Microsoft Flight Simulator FAQ

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How to improve the performance

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CHECK THE SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

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

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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 Windows 10 version is 1909 or higher and that your system is fully updated.

  • Make sure Windows is up to date:
    • Select Start, then select Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for Updates.
    • For more information/troubleshooting, see: Update Windows 10

Make sure all the updates in the Microsoft Store are installed, especially Gaming Services and Xbox Companion app.

    • In the top right-hand side corner of the Microsoft Store, click on the Arrow icon or the three-dot menu Downloads and updates. Then click "Get updates" > Update all

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

  • Select the Start screen, then select Microsoft Store
  • In Microsoft Store at the upper right, select the account menu (the three dots) and then select Settings.
  • Under App updates, set Update apps automatically to On.

 

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. 

 

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Outdated or corrupted drivers can impact the performance of MSFS.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:
  7. 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"

 

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
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  3. Under the GRAPHICS tab you will find a wealth of options for you to adjust that may allow you to get better performances
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  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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