Basic Setup – OpenXR & Pimax HMDs... (2024)

I have been testing my VR configuration/stability & visual improvements with my Pimax5k Super HMD since DCS provided OpenXR support. At first, tests where KO and could hardly just get to the flight phase. But a recent break through has occurred and has changed the testing results by 180 degrees for the better.

The big game changer happened yesterday when I found out that the OpenXR Toolkit was revised to v1.2.4. to improve usability with DCSOpenXR implementation, see note 1.

I will spare you the testing details and jump directly to some results/configurations that work for me.

Hardware configuration:(if you wish to compare, here are my PC details)

Mobo: MSI X570-A PRO/PCIe 4

CPU: AMD RYZEN 9 3900X (12 CORE)


RAM: DDR4-32 GB (3200MHZ wt XMP)


Software configuration:

DCS World Open Beta v as of 3 FEB 2023 & wt OpenXR support)

PiTool v1.0.1.284v- Version 284 is required as per PimaxXR requirements. See note 1.

PimaxXR v0.3.0- This app is the runtime required for OpenXR to work with PiTool and to bypass SteamVR. PimaxXR runtime is needed to avoidPiTool kick starting SteamVR by default. Install PimaxXR and make sure that PimaxXR is selected as the OpenXR runtime. See note 2.

OpenXR Toolkit v1.2.4– Latest version as of 2 FEB 2023. See note 3.

OpenXR Explorer v1.4- Optional application to analyzeOpenXR runtimes & OpenXR Toolkit app that is installed. Not required for successin implementing OpenXR with DCS. See note 4.

OpenComposite- This application and its DLL implementation into DCS is not required forsuccessin implementing OpenXR with DCS. However, you may need it for other VR games or simulators that are designed to use the SteamVR app to run them in VR. See note 6.


  • Always make sure that the PiTool app is UP and running regardless of what VR runtime (SteamVR or OpenXR) you use. Otherwise, your Pimax HMD is not available for your VR sessions.
  • If you have configured a DCS game start icon in PiTool and wish to test OpenXR runtime, avoid using that game start icon. Starting DCS from the PiTool/My games/DCS icon will kick start SteamVR. Having DCS started via SteamVR while OpenXR is configure for the game will likely cause undesired results. If you are going to run or test DCS OpenXR VR method (bypassing SteamVR), for safety, just delete the game start icon in PiTool as you will not really need it anymore. Instead, do the following…
  • Exploit the DCS command line features to start the simulator as thesewill be useful to you. Make yourself some DCS game start windowshortcuts to facilitate things. Here are some windows shortcut command line targets that I use. Make a DCS game start shortcut for each of the following shortcut targets & see note 5 for other DCS post link;

"your game install path\DCS World OpenBeta\bin\DCS.exe" --force_enable_VR --force_OpenXR- to start DCS with OpenXR support. Make sure that SteamVR is not running. Make sure that OpenXR Toolkit is enabled. At first, use the default Toolkit shortcuts. Also, make sure that active OpenXR runtime is ticked back to OpenXR within the PimaxXR app. This will enable bypassing SteamVR and will avoid SteamVR from being called.

"your game install path\DCS World OpenBeta\bin\DCS.exe" --force_enable_VR --force_SteamVR- to start DCS with SteamVR support. If you revert back to using SteamVR, make sure that the OpenXR Toolkit is disabled (tick the disable switch in OpenXR Toolkit) and that active OpenXR runtime is ticked back to STEAMVR within the PimaxXR app (start PimaxXR app and select SteamVR as the runtime).

"your game install path\DCS World OpenBeta\bin\DCS.exe" --force_disable_VR– to start DCS without VR so that DCS displays on your primary display screen. This could useful for HOTAS configuration, etc.

  • Without guaranties, this methodology should work for Pimax4k, 5k or 8k HMD owners.
  • Can all these pieces of software & apps co-exist at the same time on your PC. YES, however, configuring the apps correctly is required if you wish to use DCS with SteamVR or with OpenXR. See comments above depending on the shortcut command lines that you are using to start the DCS simulator.
  • You need to experiment with the OpenXR Toolkit settings. Do that using the Toolkit shortcuts while in the game. Settings will likely vary if you have a Pimax4k, 5k or 8k HMD.

When your satisfied with your Toolkit settings, share them with the community by writing your own post.

Using OpenXR...

Generally speaking, I am getting better control of my FPS frame rates, better control of color effects and better control of sharpness inside the co*ckpits.

Since using PimaxXR v0.3.1,stutteringwhen switching from F1 to F10 and back to F1 views has disappeared.

Use OpenXR Toolkit to experiment with OpenXR setting while in the simulator. Use default OpenXR Toolkit shortcut combos to facilitate your setups.

So far, multiplayer seems OK.

Hope this helps you enjoy OpenXR with your Pimax HMD.



1- For PiTool v1.0.1.284v, see 284v is not available for download from Pimax Support site. select the supplied link to Pimax's OpenMR community to get PiTool v1.0.1.284v.

2- For PimaxXR v0.3.0, see new (unreleased as of 8 FEB 2023) version of PimaxXR is available, V0.3.1. See the following forum post to download a pre-release version of PimaxXR v0.3.1.GO TO FORUM POST LINK

3- For OpenXR Toolkit v1.2.4., see

4- For OpenXR Explorer v1.4, see aware that this app is not required for OpenXR implementation with DCS. It is included here as reference only and is recommended for folks that do application developmentwork.

5- For DCS news letter regarding OpenXR implementation, see the following forum post:

6- For OpenComposite & OpenComposite switcher, see that no revision is mentioned for OpenComposite probably because this is actually a DLL which did the work of throwing DCS VR runtimes to PimaxXRbefore introduction/support of OpenXRin DCS.OpenComposite solution is no longer required to operate OpenXR in DCS.

Basic Setup – OpenXR & Pimax HMDs... (2024)


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