Everything you need to know about VR in iRacing

VR, or Virtual Reality, is one of the best ways to increase immersion, especially in iRacing. Here’s everything you need to know about it!

Most people play iRacing on a single screen mainly because it’s the cheapest option. One screen in front of you is fine for sim racing and combined with a steering wheel and pedals will give you an all-around good experience.

Why choose a VR headset?

A triple screen setup is usually considered a huge step up from a single screen system. It’s essentially like a single screen setup with the extra two screens angled to more or less represent the side windows of a car. This setup when it’s done right gives you the feeling of being in a real race car with the ability to see rival cars side by side with you as well as being able to see the apex of a corner that has a wide entry. 

The main downsides of this setup are cost and space. Three screens are not cheap and having them on your sim rig can take up a huge amount of room. Lesser issues are the ugly bezels between the monitors that ruin the immersion factor and having a powerful graphics card that can run three screens at a decent framerate. If you need to know how to choose the best monitor for your sim rig, check out our Best Sim Racing Monitors Guide – it should help narrow down exactly what will work best for you.

Virtual Reality (VR) has come a long way in recent years and is probably the best way to improve immersion in sim racing. iRacing fully supports VR across a wide range of VR headsets. There are a lot of factors that must be considered when making the move to VR. 

📣 Promotion
Delta Setup Subscription

The advantages of VR in iRacing

The feeling of being in the car is amazing. You can run side by side with a competitor and still be able to turn your head and look across the track to scan for potential hazards. You can lean your head into a corner to spot the apex earlier especially when corners have a wide entry. The sensation of speed as well as being able to see the track elevation makes you really appreciate the high-quality laser scanned tracks in iRacing. Overall, you feel like you’re actually driving a racing car with the feeling of being in direct control without any sensation of delay or lag even when moving your head around.

VR only requires a small monitor to boot up your PC and launch your favourite sim. This means that it will take up a lot less floor space when compared to a single large monitor or a triple-screen setup.

The disadvantages of VR

A good VR headset is not cheap. Prices range from around $550 for the HP Reverb G2 to $1600 for a Pimax 8K. The problem with the cost of VR is not just the headset. The VR headset must be coupled to a graphics card with the raw power to drive two high-resolution screens at 90 frames per second (FPS) or higher. A typical VR headset will have two screens inside the headset that, despite their small size, will have a resolution of around 1440p. For VR to run smooth, an FPS of 90 or higher is recommended. This is very demanding for most graphics cards (GPU) and computers in general. If you need to know more about Graphics Cards, head here.

Entry-level VR headsets have high-resolution screens but since your eyes are so close to them, the resolution isn’t as sharp as a monitor that’s positioned at arm’s length or further away. Because of this, lower quality VR headsets can have what’s known as the screen door effect where it seems like you’re viewing the world through a fine mesh. What you’re actually seeing is gaps between the pixels in the screens. This can be quite jarring and spoils the feeling of being in the car. Moving to a higher quality headset means spending a lot more money on the headset and potentially a new GPU. 

Things to consider when choosing a VR headset

Besides the display resolution, sound quality is an important factor in your VR experience. Some VR headsets have the speakers permanently fixed while others have removable speakers or even no speakers at all. Removable or no speakers can have the advantage of using your own headset that may have better sound quality than the built-in ones. This is really important because once you’ve bought a VR headset with permanently fixed speakers, then you’re stuck with them. Arguably, sound quality can be more important in sim racing than the outright visual quality which makes this decision far more important than you would initially assume.

Another option to consider is the field of view (FOV) of the headset. The wider the number, the more you can see in-game but this higher will come at a cost. 

What about people that wear spectacles? Generally, it is possible to wear prescription spectacles with a VR headset. Contact lenses also work fine. However, there is also the option of purchasing custom made prescription lenses for your VR headset. VR for example can make custom lenses for your unique prescription and have them shipped to your door in more or less one week.

These new lenses will then work exactly like your prescription spectacles giving you crystal clear in-game vision without worrying about your spectacles scratching the screens on your VR headset. VR Optician also sells plain lenses that can act as protective covers to prevent the screens on your VR headset from being scratched.

