vPilot in VR and ATC

Hey guys,

I just came off of a flight where I did an entire descent phase in VR on Unicom (122.8). All went well until I was short final, and got the tower’s “Please contact me” on a 1 mile final.

In all fairness:

  • There was no means by which the air traffic controller could know that I didn’t know of his presence until I was REALLY short final.
  • There was no means by which I could know he was online without constantly taking my headset off and on repeatedly.

I know of the existence of VSR, but it would be a much more elegant solution if vPilot had a natively supported integration in the toolbar. This would make it easy for someone to easily have all the reference they need (controller list, messages, PMs, etc.) all visible in Virtual Reality without the need to constantly reference a second (non-VR) window.

I mean think about it:

  • CPDLC through Hoppie integration in the aircraft
  • Simbrief OFP in the aircraft EFB
  • Navigraph Charts in the toolbar
  • vPilot status and reference in the toolbar <---- This is the only thing missing to close the loop on a full VR solution in MSFS

What’s everyone else’s thought on this?

vPilot is written in C#, and you cannot run C# apps inside the sim. Someone would need to make a UI that runs in the sim and communicates with vPilot running outside the sim. It’s not something I’m interested in doing, but I might be able to support someone else who is willing to do it.


I’m the dev for VSR and I am confused when you say “more elegant” than VSR - the only thing missing in from your list is Hoppie (I did poll users and most didn’t feel it was needed as most aircraft flight pads support it). Everything else can be supported using VSR plus something like the tablet on flightsimulator.me.

You can now access:

  • VSR (VATSIM Radio) on the tablet or standalone
  • Navigraph charts on the tablet or standalone
  • Simbrief OFP on the tablet and also in VSR

Also what do you mean by “vPilot status and reference in the toolbar” - VSR and Vpilot communicate via a plugin DLL, you get notifications in VSR when Vpilot and VSR connect and when vpilot connects and disconnects from VATSIM network.

This video shows most of the integrations you need in the tablet

Hope this helps


I recently started using VSR with the all in one tablet. It’s awesome. Question, if I am not in frequency and atc sends a texted message in copilot, would I get it in VSR? Or do I need another Vr app?


Thanks for the mail and comments

VSR displays and sends messages via a DLL plugin for VPilot to VATSIm either as direct messages from/to a callsign or as a network message to/from a frequency you are tuned to on Comm1 or Comm2.

I’d refer to the VPilot functionality for plug-ins - if you are in observer or not the primary pilot I’m not sure what occurs with messages @887155 ?

Observers cannot send textual radio messages.

Ross, thanks for clarifying that

I am so glad I came across this. I just flew my entire approach without realising that Jax ctr had come online. Usually I check quite often but at that stage of the flight one’s a bit busy and switching in and out of VR mode is not really possible. I’ll try this software.

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@887155 @1533142 thanks for taking the time to wait for my response. I decided to use it for a couple of months on end just to get a general vibe for it and get in the habit of using it. My takes so far:

  1. It’s a moderate inconvenience having to navigate to the VSR Server .exe and run it, then go back to the sim and open the toolbar app, especially when you put your VR headset on, get ready for pushback and all, then the realization sinks in and you gotta find that .exe and run it with a VR headset half-off. It’s a little clunky having to navigate through Windows Explorer to find the thing, and even if you save it as a shortcut on your start menu, it’s still always visible. It would be nice if VSR’s Server was linked to start automatically with MSFS (similar to how FSUIPC7 does it) so it’s not an extra step to worry about.
  2. Once the VR headset goes on, it’s a bit of a pain to use vPilot to connect or disconnect, change callsigns, fix the audio settings. It would be nice if VSR and vPilot had two-way communication so VSR can be used to effect vPilot. I think my ideal flow is to put the headset on THEN open VSR and connect to VATSIM.
  3. I’m not sure if there’s even a way to text people when using VSR. It would be nice if there was a quickchat-box that you could use to send messages as needed.

(@887155 for what it’s worth, when one has the audio input and output set to the Valve Index HMD, and you turn it off because you’re going to be cruising for a few hours, the audio doesn’t revert back to the default device. Likewise, when I turn the Valve Index back on, I have to go to the audio settings and manually change the audio input and output to the Index HMD. It would be a nice QoL change if there was a way for vPilot to detect the HMD has turned back on and auto-switch to that, or detect it’s off and revert automatically to the previous audio device)

Sorry if I sound pedantic or a bit self-absorbed. It’s great software overall, but I wish VSR was more of an extension or a way to control vPilot in the sim, rather than just a “Reporting Window” into how vPilot is doing.

Thanks for comments

VSR is not really designed as a controller for vPilot status reporting but uses it purely as a intermediary for messaging to/from the Vatsim network, so the status messages are designed to help in VR to tell you whether VpIlot is connected to the vatsim network;

There is quite a lot of dev work to communicate between VSr and vpilot via the DLL plugin - plus we need to build duplicate U/I features into VSR that exist in vpilot - a design principle is not to replicate existing functionality where possible unless it specifically enhances the experience in VR (such as messaging),.

So vPilot has its role and VSR acts as a presentation layer for controllers and messaging. This design principle also allows VSR to potentially be ported in non vPilot use cases such as X-Plane.

1 There are methods to autostart add-ons in MSFS explained here - Start (multiple) programs on MSFS startup with this exe.xml 'tip' - General Discussion - Microsoft Flight Simulator Forums

  1. This has been discussed at length before - the most common workflow is to start VSR then vpliot and logon to vatsim outside of VR; then go into VR for the flight, as most pilots come out of vr between flights and rarely change callsigns within VR (as they also go the simbrief toi plan and then go on to file via a browser)…

We’d also need to build duplicate U/I features into VSR that exist in vpilot - hence why lmessaging is in VSR but vatsim network logon/logoff network, flight plan submission etc are left to VPilot to fulfil.

3 Not sure how you installed VSR but messaging has been a functioning core principle function of VSR for quite a while. There is a DLL that gets installed under vpilot directories (and tested) by the installer. There are also some preset message templates such as “do you cover [nearest ICAO airport] ?” etc.

You simply click on a controller to message them, you can also other pilots directly too by clicking on their icon on the map and then the envelope icon

You can also receive PDC’s as direct messages and also click on any frequencies in the message to change the radio to that frequency

This allows incoming/outgoing messages via vPilot. Its installation is documented here VSR Toolbar app for VATSIM

Thanks again for comments; if you join the discord the VSR community can provide some useful help/feedback https://discord.gg/MJ6fBfYfNR