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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


You are generalizing way too much with this blatant statement. If you have a powerful CPU and GPU (RTX 3070, 3080, 3090) with medium to high graphics settings in ACC, it's working fine in VR.
If you need a 30-series card to run a game that got release before the cards, it means someone screw up somewhere when they made the game. It's not normal that you can have a better experience with AC + mods than you have with ACC in VR. Yes when you crank the graphics ACC looks good, but it is so badly optimized that I would'nt suggest anyone to get it.
Personally, I think VR is the way to go. I have a really hard time with depth perception without it. I don't have a top of the line computer and I still enjoy it. The most annoying thing is the Aliasing and the screen door effect but after 5 minutes, you don't really notice it as much.
If you need a 30-series card to run a game that got release before the cards, it means someone screw up somewhere when they made the game. It's not normal that you can have a better experience with AC + mods than you have with ACC in VR. Yes when you crank the graphics ACC looks good, but it is so badly optimized that I would'nt suggest anyone to get it.
So by that logic, GPL was a screw-up as well.
Vr now is a perfect experience. Hot? A bit, but powerfan wind simulator fixes that, resolution? At 2.0 ss its pretty close to flatscreen in games in terms of resolution. So its only 4 years back in time but you get depth perception, and its realistic!

But, yeah you need a 3070 or above to be able to 2.0supesample.

You got a 3070,3080 or 3090. Then NO VR NO BUY! :)

Ps. I get motionsick very easily but setting up the games cameramovement the right way fixes that. Also sit "in the car". There is alot of settings that fixes this seriously. Pm me if any questions.
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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.
I got pcars2 to be veery good in vr, just a tip.
Simracing in VR is definitely something you should try, if you can afford it and your head (and PC) can take it . . . Tips?

I can recommend you to buy one at a store where you can return it ‘free of hassle’ if you don’t like it (like CoolBlue in NL). That’s how I got my hands on an Oculus Quest 2 (with Link cable and Elite strap) on Xmas last year. I could have returned it but I decided to keep it because it delivered what I was expecting and a bit more.

That “you are in the car” mantra is true. You feel immersed, visually: the depth-perception in a VR set is much better than on a screen, as is the sense of speed. If you can make the most of these perks you can improve your laptimes for sure. I can’t use VR for longer than 30 minutes (I wear glasses and get dizzy eventually) so long sessions are a no-no BUT it is really good for practice, which is what I use it for: learning the track’s 3 dimensions and finding the fastest line there.

I also play other games in VR (SW: Squadrons is absolute fun) and the rest of the family enjoys some native titles (Beat Saber, Space Pirate, Journey of the Gods) so you can also look at acquiring a VR set as an investment to your gaming hobby in general, not just Simracing. If you don’t mind sharing it. ;)

I got my Quest 2 with 64 GB (once you buy a game you can install/uninstall freely) for €350 back then. It's also a stand-alone (I use the cable for Simracing only) so the family can use it in the living room. This model has been discontinued but the 128 Gb goes for the same price (just checked). At Amazon it’s more pricey so it may be worth looking at a local retailer. I don't need 'extreme' graphics but my 2070 Super performs pretty well. That does it for me. Maybe it does it for you as well.

That’s my experience, hope it helps someone. :thumbsup:
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I love it in openwheelers, especially karts, but it gets sweaty. After an hour or so it strains my eyes.
Lucky me i got a curved triplescreen setup with 170 degrees of image.
To test VR try with Automobilista 2, it is perfect for VR.
My hardware: 1080Ti, 7700k, 16 mega memory, Oculus Rift S.
Detail almost thoroughly in the games, super sampling 1.8 because I do not see the difference with the 2.0. I have no worries, impeccable distance display, perfect even in the long straight of the Nurburgring.
I am never sick, even in reverse! :) but I had to fight against "seasickness" at the start of my VR experience in 2018 more or less.
I started several years ago with the same computer but with a 1070 and an Oculus Rift CVT (the Rift S is much cooler because better image quality and above all more sensors which often lost the signal too often, took 2 usb 3 and required a large useless game space in car simulation) I drove on Assetto Corsa (perfect for VR) and then on PC2 I had to reduce a lot of parameters to get a good refresh rate (I don't know if i use the correct expressions in english, excuse me if you have difficulty understanding me! ;-)
Finally, I am an old gamer, I went through many games before arriving on "Formula ONE" by Microprose, the first simulator for me, I have known many technical advances since then, NOTHING gave me such slaps that the first time I was able to put the VR headset on my head and where I found myself on my circuit of Francorchamps (Spa) that I know really well, I am Belgian.
For those who tested VR a few years ago, try again! the progress is enormous with the new materials, and for a very democratic price you can now have the Quest 2 which is very multi-functional.
But multiscreen is also great, each to their own.

A little GP video, we made progress, didn't we ??? ahahah!
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VR is something I eventually want to get, but at the mo it seems it's either for those with plenty of moolah (for the best experience) or those willing to compromise graphics fidelity to get VR on a lower budget.

I'm wondering if RD has done an updated VR buyers guide recently, with all the new tech, info etc in a concise and easy to digest way. Especially with regards to how easy is it to wear glasses and or means to ameliorate bad eyesight within the headsets(if even possible)

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