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Ace XR shooting sim - the future of in-home training?

jamison55

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I’ve played with VR since I bought a Samsung headset to go with my Galaxy S7 many years ago. I goofed around with it for a while, there was an interesting clay shooting game, but without a gun, it felt like shooting trap as Cyclops from the XMen (tap the side of the visor to shoot). I briefly bought a Quest 2 a few years back to see the improvements, and decided it wasn’t worth it just to watch pron, and returned it.

But when my little brother (a Staff Sgt, 2nd Recon, Res - and a civvy firearms instructor) recommended STRONGLY that I check out the ACE XR VR Shooting Sim that was just released for the Meta Quest, I did, and long story short, I bit. ACE XR was designed from the ground up to be a tool for competitive pistol shooters. When you buy the membership, they provide a simulated handgun, roughly the shape of a Sig 320, weighted to simulate the real thing, with a 3lb trigger and tactile reset, and a “functioning” mag release. Once you put the headset on, you’re at the range, with a Stacatto with irons in your hand. You can go to a number of practice stages, from sight acquisition to accuracy training, step into a practice scenario, where they give you a stage to shoot with instructions, or jump over to a Hickok 45 style walls of steel type range, with Plate racks, Texas stars, popper, and moving targets at various distances. After progressing through a few stages, you unlock more guns and the ability to add/remove accessories. The practice stages are varied and interesting. Theres a beeper to get you started, and at the end of the stage, the targets show your shot placement, along with your score/misses/penalties.

You can also compete with friends who have the system.

So far I’ve only spent about 3 hours in it, so these are my first impressions: This is not a game, it is a training simulator, and a damn good one. After an hour. My shoulders are sore from locking in my stance, and holding up the gun. The functioning of the gun feels as real as it can. Obviously no recoil, but you can stage the trigger (to a point - see my cons), hit the mag release to drop a mag, and smack the bottom of the grip to seat a new one. A lot of care has been put into making sure the bullet hits where the sight lands. Engaging small targets beyond 30 yards is as challenging as it is in real life. Rush the shot or forget your fundamentals and the “game” punishes you. But overall, it’s the closest anyone has ever gotten to the real deal. Kudos to the ACE team for inventing this!

Now the cons, it’s kinda expensive. $19/mo billed annually (so about $250 by the time you pay $15 shipping for the “free” gun accessory). PLUS the cost of the Meta Quest (I ended up buying a used Quest 2 off FB Marketplace for $150). This is a brand new product, so it’s probably smart of them to start this way. Basically the cost of a case of 9mm. But I think that will turn some people off. The system keeps track of the total shots fired, and so far I'm just shy of 2k, or about $500 in savings. I’m interested to see if a month of shooting this helps with my speed with a real handgun. The controller is mostly excellent, but the gun will fire prematurely if you stage the trigger for too long. I’m exploring settings options to improve this, but I think I can also remove a little material from the gun to solve this problem (the Meta controller fits into the gun accessory, and when you pull the trigger on the gun, a small lever depresses the controller trigger). Lastly, the instructions aren’t very good. For my first hour, I was ready to send it all back, because I could feel that the grip of the gun was all wrong when the sights were lined up. Then I found the setting where you tell the app which gun accessory you have. By default it selected gen 1 (which they don't sell anymore). Once I changed it to Gen2, everything lined up perfectly. There should be a selection in the tutorial at the beginning that asks you which accessory you have. And speaking of the tutorial, it isn’t current with the gun accessory they ship. One part of it tells you to activate the slide release. I spent 5 minutes trying to activate it, only to discover that I had to use the B button on the Meta controller. Once I switched to the correct gun accessory in the settings, the act of seating a mag, also puts the gun int battery. I wish the trigger was adjustable. I’d love to make it a little heavier to approximate some of my guns with factory triggers. Last con is kind of a personal pet peeve and has nothing to do with how well the app works - but you can point the gun accessory at yourself and pull the trigger and it fires. No penalty, no warning. The Mr. Safety in me thinks that they should kick you out of the current stage for that, or at least add a pop up, that says, “don’t be a dumbass”

So, any other early adopters here? I tried a search, but couldn’t find any mentions.


