DCS (Steam), Pimax and Performance/Visual Gains 2022 (Tips, Tricks, and other stuff like OPEN XR )

Yeah looks great! Took the F14 over for a first flight!

1 Like

would you mind sharing your settings for DCS?

I’m a recent convert to the 8kx, and am trying to dial it in. ryzen 5600x / 3080ti

openxr toolkit 1.1.4
pimaxXR 0.2

pitool render resolution?
smart smoothing?
compulsive smoothing?

openxr toolkit settings? FSR/sharpening, FFR?


I’ve spent time on this and there’s some good guides such as DCS VR Settings & Optimization Guide (2022, Patch 2.7) - GamersByNight for the settings within DCS. I suggest that you read it and perhaps STOP after section 2. The control panel stuff is not of major benefit and could worsen things. It’s a bit of a rabbit-hole. Also cinsider skipping reshade. The benefits are almost always outweighed by the performance hits or can be acheived by more efficient means, and can cause crashes, problems with motion smoothing. Add it as a last step at the very least.

Keep Pixel Density to 1.0 in DCS.
Keep Render Resolution 1.0 in Pitool

Here’s the terrible secret. There is no BEST settings for DCS and an 8KX. It depends on your system, the map you’re on, and whether you’re in multiplayer. But there’s some “always good” things and some goals.

Basically I use all settings Maxxed in DCS with exception of motion blur (off) and MSAA (off or 2x if I can get away with it. SMAA doesn’t seem to affect VR for me. I also turn terrain objects to flat shadows, but not sure it matters.

I use 75 hz mode in HMD as 60hz flickers and 90 hz blanks out occasionally (I have the old revision of the 8KX)
I think this is OK at 75hz for two reasons:
90 hz requires 45 fps (and you’re not getting 90 fps all day unless you turn the settings and resolution to Index/Vive level of crap)
75hz mode has 37.5 fps is the goal, which although slightly stuttery, its suprisingly easy to achieve. Frame pacing is the most important thing.
60hz, even if it doesn’t flicker in your HMD it will look stuttery and you should be able to make the leap from 30 to 37.5 fps.
If running 75hz. Aim for 37.5 FPS “all day” through a flight OR go to a much lower resolution to get 75fps all day (very difficult).

Most demanding: Marianas map. I have to run at a 75% FSR at 1/2 compulsive smoothing AND motion smoothing off. It’s a terrible map.
Nevada least demanding. I can get 75ps all day with 100% resolution unless I fly downtown Vegas.

As for motion smoothing, It is difficult to use with Pitool .275 and .277 as these versions now keep the lower refresh rates on for longer periods (this is to reduce how often it switches modes, which also has a frame jump and is annoying). Unfortunately that means that if you can get say 43 fps in unrestricted mode, turning on motion smoothing will only give 25fps with 3x motion smoothing much of the time as there’s significant overhead for motion smoothing. 3x motion smoothing looks like crap to me on 75hz mode, but if you run 90hz maybe it looks better - I don’t know. So I generally rather use 1/2 compulsive mode alone rather than motion smoothing. With motion smoothing it looks better then rolling. (mountains won’t ghost when rolling), but the hit to performance is generally for me not worth it. I personally have to hit 50fps all day to switch to a motion smoothing of 37.5. It’s a personal preference and should be, like MSAA one of those things you choose based on how much overhead you have on a given map and what your preferences are.

But here’s the part I might be able to provide benefit for most every situation:

OpenXR + PimaxXR provides ~5% boost by ditching SteamVR (for me, not sure about others) alternatively you can use fholgers VRPerfkit for the following two if you opt out

FFR in OpenXRToolkit (Performance Wide), [not ffr in pitool] provides ~5-10% boost.
Overclocking the CPU/GPU provides ~5-10% boost.
FSR get’s me the rest of the way. Generally I can’t tell much difference between FSR 80% and 100%, but it is big difference in frame rate.

DCS is about pushing the envelope in game and out of game, so as much as these things don’t make a HUGE difference, they do add up to ensure I get a smooth frame rate at an acceptable resolution and maybe more importantly I’m not muddying the waters with Control panel settings, messed up resolutions in Pitool or SteamVR.

Some day it will be locked 90 fps with everything beautifully super-sampled on a Pimax REALITY HMD, but until then, keep the goals of smooth frames, based on map, with as much resolution as the FSR can keep above that point where it looks terrible ~60-70%.


Just for note, pimax fixed foveated rendering does not have big benefits in DCS, at least not on my system. Unusual. I have it off.

And I use compulsive smooth 1/2 (90Hz), it is very similar as reprojection for me, but it looks a little bit better. There are some artefact at near planes, but DCS tolerates that very well.

I use fholger’s Perfkit too, with sharpening and some upscaling.

I tried large fov, and even if fps are similar like normal fov, the game itself is not smooth for me then. Normal fov is more that enough.

And I can’t stop playing this game :joy:


Hey, I’ve been trying out PimaxXR and OpenComposite. Haven’t been able to get Index Controllers working. Do you know if controllers are even currently possibe? With OpenComposite or without like native OpenXR.

what do you want with controllers in DCS?
I don’t understand this novel desire in flight simulators. Too lame, too imprecise, not intuitive.

Oh yes, they require SteamVR.

No it works for pavlov and that stalker game, in to the…darkness…but the motion controllers dont work yet

You write in riddles. He asks for INDEX controllers.

And theyre not supported i pimaxXr. And theyre not lame. They work wonderfully in DCS, if you know how to use them.


ok, then let us go in Dogfight. Only Guns. You with VR Controllers, myself with Hotas xD

1 Like

Hahaha gotcha there I use both! Seriously use one in the left hand…then fly with the right on stick…throttle and buttons with the left. Gotta turn stick control with controllers off tho.

1 Like

But no I get dominated by the easy AI in an f-16 so dead either way

1 Like

The motion controller support is there, but broken at the moment. Possibly sword or whatever controllers the OpenXR Toolkit dev has currently available only. (Not sure about OpenComposite. I’m digging for my MSFS experience at the moment.)

If someone has 1.0 base stations set up, it would be interesting to know if Vive controllers work.

Go support or hype the developer instead of arguing with some asswipe here :slight_smile:

1 Like

ohh sweety, lovely words xD

1 Like

@mbucchia is working on it. Apparently all he needs is the name of the string for index controllers as he says it should work for others already…and It’s PimaxXR vs. OpenXR Toolkit that I’m talking about, but given that he created both!

The Vive controllers are the only ones I have and they work today per my testing.
Index controllers support is here but needs debugging (but I don’t have these controllers).

The controller support is still very experimental, I have a To-do with a list of bugs to fix.


Can someone with Index controller contribute a trace? Preferably MSFS2020. This should be enough to get strings from PVR for the Index controller.


OH nevermind that! Turns our @DJSlanr did provide a trace and I finally had a chance to look at it. The issue for Index controller is obvious now!!

The Vive controller string is vive_controller in PVR (Pimax SDK) and also vive_controller in SteamVR.
The Index controller string is index_controller in SteamVR… So I had guessed that it would be that in PVR as well. But DJSlanr trace is showing the issue:

They called it knuckles instead!

So it should be a simple matter of replacing index_controller with knuckles in my code to make it work! :crossed_fingers:


Can anyone test that I’m not crazy: Motion smoothing has been miscalculated since version .271 I think?

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.