Reducing sub-refresh stutter / judder?

OK, I frequently see reviews on youtube with players using sub-refresh frame-rates. For example, a reviewer running a Pimax HMD at 90hz but the game is running 80-90.
Are these persons just extremely tolerant of all the stutter that happens the moment the fps drops below the refresh? Or do they know some magic setting that allows sub-refresh frame rates to operate smoothly?
So far I’ve never found a title that was tolerable unless hitting the refresh 100% of the time. Well, it’s a bit less of a problem in seated racing SIMs, but even there any frame rate below the refresh is annoying. It’s not crippling like it can be in standing SIMs, but annoying nonetheless.
Would love to know what that trick is, if one exists!


i wish they had a good fix for this indeed !

There have been some attempts at bringing variable refresh rate screens into VR. I think it was BOE that showed one off, in a headset, at an expo earlier this year. The issue is that most screens run at a low persistence which apparently doesn’t match well with VRR and causes issues (not sure what tbh) so they are working on some algorithm that dynamically adjusts the persistence of the screen along with the refresh rate.

It would be a hug benefit in general and lead to much smoother experiences when pushing hardware to the limit.

OK, thanks for the responses! I was wondering if I was somehow doing something incorrectly, but it sounds like these people are just living with the stutter issues.

For me, in some games I tolerate lower fps, and in some I don’t. In shooters and similar single player I use smoothing (90/45Hz), and highest ss possible.

In a DCS I use compulsive smooth 1/2 (45Hz). Dcs tolerates that good, especially in jet era. Compulsive is a little bit better then smart smoothing here, to me personally.

In a IL-2 I do not tolerate refresh less then 70Hz, and no smoothing at all. There I do manuvears, and I need constantly smooth picture in all directions to see enemies.
Also, IL-2 works better on SteamVR than on OpenXR (same settings, same FPS, but in OXR I see frames while in SteamVR is more smooth). In dcs there is no difference steamvr vs oxr.

Also I saw that with lower resolutions (oculus rift) I needed more FPS (90), and with i.e. 8kx resolution I need “only” 75 (min 70).