iRacing is available for use with the most popular VR headset platforms, including Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. These headsets literally place you in the driver’s seat and provide an incredibly engaging online racing game.
Let’s find out how to launch iRacing in VR and start playing.
How to Launch iRacing in VR?
Setting up VR for iRacing is fairly straightforward.
- Install the relevant drivers and software for your VR device.
- After installing the required drivers and software for your Oculus Rift, launch iRacing by opening up your web browsers.
- Then, after that, go for a run/practice session. This may then prompt a window to appear asking whether the application needs to be rendered on the VR headset or on the computer’s display.
- Select the VR headset option, and the game will be launched in VR.
- The VR interface is essentially the same as in the normal iRacing menu. However, you can use your keyboard to navigate through the menus while wearing the VR headgear.
Once you’ve entered the game, one of the first things to check is whether you’re getting a consistent frame rate of at least 90 frames per second (FPS).
Everything You Need to Know About VR in iRacing
Most people race iRacers on one screen because they’re cheap. A single screen in front of them is enough for sim racers and, combined with a steering wheel, and pedal setup will provide a good overall experience.
Why Choose a VR Headset?
Triple-monitor setups are often considered a big step up from single-monitor systems. They’re basically like single monitors with the added benefit of having two additional monitors angled to more or less resemble the side window of a car.
When done correctly, this setup provides the sensation of driving a real race car with the ability to view rivals’ vehicles alongside yours as well as the ability to view the turn at which there is a wide entrance.
The main downside of this configuration is the price and space. Three screens aren’t cheap, and having them on a single PC takes up a lot of space. Lesser issues include the ugly bezels around each screen that make the experience feel off and having a powerful GPU that can handle three screens at a good framerate. If you want to find out how to pick the right display for your sim rig, read our Best Sim Racing Monitors guide – it should help narrow things down for you.
Virtual reality (VR) has come far recently and is probably the best method for immersing yourself in sim driving. iRacers fully support VR across a wide range of VR headsets. There are lots of things that need to be taken into consideration when deciding whether to go VR.
The Advantages of VR in iRacing
It feels so good to be in the car! You can race alongside a competitor and still be looking out for traffic at the same time.
When you’re racing at night, you can lean your head into the corner to spot the apex sooner because the feeling of acceleration and seeing the elevation of the road helps you appreciate the quality of the laser scans used by iRacing.
You feel like you’re actually controlling a real racecar with the feeling of being directly in charge without any sense of lag or delays, even when turning your head around.
With VR, you don’t need a big screen to play games. You just need a small monitor to boot your computer and launch your favorite simulator. So, it takes up a smaller amount of room than a single large monitor or three screens.
The Disadvantages of VR in iRacing
It’s not just the price of the headset. The problem with the high costs of VR is not just its price but also the fact that it requires expensive equipment.
You need a powerful graphics card to run a VR experience. Most headsets today have two screens inside them that have a combined total of around 1,440 pixels by 2,160 pixels.
To ensure good performance when using virtual reality headsets, an FPS of at least 90 is recommended. This is quite demanding for most graphics cards (GPU) and computer systems in general.
Lower-end VR headsets may not be able to provide the highest-resolution images because they don’t have large displays. However, these lower-end headsets usually have better image clarity than their higher-priced counterparts.
It can be quite jarring and spoil the feeling of being in a car if you move from a lower-end headset to a high-end one. Buying a new headset may mean buying a new graphics card too.
Things to Consider When Choosing a VR Headset for iRacing
Besides the display resolution and sound quality, another important factor in your VR headset experience is whether the headphones/speaker system has permanent or removable components.
If you want to use your own headphones instead of the built-in ones, having removable or no-speaker units can be advantageous. It’s especially useful if you already have an external audio device for your computer.
Sound quality may be more important for sim racing than visual quality, making this choice far more important than you might initially think.
Field of View (FOV)
One thing to keep in mind when choosing between different headsets is their FOVs. A larger FOV means you can see more in-game, but this comes at a price.
What about people who wear glasses?
Generally, it is easy to wear glasses with a virtual reality (VR) device. Contact lens users may find they need to adjust their vision after wearing the VR device for an extended period of time. For those who wear contact lens, there is no problem getting contacts into the eye.
But if you wear glasses, you might need to get new ones. You can buy glasses online from Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, BestBuy.com, and others.
With these new glasses, you’ll be able to play games just like you would if you were wearing your regular eyeglasses. You won’t need to worry about your spectacle scratching the screen on your VR headsets. And you can even use them for watching movies and TV shows!
Using iRacing in VR makes a huge difference when compared to using an ordinary monitor. It’s extremely immersive and really feels like you’re actually racing a real car.
However, it can cost quite a bit of money, so it may not be suitable for everyone. Nevertheless, though, those who can afford the extra expense will soon realize that VR has taken sim racing to a whole new level which cannot be achieved by playing games on a flat screen.
We hope this article was helpful to you. Feel free to reach out to us in the comments below.