DCS lousy FPS with 3090

Ok… I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t bought into DCS. There’s some kind of weird setup thing going on between pitools, the PE and steam- at least I think there must be. I’m getting 37fps in the game, with settings turned down to minimum, and pixel depth(sic) set to 1.2.
I manually set steam resolution per eye to about 20 percent. Super sampling is off.
Besides that, holy cow that flight modelling of the spit ix is absolute crap. The systems modelling is nice, but that just means that you have to do a lot of realistic chores to fly a terrible flight model. I’ve tried all sorts of stick setups and scales. I went through all the DCS forums. I’ve got it set about as well as I can, and it’s much improved from out of the box. But it’s still like riding a unicycle on the head of a pin on a brick road.
Worse, the spit wants to snap into an incipient spin when you apply a g-load well below stall threshold for the speed and AOA. The model won’t allow a snap roll at all, but it will put you in a spin for no particular reason. And when you’re landing, it will invariably ground loop as you hit 2 miles an hour with throttle off. It’s just … wrong. You should have no problem rolling to a halt with the tail locked down on a windless runway.
I could probably live with the flight modelling if I could get a decent frame rate in native mode.
I’m about ready to cut my losses and dump the sim from my computer. And it’s not like it’s cheap. I bought two airplanes and some maps and one campaign, and the total cost was well over $100.00.
Good grief. The Spit IX alone cost about as much as IL2 by itself.
Too bad. I really wanted to like the sim.
I still do.
Any ideas on how to get it to run at a better FPS?


I play it on index or odyssey + with 350% everything high but 2 settings on the bottom left

it was some kind of reflections, it causes significant fps drop, not sure if you noted when you change steam SS or pitool, it won’t be applied until you restart the game (while in some other games it works on the fly - VRChat)

i have also 3090 + i7700k & able to play it at 45fps with smartsmoothing on almost all settings high + 2MSAA, it looks good on Samsung Odyssey, the game still consumes a lot of resources but i don’t recall whether paraller projection is needed to run it on Pimax?

E.g. on HTC Cosmos elite which has no smart smoothing implemented - it’s not enjoyable at all but with steam smart smoothing or with WMR smartsmoothing it’s good enough


@mirage335 is the expert at getting the best performance out of DCS.

But one thing that can’t be changed - the engine is old and more CPU-locked than GPU-locked. So there’s no magic fix with a more powerful GPU unfortunately.

10:57 - DCS performance comparison on 2080 Ti vs 3090. The 3090 doesn’t gain much. But not sure what game settings he is using:

Edit: I also use Smart Smoothing with the X to hold 37/38 FPS with a 2080 Ti. As a casual player I just use the ‘VR’ graphics settings to do that. Low to the ground or in busy locations it will drop, but generally works.


You seem to know most of them already. Getting 37FPS isn’t that abnormal if you are going for 1.4x TotalSR, depending on the situation. You might try lowering Pixel Density to 1.0, setting SteamVR Video/App resolution to 2160v, and PiTool Render Quality to 1.25 or even 1.0 , then setting all DCS World quality stuff to minimum. Some of those, like MSAA 4x or Terrain Texture Quality, are known to have massive performance impact and minimal to no visual quality improvement.

As for the Spitfire flight model… I don’t fly that, but from what you describe I suspect the jets are much better. The P-51 seems better to me than what you describe, but not having actually flown or perhaps adequately studied the snap characteristics of such aircraft IRL, I can’t be sure.

If you are bent on historic WWII aircraft simulation, I have to admit I don’t know if DCS World is the best VR simulator for that. I think IL-2 may be better, and we have someone else on these forums who is more of an expert with that…



I don’t know what kind of CPU you have. On my system I get between 45 and 60 fps in DCS with my Pimax 8kx. My specs are i9 10900K @ 5.1 Ghz, 32 GB RAM and a GTX 1080TI.

Here are my settings in DCS:

I do not have the Spitfire, but with my Bf 109 K-4 and the FW 190 D-9, the results are similar to the F-18.

Hope this helps;



Part of the problem is the archaic game engine. However we have some gurus that can help get the most out of DCS.


On 8K+ this worked for me.

After adding the files discribed in the Video below, you can start DCS without parallel projection and without steamvr. I have non steam Version so only pitool and DCS running. Stable 45FPS in supercarrier f18 mission😉

I do it via Pitool 266 and Pimax experience 074. Just set „Start via Pitool“ in PE.

TURN OFF „Windows Game mode“ and „hardware accelerated gpu planning“ in Windows Game Settings! That causes jidder and stutter.

