I've got well over a thousand hours in playing ED in VR using the Oculus Quest 2, I thought I'd log a few of my observations/recommendations and get some feedback…thanks for reading!
Oculus AirLink vs. VD – I've spent a lot of hours playing using Oculus Link (using the Link cable), Oculus AirLink (no cable), and Virtual Desktop (no cable). While the game works well in all 3 modes, I find the best results are obtainable using Oculus AirLink. The overall graphical quality using AirLink is just better with ED (for example, planetary rings shading and edges are much easier to see, and the HUD text and cockpit graphics are sharper). Virtual Desktop is a fine product and highly recommended, and AirLink can be a PITA to get going sometimes, but overall my recommendation is: use AirLink for the best VR experience. YMMV
ED Ships in VR – I've flown the Sidewinder (of course), Cobra Mk3, Diamondback Explorer, Asp Explorer, and now the Krait Phantom. Of these, I'd say my favorite was the Asp X as it has simply the best cockpit view in the game, made even more stunning in VR…you have to try it once. I switched to the Phantom because its view is almost as good (although not quite…the AspX is like flying in a soap bubble), but the Phantom is a better combat ship and that seems to be where I'm spending my time. Also, regardless of your ship you can use the Free Camera feature to bring up an external camera at any time…it's a relaxing, almost meditative experience on supercruise.
HOTAS vs Xbox controller – I tried using both, but I quickly abandoned the gamepad controller in favor of a ThrustMaster T16000M HOTAS (joystick). The T16000M can be easily configured to use left-handed, which was a requirement for me. I've considered adding a throttle component, but to be honest I have to use two hands on the joystick to keep it stable when in the throes of High RES bounty hunting. The T16000M is easily configurable using the Controller Options in ED, but I normally just program the stick buttons (i.e., main trigger and buttons 2-4 located on the stick itself), as it spoils the immersion for me if I have to peek through the bottom of the headset to find the correct buttons…which leads me to:
Voice Attack – To me, this is a must have in order to have a truly immersive ED VR experience. Voice Attack can be easily configured to pretty much emulate any keypress on your keyboard or button press on your joystick, so you never have to look down. There are lots of preconfigured voice packs available, but to be honest I found these a bit hokey and I didn't like the premapped bindings they offered, so I set up my own…very easily done using the base Voice Attack software. One tip: I programmed each button on my keyboard to fire with an "alpha" prefix (i.e., say "Alpha A" to type the letter A, "Alpha B" to type B, etc.)…this way I have an easy voice workaround whenever I'm confronted with something in the game and I've forgotten my Voice Attack keyword (for example, I can say "Alpha J" if I forget the keyword "hyperspace jump", it happens). I've also used Voice Attack to map the Free Camera to the word "Camera" (you can kill the UI overlay with the same command), and I can say "Picture" to take a picture from any angle. Well worth the $12 or whatever!
Some other random tips to enhance the VR experience:
I turned off the headlook feature in the cockpit, as I was starting to get a stiff neck whenever I wanted to display the Navigation panel on the left or the Internal panel on the right. You have to keep your head pointed at them while you're using them, which can be a pain when you're trying to fly your ship. I now have these panels mapped to Voice Attack (for example, saying "Navigation" will type the number 1, which displays the Nav panel).
When doing exploring, I've found that it's handy to use a tool like OVR Toolkit or OVR Drop to "pin" a window displaying the EDDB or Road to Riches page to the top right corner of my cockpit…that way I don't have to remove my headset when navigating to the next system or finding the nearest station, engineer, or what have you. Note: Neither OVR Toolkit or OVR Drop seem to behave well with Oculus AirLink, so I usually stick to Virtual Desktop when doing exploring so I can use these tools (OVR Toolkit works best for me for pinning a web page in my cockpit, but YMMV).
I'd be interested in hearing some other tips from ED VR enthusiasts out there…thanks!