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vARWFvDKa_Y
 
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Interesting. Does it have different sight options for different red dots and iron sights?
 
Interesting. Does it have different sight options for different red dots and iron sights?
So far, I’ve only used the default Stacatto with the irons I prefer on my guns (blacked out rear/FO front), and a P320 with a dot. In the staging room, there’s a workbench where you are supposed to be able to customize your firearms, but I haven’t really explored the options. In the “store” you can acquire different dots (RMR, Holosun). Not sure if you have to purchase or you have to achieve a certain rank to unlock them.
 
I'd probably go for this IF it had some sort of simulated recoil. I forget who made the system but Mass Firearms School had a simulation set up with pistols connected to compressed air or maybe CO2. I'm thinking I'd get more out of a green gas powered full blowback Glock airsoft pistol.
 
I'd probably go for this IF it had some sort of simulated recoil. I forget who made the system but Mass Firearms School had a simulation set up with pistols connected to compressed air or maybe CO2. I'm thinking I'd get more out of a green gas powered full blowback Glock airsoft pistol.
Imagine having to change a CO2 cartridge every few rounds or having to hook it up to a tank.

The part that I am not sold on is the grip. You get used to a certain grip for thousands of simulated rounds, then grab your competition gun and the grip is different. Also sights might be different.

But maybe the grip doesn't matter.
 
I'd probably go for this IF it had some sort of simulated recoil. I forget who made the system but Mass Firearms School had a simulation set up with pistols connected to compressed air or maybe CO2. I'm thinking I'd get more out of a green gas powered full blowback Glock airsoft pistol.

I’ve trained with airsoft and BB guns for years. The problem with the gas guns is, if you shoot them fast, you lose pressure fast, so your POI changes…and it is fiddly to change the CO2 or refill the green gas. It’s just always a pain to get set up in my back yard, load the CO2, load the bbs. But, if you can deal with the poi changing, a good quality airsoft gun is a great training tool.

The VR feels far more precise as the hits go, but you lose the tactile feedback you get from blowback guns for sure. I was reading a Reddit thread, where the app developer said their original prototype had blowback, but it messed with the tracking of the Meta controller. I’m sure someone could build a purpose built system with a standalone gun, with all the controls, actual mags to change, and blowback, but it wouldn’t be even remotely affordable at the personal level.

I hope this takes off and they add more products. I’d love a full size/weight shotgun for practicing trap, and maybe even a tactical rifle platform.
 
Imagine having to change a CO2 cartridge every few rounds or having to hook it up to a tank.

The part that I am not sold on is the grip. You get used to a certain grip for thousands of simulated rounds, then grab your competition gun and the grip is different. Also sights might be different.

But maybe the grip doesn't matter.
I think the grip does matter. Maybe the VR guys will release something with Glock-like ergos. Same guts, just make some new molds for Glock first, maybe 2011's second? CZ Shadow?
 
I’ve trained with airsoft and BB guns for years. The problem with the gas guns is, if you shoot them fast, you lose pressure fast, so your POI changes…and it is fiddly to change the CO2 or refill the green gas. It’s just always a pain to get set up in my back yard, load the CO2, load the bbs. But, if you can deal with the poi changing, a good quality airsoft gun is a great training tool.

The VR feels far more precise as the hits go, but you lose the tactile feedback you get from blowback guns for sure. I was reading a Reddit thread, where the app developer said their original prototype had blowback, but it messed with the tracking of the Meta controller. I’m sure someone could build a purpose built system with a standalone gun, with all the controls, actual mags to change, and blowback, but it wouldn’t be even remotely affordable at the personal level.

I hope this takes off and they add more products. I’d love a full size/weight shotgun for practicing trap, and maybe even a tactical rifle platform.
Not fiddly at all, at least for pistols. Extra 22 round mags for Glock airsoft can be found for ~$30. That's also the green gas tank. Adjust the hop up to be dead on at 50% of the rounds in the mag and I'd wager that the gas variance in POI is significantly less than the shooter's variance in POI.

