Best VR Flight Simulator Headsets

Editor’s note: The following article is not intended to be a ranking, but is only to serve as a list of possible options. As the saying goes, your mileage may vary.

You only have so much space at your desk for your flight simulator setup. Between the PC, keyboard, and mouse, there’s hardly room for a larger screen. Luckily, strapping on a VR headset transports you right into the seat of any aircraft you can imagine.

But where should you start? There are dozens of options for headsets and the terminology can be quite dense. Fortunately for you, FLYING has broken down everything you need to know to pick the right headset for your virtual flight.


Quicklook: Best VR Headset for Flight Simulator

5 Best VR Flight Simulator Headsets

Instead of going through the dozens of popular headsets, we’ve picked out five of the best on the market right now.

Valve Index

While the hefty price tag may be daunting, the Valve Index is a top-tier headset with ample specs for the perfect gaming experience. If you’re already in possession of a high-end PC, this headset will take advantage of that power to deliver spectacular visual fidelity and excellent tracking.

Release Date: April 2019

Resolution: 1440 x 1600 per eye

Display Type: LCD

Refresh Rate: 144Hz

FoV (Field of View): 108 degrees

Weight: 809g

Portability: Not portable

Special Features:

  • Innovative controllers
  • IPD and lens distance adjustment
  • Premium build materials
  • Off-ear stereo speakers


  • Quick setup
  • High resolution
  • High frame rate
  • Highly accurate tracking


  •  High price
  •  High-performance PC recommended
  •  Base stations required

Meta Quest 2

Formerly known as the Oculus Quest 2, this entry-level headset is the most popular system on the market. Without the need for a PC, the Meta Quest 2 is easily the most accessible VR headset for anyone getting into the game. Don’t let the price fool you—it still packs quite a bit of cutting-edge technology under the hood.

Release Date: October 2020 

Resolution: 1832 x 1920 per eye

Display Type: Single Fast switch LCD

Refresh Rate: 120Hz

FoV (Field of View): 97 degrees

Weight: 503g

Portability: Extremely Portable

Special Features:

  •  All-in-one headset
  •  PC compatible
  •  Built-In directional speakers


  • Low price
  • Easy setup 
  • No PC required
  • Decent visual quality


  • Short battery life
  • Small field of view
  • Facebook login required
  • Limited standalone game library

HTC Vive Pro 2

The HTC Vive Pro 2 is surely a worthy successor of the original Vive headset. With its top-of-the-class resolution, the view from your virtual cockpit is sure to be crystal clear. The complete set is quite expensive at more than $1,000, but if you already have a high-end PC and bay stations from an older headset, the Vive Pro 2 is your best choice for an upgrade.

Release Date: June 2021

Resolution: 2448 x 2448 per eye

Display Type: LCD

Refresh Rate: 120Hz

FoV (Field of View): 116 degrees

Weight: 850g

Portability: Not portable

Special Features:

  • Wireless adapter for PC (sold separately)
  • Excellent controller tracking


  • Wide field of view
  • Very high resolution 
  • Adjustable stereo speakers
  • Fine-Tuned software adjustments


  • Bay stations required 
  • High price
  • Low quality built-in microphone

HP Reverb G2

The HP Reverb G2 is the perfect option for players who want a little more power than what the Meta Quest 2 offers. For the price, HP is offering a powerful VR headset with a few compromises.

Release Date: October 2020

Resolution: 2160 x 2160 per eye

Display Type: LCD

Refresh Rate: 90Hz

FoV (Field of View): 98 degrees

Weight: 498g

Portability: Not Portable

Special Features:

  • Windows Mixed Reality Software


  • Great comfort for extended sessions
  • Great hardware for price
  • Manually adjustable IPD slider
  • Low weight


  • Low-quality built-in microphone
  • Mid-tier field of view
  • No capacitive sensors on controllers

Pimax 5K Super

One of the more unusual entries on this list, the Pimax 5K Super offers an insanely wide field of view with a few high specs to match. Despite its compromises on basic features, the 5K Super is great for those who stick to Microsoft Flight Simulator, instead of other fast-paced action games.

Release Date: November 2020

Resolution: 2560 x 1440 per eye

Display Type: CLPL

Refresh Rate: 180Hz

FoV (Field of View): 150 degrees

Weight: 750g

Portability: Not portable

Special Features:

  • Up to 180 Hz refresh rate


  • Extremely wide field of view
  • High-end headset under $1,000


  • High-end PC required 
  • Bay stations required
  • No controllers included
  • Outer-edge lens distortion
  • Low-quality sound/microphone

What Is a VR Headset? 

