Performance Tips

Some things to play with in the settings, as the presets are kind of wack:

  • The Data / Online settings can cause stutters due to connectivity, even though the app is meant to fall back gracefully. To narrow it down try switching OFF at Options / General / Data (tab) / Online Functionality. Usually it’s the ‘Live Real-World Air Traffic’ causing issues, but switch them on one by one to see.

  • The Aviation Traffic has a LOD bug that eats VRAM. Again, to narrow it down, try flying a Flight Set-up with no Multiplayer / AI traffic. The ‘Flight Conditions’ page should look like this:

  • The vehicle buzzing around default values are too high for 16GB of RAM. Try turning down Airport Life and Land and Sea Traffic down to 20 (from 50).

  • MSFS due to the way its Rolling Cache works is really susceptible to Virus Checkers causing frame jitters. Try putting an exception in for MSFS file locations or turn it off to narrow things down.

  • The Rolling Cache is a bit buggy, and can cause frame drops. Try turning it off if you don’t have an internet cap. It’s here at the bottom (your data usage will grow, depending on where you fly), but you can view a tracking total number on it:

  • For a 1070 try the Anti-Aliasing set to FXAA.

  • If after all the above things don’t help, knock the Options / General / Graphics / Render Scaling down to 80% - most people are hard pushed to see the difference and it helps a lot on VRAM.

  • If you are on Win10 2004, and using a latest driver, try enabling Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling (HAGS). Right button on your desktop for ‘Display Settings’, scroll to the bottom for ‘Graphics Settings’ and you get to a screen where you can flip HAGS on if it’s enabled for your combo of hardware.

  • A graphics setting that is adjusted by the presets, but is worth experimenting yourself, is the Terrain Level of Detail slider and the default ‘Trees’. These two things have a big impact, so try bringing down the LOD to 10 or 20 if you are still struggling. The trees actually look better on ‘Medium’ anyway(* I’ll do a separate post fo that):

  • Nobody can really run Ultra at 4K comfortably. It’s good for screenshots until we get huge VRAM GPUs. The sim looks great on ‘High’ with a good PC, and pretty nice down from that.

A Special Trees Aside.

MSFS has the correct tree location and species data, but it assumes any tree is fully grown and at max height, when life is unfortunately not that kind to our arboreal friends. The result is the trees look too big. They look good from > 5000 ft, but too bushy and lush below that.

This is a general hack you can do to edit them, although this might interfere with updates when they come. If you edit a file, back it up first.

Go here:


(Where X:\MSFS is where your Content Manager location is, it may be your install location) (*)

and edit this guy:


In that file you’ll find the various tree species, all laid out. The values to adjust are the

<Size min="15" max="20"/>

…values. You can usually take off 5 from each value, but it’s completely up to taste of how treey you like the world in your location.

(*) Dammit, now I need another aside on default install location. :slight_smile:. Because the client app will need to be on the Xbox platform, it’s written as a Univeral Windows Platform (UWP) device compatible application. This means it’s sort of ‘sandboxed’ for security and uniform API usage. It also means that via the Windows Store, it puts it somewhere odd like:


…where X is your default Apps drive and (you) is your windows username. The ‘library’ part of MSFS is called the ‘Content Manager’ and other than making Steam purchases mad that they can’t refund because it took 3 hours to download, its purpose is to be a ‘versioning system lirbary’ for first and third party content. The default install will put your ‘Content Manager’ content in a location a bit like the one above, so hunt around. I personally like it on a separate directory to be easier to find. You can always tell the ‘root’ of it, as it has ‘Community’ and ‘Official’ split directories for future library stuff.



Fantastically helpful - thanks!

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@fearlessfrog any thoughts on the manual cache feature?

I had crashes with it a few months ago and haven’t turned it on since - like BSOD nightmare stuff where my dog started meowing etc. If you have a data cap then worth looking at, but all of the cache stuff for me has actually hurt performance so far. It could be the case it’s fixed up though, so I should try it again some time.


So, you’re saying “don’t push the shiny red button”?

Welp, off to try manual cache lol

I’ll report back on findings. a few YT videos noted it helped them, so maybe it’s been deborked.


Does the 1070 support HAGS with latest driver, or is 1080 min spec?

BTW, thanks for the work (to all you-uns here). I did beta testing years (and years) ago, and it kinda suk’d.


Yep, Pascal (10 series) and Turing (16 and 20 series) are good. It moves the performance bottleneck around a bit, so sort of depends on the system if it helps, but easy to try if on Win10 2004 and latest drivers.

Good tech info on the feature here

Yep, for those how want to ‘preload’ areas (because of internet etc) then here’s a good guide on how to do it. I think I mentioned this feature to @PaulRix way back before, so it might be handy for rural or poor connectivity scenarios.


My 1070 looks like it doesn’t support HAGs - don’t see the option in the advanced graphics settings. Pity.


This Reverse Mudspike Logic thing is a fascinating evolutionary development…


Cuzz we’re all just big kids, really.


Are you on Windows 10 v2004? Unless you aren’t, HAGs won’t appear. Type ‘winver’ at the Start prompt to find out. It might help your performance woes if you update.

Also, if heavily CPU bound then maybe this would help?

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Does anyone have an issue with a grainy/dotty effect on shadow/ reflections?

I have searched google and found a Reddit thread with a couple of responses which amounted to nothing and this thread here:-

I am running on i7 9700k, 2080 and 32gb ram, msfs installed on m.2 970 pro. I am using the high preset on a 4k monitor.

Yep, I’m seeing that too. Haven’t had the time to try and track down the culprit just yet.
i7 7700k, RTX 2080, 32 GB ram. High preset, 1080p

Reminds me off ray traced rendering in blender with too few samples cast. You get a noisy grainy texture that is not like camera noise.

I thought it‘s intentional PBR rendering of a rough surface. Haven‘t paid too much attention, though.

I noticed it when I turned of TAA to see if it improves performance.