I know there are differing opinions about VR right now, and I'm probably somewhere in the middle of many of them: flying with my VR headset (Oculus Quest 2) has its annoyances, so depending on my mood and my simming objective for the moment I don't always use it. The 2D monitor has its benefits so I often use that instead.

But after crashing all day long during bad weather, trying to land in Grand Rapids, MI in 2D, I decided to try it in VR.


My perspective probably matters here: I have been a simmer since the original 1982 MSFS, which my dad got for me when I was a kid. But I'm not a real pilot and have never sat in a real cockpit. So the feeling of being inside one in VR, with the absolutely incredible Microsoft graphics regarding icing on the window, the barely-visible ground below, and the thick snow and clouds, was literally my first time even remotely experiencing what this might be like for a pilot. It would be terrifying and daunting, by the way. But a 2D simulation could absolutely not replicate that sensation. I had not felt that way when ever simming before, in supposedly scary weather.

Landing the plane when the ground was still barely visible was also easier because I can look all around me by just turning my head, and therefore more realistic. That's why my first VR attempt at this succeeded whereas I had crashed in 2D the four previous tries.

Some hard-core simmers/pilots don't think that VR works for them because what you gain in visual amazement and head-turning ease for navigating yourself, you lose because you can't really click away on an airplane dashboard (keyboard) for all of the plane's complex functions. No argument there. Probably true. Some simmers probably love that aspect more than the stunning visuals. Nonetheless, this was amazing.