How I Setup My Gaming System for DCS World in VR
If you have been following my blog for some time then you already know that I am a huge fan of DCS World in VR. Have been flying in VR for well over a year now. I love it so much so that I fly in DCS 99% of the time in VR. The only time I may not fly in VR is when i’m doing some kind of mission testing where I quickly need to access and test out a specific section of a mission. Even when I do this, it just feels weird to fly in 2D. Folks don’t believe the negative hype about VR. VR for DCS is actually awesome! I am going to take you thru the steps that I took to set my gaming rig up for VR. My VR system of choice is the Oculus Rift.
Recommended System Requirements for DCS World in VR
Ok lets get started on setting your PC up to run DCS World in VR. If you plan on running VR your system should also meet the recommended requirements for it. Per Digital Combat Simulators website the recommended system requirements for VR are as follows.
Recommended VR systems requirements (VR graphics settings): OS 64-bit Windows 8/10; DirectX11; CPU: Core i5+ at 3+ GHz or AMD FX / Ryzen; RAM: 16 GB (32 GB for heavy missions); Free hard disk space: 120 GB on Solid State Drive (SSD); Discrete video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 / AMD Radeon RX VEGA 64 or better; Joystick; requires internet activation.
Keep in mind that my system consists of an i7 8700K, 32 GB Ram @ 3200mhz, 500gb SSD, and a 1080Ti GPU. If you have specs close to this, this will be the perfect tutorial for you.
DCS is recommending at the very least you have a GTX 1080 or Vega 64. And I will go ahead and throw this out there. Yes you can also run VR with something like a 1060 or 1070 but I will tell you the game is going to run like crap and ALL of your settings will be on low – which may give you a negative outlook on VR for DCS World. That would not be a fair assessment. So from this if you are using anything less than a 1080 or Vega 64 I would highly recommend you upgrade your hardware before making the switch over to DCS World in VR. I am currently running a 1080Ti OC so we will be using this as our GPU for this tutorial. Also make sure your CPU can keep up with your GPU or bottle necking will occur.
The Magic Number is 45
The first thing I would like you to remember is the number (45). This is going to be our sweet spot when it comes to FPS (frames per second). That is right – when it comes to DCS World in VR we are only needing a minimum of 45 FPS per. This will allow for silky smooth game play and will decrease motion sickness if you are prone to that. And if you are prone to motion sickness, no worries you will usually get use to it the more you fly in VR unless it’s a serious case.
DCS World Options – System
Above is a screenshot of the settings I currently use. Again, please be mindful that I am using a 1080Ti which allows me to have most settings set to “High”. IF you are using anything less than a 1080 Ti you will need to make some adjustments. Many of these settings will affect your FPS but the major frame killers are.
*Terrain Object Shadows
Textures, Terrain Textures, Visible Range, Rain Droplets will affect your FPS and will need to be adjusted based on your GPU. Again, if your using anything less than a 1080 you will need to bring down your settings. You are going to have to play around with these setting a lot.
For settings like Clutter/Grass, Tree Visibility, and Preload Radius will all be subject to the amount of RAM you have installed. Since I’m using 32GB of fast ram, I can turn these volumes way up. For DCS World the very minimum RAM you should be using is 8 16 GB. Sorry folks you better get with it. The new minimal ram for gaming will soon be 16GB. So be sure to base these settings on the amount of RAM installed on your PC.
DCS World Options – VR and The Oculus Tray Tool
Now let’s take a look in the VR tab in our Options for DCS World. Make sure you have your VR headset enabled and for this tutorial we are going to use a PD (Pixel Density) of 0.5. That is the lowest setting we can set in DCS World. We are actually going to setup the PD for DCS World using The Oculus Tray Tool. If you do not have it yet, please go and download.
Here is where we are going to set your PD (pixel density). You can play around with this but I find that a PD of 1.5-1.7 works best. Anything over this you can not really tell a difference visually but you will take a performance hit the higher PD you decide to use. Also using the Oculus Tray tool we can disable ASW. If you are using a system with a GPU less than a 1080 you may wish to leave ASW on to help you hold 45 FPS.
Now we are just about done with setting up our PC to run DCS World in VR. We just need to check one finial things if you are using a GTX GPU. We need to check a settings in our Nvidia control panel. All we are looking for is the “Power Management Mode” we want to make sure we are able to use our GPU to full capacity.
And that is it. This is how I have my gaming PC setup to run DCS World in VR and I get a solid 45 FPS when playing in game for silky smooth gameplay with most of my settings set to High. I can not stress this enough so I will say this one final time. If you are using anything less than a 1080 you ARE going to need to lower your settings to get the sweet number of 45 FPS. Until next time. Peace.