Microsoft Flight Simulator FAQ

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All versions - How to improve the performance

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NOTICE TO USERS EXPERIENCING PERFORMANCE DROPS SINCE WINDOWS 11 RELEASE

Virtualization-Based Security (VBS) is a security feature in Windows 11 (and Windows 10) that may have a negative impact on gaming performance.

 

NOTICE ABOUT RYZEN CPUs

AMD has confirmed that a bug in its GPU driver is changing Ryzen CPU settings in the BIOS without permission. This condition has been shown to auto-overclock Ryzen CPUs without the user's knowledge.

AMD is investigating. Over-clocking may have a negative impact on your experience.

 

CHECK THE SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

A good first step is to check the System Requirements for Microsoft Flight Simulator

configuration-microsoft-flight-simulator.jpg

My system meets the minimum requirements:
MSFS will run smoothly with lower graphical settings but higher graphical settings will strain your system.

My system meets recommended requirements:
MSFS will run smoothly in the vast majority of cases but specific graphical settings and setup need a more powerful system

 

MAKE SURE YOUR SYSTEM IS UP TO DATE

Please ensure that your system is fully updated.

  1. Click on Start (the Windows icon in the bottom left-hand side corner of your screen)
  2. Select Settings
  3. Stay on Windows UpdateGo to Update & Security
  4. Click the Check for Updates button.
  5. Wait until the verification is done

 

For more information, visit Get the latest Windows update

Make sure all the updates in the Microsoft Store are installed, especially Gaming Services.

  1. Open the Microsoft Store app 
  2. In the bottom left corner of the Microsoft Store, click on the library icon
  3. In the top left corner, click Get Updates then Update all and wait for the updates to install.
  4. Once the updates are installed, click on your profile icon in the top right corner of the screen.

Note: You can turn on automatic updates in the Microsoft Store to make sure you won't miss future updates.

  • Open the Microsoft Store app
  • Click on your gamertag in the top right corner top open the menu
  • Click on App settings
  • Toggle App updates ON

App Updates ON.PNG

DISABLE CPU & GPU OVERCLOCKING (ALL VERSIONS)

We advise against using overclocked systems to play Microsoft Flight Simulator. The increased voltage causes overheating and can gradually damage your computer's hardware (CPU, GPU, RAM, and motherboard). 

If your system is overclocked:

  1. Disable Intel Speedstep on your Bios overclock menu
  2. Lower or disable your CPU overclock values
  3. Disable GPU overlocking for your Microsoft Flight Simulator game profile on Radeon Software or Nvidia nTune (this applies to custom user overlock settings, not for factory overclock settings of the manufacturer)

 

Please refer to your manufacturer's guidelines regarding how to disable or lower the overclocking speed of your CPU and GPU. 

 

TURN HARDWARE ACCELERATION GPU SCHEDULING OFF

  • Go to Settings > System > Display > Graphics Settings
  • Toggle OFF and reboot your computer to apply changes

 

UPDATE THE DRIVERS OF YOUR GPU

Outdated or corrupted drivers can impact the performance of MSFS. We recommend that when trying this step that you completely remove your old drivers before updating to the latest versions. To remove your old drivers and then update to the latest:

  1. Press the Windows Key
  2. Type Add or Remove Program
  3. Scroll down the list and find your graphics driver
  4. Click the driver once and select uninstall. Confirm this by clicking Uninstall again.
  5. Once complete reboot Windows
  6. Download the latest drivers from here:
  • Install to the latest driver and then reboot your PC again
  •  

    SWITCH TO THE DEDICATED NVIDIA GPU

    1. Open the Nvidia Control Panel. One way to do that is right-clicking on an empty space on the desktop and choosing Nvidia Control Panel from the menu. 
    2. Navigate to 3D Settings > Manage 3D Settings.
    3. Open the tab Program Settings and choose Microsoft Flight Simulator from the dropdown menu. 
    4. Next, select the preferred graphics processor for this program from the second dropdown. Your Nvidia GPU should show as High performance Nvidia processor.
    5. Save your changes.

    Microsoft Flight Simulator should now run with the dedicated Nvidia GPU. 

