With EA SPORTS F1 22 being the first official Formula 1 driving game to offer virtual reality – on PC only, for now – we fired up a HTC VIVE Pro 2 to show you the new game with a unique stress test.
We then took to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve circuit in Montreal, using Richard Verschoor’s Formula 2 car in heavy rain.
F1 22 has the full 2021 F2 season included, with the 2022 roster line-up expected via a free post-release game update.
VR is restricted, understandably, to the cockpit camera, so we wanted to simultaneously try the F2 content in the latest title and also the added viewing perspective.
Due to some technical errors afflicting us during testing on PC, highlighted in our full game review, we ran the game on the medium-quality VR mode. The PC had the following specifications: Intel I7 10700F, RTX 2080Ti, 32GB Ram, 1TB Nvme SSD.
On a 3090-equipped device, we experienced game freezes and crashes. On this lower-powered device, we could get the game to run in a more stable fashion but encountered the odd black screen and frame rate dips on the medium-quality settings.
Setting these issues aside, once you are on track, being able to look left and right from within the cockpit makes this viewpoint more useable and adds a sense of realism previously missing. The TV camera view has always been a staple of the quickest drivers, but perhaps now even esports competitors could utilise the cockpit view when combined with VR.
It’s taken a while and several comments sections filled with requests, but the F1 game now has virtual reality support and it adds to the experience.
So far then, pending further post-release patches, the addition of VR is a worthy one and allows you to race in any game mode this way. Also, it goes without saying that the headset is amongst the best on the market.
But, there’s a lot of game developer optimisation required to get the platform in the place it needs to be. VR in F1 22 could be most PC players’ default view, but it won’t be just yet unless a few of the bugs are ironed out. Let us know in the comments below if you’re looking forward to trying the game in VR!
Full disclosure: A code for the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. A HTC VIVE Pro 2 was provided on loan to test out F1 22 in VR. Here is our review policy.