Active Sky Next update..and Active Sky 2016 question

Not sure how many of you use it…but I had ordered and have been using Active Sky Next for FSX/P3D since early 2015 and received an e-mail from the place I purchased it (SimMarket) that it has been newly updated with a new installer for both FSX and P3D.

If you have bought Active Sky Next through Steam - it will auto-update. If not - you might find the new download here (Service Pack 5):

An another topic - anyone using Active Sky 2016 and is it worth the upgrade?


Active sky is an incredible piece of software. I could not believe it. I explained to my neighbor how the real time weather was depicted. He thought I was making that up.
Im trying to get back into P3D. Hopefully Active Sky will work with it… I hope…

I upgraded from ASN to AS16 & ASCA not long after it was launched, coming from an ASN / Texture Direct 4 with Soft Clouds setup.

To be honest I’m not completely and utterly sold on the upgrade and the revised per-platform pricing, though I can appreciate why they’ve done it.

Is the weather depiction better than ASN? It’s really hard to say without doing a side by side comparison. Maybe it looks better, but I’m wary of wishful thinking applying here. They say it’s better, and after flying it a while I kinda think it’s better. I guess the test is that apart from the occasional popcorn and some cloud repetition, which was worse at launch I think, there’s nothing there that I look at and think “eh?”

There’s a much more prevalent overcast effect - basically where you cannot see anything. But personally, to my mind and based upon my experience, it’s overdone. I found myself dealing with this wall of nothing very very frequently and it appeared to run counter to the METARs in question. I’ve recently turned clouds in P3D down from max to high to counter the crippling effect of SGSS that I need to make P3D look good. So while reducing cloud density a notch triggers an AS16 warning about not getting the full effects, I think it actually looks better as I no longer have to deal with the overcast wall of nothing. But that’s just me.

The new wisp effect sometimes looks OK and other times looks, well, kinda contrived and forced. It also tends to go off at times that don’t totally make sense. It does seem to be a little better after the recent patches but again it’s hard to truly judge things.

The interface has been reworked, and while it’s clearer in places, the map display (ie the most important one) is in my mind actually harder to interpret and read. Something about the colours used.

ASCA is nice in that it varies the cloud texture set you’re seeing over longer flights, but the clouds themselves are arguably more prone to repetition and less refined than those of Texture Direct with Soft Clouds.

A lot of this is down to personal opinion, not forgetting that I simply won’t fly without Active Sky something running. Is ASN great? It sure is. By extension so is AS16, and is made better by having ASCA coupled with it. HiFi provide great support too. But is it worth the full upgrade price? Pondering that, I guess I’d have to say yes if that what it takes to keep HiFi in business turning out such great products, patches and quick P3D updates.

I’d be interested to hear other people’s opinions of AS16.

[EDIT:] PS - I believe some of these update notifications are actually behind the latest versions available from HiFi. Check there first, plus they have incremental updates so you don’t have to uninstall and reinstall the whole product.

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Hey that’s a great review of the product. Thanks for taking the time to give us your thoughts on it. I don’t know much about Active Sky other than that I bought it and have it installed. I honestly just click on the icon, load it and go fly…I’ve never (that I can recall) messed with the settings on it. I should probably look under the hood.

I had to Google what ASCA was - looks interesting, I was unaware of it. And I agree with you statement that sometimes it’s nice to support the companies that make the products we like (HiFi). After all, we hope they will make products well into the future.

Still not sure if I’m going to go with AS 2016 at this point - I might pick it up on a sale I guess…like I normally do with everything else. Do you know if they give an upgrade discount for previous AS purchasers?

Yay! I got active Sky in 2014 and I will upgrade. I am so happy I got P3D to work.

There is upgrade pricing available, although it’s not been on special yet unlike the full product.

Better yet, there’s a demo of AS16 so you can try before you buy. Note, you will need to install the appropriate ASConnect for ASN or AS16 as you cannot have both active at once.

There’s no demo of ASCA, owing to the risk of folks ripping the textures out of it.