Virtual reality (VR) headsets are devices used to experience simulated environments in three-dimensional space. In other words, they are the “goggles” we use to see into the virtual world.

VR headsets take advantage of one of our most powerful senses—sight. Seeing is believing, and that’s more than enough to make a virtual environment feel real. Headsets are widely used for VR gaming, but multiple professional uses have been developed, such as in medicine, engineering, and filmmaking.

How Do VR Headsets Work?

VR headsets generally imitate how our human eyes work. Inside every headset is a pair of stereoscopic lenses, which distort the image of the built-in screens to appear three-dimensional. With a combination of gyroscopes, motion sensors, and accelerometers, your movement is translated into virtual space.

Headsets range widely in specifications, including resolution, frame rate, and field of view. As technology steadily advances, higher specifications will drive VR into a more convincing experience.

Flight Simulators: VR vs Monitor

Whether you’re just casually flying or practicing for the real thing, true attempts at simulators are meant to be as realistic as possible. While you can get a basic experience using a computer monitor, VR headsets up the ante by physically placing you inside the cockpit.

With the added maneuverability of head movement, you can now see the world around you as you would in an actual aircraft. There simply is no question that VR is the way to simulate flight.

What to Consider With VR Headsets for Flight Simulators

Different VR experiences call for different priorities when it comes to specifications. Of course, the higher the specs, the better the image across the board. But what does each specification mean?

PC Power

Simulating a virtual space takes a lot of processing power. Generally, an everyday PC or laptop is not powerful enough to run VR applications. Gaming PCs are typically the best bet, given that they have upgraded components essential to creating 3D space.

A VR-ready PC will have a top-notch graphics card, video card, RAM, and processor. These components make up a large portion of your PC’s functionality already, so investing in these parts will generate returns outside of just gaming.

Home Setup

Flight simulator home setups range from the bare minimum to fully integrated physical controls. For any VR setup, you want at least a 3 ft by 3 ft clear space, indoors, to avoid accidentally hitting walls or objects.

Since Flight Simulator is played sitting down, your average office area is the perfect size for your flight. Most VR headsets will also be compatible with some combination of controllers, including yokes, throttles, and pedals.


No matter how big a TV screen may be, none of it matters unless the picture quality is great too. What you’re reading right now is not actual printed words. Your screen is made up of tiny individual pixels, alternating between colors to create the illusion of imagery.

The higher the pixel density, the clearer the image. 

Refresh Rate

Much like a TV, the refresh rate of a VR headset refers to the frequency at which images are flashed across the screen every millisecond. The higher the refresh rate, the more smooth and connected moving images appear.

Hand Controllers

Most VR headsets come with two hand controllers, used to control your experience inside the virtual space. Flight Simulator is compatible with accessories like pedals and yokes, but your standard controllers included with the headset are fully capable of an enjoyable virtual flight.

Lens Quality

Lens quality is not only important for Flight Simulator, but for VR in general. When the quality of the stereoscopic lenses is low, the chance of developing eye strain or motion sickness is increased. Low quality lenses will make it difficult to play for extended periods of time.


Strapping a screen to your face can be quite uncomfortable after a while. Comfort is one of the most important aspects of your headset. Of course, the lighter the headset, the easier it is to hold your head up and move around.

When the goal is total immersion, you have to minimize sensory input from outside of the virtual environment. It’s a little harder to believe you’re in an F-22 when it feels like a weight is tied to your head.

Should I Use VR for Flight Simulator?

Absolutely. Virtual reality is quickly becoming a highly advanced technology, which already offers incredible immersive capabilities for everyday consumers. If you want your simulated flight to be as real as possible, you’ll need to strap in and see it for yourself. And if you want to keep up with the latest in aviation technology, you can subscribe to FLYING for the best content in, and out, of virtual reality.


What is the best VR headset for Microsoft flight simulator?

Currently, the best VR headset for Microsoft Flight Simulator is the Valve Index, assuming you have a powerful PC to take advantage of its high specs.

What is the best virtual reality headset?

There is no singular “best” VR headset, given that its uses vary wildly. For hardcore gaming, the HTC Vive Pro 2 is an excellent choice, given its high resolution and refresh rate. For casual experiences, the Meta Quest 2 is a powerful standalone device, perfect for those just getting into the virtual space.

Which VR is the most realistic?

It is hard to say which headset gives the most realistic experience. At a certain point, the realism begins to depend on the developers of the application being used, rather than the slight differences in specs between headsets.


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