If you are like me, you do not have the world’s most expensive and powerful gaming PC. When Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 was announced, I was excited like a kid on Christmas.
While my machine allegedly falls somewhere in the medium performance category, admittedly, the performance has been anything but smooth for me playing the game.
Through trial and error, I’ve struck a good balance between the game not looking like Minecraft and not running like a potato.
First, one thing I want to make known here is MSFS 2020 has some bugs and performance issues that no amount of tweaking can fix. Besides the very obvious memory leaks requiring a restart every so often, the game appears to suffer even on high-end gaming rigs.
I am sure that after a few patches are released they will make the performance better, but for now, even if you do have decent hardware, there is still the likelihood this game is going to be anything but smooth (especially in high trafficked areas like New York).
One of the bottlenecks for this game is the CPU. If you are a few upgrade cycles behind, your CPU might not be able to handle ultra or high, but the game can still look phenomenal on medium. I have an Intel Core i5 6600K, it’s a couple of generations behind, but it manages okay.
You want to make sure you have a graphics card, ideally better than the recommended as per the specs. While CPU is definitely a bottleneck, a terribly outdated graphics card will even struggle on low settings.
Close down unneeded applications
I also ensure that my anti-virus has whitelisted Microsoft Flight Simulator and that it’s not performing any scans while I am playing the game. Anti-virus can chew through CPU as well as I/O.
Performance Graphics Settings
|Terrain Level of Detail||60|
|Grass and Bushes||Medium|
|Objects Level of Detail||60|
|Depth of Field||High|
|Generic Plane Models AI||On|
|Generic Plane Models MP||Off|
If you’re still experiencing issues due to CPU bottlenecks, lower the terrain level of detail and object level of detail settings down a lot more (somewhere around 30 for really old CPU’s and it can help).