Pitool: PP= Off / Smart smoothing = On / 90HZ / RES. 1.25 / normal FOV
In game vr Settings PD: 1 / shaddows and mirrors off / msaa 2x / water and distance sight to middle / all effects off


BR Henry


There is already very good info here – With 4k each eye DCS is a real push. I have yet to get my 3090 but I have tweaked to performance on my CPU for single core (multi treading doesn’t help). I fly the Viper mainly but have fun dogfighting with the Spit. There are many system tweaks for DCS you must do but I fly on a very good server with TheState and the 8KX is beautiful. I just helped a friend get his up and going moving from the 5k plus, DCS is all he flies and we were getting 50 FPS on the ground and much higher in the air. I do run Smart Smoothing on with the jets.


Great tips! Thanks!
I’ll give it a try today. It’s such a beautiful sim, I hate to give up on it. But the Flight model of the spit… ugh.
The Christen Eagle isn’t bad, but the roll rate is slower than real life. (I scared the hell out of myself in a Christen Eagle once.)


Ok… now this is truly weird. I got my frame rate up to between 50-65 fps.
How? By setting pitool image quality to 2.0. By setting steam to per eye resolution of about 4800x3000.
I set all the textures and features in DCS to HIGH. (I left most of the VR settings alone.) I raised pixel density back to 1.5 or so.
So… after days of reducing settings and resolution, making a 180 degree turn in the direction of higher complexity and resolution solved the problem.
That is… Weird. But I’m not complaining. Much better image AND much better framerate? That’s a win. At 50-60FPS the plane is a bit easier to fly as well. Stick settings are absolutely key in DCS- and getting them right in the Spitfire is tricky. It sure looks good on the 8kx tho’!


Hey Finn, did you restart your rig after changing Settings? PitoolRender 2/PD 1,5/and steam Settings sounds a little bit high🙈 But i only have 2080ti too…

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Yup. The rig has been restarted several times. I"m still tweaking. I left it at Pitools 2.0, Wide FOV, and 1.5 pixel density in DCS. In steam I set the per eye resolution in ‘per game’ setting at about 40%. Around 3800x 2200? I can’t remember exactly. I tried setting Pitools down to 1.75, but it didn’t make much difference to my eyes and wasn’t noticeably faster. So I returned it to maximum
I did turn some of the textures down. They don’t seem to add a lot of visual quality, so I don’t want to waste the GPU/CPU cycles on them. I basically used the stock VR settings in DCS, but reduced trees to about 970.
The game looks gre
at, and I’m getting between 49 and 65 FPS. I’m just downloading the I-16 now. We’ll see how that goes. Then I think I’ll buy one of the jet modules. Maybe the F18 so that I could get the supercarrier mod down the road.
I have got to keep tweaking the joystick axis tho’. I’m not sure how many of the 'quirks in the Spit model are due to the JS setup, and how many are due to modelling issues. Since the plane doesn’t snap roll no matter what my settings, I think there are some FM issues. But I have to say it’s still fun. It’s just too bad so few in the DCS online player base enjoy WWII planes.

I just started it, didnt for a while and I think its been a while now but it doesnt requierd Parallel Projection anymore actually ^^.

Just wanted to add my successful setup setting in DCS with Pimax 5K+.
I am very happy with the graphics. Your mileage may vary based on your system.

My System Specs
I7 9800k ( not overclocked )
32 Gig Ram
500Gig SDD
Evga Nvidia 2060 RTX KO - ( not overclocked )
Pitool Settings
FOV 150
Parallel Projection - Off
Render Quality 1.0

I get 52 ( lowest) - 60+ FPS avg !
DCS settings
VR PD 1.1 ( Depending on system leave at 1.0 or higher - big effect on FPS )
Anisotropic filtering 0 ( I actually see no effect even up to 16 )
Texture set to max
Terrain set to max
Water to Medium
Visibility to medium - a realistic pilots view to me , just look at some aerial photos
MSAA off
SSAA off
SSLA off
Cockpit resolution 512 Every Frame - saw no difference with 1024
Screen Resolution non VR settings - lowest possible

I’ve tweaked my NVIDIA based on a lot of research online to max FPS - when you are running high resolution graphics either in VR ( pimax ) or Flat screen and need FPS don’t waist resources on smoothing keep those setting at their lowest or off. The more the pixels the less you need smoothing.

Will post my nvidia settings - hope it helps

One last thing to consider - clean up your startup files and other non essential program hogs
If your still having issues try “latencymod” to help to see what’s chewing up your resources.
Google it if you need help using it.

The Pimax is my favorite headset as of now - I have owned HTC Vive - Quest 1 and Quest 2


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