What’s VR like in iRacing?

iRacing has support for a variety of VR headsets but not every single headset available for purchase is supported. It’s therefore pointless buying a cheap VR headset only to find that it isn’t well supported in the sims you play. Also, only reputable manufacturers provide regular software and firmware updates to fix issues. Coach Dave Academy has an excellent writeup of VR headsets for sim racing that should make it easier to decide what will work for you.

How do you set up VR in iRacing?

Getting VR up and running in iRacing is quite easy. Once all the relevant drivers and software for your VR headset have been installed, launch iRacing like you normally would via your web browser. After that, join a race/practice session. This will then cause a window to pop up asking if the game must be rendered on the VR headset or on the computer’s flat screen. Choose the VR headset option and iRacing will then launch in VR mode. The VR interface is basically the same as in the regular iRacing menu. You can use your mouse to select menus while wearing the VR headset. 

One of the first things to do once you’re in-game is to tweak the graphics settings to ensure that you get a constant 90 FPS or higher. If you’re unsure of what settings to adjust, visit the VR section on the iRacing forums. They have a detailed guide on how to fine-tune the graphics settings in iRacing to get a smooth VR experience.


Playing iRacing in VR is a massive difference when compared to using a flat-screen. It’s incredibly immersive and really gives the feeling of driving a real car. However, it can be costly and therefore not necessarily suitable for everyone. Nevertheless, those that can afford the upgrade will quickly realise that VR has taken their sim racing experience to a whole new level that cannot be realised when using a flat screen.

If you buy something from a Coach Dave link, we may earn a commission.

iRacing car setups?

Gain the upper hand with super fast iRacing setups, developed by Pro Sim Drivers.

iRacing Data Packs

Learn how to achieve fast lap times in fixed setup championships with our iRacing Data Bundles.

Subscribe to the Coach Dave Digest. Join 33K+ subscribers who get the best of sim racing in their inbox every day.

iRacing car setups?

Gain the upper hand with super fast iRacing setups, developed by Pro Sim Drivers.

Table of Contents

Related Posts

5 tips and tricks to nail the rain in iRacing
5 tips and tricks to nail the rain in iRacing
Here are the 5 tips and tricks you need to nail wet weather driving in iRacing.
iRacing Week 10 & Nurburgring 24H Setups
iRacing Week 10 & Nurburgring 24H Setups
It’s finally time for the Green Hell, the hardest 24h race of the entire year, along with week 10 of the iRacing season. You’ll be able to get plenty of practice in this week as the GT3 Sprint, the TCR Challenge and the Porsche Cup all head to the Nurburgring Gesamtstrecke 24h layout. We also have all your short oval setups ready thanks to Team 53 and of course we have setups for the most popular formula series in week 10. NURBURGRING 24H SPECIAL EVENT SETUPS GT3 CLASS: Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo 2 Mercedes AMG GT3 Evo  BMW M4 GT3 Ferrari 296 GT3 Porsche 992 GT3R GT3 CUP: Porsche 991 GT3 Cup Car GT4 CLASS: Aston Martin Vantage GT4 BMW M4 GT4 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport TCR CLASS: Honda Civic Type R TCR Hyundai Elantra TCR PRODUCTION CLASS: Toyota GR86 NURBURGRING 24H LAP TIME TABLE CarLap TimeAudi R8…
Special Event Guide: iRacing Indianapolis 6 Hours
Special Event Guide: iRacing Indianapolis 6 Hours
Positioned as the penultimate road racing event on the iRacing Special Event calendar, let's learn more about the Indianapolis 6 Hours.
Everything you need to know about VR in iRacing
Save & Share Cart
Your Shopping Cart will be saved and you'll be given a link. You, or anyone with the link, can use it to retrieve your Cart at any time.
Back Save & Share Cart
Your Shopping Cart will be saved with Product pictures and information, and Cart Totals. Then send it to yourself, or a friend, with a link to retrieve it at any time.
Your cart email sent successfully :)

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience possible from Coach Dave Academy.