X-Plane 11.20 VR3 updates

by: Dave -
More On: X-Plane

I have referred to Laminar Research "breaking" X-Plane 11.20 VR, but that really isn't fair. The VR version is a preview, which doesn't even rise to the level of a beta release. They are releasing a special VR version only to X-Plane users that opt to take it, and they are very, very clear that there are no guarantees regarding stability or that things can change rapidly as they assess the flood of user feedback.

That said, VR2 wouldn't even launch because of a bug introduced during some changes. VR3 was a hotfix that they released only a day or two later, demonstrating a laudable commitment to keeping people like me happy. There is still a problem, though. Whatever they did between VR1 and VR3 has ruined my frame rate; in its current form, it is utterly unusable on my platform whereas VR1 was very smooth. Hopefully that too will be repaired with alacrity.

On the plus side, the devs really took to heart a lot of the user feedback. For example, I bought the VSKYLABS DC-3 primarily because it had been upgraded to work in native VR, but the throttles were hard to use because the Touch controller could only move one at a time as opposed to there being a central hot spot between the levers that would enable both of them to move together. That is the way it works in the default twin-engine Beechcraft Baron that comes with X-Plane 11. This is important. When trying to start a takeoff roll by advancing one throttle before the other, you will quickly learn that that level of asymmetric thrust on a taildragger is going to swerve you off into the grass in no time at all. The nosewheel-equipped Baron would be a little easier to control, but it's still not a good way to do things. So they fixed that.

There were a couple of other fixes that come to mind as important. They also added an option for using the Touch controller in a more realistic motion when using it to use the airplane's yoke with the controllers, and they added in-cockpit mouse support to help people that are still using HOTAS controllers rather than the full VR suite. Both of these are going to be popular.

Full release notes are available here.