Oculus Quest 2 settings for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

The current state of PC based VR in 2021 ranges from:

  • OMG this is incredible, it’s so immersive it feels like you’re really there!

to

  • The low FPS is terrible, stuttering and motion tracking lag, ugh this is making me seasick

I just got an Oculus Quest 2 to use with Microsoft Flight Simulator with the Link cable. I was surprised that out of the box it’s actually a terrible experience with MSFS, horrible framerate (< 10fps), and jerky, laggy head tracking. I could only handle it for about 5 mins before taking it off. My initial reaction was that I was disappointed. I know from reading online though that plenty of people are using a Quest 2 over Link successfully and are pleased with the results, so some searching around found a number of threads recommending optimal settings.

tldr; if you’re prepared to spend time tweaking driver and and app settings, the Quest 2 with MSFS really is an incredible experience, and for the low cost (compared to something like the G2 Reverb), I’d definitely recommend it. To get it running smoothly though, you need to make a number of updates and config changes in a number of different places:

  • Disable any onscreen display overlay type apps, e.g. in onscreen display in Ndivida settings and disable the Window 10 Game bar. There seems to be a known issue with onscreen display apps that either the Quest, the Link drivers, or MSFS cannot handle correctly right now, resulting in the display in the headset flickering back and forth between MSFS and the Oculus Home app
  • Update the Oculus software to Beta and accept the updates to run latest beta versions
  • ymmv but for me the SteamVR approach was much less smooth than the Oculus OpenXR software. Try both and see what works best for you. Others reported the SteamVR software was smoother for them

Here’s my specs for comparison (specific details here):

Asus X570 mobo

Ryzen 5 3600XT

32GB DDR4 RAM

Corsair MP600 m2 NVMe SSD PCIe Gen4

RTX 2060

There are a couple of useful threads where you can find the majority of these tuning tips, these 2 specifically:

https://forums.flightsimulator.com/t/quest-2-2080ti-link-fs2020-set-in-ultra-best-performance-simple-setup-guide/346291

and

https://forums.flightsimulator.com/t/my-2070-super-vr-settings-and-suggestions-index-steamvr/321913

For the majority of my settings I followed these exactly and tweaked slightly to get the smoothest settings I was comfortable. Here’s screenshots of the relevant parts:

Nvidia control panel:

Oculus app: 90hz and 1.3 was recommended in one of the threads, but I went with 80hz and 1.0 that I found was much smoother:

Oculus Tray App – start as Administrator and leave running when you run MSFS:

0.8,0.8 FOV had a significant improvement to the framerate. Any smaller than this, like 0.7,0.7 and I could noticably see the reduced field of view in the headset.

Link settings:

I’m not sure how much difference these settings made. I played around with the Bitrate for example between 250 and 500 and didn’t notice any improvement to the quality or the framerate.

For me, the combination of all the above settings with my hardware resulted in very playable and smooth output in the headset. I don’t think the graphics are as sharp as they could be, but I’d rather have smooth and less sharp than super sharp and detailed but juddering around when I move my head.

I was very surprised that the Quest 2 does not produce good results with MSFS and the link cable out of the box, but following some of the recommendations you find in the linked forums threads should get you good results.

Are Augmented Reality phones closer than we think?

The idea of a completely clear phone that you can look through and which projects data onto the world that you see through it’s lens is not completely sci-fi when you think about what we’ve seen already with products like Google Glass, and the upcoming Microsoft Hololens. Google Glass was not true augmented reality though, as it presented data to you in a screen to the side of your vision, and not presenting images blended into your normal field of view.

Oculus has been paving the way for the past few years with the development of their VR headset, recently being released in March this year (2016) after the company was bought by Facebook for a staggering $2bn. Clearly, there’s serious interest in the technology and application of VR. There’s been a number of different phone related VR headsets, like Samsung’s Gear VR developed by Oculus, the HTC Vive, and others. The upcoming launch of the Playstation VR headset set for October 13 could be the one that bring’s VR to the masses. At $399 (but requiring a PS4 console), riding on the Sony and Playstation brand this could bring VR into many households this holiday season.

A couple of stories recently caught my attention. Robert Scoble has recently been tweeting about an Apple patent for a completely transparent phone, a solid piece of glass, with the electronics tucked into a narrow strip a the bottom. The patent is from 2014,  but he makes some guesses in his longer post on Medium about where he thinks Apple are heading with this. Based on discussions with hardware and material suppliers he draws some conclusions about what he thinks Apple are planning. He also thinks a device using this technology might be coming much sooner than we think, as soon as September 2017. I won’t summarize everything he covers in his article, you can read it for yourself, but he does paint an interesting picture of the possibility of a tech giant like Apple making a serious move in the AR/VR space. Could Apple be about to bring this technology to everyday consumers, like they did for portable music players and the smartphone? Time will tell.

The second story from earlier this year is the $780m in funding raised by Magic Leap, a company developing AR related technology. Google is also behind $542m of this funding. What’s interesting about Magic Leap is that they’ve been largely off the radar, but have apparently developed a technique of realistically presenting images directly into the user’s field of view. They don’t yet have a beta product, and whatever they have in the works is being kept under wraps. Whatever they have, there’s definitely significant movement and growing interest in this space right now, it will be interesting to see where they’re going.

Will Facebook bring Virtual Reality to the mainstream?

I’ve been wondering for a while whether Virtual Reality is just one of the technologies that is technically amazing but only has niche use cases, and is probably doomed to never become mainstream. The fact that Facebook bought Oculus for $2bn has puzzled me for a while though. Is Zuckerberg planning a virtual reality interface for Facebook? That’s kind of weird and puzzling (I’ll come back to this thought in a minute).

There’s been a lot of movement in this space recently. Possibly the flashiest demos have been Microsoft’s video demos of their Hololens, but according to some sources this is still at least 5 years out before it becomes a real product. Sony’s Project Morpheus was renamed Playstation VR recently, promising to be released for the PS4 ‘some time soon’. Given the ever decreasing lifetimes for current gen consoles, this probably means a lot sooner than Microsoft’s plans, probably within a couple of years at most.

Oculus Rift has been in development for a long time, before recently getting bought by Facebook. Dev kits have been available for some time, and their site says coming Q1 2016. That’s pretty soon (within months at this point).

Now back to Facebook. Yesterday they announced and released a number of ‘360 videos’ that play from your Facebook stream in your browser. As the video plays you can drag it around to look in all directions as it’s playing. It’s pretty cool. However, the ultimate coolness is when you view the video in the Facebook app on your Android phone… the video moves with the gyroscope sensors in the phone. It’s incredible.. you have to see it to believe it, it’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve seen for a while. So are we now seeing where we’re heading with Virtual Reality and Facebook’s plans for the Oculus Rift? Maybe so. However, I’m not sure I want to wear a headset to browse my feed or even watch casual videos, but the gyroscopic 360 vision on your phone. Wow. Very cool. Let’s see some more, Facebook.