Unfortunately, Flight Simulator doesn’t support VR controllers yet, which is a bit disappointing. I was looking forward to grabbing the yoke and fiddling with dials realistically. Instead, I had to use my Xbox One controller as always, and keep my keyboard and mouse nearby. Of course, if you’re lucky enough to own a flight stick, you can continue using that as usual. But you’ll still need a mouse around to control the virtual pointer, which is how you can hit the various switches, buttons and manage the game’s virtual tool windows. As a casual player, I never really saw the need to invest in a flight stick, but I’m certainly considering that now as I fall more in love with Flight Simulator VR.
Given how demanding the game already is, you’ll need to have a beefy system to truly enjoy the virtual reality experience. VR titles typically need to hit 90fps to effectively fill the 90hz screens on most headsets, which is far beyond the 60fps standard for 2D games. Flight Simulator ran smoothly at 90fps with medium VR graphics settings on my PC, which is equipped with a Core i7-8700k, RTX 3080, 32GB of RAM and a Samsung 980 NVMe. I couldn’t crank the graphics all the way up to “ultra” levels, which is how I normally play in 2D. Your experience may vary, though. (Sam Machkovech at Ars Technica had more trouble getting it to run consistently on the Valve Index, even though his system is almost identical to mine.)
Looking ahead, Neumann expects the VR mode to evolve much like Flight Simulator itself. He’s intrigued by the possibility of advanced haptics, which could make the game even more useful for flight schools as a replacement for bulky training machines.