I do think VR is a pretty cool tool and will admit that dry firing is valid practice, so the lack of tactile feedback isn't a reason to avoid it.
 
Does it do real world scenario's

Like what happens when squirrels attack?
LOL for this I'm gonna recommend the blowback airsoft again. Add a bird feeder and some black oil sunflower seeds and you now have the most realistic training possible in case of squirrel attacks.
[laugh]
 
Imagine having to change a CO2 cartridge every few rounds or having to hook it up to a tank.
I hadn't paid any attention to airsoft in years. Thought it was pretty cool that the latest gen airsoft pistols store the gas in the mags, so when you change mags you are getting a fresh tank of green gas. This VR system could feature mag changes that simply recharge the blow back gas.
 
I hadn't paid any attention to airsoft in years. Thought it was pretty cool that the latest gen airsoft pistols store the gas in the mags, so when you change mags you are getting a fresh tank of green gas. This VR system could feature mag changes that simply recharge the blow back gas.
That would be impressive
 
Imagine having to change a CO2 cartridge every few rounds or having to hook it up to a tank.

The part that I am not sold on is the grip. You get used to a certain grip for thousands of simulated rounds, then grab your competition gun and the grip is different. Also sights might be different.

But maybe the grip doesn't matter.

Mantis is coming out with a game setup that works with a projector. Use your own pistol with an auto reset magazine system.

There’s also the “cool fire” system or whatever it’s called, at least for glocks, that uses co2 cartridges to simulate recoil,

Personally, I think it would just be fun for training with ARs or target transitions/draws with pistols. Less good for training splits. It would also be fun to play duck hunt again, but with my own guns. Might be a good way to get family/friends familiarized with real guns a little before going to the range.
 
Not fiddly at all, at least for pistols. Extra 22 round mags for Glock airsoft can be found for ~$30. That's also the green gas tank. Adjust the hop up to be dead on at 50% of the rounds in the mag and I'd wager that the gas variance in POI is significantly less than the shooter's variance in POI.

I do think VR is a pretty cool tool and will admit that dry firing is valid practice, so the lack of tactile feedback isn't a reason to avoid it.
I have the blowback airsoft versions of the SP01, 1911, Beretta 92, and the steel bb versions of the Sig 226, 365, another 1911, and N frame Smith. I can set up various reactive targets on my 3 acre back yard. I have spent countless hours shooting different targets, practicing draw to engagement time, and have even set up a couple mock IDPA setups to shoot with my teenaged sons. Plus we’ve goggled up and spent a lot of time hunting each other back there 🤣. Agree that it’s a valid tool, and a great way to get some cheap, quiet practice, with great facsimiles of my real guns. But it still feels like a PITA sometimes fiddling with the tiny bbs, and green gas/co2. By the time I get all the stuff together, set up the targets, take them down, put it all away, I’d almost rather bring the real stuff to the range 5 mins away.

My favorite thing about airsoft is the rock and roll. I used to have a green gas Mac 11 that was a tin can SHREDDER. That was a buttload of fun!

I think we’re on the same page that there is room for both, but for my old, lazy butt, the VR is something that I can slip on and run a few stages/drills when I have a spare 15 mins. Time will tell if it makes me a better shooter, or if, when the time comes to pay for another year, I think it’s worth it, but my initial impression is very positive.
 
I hadn't paid any attention to airsoft in years. Thought it was pretty cool that the latest gen airsoft pistols store the gas in the mags, so when you change mags you are getting a fresh tank of green gas. This VR system could feature mag changes that simply recharge the blow back gas.
The airsoft sidearm I battle my kids with looks like a glock and a ruger had a love child. Green gas, hard blowback, semi/full auto, takes Glock anirsoft mags, accurate as heck, and it fits in my Mk3 holster. I have 3 mags for it. You can definitely practice mag dumps/swaps, and its a great platform.

