Microsoft Flight Simulator Optimization Guide (Shadow Edition)

  • 28 August 2020
  • 7 replies

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I have been part of the European Discord server since September last year and people often ask me for optimization guides for their games. Recently I have been working together with a couple of other people on figuring out the break points for Microsoft Flight Simulator. These settings won’t massively boost your FPS but it does provide stability for your game client and a better flight experience.

Important note:
When using Shadow Boost you should be aware that your FPS is bound to the processor and not your fancy P5000 or GTX 1080 that is assigned to your Shadow.

The preparation:
Go to Options -> General -> Graphics

First thing to do is to remove all the current customizations and preset settings from Microsoft by hitting the F12 Key. This will likely take a bit so grab a drink or beverage and await till this process is completely done.

The Settings:
Display Mode: Full Screen
Global Rendering Quality: Medium
Render Scaling: 50 (1080P Screens / Most Stable) or 100 (Less Stable / 1440P Screens)
Anti-Aliasing: FXAA

My constructive reason for setting the settings like this:
Setting `Display Mode`  is rather important since foreground processes have the most priority overall for example: When you alt tab out of a game the video game is not a priority for Windows to actively render all the time.

Setting global rendering to Medium is about high as you can get on Shadow with Microsoft Flight Simulator. Since you are bottle necked at the availability and speeds of the processor (CPU) that is provided with your package. This setting may be less relevant at the Infinite package whenever the hardware becomes available to us.

VSYNC should always be off at Shadow PC users since I have noticed that there is a huge quality loss as in image quality when switching that on or off in various of games. Also, this setting is endorsed by Shadow since their encoding and stream server has benefits from it.

Render scaling is a setting for texture resolution that involves bandwidth over your CPU and RAM. Decreasing this option to half of your resolution will reduce the load on the Shadow PC. Lowering this setting does not only benefit you but also your neighbors on the same cluster your connected with.

FXAA is from my opinion possibly the best anti-aliasing setting there is for quality and fps with NVIDIA products. I have been using this setting since early 2000 and this has never disappointed the quality or performance of all the games that I have played. Despite that this setting is questionable in many ways it has never let me down.

7 replies

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I literally just downloaded the game, and I am playing on my iPad Pro (2k-range resolution and 120hz screen).  The med setting in the tutorial mission so far has me at 70-90 FPS already, which is great on the iPads screen. It’s a non-city area however.  Will report back for other iPad users.  I tend to turn down resolution bc I want to use the 120hz of the screen on games, but this game isn’t really action-y.  

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Thank you for the feedback, I will be updating this guide a bit more since I haven't done a write up about the other settings yet.  this will be done within a couple of hours so stay tuned for more information for a better experience ;)

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Other options to look at:
After you have restarted the game there are several other options we should look at for a better performance. Since “Live Weather” and “Live Players” (Traffic) is something that we should switch off since both options consume lots of bandwidth and CPU.

The other settings:
Go to Options -> General -> Data

Here you can choose to disable all “Online Functionality” all at once or simply chose to switch off specific parts. So here will be a two-choice option depending on your flavor and what you want to trade in for better performance.

Disable Options Partially (Semi Online play / Decent Performance / Online Play):
Live Real-World Traffic: Off
Photogrammetry: Off
Live Weather: Off

Build up reasons:
Calculating real world traffic can get serious within this game and ramp up resources within your CPU and RAM. Also, this feature enables lots of background scripts that are playing the AI Airplanes along with your session. What are the odds that you will bump into them and interact with such an AI Airplane going to Ibiza while you are heading to New York?

Photogrammetry is rather a very part of this optimization since this download’s real-world data on various kinds of buildings and cities from Bing Maps. This feature is known to hog down 50Mbit of data which should not be a problem for Shadow. The problem is within the processing and rendering that amount of data. And that is exactly what we are trying to avoid here.

Live Weather is kind of the same as Real World Traffic mixed along with Photogrammetry but less aggressive on resources. Switching off this option will still gain you quite some bandwidth and stresses less on your resources when playing Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Disable Everything (Best Performance / Offline Play):
Online Functionality -> Off

This is my least favorite options since there is lots of involvement online and just flying around with AI and pure solo may get a bit boring at times. However, this reduces most of the load and gives the best stability as performance game on Shadow or a Local PC.

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Userlevel 1

Great Guide, thank you!

Just one question: I have no addititonal storage yet since it is nog available and I was wondering if I can install Microsoft Flight Simulator directly on the C-drive or do I need to use a workaround with creating a vhdx? I don’t use the Game Pass for PC but bought the game in the MS Store.

With a 1440p screen, can you please me tell me how FS runs? After the different updates (FS and shadow), is-it reasonable to run it with high config in this resolution?



Are these settings also the best for playing flight sim in Vr mode ?