How Many Monitors Is Ideal For A Flight Simulator?

room with flight simulator

You’ve got your joystick or yoke, have purchased VR accessories, and hopefully you have a high-quality monitor that enables you to play flight simulation games better.

But now we’re going to throw a spanner in the works by asking: is one monitor enough?

Should you choose multiple monitors instead?

Having three monitors instead of one can make you feel much more immersed in your flights. For starters, you’ll have a wider field of vision, and you certainly need that for flight simulation.

However, there are some important things to bear in mind. Here’s everything you need to know about setting up your monitors for flight simulation so you can achieve the best experience.  

Pros And Cons Of The Triple Monitor Setup

three monitors in simulator

It’s not always easy to know what setup to use for your flight simulation. Chances are, all the options available to you might be causing you to feel a bit stressed out. To help you figure out what to do, let’s look at some pros and cons of having a flight simulator multi monitor setup.

Pros:

  • It will feel much more immersive. When more of your field of vision is occupied with the game, it will have the effect of making you feel that you’re right inside an actual plane.
  • It will feel more realistic. If you think of the cockpit setup in real planes, the pilots have a large display in front of them. Therefore, having three monitors around you will make you feel like you’re in a real-life aircraft. In addition, how you set it up can make it feel even more realistic. For example, you could use your middle monitor for the aircraft instrument panel and the view outside, and the others to display various information, such as your GPS.
  • You can mimic real-life flying movements. If you set up your monitors so that you can look to the left when turning left or right when turning right, this will make you feel like you’re really flying the plane. When your right and left monitors are set up properly and you can also see a view of the cockpit, you’ll be able to see the runway just like you would if you were in a real-life aircraft, which proves that three monitors can definitely be better than one.

Cons:

  • Sometimes the bezels of your monitors might feel like they obstruct your view instead of making it appear realistic. In this case, having one large monitor with a wider view could be better for you.
  • It’s not always convenient to set up three monitors. Not only are three monitors going to be expensive, but you might not always have the space for them. In this case, it’s probably a better idea to purchase an ultra-widescreen monitor instead.

Can You Have Smaller Displays Instead Of One Large One?

Although this might seem like it won’t do you any favors during flight simulation, having smaller monitor displays in front of you could be better than one big one.

Multiple displays can be more advantageous than having one display – even if your one display is very big – because having different views in front of you will make you feel that you’re more immersed in the game instead of having a view of just one thing, as Volair Sim reports. But, this will come down to your personal preferences.

Is Virtual Reality (VR) Easier To Run?

virtual reality flight simulator

Chances are that if you’re interested in flight simulation, you’ll probably want to experience virtual reality to make you feel even more like you’re in an aircraft.

When setting up VR, you can choose it over having multiple monitors. The benefit of doing this is that it will be less demanding when used on your PC than multiple monitors, while obviously making you feel more engrossed in the games.

There are also other benefits of using VR for flight simulation. Earlier we talked about how you can set up your monitors so that you will feel like you’re seeing what a pilot flying a real plane would see, but VR takes that to another level.

Even if you can make use of IR tracking on your monitor so that it will track your head movements, VR enables all your movements to be matched to what’s happening in front of you.

Now, when it comes to making use of monitors, the cool thing is that you can actually use VR to make use of multiple monitors without having to buy them. Bigscreen enables you to do more on multiple monitors without having the physical monitors in front of you.

It basically allows you to use your PC desktop in VR, so imagine how amazing it would be to use this setup for flight simulation. You won’t have to worry about physical limitations, such as not having enough space for a gaming setup.

That said, you will still need the right software to run VR. Examples include Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, both of which need to be run on a PC. They come with controllers, headsets, and sensors.

Does The Amount Of Monitors Depend On Games/Software?

It’s worth bearing in mind that for some flight simulators you won’t find it easy to make use of more than one monitor.

With some simulators, such as X-Plane, you can make use of more than one monitor but you’ll have to tweak your Visual Offsets settings when getting started. For games like Digital Combat Simulator, it’ll do you good to watch this YouTube video to help you when setting up your monitors as it can be a little tricky.

However, with Microsoft Flight Simulator, Flight Simulator 2020 doesn’t enable you to use additional displays for different flying elements, such as views and instruments, in the way that it did allow this for Flight Simulator X. Multiple monitors can only be used if the same view is spread across them. While that’s not necessarily a drawback, it is something to know.

What About Curved Monitors?

flight simulator on curved screen

Once you’ve decided if you’re going to have one or multiple monitors for flight simulation, you might have to figure out if you want flat or curved monitors.

This usually boils down to a personal preference, but let’s check out some pros and cons of using curved monitors for flight simulation and gaming in general.

Pros:

  • A curved monitor creates a three-dimensional world. This is more immersive because the world we see around us isn’t flat. Curved monitors create an illusion of peripheral vision so you might feel that the game is more realistic. A curved monitor reduces eye strain.

If you’re playing games for many hours at a time, a curved monitor might be a better choice for you because it reduces eye strain. Since the screen is curved it means that all the images on it are kept at the same distance so your eyes have to put in less effort when they have to adjust to images that are at different distances on the screen, as PC Gamer reports. This means you can take in a lot of different objects on the screen without feeling tired, and that’s definitely beneficial during flight simulation.

Cons:

  • You could end up paying more for a large curved monitor because of how investing in a smaller monitor won’t give you the same effect.
  • A curved monitor will take up more space in your flight simulation cockpit than a flat screen, especially if you choose a bigger model.

Related Questions

What system requirements do you need for Bigscreen?

computer configuration for simulator

On your computer you’ll need Windows 10, an Intel i5-4590 processor, at least 8GB of RAM, and your graphics requirements are NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD 290 or higher.

What’s a good monitor mount?

A triple-stand monitor mount, like this one by Huanuo, can fit three curved or flat monitors on your desk that are up to 32 inches in size. It’s great because it won’t take up a lot of your workspace.

Conclusion

When playing flight simulation games, your screen is one of the most important items you have at your disposal. Without the right one, you’ll miss out on how immersive and realistic your gaming experience can be.

One of the biggest questions regarding your monitor is if you should have one or three monitors. In this article, we’ve looked at the pros and cons of a flight simulator triple monitor setup and provided you with other information you need to take your flight simulation to the next level.

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