Q: “I thought you might have some information to share regarding a good basic home simulator. I tried the sim at the Atlanta Porsche Experience Center, for 15 minutes… and I got motion sickness. I’ve had the condition since childhood as a passenger, but not as driver. Now, prior to track time, I take Meclizine in case I ride with someone, and it works.”
A: I am not an expert on sim hardware – or even software (I’d like to think I’m okay at knowing what to do with sims…). I answered a question here in the past about this, so you could check out https://speedsecrets.com/ask-ross/q-recommend-a-driving-simulator-setup/. But I have to say that the last time I put a sim together was about five years ago and I know that world has changed a lot – tech changes, right? So I think you’re best to go onto the sim racing forums and ask for advice (sim racers love helping each other). The one thing I mentioned in my previous piece is to have a budget, and then work from there.
Yeah, simulators can be tricky with the motion sickness thing. I’ve done some experimenting with various people and found that by gradually increasing the amount of time they spend on the sim, they can work up to finally being able to use one for as long as they want. But it starts with 5 minutes, then another 5 minutes later that day; then 5 minutes and 10 minutes the next day, and so on. Over time, you can build up a tolerance to it. It can take weeks, which is more of a commitment than many people want to make.
The other thing that makes a big difference is the location of the screens. I’ve found that if people start with a single screen, that is better than having three – without the two side screens. Again, after a period of time they get used to it, and can gradually have all three screens. And the distance from the eyes to the screen is critical, too (but I’m not sure it’s the same for everyone, which makes it tricky to figure out what’s right for you).
I recently went from one screen to an Oculus Rift VR-google setup. It isn’t really a “setup” at all but mostly plug-and-play, so it’s a great way to get full surround visuals without the mechanical and electronic effort of multi-screen setups. iRacing automatically recognizes the VR setup and switches to that mode. Screen resolution is not as sharp as a good screen, and the googles can get uncomfortable after a while. There’s an iRacing forum on VR that helps with setup and questions.
It definitely takes the experience to a new level.
You will have a higher probability to be motion sick with VR. About 50% of the people who try VR suffer MS. FIELD OF VIEW is also an area where if not correct, your simulation experience will be poor. Do not yield to gaming quality components. Good steering and brakes in a NO FLEX environment are also things to look for in a good simulator.
Agreed, and I should have made this clear in my comment. VR deprives you of all visual inputs from the “real world” so your vision and vestibular system are on two different tracks. As a vertigo sufferer, I can attest that it is a challenge. But time has helped.
And if you do go VR. DO NOT WASTE MONEY on a good racing wheel. I have been in the simulation industry for the last 7 years and operate an Open Wheel race car rental service, we use Sims to train input behaviour prior to real world track time and for ongoing driver development, sadly as much as VR may be attractive. I would not recommend going that way.
If I can be of any help on this topic, please let me know.
I’ve worked in the Motorsport Simulation field for the better part of two decades and currently own a sim hardware development company.
Always enjoy working with racers/teams to determine the right fit for their needs.