hit and miss, more miss than hit for the time I’ve put into it so far with the different aircraft.

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I assume by reference to using touch controllers in other sims.

I use a Logitech M570 trackball which is awesome, but I’d like to have the option for VR controllers too. I find the mouse varies from aircraft to aircraft. In some it works well and others it’s a pain… I do like how it stays grounded in relation to the aircraft vs eg DCS where it moves with both mouse input and head movement.

I think in general when combined with a HOTAS the mouse is easier to use, or at least will be when they sort it out. Not as immersive as touch controllers but more convenient.

My ideal really would be accurate hand tracking, ideally with haptic gloves to give a little click when a button/switch is activated. That way you jus take your hand off the joystick/thrust lever and reach out… that’s the dream IMO. I know there are some solutions out there but they aren’t quite there yet and certainly not mainstream.

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Reasons to add controller support, in case anyone important is listening:

  • It’s a major immersion factor to be able to use controllers as virtual hands to interact with controls in the cockpit.

  • When you have the headset on, you’re blind to the real world, so reaching and feeling your way around regular controllers is a nightmare.

  • One could only partially remedy the blindness problem by buying flight sim controllers. But even then, only a yoke, rudder pedals, and throttle quadrant can be used somewhat easily without being able to see them. Other important controls like landing gear, flaps, speed brakes, autopilot, comms, etc. will be difficult to find with the headset on. And people who already own expensive VR sets aren’t going to want to drop a lot of money on flight sim controllers when VR controller support should be part of the sim.

Having VR support without controller support is defeating the purpose and heavily stifling the experience.

Until MS introduce full VR control I have been using my Touch controllers as flying controls since the VR release.

Left controller for throttle, rudder, wheel brakes and flaps down.
Right controller used in rotational manner for aileron and elevator movement, flaps up and active pause.
Voiceattack is used to save fumbling for the mouse. i.e. ‘Map’ , ‘Air Traffic’ , ‘Gear’ etc.

The two videos below demonstrate the smoothness achieved. I hope they show what is possible. (I even included blue hands for total VR simulation… chortle!)
Click the 3 dots to download the vids if they don’t play.


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+1 for VR controllers support. I am sitting on a waiting bench right, waiting on a price drop in a few months and because FS2020 seems to be very early in release and has no actual game “content”. Yeah planes, airports, wonderful graphics, the world to fly around, but I am hoping to have career mode and missions, similar to NeoFly addon. Just flying around for 140$ game, plus the same price for a good rudder wheel, is a bit too much to get bored after two weeks.

i use a trackball as i have no space on my desk with twin jokes and the central cluster of logitech radio, autopilot, button box and old style rod tpm.

when i fly in vr i dont use the central console, jus the tpm rods, i ususaly take off in vr, switch to screen while flying for the intrument work then swithc back to vr for the landing

with touch controls i could probably do a little of this work in vr, but using the trackball in vr is a faff, its not intuitive, im in a vr space using a 2d input device, it doesnt feel “right”

I think you missed the sign “Don’t feed trolls”

I have found that for me, the best solution is to mentally memorize where my buttons, switches, and levers are on my yoke and throttle quadrant. This way I don’t need to rely much on a pointer (mouse or controller) in the cockpit and still get to enjoy the VR experience. Not the best solution, but it does work. I figure the average simmer is going to have a ton of hours in MSFS anyway so it is not too big of deal to just memorize the location and functions of the buttons while using VR until they are able to make improvements.