Do you race in VR?


  • Total voters
    198
Sim racing is a perfect gaming format to experience with VR, but some in the sim community are very pro-VR while others are holding back. Have your say in the comments below on whether VR is for you, and why.

A good Virtual Reality sim racing experience is hard to beat, but technical limitations and limited developer support has slowed the growth of VR. So, we want to hear from you. Is VR worth having for sim racers in 2021?

While the global stats on its use on Steam puts the percentage of VR in the single digits, most sim racing polls put the percentage of users who at least own a headset in the 25-35% range. Even with this high level of VR owners, many high-profile racing franchises such as F1 and WRC have yet to implement official VR support. Other sim titles like Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2 and RaceRoom have supported VR for years, and are enjoyed by thousands of sim racers around the world.

For many in the community, VR is the only way to sim race. This crowd even has a slogan: “No VR, No Buy”. Undoubtedly, there aren’t any more immersive or exciting ways to experience sim racing visually than to virtually control the head of the driver. The first sim racing experience in VR is something most people don’t quickly forget. Sitting virtually in cars most of us will never get to drive in real life at a track most of us will never get to experience is undeniably cool.

VR Sim Racing 02.jpg


Contrast the above list of pros with some known shortcomings of VR, and you end up with a divided set of opinions. Among those who have tried VR sim racing and moved on, two of the common complaints are that the video appears grainy and the frame rate is too low. Both issues can be mitigated with higher end hardware, but the cost of such hardware is prohibitive to many. A byproduct of a lower framerate in VR is often motion sickness. Motion sickness can occur in VR at any frame rate, but it’s more common with sub-90 FPS experiences, and makes Virtual Reality impossible for some.

It’s also possible that we’re only in the infancy of VR, and the next generation will improve the visually quality and frame rate even on affordable GPUs and HMDs. Other than flight simulators, no gaming format takes advantage of a VR view quite like racing simulators. If the demand for VR continues from racing gamers, the developers will hopefully look to make support more commonplace in future titles and improve the experience in kind.

So, we want to hear from you. Do you use VR? What keeps you coming back or keeps you away from VR, and what do you think the future will hold for VR sim racing?
About author
Mike Smith
I have been obsessed with sim racing and racing games since the 1980's. My first taste of live auto racing was in 1988, and I couldn't get enough ever since. Lead writer for RaceDepartment, and owner of SimRacing604 and its YouTube channel. Favourite sims include Assetto Corsa Competizione, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally 2 - On Twitter as @simracing604

Comments

"For many in the community, VR is the only way to sim race. This crowd even has a slogan: “No VR, No Buy”. Undoubtedly, there aren’t any more immersive or exciting ways to experience sim racing visually than to virtually control the head of the driver."

Exactly this, after getting used to VR there is no way possible to return to screens (even not 100 inch, on which I raced before or 3x 65 inch triples, it's not even comparable in terms of immersion).

But only with good VR glasses(SHARP image) en good/fast hardware(minimum 3080). I have the Reverb G2 + 3080 and for me it's the minimum setup to enjoy VR. With lower resolution headsets and lower framerates then 90fps stable I don't have the same type of immersion.

"The first sim racing experience in VR is something most people don’t quickly forget. Sitting virtually in cars most of us will never get to drive in real life at a track most of us will never get to experience is undeniably cool."

This was not the case for me, my first sim racing VR experience was with the first Rift. I was extremely pixelated and for that reason it was even unplayable for me. I was not so impressed at all to be honest. At that time I didn't want to change my "flat" setup for VR. But after the Reverb G2 was released; I switched and now I can never go back to regular screens.

Edit: No VR no buy! :D INDEED :D
 
Last edited:
VR still has some major flaws that can't be avoided, those being resolution, hardware requirements and all the sweating caused by having a headset on. I can fully understand why some people think it's not worth it. A good triple screen can give many of the same advantage. VR is still some years away from eliminating those problems, but once we can do human eye resolution at a reasonable price companies can start working on the other flaws.

VR is still new, it's still developing. I still prefer it for a number of reasons. I love he immersion, the depth perception is a major one for me. I also find that it's a small setup that doesn't take up much room. For someone like me that has to break down my rig VR makes it really easy to do.
 
I would like to use VR but i can`t
I have tried it few times, but already at the first corner almost vomited :confused: :sick: After that i was dizzy for 2 hours.
Motion sickness is since ever a problem in my gaming life. I have already problems with 1person shooters....
So for me No VR
But ok while i don´t know it i don`t miss it that much.
 
RaceNut
Premium
The most immersive gaming experiences I've ever had have been in VR, including Sim-racing, I love it. When combined with proper physics and effective sounds, ffb and motion effects, it's the next best thing to reality for me.

Unfortunately, ongoing health issues keep me from using VR but, I'm counting the days until I am able to resume using it again.
 
Ardylicious
Premium
The tech is just not there at this moment. As a peripheral it has limited quality software. And VR was suppoed to open up a world of immersion, not just head movement. Great for sim racing but i am not sure at this moment it can carry the mantel alone? Maybe in 5/10 years. And if the AMS2 boards are anything to go by, the bitter superiority of VR users is humerous at best.
 
Last edited:
Hello,
74 old, 20 years real racing, 10 years simracing, 1 year VR.

VR + low frequency vibrations seat + good wheel make me very happy.
The VRHelmet give same result that real racing helmet.

But, the VR setting is quite difficult and need time to be correct.

Olivier
 
McGherkin
Premium
I love driving in VR. It's incredible. It's got a fair way to go, but even now it's just brilliant. It will be the way to do it, when the hardware is better and cheap.

