To use FlyInside you'll need a flight simulator, a virtual reality headset, and a virtual reality capable computer.
FlyInside requires a flight simulator in order to function. FlyInside installs as an add-on for your flight simulator, bringing it into virtual reality. To use FlyInside, please install one of the following simulators listed below.
Microsoft Flight Simulator X
Microsoft Flight Simulator X is the most widely used flight simulator. It is cheap, easy to purchase, and supports a huge number of add-ons. Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition is recommended. It provides the best performance, and often goes on sale for as little as $5.
Older versions of Flight Simulator X are also supported.
Prepar3D from Lockheed Martin is a more modern flight simulator than FSX. Sharing common heritage, Prepar3D supports many FSX add-ons. It is under active development and features prettier graphics with cockpit shadows. Prepar3D is more expensive than FSX, with a price of $200 for entertainment use, or $60 if you meet the requirements of the Academic license.
Note that Prepar3D frequently releases updates, and it often takes several days before FlyInside adds compatibility for new updates. If you are happy with your FlyInside installation do not update Prepar3D before checking whether FlyInside support has been added yet.
FlyInside curently supports Prepar3D 2.5-3.3.
Choosing a Simulator
If you are new to flight simulation, I would recommend starting with FSX. It is cheaper, includes a larger variety of aircraft, and best of all, ships with many fun missions and tutorials.
More serious simmers may prefer Prepar3D for its improved graphics and advanced functionality.
Virtual Reality Headset
The Oculus Rift is known for its crisp display, comfortable form-factor, and reliable asynchronous timewarp. It offers the best FlyInside experience at the moment.
The HTC Vive is known for its room-scale support and incredible motion controllers.
If your main use of VR will be flight simulation, the Oculus Rift is recommended. It offers a slightly clearer display (useful for reading small text and gauges), and smoother FPS due to more reliable asynchronous timewarp. FlyInside Vive support is somewhat buggy and in Beta status, although we are working on improving it.
If you are interested in VR as a whole, the Vive offers an unparalleled room-scale experience. You can jump and duck with virtual hand-held weapons, incredibly fun! FlyInside does support the Vive, but suffers from lower readability and black flickering for some users. We hope to improve upon these issues.
To use FlyInside we recommend a computer with the following specifications:
- Windows 10 64-bit recommended, Windows 7 SP1 64-bit and above supported
- Intel i5-4590 or better
- NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 or better
- 8 GB of RAM or more
- 4 USB 3.0 ports
You may use the Oculus Rift Compatibility Tool to check whether your PC is VR capable.
A variety of companies manufacture Oculus Ready PCs which will run FlyInside. For example:
FlyInside requires a 64-bit version of Windows, Windows 7 SP1 or newer. Windows 10 offers the best performance, highest FPS, and lowest latency thanks to improvements in its graphics architecture. That said, older versions of Windows work fine.
A modern Intel i5 is recommended. The CPU is the most limiting factor in flight simulation with FSX or Prepar3D. The most important spec is single-core performance, which will directly affect your frames-per-second.
FlyInside will not make use of more than four cores, so it is better to spend on a fast i5 than a slower i7. At the same time, simulators tend to be limited by the CPU, so spending on a faster i5 rather than a more powerful GPU will result in the largest FPS boost.
We recommend a GTX 970 for FlyInside. A more powerful card will allow your experience to remain smooth at higher resolutions or greater anti-aliasing levels, but a GTX 970 provide a solid experience for the price. Upgrading your processor to a faster speed will result in a larger performance increase than upgrading to a 980, 980 Ti, or 1080.
8GB RAM or more is recommended. Flight Simulator X and Prepar3D are both 32-bit programs, limiting them to <4GB of memory usage no matter how much RAM you have. Having 4GB of RAM for your simulator, and 4GB for OS/other programs will result in a good experience. Adding additional memory will not benefit your simulator, as it is unable to utilize the additional memory.
What to Expect
VR rendering is extremely intensive. Two views are drawn, a large field-of-view includes more objects at once, and high resolution rendering takes its own toll. You can expect your VR frame-rate to be anywhere from 80% to 50% of your desktop frame-rate depending upon settings.
The recommend setup provides a comfortable and smooth experience using stock aircraft, stock scenery, and medium graphics/scenery settings. If you want to use heavy add-on aircraft like the PMDG series you may want to invest in a faster processor. If you run many graphics add-ons a higher-level GPU may benefit you. Simulators can be tuned down or tuned up heavily by the user, and you may need to adjust your settings for VR.
Lower-spec computers may work with FlyInside (as long as they support your headset), but you may need to turn down resolution and scenery levels for a comfortable experience.
FlyInside requires that both your primary monitor and your HMD be connected to the same graphics card. This is because FlyInside shares data between your simulator, monitor, and HMD. Your HMD must be connected to the card's HDMI port. If your graphics hard has only one HDMI port, and your monitor also uses HDMI, you will need to use an adapter to connect the monitor to an alternate port. An HDMI to DVI adapter may be necessary.
FlyInside FSX does not support SLI, but FlyInside P3D does. If you have FlyInside P3D, SLI will allow you to increase your resolution and MSAA levels, for a smoother and crisper experience.