Why Are VR Graphics So Bad – Step-by-Step Guide with FAQs, Tips, & More

Have you ever wondered why VR graphics are so bad?

Let’s find out.

Why Are VR Graphics So Bad?

VR graphics are bad because they don’t look like real life, and that is a problem for many reasons.

Human Eye

First of all, the human eye has evolved into seeing things in 3D space. We have binocular vision, meaning we can perceive depth from two angles simultaneously.

This allows us to understand how far away something is by comparing it with what is directly in front of us.

One Perspective

In virtual reality, everything is flat on your screen, so you only get one perspective. You cannot judge distance or size without looking around yourself.

It is very difficult to make people feel immersed when their eyes are constantly being pulled out of the experience.

Brain

Our brains are wired to process visual information in a specific way. When we see an object, our brain processes it as if it were actually there in front of us.

If we see a picture of a person, then we know that person is not really there, but rather just a representation of someone else.

The same thing happens when we watch movies. Our brains interpret the images as if they were real. That is why watching a movie feels more realistic than watching a video game.

Virtual Reality Pre-rendered Frames

DCS VR Settings & Optimization Guide 

Running DCS in VR requires a lot of tweaking and fine-tuning. We’ve done our best to optimize the game for VR, but there’s always room for improvement.

This guide will show you how to tweak the game to get it working just right.

In-Game Graphics Settings

Textures are used to determine how an object appears. They’re not really important for performance, so if you’re worried about that then just go ahead and skip them. You’ll notice no difference between the two examples.

Terrain Textures

It determines how the landscape appears. If you’re into graphics, then crank it up!

Civ. Traffic

Civilian traffic is basically civilian ground vehicles that are automatically created by the game using this setting. This doesn’t affect civilian air traffic which has been manually added to the missions through the mission generator.

These objects take up a lot of space and are generally bad for the overall gameplay experience so just disable them.

Water

As long as the quality of the tap is medium (not too hard nor too soft), there shouldn’t be any issues. Going above medium could negatively affect performance.

Visible Range

How far away things appear from us depends on their distance from us. For example, if we’re standing next to a mountain, then the mountain appears closer than if we were standing next to a cloud.

Heat Blur

This looks cool in two dimensions (2D), but is not really suitable for virtual reality (VR). It’s basically the distortion caused by the hot wind.

Shadows

It’s a big deal. This setting controls how sharp the shadows will appear in the cockpit and from nearby objects.

Even though they may cause some visual issues, we recommend keeping the default values for most people. However, if you’re experiencing any kind of FPS drop, you can lower them.

Aspect Ratio and Monitors

These are for monitors; they’re not designed for use with VR headsets.

Resolution

This is the width of the virtual reality headset that will be displayed on your 2D monitor. We set it as high as possible so that you can see everything clearly.

Note that fullscreen is inferior to windowed in terms of performance in windows 10. So we recommend running it in windows.

Depth of Field, Lens Effect, Motion Blur

It looks good in 2D, but it’s better to turn it off when using VR.

Clouds

Clouds are an important part of any game. They’re used to show off your graphics engine, and they can also help give players a sense of scale.

But clouds aren’t just about aesthetics; they’re also critical to gameplay. In virtual reality, clouds are especially important because they allow you to hide objects behind them.

You can make things disappear into thin air! That means you can create entire worlds where nothing exists except what you see through your eyes.

Set them to Standard and see if they look good. If not, set them to Ultra and see if they look better. Then, add some clouds.

Scenery Details Factor

It doesn’t affect the quality of the game at all. You won’t notice any difference between the two settings.

Preload Radius

How much of the world will be loaded when you start playing the game? The higher it is (and the lower your graphics settings), the slower the loading times will be.

But if you’re running low on space, you can save a lot of data by lowering the resolution. We recommend setting it to “low” unless you have an extremely fast computer.

In-Game VR Settings

Pixel Density

This is essentially super-resolution (SR) – an additive technique where we take two images and combine them together.

In our case, we’re taking the original image and duplicating it x2. So if we had a 4k image, we’d end up with 8k. You can also do any kind of interpolation between frames, such as bi-cubic, Lanczos, etc.

Also, remember that when using SteamVR, the value for PD is set per axis (x, y, z). So if you’re using 1.2 for each axis, then you’re actually rendering 44 percent more pixels than you would otherwise. And since this is per axis, you’d get 44 percent more GPU loads too.

Force IPD Distance

The most important VR settings! This is essentially world size. Meaning if the cockpit feels small, then increasing this value will make it larger. And vice versa.

That has nothing to do with how far apart your eyes are. We hope ED chose a better name for it so people wouldn’t get confused about what they were actually doing. Even though it is technically not incorrect.

MSAA Mask Size

It makes the area where MSAA (multisampling anti-aliasing) is applied larger or smaller. In practice, however, there are still some who think it doesn’t work or is buggy.

NVIDIA Control Panel Setting

If you have an Nvidia GPU, there are some things you can change here. Or rather, other guides tell you to change these things without knowing what they actually mean.

Virtual Reality Pre-rendered Frames

There are two settings that get discussed quite frequently when talking about VR: “Pre-rendered frames” and “Latencies”. With Pre-rendered Frames set to 3, you’re sacrificing some quality for lower latencies.

If you increase it to 3, the GPU will be able to render more than one frame at once, which could result in lower latency/lag/input delay and less chance of messing up the projection.

Don’t just blindly put it at 3 and call it a night; try 1 or 3 and see if your mind likes either one better than the other.

Anti-aliasing

Setting Anti Aliasing (MSAA) to 2X from the game settings is not recommended because it slows down your PC. However, if you really want to do so, then go ahead and change it from here.

Windows Settings

Windows Game Mode

Turn this off along with the Windows Xbox Game bar. Also, go to the settings menu and disable hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling. These settings can cause problems. In fact, the latter was preventing my computer from achieving motion reprojecting when in auto-pilot.

SteamVR Settings

Motion Smoothing

You may encounter issues if your monitor has a refresh rate of less than 60 Hz. If so, you might want to consider upgrading your graphics card.

When using VR headsets, the GPUs will sometimes need to render several extra “guesstimated” (or interpolated) images between each actual image. This results in increased latency for the user.

Note that WMR’s motion reprojecting is also turned on by default. You can read the next sections on WMR to learn more.

Resolution

This is where you can adjust how much detail you want to see in your game. You can push it up and get higher quality graphics, or down and get lower quality graphics.

With my Reverb plugin, I use 150% SS and I can achieve up to 90 FPS on most computers. However, if you don’t want to spend time tweaking settings, you may not be able to achieve 90 FPS.

Conclusion

There’s no perfect solution. It depends on your hardware, software, and personal preferences. But we hope these tips help you get started.

If you have any queries feel free to reach out in the comments section below.

Author

  • Victor Marquez

    Victor is the Editor in Chief at Techtyche. He tests the performance and quality of new VR boxes, headsets, pedals, etc. He got promoted to the Senior Game Tester position in 2021. His past experience makes him very qualified to review gadgets, speakers, VR, games, Xbox, laptops, and more. Feel free to check out his posts.

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