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Microsoft Flight Simulator is starting its VR beta very soon

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VR has been on everyone's mind since Microsoft Flight Simulator (opens in new tab) was first announced. Even as someone who finds VR disappointing and nauseating, I'm still eager to strap an uncomfortable, expensive headset to my face and divebomb the Grand Canyon, though I'll certainly have a sick bag nearby. And it looks like we'll get to try it out soon. 

Feedback from the announcement (opens in new tab) is what inspired developer Asobo to work on VR support, and prior to launch the studio announced that the wait wouldn't be too long, with the goal being to have it ready for the HP Reverb G2 headset, which has been designed in collaboration with Microsoft and Valve. The headset didn't have a release date then, but now we know that the first pre-orders will be sent out in early November. 

Full VR support won't be ready in time for early adopters, but some players will still be able to crank up the immersion within a month thanks to an upcoming closed beta. 

In a developer Q&A, above, Microsoft Flight Simulator boss Jorg Neumann explained that the team has been working on VR support for over a year, but now it wants player feedback. The closed beta is expected to kick off in late October or early November, starting with Windows Mixed Reality headsets and expanding to other devices later. 

To get a shot of checking out the beta, you'll need to sign up to the Microsoft Flight Simulator Insider programme and submit your DxDiag, instructions for which can be found on the official site (opens in new tab), and of course you'll need a WMR headset. 

Along with the closed beta news, Neumann also teased the second world update. The first tackled Japan (opens in new tab) and arrived this week, and the US is next on the docket. It's not been dated yet, but the plan is to release world updates every two or three months, so expect it to appear this year. 

Further away are features like seasons and shared cockpits. The former is something that was teased during development, but it's a big task and will take a bit longer to complete. The shared cockpit feature is in a similar situation, and while the team's working on it, the priority right now is making multiplayer a more polished experience. 

The good news is that you might get to test these features before they appear in the live game. Members of the Insider programme got to play early across several alpha and beta phases, and that's something that will continue, so keep your eye out for announcements about pre-release builds. 

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.