I didn't even realise just how good the 3D effect would be, I thought you'll get the whole looking around thing, but I never expected to actually have a wheel sat there in front of my face.

I'm surprised that fans haven't been incorporated into VR headsets yet in the way that they have in FPV goggles for RC stuff, they make things a lot more comfortable.
 
Last edited:
Funny that this article comes out now, just as I've ordered my first ultrawide after using VR for sim racing exclusively for over 2 years. I needed to put the monitor back on the rig to try out WRC 10, since my usual method of using the virtual desktop in the HMD failed to work correctly. A few things on VR and why I've decided to give 2D another go after a very long while driving in VR:

1. Developers should be striving to include VR support in their games. ESPECIALLY the newly released titles. It doesn't matter if only 1% of the population owns/uses a VR headset. The amount of sim racers that are using it is MUCH higher than the general public % breakdown and it is the PERFECT use case for VR. There is no debate on this. Whether you're an avid VR user, someone who thinks it's cool but prefers to race on a screen or one of those screechers that has to berate anyone that asks a developer in 2021 why they haven't included VR support in their title. You CANNOT deny that VR has its place in sim racing and every title that supports it is better off for doing so.

2. As good as VR is for actual driving, myself as somewhat of an ambassador for VR completely understands how much of a ball ache it can be to actually get working satisfactorily. The graphics are worse, the performance is hit and miss and the comfort is so much poorer than just using a monitor. Keyboard functionality is garbage / non existent and then you have titles that don't support it at all. So there are many more cons to VR than pros. But the one massive pro is that you're actually in the car when using it.

3. VR is almost perfect for motion systems, especially those that use actuator based motion. It's so much easier not having heavy monitors bouncing around with you which is something I've never been a fan of. Small spaces also suit VR much better as you don't need to worry about where to mount your triple screen setup or that very wide 49".

Conclusion: I decided to give 2D another try after coming from triples into my first VR experience in the Rift CV1. I realised that with very little practice I could drive on a screen comparably to how I'd drive in VR. Combined with the other factors I've mentioned above, and with the advent and rise of the ultrawide monitor all the way up to 49" "almost triple screen" resolutions, it was about time I gave it another go. I love how most of the titles look on a screen after spending so much time in VR. I am at heart a graphics whore, no doubt. But couple that with nicer colours, sharper image and higher refresh rate, the whole experience actually has a brand new set of positives about it, that are different but equally important to the ones you get in VR.

So, I'll always advocate for VR being included in games, but suspect that from the time I mount my ultrawide onward, I may just be converted back to the 2D world for a good while.
 
Last edited:
MrBraindown
Premium
I played on a single, flat screen for years, but made the switch to VR about two years ago and never looked back.

All my reasons are as clichéd as they come, I've nothing really unique to add to the usual list of pro's, but (as I’m sure so as many people will say) its the feeling of total immersion that does it for me, its total unsurpassed and it can never be replicated via a single screen.

My driving is much improved, I can judge corners, distances better and I instantly notice if I'm carrying too little or too much speed into certain corners.

I felt pretty nauseous when I first tried it, but I was very careful in the beginning to ease myself in. A massive fan really helped, but now I can easily do a couple of hours without being adversely affected.

The only drawback I suppose is the graphical fidelity, I run a 3080/Rift S (soon to be upgraded) and I feel I've got all the sims (ACC included) pretty dialled in - they all look really good (relatively) but I'm not a graphics snob, so I'm easily pleased.

If you're on the fence about trying it, then I highly recommend you do, but beware, once you've gone down the rabbit hole, there is absolutely no way back....
 
No VR for me because I'd rather spend my $$$ on something else. With VR, I would have to update my PC and buy a headset. I have to be frank: I've never tried VR, so I can't say if it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I know that I'm very susceptible to motion sickness and I'm pretty sure it would happen with VR. So I would have to try before I buy.
 
Last edited:
Mantas Jokubauskas
Premium
I personally have no option of running VR (the downside of Laptop Gaming, lol) but I have tried some racing with it some time ago and it was fun, mostly because of the mentioned Depth Perception. However, since my equipment can't handle VR well (even if the laptop has a 1050Ti), I do no VR - I don't mind if the game has VR, but the game needs to do it properly then.
 
Alot of people also forget that when people say "No VR, No Buy" it doesn't always mean they refuse to go back to flat screen. for example having a racing seat setup with no monitor mount. even though I want to play through the career in F1 2021 I cant justify buying new equipment to play one game when I can just hop in Assetto Corsa or Automobilista 2 and still enjoy myself. to be honest, racing games with no VR I still may play but I swap to a Xbox controller.
 
Older sims like Automobilista 1, RBR, GTR2 in VR (mod) are blast on todays hardware. No aliasing flickering, visual details same you would use on a monitor. Modern sims are not enjoyable for me yet as the visual fidelity must be reduced to work decently in VR.

Since I enjoy racing in VR I sadly dont play modern sims anymore due to that.
 
Last edited:
Steve Bird
Premium
The most immersive gaming experiences I've ever had have been in VR, including Sim-racing, I love it. When combined with proper physics and effective sounds, ffb and motion effects, it's the next best thing to reality for me.

Unfortunately, ongoing health issues keep me from using VR but, I'm counting the days until I am able to resume using it again.

The above was my best VR experience ever. I haven't played in VR for absolutely ages and certainly haven't touched AC for a year or so but during the recent Le Mans 24 hour weekend I decided to run AC in VR and install SOL and CSP 1.76 and it completely blew my mind.
 
Last edited:

Article information

Author
Mike Smith
Views
31,486
Comments
437
Last update

Share this article

Top