Basics of Using VR in MSFS

David Elliot Guest

I've just jumped into the world of Microsoft Flight Simulator and am already a user of Oculus - I wondered if I could merge these two worlds together!

I'd love to use VR with FS but wondered if you could interact with the cockpit.  Also, what machine do I need to have to keep up with VR?  Finally, how does the VR flight simulator compare to a normal 2D screen?  Are the default aircraft compatible with VR?  Does MSFS support VR out of the box and is there official documentation regarding this - is it a documented feature?  If so, what is said about VR with MSFS?

Apologies for the many questions - I'm just eager to set up VR with MSFS and want to know if everything is fully functional.

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Pro Member Captain
Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

Hi there!

It's great to see you're excited about merging the worlds of Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS) 2020 and virtual reality (VR) using your Oculus headset. I'm happy to help you navigate this fantastic and immersive experience. Let's address your questions one by one:

  1. Interacting with the cockpit in VR: Yes, you can interact with the cockpit in VR mode. MSFS 2020 has built-in support for hand tracking and VR controllers, which allows you to operate the various switches, knobs, and controls within the cockpit just as you would in real life. This greatly enhances the immersion and realism of the simulation.
  2. Machine requirements for VR: To run MSFS 2020 in VR, you'll need a fairly powerful machine. The official minimum requirements for VR include a high-performance CPU (e.g., Intel Core i5-8400 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X), at least 16 GB of RAM, and a capable graphics card (e.g., NVIDIA GTX 1080 or equivalent). However, I would recommend having even higher specifications for the best possible experience, especially if you plan to use high graphical settings or add-on scenery.
  3. VR flight simulator compared to a normal 2D screen: The VR experience in MSFS 2020 is more immersive and engaging than using a traditional 2D screen. The sense of depth, scale, and spatial awareness provided by VR can't be matched by a flat display. However, VR can be more demanding on your system and may require some adjustments to your settings to maintain smooth performance. Also, some users may experience motion sickness or discomfort during long VR sessions.
  4. Default aircraft compatibility with VR: Yes, the default aircraft in MSFS 2020 are compatible with VR. The developers have ensured that all aircraft are optimized for VR, so you can enjoy an immersive experience regardless of your choice of aircraft.
  5. MSFS support for VR out of the box and official documentation: MSFS 2020 added native VR support in an update released in December 2020. The VR feature is fully documented and officially supported. You can find more information about setting up and using VR in MSFS 2020 by visiting the official Microsoft Flight Simulator website, and specifically their dedicated VR section, which contains helpful tutorials and tips for getting started with VR.

I hope this answers your questions and helps you get started with your VR adventure in MSFS 2020. Wishing you a fantastic and immersive flying experience!

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