VTOL VR Flight Sim on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift


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Flight sims are one of the game types "meant for VR." However, there are only a few great ones out there. We have Aerofly FS 2 Flight Simulator and DCS World which is probably the best of the high realism flight sims.

VTOL VR is a new release on Steam in the usual early access form. VTOL VR is a near-futuristic combat flight game built specifically for Virtual Reality. In the early access version of the game you are the pilot of an AV-42C, a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) capable vehicle that can perform transport, air to surface, and air to air combat roles.

VTOL VR does not aim for the realism of DCS but is certainly not a jump in and fly game either. VTOL VR sits in between both games regarding realism and flight complexity.

VTOL VR Controls

VTOL VR is available on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive with full motion controller support. Full controller support means you can reach out and push buttons and pull the levers. The haptic feedback on the controller makes it feel almost real. The VTOL VR flight controls do not make any use of traditional flight sticks such as those from Saitek and fully rely on the VR controllers. I was very skeptical about the lack of traditional controller support after having spent many hours in Elite Dangerous with my Saitek. I felt it would spoil the experience, but after playing VTOL VR with HTC Vive or Touch controllers, I was pleasantly surprised by how natural the experience became.

VTOL VR Features

Since VTOL VR is still in the early access stage, the game is therefore not yet complete. There is one flyable vehicle (the AV-42C attack/transport VTOL) with a fully interactable cockpit, several simulated systems including electrical, fuel, weapons, countermeasure, and targeting systems, a single player campaign with several story-driven missions, and several quick flight scenarios.

For training, the instructional videos are on Youtube with the developer talking you through the flight controls.

What the developers plan for the full game is to add one or more extra flyable vehicles with fully interactable cockpits. Increase the campaign with several missions for each vehicle, along with more playable maps, and an in-game custom mission editor. During the development, new weapons, equipment, and onboard systems will be added.

VTOL VR Graphics

Graphics at this stage are simplistic but good enough. You should have no problem running on a decent machine. The recommended minimum is the Nvidia GTX 970 or equivalent. View distances are excellent, and the screen-door effect (SDE) does seem too noticeable.

There is certainly plenty to keep you occupied and is available from Steam for $25 US or £20 UK. Given the playability of most VR games these days, the price is reasonable.