VirTra’s use-of-force simulators have a vast number of scenarios covering everything from de-escalation to active threats. The scope broadens even more when the number of branching options is considered, allowing multiple ways to reach a resolution. With an average of 85 branching options per scenario, no single event is guaranteed to go a certain way, just like in the field, where dealing with unpredictability is part of the job.

Instructors can drive a scenario in any direction based on the student’s interaction with the on-screen character. Our branching features allow for instructors to manipulate the evolution to achieve any manner of training objective based upon policy, best practices or hot topic training materials like de-escalation, EDP and threat recognition. Trainers can reward good behavior by having a seemingly aggressive character simply become compliant because proper techniques were used by the trainee. On the other hand, students who are not performing well can be encouraged to step up their game and take control of a situation if a trainer sees that he/she is losing control of the situation.

Usually, departmental policy dictates what skillset trainees will be developing during recurrent training. With our branching options, instructors can accomplish departmental training objectives by running each trainee through the same scenario, however using our branching function the scenario can play out differently based on individual performance. If the same scenario with the same pathway to resolution is run multiple times, students learn to “game” and recall what happens next. Giving an instructor to change things up prevents trainees from becoming complacent.

An example of a VirTra scenario is Midnight Madness, where the officer in the simulator is responding to an active threat in a movie theater. They chase an armed male suspect after navigating the theater and seeing injured victims, but in the end, what will the suspect do? Will he give up or will he begin to fire his weapon? Will the trainee fire back in time or be hit by gunfire? What if during the student’s run through the theater, an innocent person pops out and startles the trainee, causing him/her to fire their weapon? Each action has different consequences – just like in reality.

As VirTra aims to create a realistic, immersive experience during training, the content must not be brushed over. Screens and hardware may be impressive, but what the trainee gets out of the experience could save his or her life, as well as the lives of community members.

For more information about VirTra’s intense and effective simulator training options, contact a product specialist.

As new situations arise in society and crime evolves, law enforcement officers need the most powerful, immersive, skill-transferring training possible. To prepare officers for the field, VirTra created simulators that allow them to practice and improve skills ranging from de-escalation to judgmental use of force.

Officers can go through real-life de-escalation scenario training with their entire toolbelt for the most realistic training possible, through the addition of VirTra’s drop-in recoil kits and Axon® TASER® cartridges. But realistic training is more than only realistic accessories; it is the training scenarios themselves.

Training Simulator Branching Options

Each de-escalation training simulator is programmed with a variety of scenarios, each with an average of 85 branching options. By integrating extensive branching options, the event unfolds based on the training objectives and decisions made by the trainee. This ability allows an officer to use communication skills and use of force tactics together.

In addition, by training in a simulator, the skills can be trained and tested repeatedly and consistently year over year.

Training in this manner improves an officer’s cognitive ability. As the officer navigates through the situation, they can practice various de-escalation tactics or learn to look for certain behavioral cues. After, they can take that knowledge and expound on it by practicing the same scenario and trying new strategies in an effort to achieve a better ending.

Learn from Mistakes in a Safe Simulator Environment

Training in a de-escalation simulator allows officer to make mistakes in a safe, controlled environment. Should an officer attempt to de-escalate a situation, but make a mistake or cause it to escalate, the officer can see the situation pan out and learn the consequences of their actions. After the debrief, the officer can attempt the scenario again with the situation set up exactly as before; no need to prep actors or role-players.

“[Simulators] allow for those mistakes to happen and get corrected before they are a problem for the agencies that we train for, and really that’s a huge piece of why we implemented this. We want to improve the training in a way that’s going to allow for those better choices down the road.”


Todd Brophy — Training Specialist and Use of Force Expert

VirTra can improve your department’s de-escalation and judgmental use of force skills. Instructors can take advantage of an average of 85 branching options per scenario to immerse their officers in new situations that unfold based on their actions. Contact a VirTra specialist to learn more.

Upping the Realism in Use of Force Scenarios Training

As crime evolves and new problems appear in society, law enforcement need the most powerful, state-of-the-art training possible. The best training tools cover the most prevalent situations today, allowing officers to enter the field knowing they are prepared for any situation that may occur.

VirTra’s law enforcement training simulators are one such tool. These immersive training simulators are programmed with an extensive variety of scenarios that prepare officers in de-escalation, active threats, dog encounters and more. Each scenario is created by in-house subject matter experts who base the scenarios off experience, industry knowledge and case law. To make our scenarios more realistic, VirTra’s SMEs build each scenario with an average of 85 branching options.

Branching options allow for a more realistic type of training. Now, depending on the trainee’s actions, instructors can select which path the scenario takes. For example, a scenario can be successfully de-escalated by the officer or escalated if the officer makes a wrong decision. With numerous branching points in each scenario, trainees can explore different tactics and learn from the extensive number of decision-making paths.

Learning from Branching Scenarios

The benefit to having an average of 85 branching options is how the number allows for the perfect blend of quality and quantity. In regards to quantity, instructors have access to dozens of real-life endings and can program it so officers have a completely different learning experience each time they step into the simulator.

As for quality, VirTra’s scenarios are equipped with the ideal number of branching options. If there were too few options, officers would not receive adequate judgmental use of force training or skill transfer. But if there were too many branching options, the quality of the scenario would be reduced, as content developers would be rushing to create a higher number of branches instead of spending time carefully crafting realistic, fleshed-out options with training value. By having the right number of branching options, VirTra can dedicate time to ensuring each scenario is true-to-life and each scenario branch provides skill-building officers can take into the field.

Maximize Law Enforcement Simulation Training with VirTra

VirTra can provide your department with the most high-fidelity, skill-building training possible. Instructors can take advantage of a variety of real-life scenarios and extensive branching options that unfold based on their trainee or officer’s decisions. With an average of 85 different decision-making paths to resolution, there is plenty to learn from each scenario. Contact a VirTra specialist to learn more or schedule a demonstration.

This site is registered on as a development site.