The Pimax Crystal VR Headset gets a pass-through mode and enhanced performance with the latest updates

The Pimax Crystal is arguably the most technically advanced VR headset available for Microsoft Flight Simulator, offering an unparalleled level of immersion in a virtual cockpit. The resolution and clarity of the Crystal have captivated simmers since it first garnered attention last year – a fact I can personally attest to after a brief stint with the headset at FlightSimExpo in Houston last year.

Since then, Pimax has continued to issue updates that enhance its appeal to flight simmers, including a simulation-focused package that eschews controllers for a more streamlined experience, a pass-through mode, and enhanced performance optimizations. Let’s check them out!

Fast Pass-through for Enhanced Awareness

Among the recent enhancements to the Pimax Crystal is what the company has dubbed “Fast Pass-Through” mode. In an era where mainstream headsets like Meta’s Quest 3 and even Apple’s Vision Pro seek to harness the benefits of mixed reality by overlaying the digital world onto the physical, Pimax introduces a practical advantage. This feature enhances situational awareness by allowing users to see their surroundings, which is particularly useful during virtual flights.

Leveraging the existing hardware (notably, the lower-resolution head tracking cameras located on the lower front of the headset), users can effortlessly switch to Pass-Through mode with a simple double tap on the headset. This functionality affords a clear view of the immediate environment, aiding in object identification and ensuring a safer, more immersive experience. Pimax believes this adds a valuable layer of convenience and safety to flight simulations.

Pimax Crystal headstrap MSFS 4
The new Comfort Topstrap aims to alleviate head pressure.

The Introduction of the Comfort Topstrap

In response to the challenge of discomfort during extended VR use, Pimax recently unveiled the Comfort Topstrap. This optional accessory is designed to reduce head pressure and enhance comfort for prolonged sessions. Given the Crystal’s notable heft, this addition promises to be a boon for many users and help them tolerate its heft for longer periods.

The Comfort Topstrap is slated for release this month at a cost of €19.90 plus applicable taxes.

Further Optimization Options

The remarkable resolution of the Pimax Crystal, at 5760 x 2880 pixels, demands significant processing power, potentially impacting simulator performance. To address this, Pimax has introduced new optimization features and endorsed third-party mods.

A notable new feature is the ability to lock frame rates within the device settings, ensuring smoother, more stable gameplay with fewer FPS fluctuations. This option benefits users across the hardware spectrum, from high-end graphics cards to more modest setups, by guaranteeing a consistent frame rate essential for an immersive flight simulation experience.

Additionally, Pimax supports third-party mods that enhance the flying experience for Crystal users. The Auto FPS mod, which dynamically adjusts simulator parameters to maintain a desired frame rate, is particularly beneficial for VR pilots.

Support for Almalence’s Digital Lens plugin further improves image quality beyond hardware limitations, sharpening details and reducing optical system aberrations for even greater clarity and immersion.

Pimax Crystal MSFS 3

A Strong Case for the Best VR Headset for Microsoft Flight Simulator

With its unmatched image quality and clarity, along with recent updates that improve convenience, comfort, and performance, the Pimax Crystal presents a compelling case as the premier VR headset for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

However, it’s important to acknowledge the Crystal’s high cost, comfort challenges, and demanding hardware requirements, which may not be accessible to all. Yet, for those who can invest in a setup capable of harnessing the Crystal’s full potential, there is no better option for achieving the ultimate immersion in Microsoft Flight Simulator.

The Pimax Crystal is available for purchase for $1,599, offering a significant but worthwhile investment for the most dedicated simmers. Use the discount code “msfsaddons” during checkout to get $50 off your purchase!

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