Please note that no matter what you do, the sim may still stutter and lag randomly, as there are multiple variables controlling the stability of VR (Same rules apply as in flatscreen mode, but flatscreen mode is much less taxing on the system). The most apparent frame drop generator would be flying over a megacity like Japan or New York, and especially landing in an airport of a city like that.
So, to avoid constantly trying to figure out the problem with your settings, you want to find the lowest baseline, the worst performance you can make your system output, so I recommend to test the FPS and playability within the headset on a location which will perform the worst, such as the mentioned ones. If you do that, you will ensure that your FPS will only increase as you move onto less demanding area flights. I recommend to do this because, even if you can boost settings in a higher fidelity or altitude area, changing settings often may introduce unwanted performance issues and perhaps even performance drops which are simply a result of a bug. In that case, once you find a playable framerate over a megacity, you can stop testing on multiple configurations and simply enjoy the sim.
Playable framerates and 3 ways to achieve them - headset resolution settings @90hz:
You will have to decide what you prefer in your simulator and different systems may react differently to these settings :
1. Use a high base resolution (High preset in VD, 1,7 or 1,6 or even 1,5 slider in Oculus software). which will provide the main effect of clarity for the sim. In turn, you will need to modify and lower in game settings, especially the render scale slider. Dont worry - even if you downscale the simulator image itself, it will still look good since you are running the max resolution to get 1:1 view for the headset.
2. Use a low base resolution (low preset in VD, Oculus software - 0,9x-1,0x base resolution), but provide the main effect of clarity and visuals via the in game settings. This way you will be able to force a game that is rendered in the near max settings, with insane visual fidelity, but, it will be inherently blurry, because of a minimal base resolution.
3.Find a middle compromise between the two. (Medium in VD or 1,3-1,4 slider in Oculus software.) Using this will mean you have to reduce both render scale and the sim settings themselves, however, not to low or high extremes as in the other methods. For maximum fps you will still want to use 80-90% render scale.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: For my setup, using MSI B350 tomahawk MB with beta bios +Ryzen 3700x OC to 4,4Ghz +OC3070 + 32GB of 2800Mhz RAM, + 3.1 USB 3A x 20V USB C to USB A cable Link is not stable, compared to VD. It offers lower performance for the same three tested configurations
Using ANY of the 3 configurations on Link, the mininum latency I was able to achieve (as indicated in the performance HUD via oculus software) was around 100ms~. I am not sure if that is only the program latency or the overall latency with encoding, etc, but with the Virtual Desktop method + high [emailprotected] + 70-80 % render scale in MSFS2020 in-game setting gave around 60ms for total latency.
[Video of flight with OculusXR runtime, via Link, note that bug at 1:28, will test if present in SteamVR runtime (SnakeHelah Live Stream - YouTube)
I noticed that sometimes, the oculus software gives out and you have to restart it altogether to return back to stability. Sometimes everything just becomes extremely laggy, dropping down to like 8fps, the encoder/decoder starts to just, simply put die. Also, you can notice in my video below, at time stamp like 1:28 some flickers or whatever that is sometimes present as well, which is quite disorienting when youre in VR. Again, may be due to link instability? I am not sure if Virtual Desktop would work better in such situations. Maybe its just a VR bug for MSFS2020? It would be nice if others could comment on this.
REFRESH RATE OPTIONS AND HOW THEY AFFECT PERFORMANCE
72hz mode as its just far too flickery for my eyes/brain. I dont know if it is a placebo but I literally feel my brain frying on 72hz mode, I noticed it immediately after buying the quest and the Home environment standalone runs via this 72hz mode, it was just too flickery to bear. I mean, try it and look into the distance, an ocean flight is a great test for this, you will definitely notice flickering if youre used to high framerate displays). In VD you even have an option to set a 60 fps mode. Feel free to test this and see how much performance it adds, I have not tried much with anything lower than 90 fps due to perceived eye strain on lower refresh rates.
With all that said, 72hz will most definitely add some free FPS to max resolutions.
Oculus Link settings example for low base resolution approach:
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Oculus Tray Tool settings example:
ASW/Motion smoothing - this does not work for me at all. If you want to avoid screen tearing artifacts which are definitely a bad tradeoff IMO, turn it OFF. Due to the nature of the sim having very different framerates based on different locations, this will inevitably make your simulator have visual artifacts, unless you somehow force the same performance on all areas and keep the ASW in play at all times.
In game settings (low base resolution approach):
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As you increase resolution, you will have to compensate by reducing in game settings.
Nvidia Settings (same for all methods):
Go to the STREAMING tab and adjust quality settings (low, medium, high) and FPS settings (60, 72, 80, 90).
I do believe something is not right with Link - I should not be having 2x the latency over a cable, than I am over wireless signals. I understand the bitrate via wireless is much much lower, and the image is compressed - but the overall stability and smoothness of the simulator WILL contribute to your flying experience. You dont need 0ms latency anyways - were not playing a shooter or a rhythm game here, but you do need overall stability, especially when performing maneuvers and landing.
Theres so many settings in it which are six of one thing and half a dozen of another. You can easily go round and round in circles. Im at the point now where I think its basically pointless to keep on fiddling with things. The fact of the matter is Asobo will need to iron out bugs and optimise things and Nvidia have to bring out drivers for those of us with the latest RTX cards to get them running a bit better.
Once you get to a certain point with fiddling with settings its basically all pointless trying to go further with it until VR in the sim is a bit more established and refined.
For what its worth though from what I can gather from reading around, and certainly from my own experience, those settings in the Nvidia control panel have very marginal difference in the grand scheme of things. Certainly if youve got a 3080 or 3090 card. From a purely graphics point of view those cards will eat up and spit out anything the sim can throw at them. The weakest link in the chain is always going to be your CPU and motherboard power.
This is another great tutorial video and one of the best Ive seen from a purely PC hardware perspective Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 | VR Optimizations | Performance Improvements - YouTube
After reviewing the LINK method and comparing it to VD method, honestly, Virtual Desktop wins for me. I am not sure what the problem with LINK is for my system, but its not working properly with MSFS2020 via the Oculus app and using the Oculus OpenXR runtime. Note that this could be only my system or some part of the chain that makes link have like 2x the latency for no reason. I have heard someone mentioned using a dedicated PCI hub for the link connection, but eh, VD just works
You can have network latency spikes with VD, sure, my router is downstairs as well, so my latency will probably be worse compared to someone who has their router next to the headset. Unless you have network problems, link in comparison just stutters and lags much more for some reason, also takes much longer to load into VR, sometimes freezes and gets stuck at home with a black screen, then you need to restart everything, and turn on link then you start the Tray tool Just too many steps?
I cannot say for sure why this happens and what the problem is for the link connection. All I know is, I managed to fit into 60ms total latency with VD, while via Link, the latency is always minimum 100 ms.
This does not make any sense at all, but it is what it is. Overall latency will always impact general smoothness of VR, so you want this as low as possible. On link there was clearly more stuttering.
If anyone wants to simply stop fiddling, and play the simulator, just use VD with the Quest 2 if you have a proper Wi-FI solution. Then, use High preset in VD settings, 90 FPS (could use the other fps modes for FPS test) and then set in game render scale to 70~. This will net you the best visuals (that are high res, and not low res + upscale like in the guide) for least performance impact. With this I was able to get 30-40fps with Almost native resolution. If you want higher framerates you WILL have to lower the render resolution of the MSFS2020 settings, even the 3090 cant run biggest resolutions more than 35-45 fps.