order of priority of items needed to play:
safety (eyewear, boots)
extra mags and batteries
gear to hold extra mags
You can insert camo and dress up items in there at any point, but they aren't necessities to get playing.
skirmish games are great to figure out what you want and what you need, you may prefer milsim styled organized games, but you can play heavily tactic influenced styles provided you have the right crew that plays with you, that way you get your shit straight when you go to the bigger milsims. It sucks to show up at a milsim under or overequipped or with the wrong setup, especially if it'a longer game. A casual day game is a great testing ground for how you want to play and what to bring.
800$ might be a bit tight to jump into milsim if you want decent gear, which is why I suggest playing it smart and seeing what you need as you play and gain experience. Definitely start with a nicer rifle though if you can afford it from the start. VFCs are nicer not just because they look nice on the outside, they take upgrades and off the shelf parts very well when things go wrong. Lesser guns may not.
I futz with V2s, V3s and V6s. I could be wrong... but probably, most likely not, as far as I know.