10 VR Flight Combat Games to Hone Your Skills Ahead of 'Star Wars: Squadrons' – Road to VR

10 VR Flight Combat Games to Hone Your Skills Ahead of 'Star Wars: Squadrons' – Road to VR
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    Looking to dust off your flying skills before jumping into the cockpit of an X-wing or TIE fighter? Before EA’s upcoming space combat game Star Wars: Squadrons launches on PC VR and PSVR October 2nd, you may consider popping into a few of these VR-compatible flight combat games to get a head start on the competition.

    Star Wars: Squadrons will have a few modes at launch, including a single-player campaign, and both a 5v5 multiplayer dogfighting deathmatch and objective-based battle mode. That said, there’s sure to be plenty of room for novice and pro dogfighters across all game modes. Check out the gameplay trailer to learn more.

    Anyway, here’s our roundup of a few great VR flight games, which span simulator and arcade subgenres. We’ve listed both PC VR and PSVR games below.

    PC VR

    VTOL VR

    VTOL VR is the quintessential VR-native flight combat game, which includes multi-role jets and an immersive, interactive cockpit that lets you flip switches, press buttons, and manipulate the virtual flight controls with your own two hands. That’s something that probably won’t be possible in Squadrons, so you might as well enjoy it.

    • Developer: Boundless Dynamics, LLC
    • Platforms: SteamVR
    • Price: $26
    • War Thunder

      Free is a good price—especially for this full-featured MMO that puts you in basically any plane you can imagine, past and present. You don’t have to pay anything to jump right into a number of military-style jets and helicopters from some of the biggest battles in history. Arcadey controls for novice players, and bespoke ‘realistic mode’ designed for more experienced players.

      • Developer: Gaijin Entertainment
      • Platforms: SteamVR
      • Price: Free to play

      DCS World

      Digital Combat Simulator World is another great free-to-play title focusing on authentic and realistic simulation of military aircraft, tanks, ground vehicles and ships. There may not be any X-wings, but there’s a bustling playerbase ready to hunt you down.

      • Developer: Eagle Dynamics
      • Platforms: SteamVR
      • Price: Free to play

      IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad

      IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad is definitely on the simulator side of things, but also approachable enough for new players. If you’re not well versed in flight combat games, you may be better off playing DCS World or War Thunder first before you throw down the cash for this one, which features detailed recreations of some Soviet/Nazi battles of WWII. Although released on Steam for PC in 2014, its VR implementation is on par with other retrofits.

      • Developer: 1C Game Studios, 777 Studios
      • Platforms: SteamVR
      • Price: $60

      Elite Dangerous

      Elite Dangerous is an MMO space sim that definitely has dogfighting. Will you be able to dogfight in space immediately? Not a chance. You’ll need to work for it, build out your ship, and learn the complex controls before you’re ready to cruise the universe.

      • Developer: Frontier Developments
      • Platforms: SteamVR, Oculus Rift
      • Price: $25

      Cross-platform

      EVE: Vakyrie

      EVE: Valkyrie is a space-based dogfighter that brings team-based battles to both SteamVR and PSVR platforms. It’s a multiplayer-only affair, which was its biggest stumbling block in the beginning, although its developers CCP eventually added support for traditional monitors in effort to pad out its largely empty servers.

      From what we know about Squadrons so far, Valkyrie would have probably been one of the best jumping off points to get you used to team-based aerial combat. CCP has since abandoned the game about a year ago and some users have reported an inability to find matches. When you can, it’s probably one of the best training tools for Squadrons.

      • Developer: CCP
      • Platforms: SteamVR, Oculus Rift, PSVR
      • Price: $30

      End Space

      This single-player space dogfighter puts you in a Minos Starfighter where you lay down law at the mysterious edge of inhabited space. Complete increasingly difficult contracts for the United Trade Consortium and try to stay alive.

      • Developer: Orange Bridge Studios
      • Platforms: SteamVR, Oculus Rift, PSVR
      • Price: $20

      Ultrawings

      This arcade-style flight game isn’t a dogfighter in the slightest, although it does offer a casual entry point into the genre without being frenetic or violent. Perform tight maneuvers through rings, shoot down balloons, and make precision landings. It’s all good fun in Ultrawings.

      • Developer: Bit Planet Games, LLC
      • Platforms: SteamVR, Oculus Rift, PSVR
      • Price: $15

      PSVR

      Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One VR Mission

      Think of this one as a big, big step towards the first proper Star Wars VR game. EA’s Criterion Games did the legwork implementing VR into the company’s Frostbite engine, and Motive Studios took that and ran with it, creating Star Wars: Squadrons. It’s a taster, not competitive, and well worth exploring. It’s also free.

      • Developer: EA, Criterion Games
      • Platforms: PSVR
      • Price: Free

      Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

      You’re not getting the full fat arcade-style combat experience here in PSVR; it’s only a VR mode that features three missions not seen in the campaign and online modes. It’s typical Ace Combat fun, but way too short to drop the $60 on its own merit.

      • Developer: Bandai Namco
      • Platforms: PS4 (PSVR mode)
      • Price: $60

      Know of any great dogfighters or flight games we missed? Let us know your favorite in the comments below!

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