Wondering what are the coolest and most immersive flight simulators that are available for the Oculus Rift?
Since 2021 is already here, quite a few new VR flight sims have been released.
It’s time for the update.
I have reviewed them and added the appropriate ones to the list I made earlier.
Luckily there are many games to choose from. Developers of these simulations know that the Oculus Rift, and virtual reality headsets all together, are the only ones who can create this inner roller coaster inside of you. If you happen to watch the reactions from some of the people on Youtube, you know that it is not just some gimmicky feeling you experience. But to find the best ones may be a challenge as many of them are not yet ready for the VR, or are just a poor imitation of one.
To play these flight sims, you might get an added thrill from using specific flight sim cockpit Controllers.
Playing it with HOTAS controllers makes it absolute magic. Just make sure that you have a decent VR PC and a VR headset that can show all the details.
X Plane 11
What makes X Plane so immersive? Realism.
What makes Oculus Rift immersive? Realism.
What if we combine both of them together and create THE BEST flight simulator that’s available? Well, that’s what I call super-realism. 6 or 7 years ago this kind of combination was only available in top-flight universities that teach their students to fly under proper pressure and difficulty.
In this game, all the buttons that you see in front of you, are actually at the same place in the real freaking plane!
I recommend you to try out this flight simulator with Oculus Rift because of how real and great it looks. There are some problems with getting official Oculus Rift support faster, but it can still be played through 3rd party programs. Read more about Oculus Rift and X Plane here.
WARNING: If you play this game, you might actually get addicted for a long time. Use your time wisely!
Now that I’ve said it, let’s get back to what this game actually is. It’s simple: You either transport cargo or fly as a combat aircraft.
Visuals may not be the best feature of this game, but the learning curve and the time consumption for practicing landing and overall flying are really drawing you back. Price is not really cheap for it, but many who have tried it with Oculus Rift were never disappointed.
I would say that since this game was launched just recently, it is a bit unpolished in some tutorial areas and combat modes, but I do believe that those problems will be fixed with each update.
As it is a simulator, it doesn’t focus on the fun part as much as being as realistic as possible.
The accuracy of real life is its most important focus and seeing how hard it is to fly it sometimes, I would agree. Over time you do get used to it though.
The Oculus Rift support, as well as for HTC Vive, has been added in Dec. 2018. Apart from trying to fly your glider-like plane, it has features and simulations for even G-Stress situations. The weather is also giving you an extra challenge in figuring out how to fly correctly. And, the simulation is not complete without having a complex landing.
All this can be done in multiplayer as it has support for 64 players in one server.
There are many other features available that you can educate yourself through this page.
It’s a great sim that truly focuses on the realism part. For those of you who want to experience gliding in virtual reality, check it out.
If you are looking for something less serious, then Ultrawings might be for you. Its cartoonish low poly style is actually very pleasing to the eyes, and in some cases looks even better than high-poly-awful-texture-looking games.
I was just searching for bunk beds for my kids whilst also researching Ultrawings when all of a sudden my son wanted to try out this game. Apparently, he liked the Youtube videos I watched. I decided to download this game and gave it to him after testing it out for a few minutes. He absolutely loved it.
What I also LOVE about this game is that it has a great progression system built into it. A lot of flight simulators for Oculus Rift are made just to look realistic to teach you how to fly aircraft. This one not only has a pleasing learning curve, but it offers you a chance to earn money, which in turn you can use to buy better aircraft and vehicles.
Since the game is mostly in low poly, it runs very well on your computer. Shadows are really nice, and if I am not mistaken, they are using Unity for it, and the Next-Gen Shadow asset. It looks gorgeous!
This is an interesting piece of VR sim. In short, it is not as in-depth as, for example, X-plane, but it has its own contributions.
These contributions mainly come from graphics, simplicity, and performance.
The start-up in order to fly does not take you a lot of minutes. Yes, there are some buttons you need to punch, twist and pull to make everything work, but it isn’t really that hard compared to some other sims.
The graphics are also quite decent, although only for the cockpit.
However, the strongest plus for this sim comes from performance. If you are struggling to get a good framerate from other sims, play this game. It has enough content to keep you entertained and educate you, and you won’t be getting a headache from low frames.
It is quite a known game amongst plane enthusiasts as it is considered one of the best flight simulators available on PC, even without the Oculus Rift. It focuses heavily on the realism that you don’t see in other games. And rightly so. It is not a game. Just learning how to fly the aircraft is a big challenge.
Each plane (that you have to purchase individually) is acting differently from the other one. They are also different from the inside. When you use your Oculus Rift, you see every little detail in front of you, and each switch, button, or display can be interacted with. When you look outside the cockpit you can feel how far the land is from you. You see different buildings, landscapes, and targets for you to shoot (if your plane can fire).
It is a very hard game to master but being on that learning curve is still fun inducing, even for beginners. If you have a wish to experience immersive realism, this game is for you.
Update: Before I talk about this game, I have to say that it’s fairly old. I’ve kept it in the list in case you want to check it out.
Lunar Flight is a really enjoyable game for those who like flying slowly in space and focus on the accuracy of your controlled spacecraft. The interior is really sexy looking (2021 update: Not so sexy anymore) and can give you an awesome feeling when you turn your head around to see some stats (for a safe landing). You have different cameras which you can use to see your surroundings with more clarity.
The main job that you’ll have, is to lift cargo and transport it from point A to point B. If you accidentally bump into something you may lose control of your spacecraft quite easily. So for this flight simulator, precision is very important in order to be successful.
War Thunder (about) is a combat flight simulator/MMO game that focuses on a time between WW2 and the Korean War, where you’ll have a variety of plane options to choose from. All of them have their own personality in terms of how they behave, fly, and how they look.
Even though you don’t have to pay for this game, it still manages to give you an amazing virtual reality experience. But because this game is free to play, you can encounter some unnecessary plane balance issues that may ruin the fun. Nevertheless, it is worth getting as it’s a very immersive game and can give a little advantage over other players since you can look around in your plane more easily.
Plus, it is a lot easier to master your flying in this flight simulator than in other games that are mentioned above.
If you are at least in any way familiar with the virtual world then you have heard about this piece of art (about and how to set up Elite: Dangerous).
Although it is not a usual flight simulator since it is all happening in space, it cannot be excluded from the list. It is considered one of the best Oculus Rift games that are available right now. The cockpit is extremely detailed and the engagement that you might get from looking out of the cockpit may give you chills. When I first time tried it out, I just wanted to look around the place and not worry about the flying. When you sit inside, you could feel this claustrophobic feeling that just eats you slowly (I don’t like tight places). And it is not a bad thing.
Rarely you can get such feelings from a video game. If you have some extra dollars to spend, you should definitely get the Elite Dangerous for that awesome and unusual experience.
Honorable Mentions: Flight Simulator X, RiftWings, Skycall: Rook Island, Wingsuit, Prepar3D, Volo Airsport, The Flying Circus.
Have any more flight simulators for the Oculus Rift to add? Feel free to comment below:
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