The new PC from Microsoft Flight Simulator increases: yes, VR mode is finally good

Anyone who has played a flight simulator knows that screen real estate ownership is key. Your 16: 9 TV or monitor is fine for most video games, but flight simulators have to do with the space awareness of sitting in a cockpit, watching a massive console of buttons and virtualized screens, and having your sight air framed by windshields and windows.

A wider monitor is better for this simulation, while freakin ’virtual reality headsets open up the virtual sky, but at the expense of the high demands of VR processing.

Since July 2020, the teams responsible for Microsoft flight simulator they are committed to offering a truly playable version of VR game. This promise began months later with serious turbulence, and after my first tests, I warned interested fans to prepare their stomachs for a bumpy trip.

The only stuttering should come from the air up there

This week, my tune has changed. Now I recommend that anyone with a high-performance gaming PC and VR headphones do their best to try MSFSVR mode. This is due to a giant patch that was released alongside the new version of the Xbox Series X / S game. The patch is geared towards the CPU-based performance of the game and offers much more stable frame rates, as well. either on a standard monitor or spread across a pair of VR headset lenses.

The biggest difference comes from a direct comparison to my first VR test scenario, as it ran on a platform with an i7-8700K CPU, Nvidia RTX 3080 GPU, and 32GB of DDR4-3000 RAM. In December 2020, I noted that I was not able to upgrade the game up to 90 fps to the lowest VR setting, while the resolution was reduced to 60% of the native count. Using the same platform this week, I can increase the graphics setup a bit more, run the native resolution at 70% and reach a frame rate much closer to 90 fps.

One of the main contributors to the previous poor performance was the marked time period. The number of stutterers and spikes in the game has dropped dramatically thanks to the latest updates to the PC version, so even when you fly over a more populated city and MSFS can’t keep up with the demands of a 90 fps update, the frame rate still hovers around 80 fps.

This enhancement is the secret sauce to withstand lower frame rates in VR. You may be fine with a slower upgrade within the confines of a slow-moving virtual airplane, especially since then MSFS it revolves around the intentional and careful piloting of realistic shots, unlike the dog fights that cause a whiplash. If that means you want to run this game with slower hardware or configure multiple settings to reach a maximum frame rate of 72 fps or even 60 fps, it will give you more power.

Now, with drastically reduced CPU-based stuttering, I can safely say that PC-VR enthusiasts no longer need the most expensive platform imaginable to see what MSFSVR mode may seem like it.

As in my console version tests, I crafted selected scenes with cherry to learn about virtual reality practices. Some are full of massive cityscapes. Others are boring and desolate terrain. And a few required him to fly through valleys with intense terrain and strong weather systems to match them. I found that dense cities were more likely to cause slight decreases in frame rate than massive stretches of nature, while all scenarios were still subject to strange and occasional pauses of up to 10 seconds. I’m not sure how much these pauses had to do with the game’s servers being hit by the new console owners, but the deceptions were certainly annoying, though I’ll take these kind of pauses to the constant stuttering of the PC versions and VR. old.

Also, keep in mind that geometric details are still strangely transformed as you approach virtual reality. This is because an aggressive detail level slider keeps the game demanding at a smooth pace. Between this problem and lower-resolution elements such as textures and water reflections, your brain won’t necessarily be fooled into believing you’re on a real-life flight, even if you surround your virtual reality platform. with realistic and satisfactory PC control systems. Unless you have a supercomputer of the future, you’re in VR to increase visibility and overall comfort, not to get photorealistic images. (Although in certain settings, particularly in the Seattle gallery, MSFS it can still look very good in VR, thanks to the smooth operation of many of its weather systems.)

I also tried some VR flights with the AMD RX 6800XT on the same platform and was surprised to see that the GPU struggled more to achieve comparable frame rates. I hope fixing this is a matter of small patches for Xbox Game Studios or AMD, mostly because I expected AMD to win this particular battle (since Xbox Series X / S consoles already take advantage of AMD’s RDNA 2 GPU architecture ).

One caveat: blurred instrument panels

The same optimizations can be found throughout the non-VR version of the PC game. This is great news for anyone who has been able to try it before MSFS by a temporary subscription to Game Pass and then rescued. If it’s you, I recommend flying MSFS on the PC once again.

The best way to higher average frame rates in RVs is to reduce the resolution MSFSVR graphic menus. After that, all you have to do is make peace and allow the minimum of shadow-related alternators. Environmental occlusion is a great graphic option to allow much more realistic shadow touches to cabin objects. At the same time, it reduces VR frames much more than it is worth.

Start by entering the SteamVR “Developer” settings tab and enable “Frame Time Display” or “GPU Performance Graph”. This setting will put a little extravagant box at all times. Once this monitor is activated, start a fast virtual reality flight instance in New York or London, wait a minute for all the data transmitted in the cloud to be filtered, paused, played back with various graphical parameters and pressed ” to apply”. You’ll see an immediate effect on the frame time graph while you’re pausing halfway through the game and you’ll want a count of approximately 11.1 for 90 fps, 12.5 for 80 fps, or 13.9 for 72 fps. When you see a count approaching any of these refresh rates, stop pausing, flying normally, and watch the graph to see the performance variation before returning to the menus and adjusting them once again.

Your preferred result will likely require a severe reduction in resolution. This would mean blurry text in dashboards, but also a solid default solution of distant details using the game’s built-in antialiasing methods. (In other words, if you use a newer virtual reality game, such as Valve Index, HP Reverb G2, or Oculus Quest 2 and it appears in the distance, it won’t look like a blurry scene from the HTC Vive 1.0).

Be sure to disable all SteamVR “reprojection” options for MSFS. This system does an especially bad job of resolving a blurry, constantly moving propeller in your line of sight.

If you dive into virtual reality as a result of this article, or if you’ve been in a hurry to do so since the release of the update about 24 hours ago, I’d love to know your own test results and recommendations in the comments section below.

Image of the Xbox Game Studios / Asobo Studios listing

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