Newsroom News Breaking Comics Tags RSS
News video games 23 December 2020, 19:50

author: Bart Woldanski

Microsoft Flight Simulator Gets VR Mode That Takes Down Most PCs

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 on PC finally got support for VR, which enables the players to feel like a pilot of a real plane. The update also brings a number of minor changes.

Asobo Studio released a free patch called Sim Update 2 (1.12.13.0) for Flight Simulator 2020, whose biggest attraction is the addition of long-awaited support for VR. The simulator supports all OpenXR-compliant VR glasses, which includes devices from the Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) family, such as HP Reverb G2, Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Oculus Quest (using Link cable). Such a wide support for VR goggles is welcome, especially in the face of Microsoft's initial announcement that the VR mode in MSFS was to support only HP Reverb G2. In the official FAQ, however, it was added that the game was best optimized for HP Reverb G1 and G2 and Samsung HMD Odyssey+.

VR support in Microsoft Flight Simulator increases the level of experience to a new level, but it requires a powerful PC and/or big compromises in visual settings. Even without the feature, the simulator is one of the most hardware-intensive titles. The minimum system requirements for VR mode, coming from closed beta, are as follows:

Minimum system requirements of Microsoft Flight Simulator in VR mode:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8400 2.8 GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X 3.5 GHz
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 8 GB or equivalent
  • Storage: 150 GB
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit (version 1909)
  • Internet connection: 5 Mbps

There's no shortage of gamer impressions on the web. One of the VR mode testers that played on a computer equipped with an Intel Core i5-8600K CPU (overclocked to 4.8GHz), 16GB of RAM, and a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti with 11GB of VRAM had to tinker with the settings quite a lot. Only to ensure that the animation is smooth at 30 fps, which, according to the author of the following video, is sufficient. This involved not only choosing lower graphic options, but above all lowering the render scaling, which scaled down the native resolution, a factor with the greatest impact on both performance and image quality. Oh, the things you do to literally in the cockpit of an airplane and feel like a real pilot, gliding through the skies.

The latest patch for Microsoft Flight Simulator brings many minor improvements and changes, including, e.g. new training missions for the Airbus A320Neo and an expanded live weather system that takes into account actual ice and snow. The full list of changes introduced in the 1.12.13.0 update can be viewed here.

Microsoft Flight Simulator debuted on August 18, 2020 on PC only, meeting with critical acclaim. There are also plans for an Xbox version, but its release date is not known yet. By the way, it is worth adding that the game is available on Xbox Game Pass subscription on the PC.

See/Add Comments