     

    SWITCH TO THE DEDICATED AMD GPU

    1. Open Radeon Settings. One way to do that is right-clicking on an empty space on the desktop and choosing Radeon Settings from the menu. 
    2. Navigate to Preferences > Additional Settings > Power > Switchable Graphics Application Settings.
    3. Select Microsoft Flight Simulator from the list of applications. If it is not in the list, click the Add Application button and select the *.exe-file of MSFS from the MSFS's installation directory. This adds MSFS to the list and you'll be able to select it afterwards.
    4. In the column Graphics Settings, assign the High Performance profile to Microsoft Flight Simulator.
    5. Apply your changes.

    Microsoft Flight Simulator should now run with the dedicated AMD GPU. 

     

    DISABLE FULL-SCREEN OPTIMIZATIONS

    Having your monitor's DPI set to a value other than 100% can cause issues with Microsoft Flight Simulator. As such, we would recommend disabling display scaling on high DPI settings for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

    To do this, follow the steps below:

    1. Find FlightSimulator.exe.
    2. Right-click on FlightSimulator.exe and select "Properties" from the pop-up menu.
    3. Select the Compatibility tab.
    4. Select Change high DPI settings and then select the Override high DPI scaling behavior. Scaling performed by: Application check box.

     

    GEFORCE EXPERIENCE - UNCHECK OPTIMAL PLAYABLE SETTINGS 

    1. Open Geforce Experience
    2. Go to Games or Games and apps
    3. Under "Optimal playable settings", uncheck "automatically optimize newly added games"

     

    BACKGROUND APPLICATIONS & OVERLAYS (ALL VERSIONS)

    Close any unnecessary background applications and disable any overlays while running Microsoft Flight Simulator (Steam, Discord, GeForce Experience, etc)

     

    DELETE DIRECTX SHADER CACHE

    • In the "Type here to search" field next to the start menu, type "Disk Cleanup"
    • Select the drive you want to clean up (the drive where the sim is installed)
    • Click OK
    • Check the DirectX Shader cache box (NOTE: Uncheck all the other boxes such as "temporary Internet files" unless you want to permanently delete these files too)
    • Click OK

     

    USE GAME MODE

    When you’re playing games on Windows 10, Game Mode makes gaming your PC’s top priority, so you get the best possible game performance. For more info, see Use Game Mode while gaming on your Windows 10 device.

     

    INCREASE THE VIRTUAL MEMORY (PAGEFILE) ON YOUR SYSTEM

    • In the Windows Search bar, type Advanced system settings and open the Control Panel.
    • Make sure you're on the Advanced tab.
    • Click the Settings button from under the Performance
    • On the Performance Options box, go to the Advanced tab > Performance
    • Click on Settings
    • On the Virtual Memory box, uncheck the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives
    • Click to select the drive on which Windows 10 is installed (by default C:)
    • Click to select the Custom size radio button.
    • In the now-enabled fields, type the minimum and maximum size of the Pagefile in megabytes (MB) according to the physical memory present in your computer.
    • Click Set and then click OK.
    • Restart your computer.

     

    TURN OFF ANY EXTRA POWER MONITORING SOFTWARE

    Sample of power monitoring software that may cause performance issues:

    • MSI DragonCenter
    • RyzenMaster
    • Gamefast from Dells Killer Control Center
    • Any software installed that may be adjusting or monitoring power settings

    Then, make sure that your Power settings are correct

    • Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options
    • Change to High Performance
    • Perform a Full Shutdown (not restart).

     

    CHANGE THE GRAPHICS SETTINGS

    An easy way to boost performance is to tweak graphic settings. To reach those:

    1. Open the MAIN MENU, select OPTIONS
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    2. Then click on GENERALS
      Switch_language_2.png
    3. Under the GRAPHICS tab, you will find a wealth of options for you to adjust that may allow you to get better performances. Under 'Advanced Settings', test FXAA instead of TAA for instance.
      Graphics_settings.PNG
    4. Once done, press F11/click to APPLY & SAVE

    Don't hesitate to experiment with the settings under the Graphics tab: each has a different impact on performance, and you might find the perfect sweet spot for your system by tweaking different settings and testing them.

     

    For example, we recommend attempting to alleviate the strain on your CPU and GPU by doing the following:

    1. Launch Microsoft Flight Simulator
    2. Go to Options General
    3. Select Graphics
    4. Under Advanced Settings and scale down "Render Scaling" to 80 instead of 100 or above.
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