 
I’ve played with VR since I bought a Samsung headset to go with my Galaxy S7 many years ago. I goofed around with it for a while, there was an interesting clay shooting game, but without a gun, it felt like shooting trap as Cyclops from the XMen (tap the side of the visor to shoot). I briefly bought a Quest 2 a few years back to see the improvements, and decided it wasn’t worth it just to watch pron, and returned it.

But when my little brother (a Staff Sgt, 2nd Recon, Res - and a civvy firearms instructor) recommended STRONGLY that I check out the ACE XR VR Shooting Sim that was just released for the Meta Quest, I did, and long story short, I bit. ACE XR was designed from the ground up to be a tool for competitive pistol shooters. When you buy the membership, they provide a simulated handgun, roughly the shape of a Sig 320, weighted to simulate the real thing, with a 3lb trigger and tactile reset, and a “functioning” mag release. Once you put the headset on, you’re at the range, with a Stacatto with irons in your hand. You can go to a number of practice stages, from sight acquisition to accuracy training, step into a practice scenario, where they give you a stage to shoot with instructions, or jump over to a Hickok 45 style walls of steel type range, with Plate racks, Texas stars, popper, and moving targets at various distances. After progressing through a few stages, you unlock more guns and the ability to add/remove accessories. The practice stages are varied and interesting. Theres a beeper to get you started, and at the end of the stage, the targets show your shot placement, along with your score/misses/penalties.

You can also compete with friends who have the system.

So far I’ve only spent about 3 hours in it, so these are my first impressions: This is not a game, it is a training simulator, and a damn good one. After an hour. My shoulders are sore from locking in my stance, and holding up the gun. The functioning of the gun feels as real as it can. Obviously no recoil, but you can stage the trigger (to a point - see my cons), hit the mag release to drop a mag, and smack the bottom of the grip to seat a new one. A lot of care has been put into making sure the bullet hits where the sight lands. Engaging small targets beyond 30 yards is as challenging as it is in real life. Rush the shot or forget your fundamentals and the “game” punishes you. But overall, it’s the closest anyone has ever gotten to the real deal. Kudos to the ACE team for inventing this!

Now the cons, it’s kinda expensive. $19/mo billed annually (so about $250 by the time you pay $15 shipping for the “free” gun accessory). PLUS the cost of the Meta Quest (I ended up buying a used Quest 2 off FB Marketplace for $150). This is a brand new product, so it’s probably smart of them to start this way. Basically the cost of a case of 9mm. But I think that will turn some people off. The system keeps track of the total shots fired, and so far I'm just shy of 2k, or about $500 in savings. I’m interested to see if a month of shooting this helps with my speed with a real handgun. The controller is mostly excellent, but the gun will fire prematurely if you stage the trigger for too long. I’m exploring settings options to improve this, but I think I can also remove a little material from the gun to solve this problem (the Meta controller fits into the gun accessory, and when you pull the trigger on the gun, a small lever depresses the controller trigger). Lastly, the instructions aren’t very good. For my first hour, I was ready to send it all back, because I could feel that the grip of the gun was all wrong when the sights were lined up. Then I found the setting where you tell the app which gun accessory you have. By default it selected gen 1 (which they don't sell anymore). Once I changed it to Gen2, everything lined up perfectly. There should be a selection in the tutorial at the beginning that asks you which accessory you have. And speaking of the tutorial, it isn’t current with the gun accessory they ship. One part of it tells you to activate the slide release. I spent 5 minutes trying to activate it, only to discover that I had to use the B button on the Meta controller. Once I switched to the correct gun accessory in the settings, the act of seating a mag, also puts the gun int battery. I wish the trigger was adjustable. I’d love to make it a little heavier to approximate some of my guns with factory triggers. Last con is kind of a personal pet peeve and has nothing to do with how well the app works - but you can point the gun accessory at yourself and pull the trigger and it fires. No penalty, no warning. The Mr. Safety in me thinks that they should kick you out of the current stage for that, or at least add a pop up, that says, “don’t be a dumbass”

So, any other early adopters here? I tried a search, but couldn’t find any mentions.


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vARWFvDKa_Y

I'm going to wait for the non-subscription chineese knockoff.

I'm ok if the commies know how well I shoot.
 
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