4 years in and pretty much zero improvements to clouds

None of those shots were from the alpha, or they would have had the user name embedded at multiple places in the screen capture. That was a limitation of the alpha that wasn’t removed until the sim released. I am assuming that only MS/Asobo employees could do screen captures in the alpha without their name being “branded” in the photo.

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Some of the file names have dates in them. And some of them do have usernames on them.

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Man I miss those days. Thanks for posting them, almost forgot what they looked like, lol


Ahh yeah, it is sad. Its the lighting as well, not just the clouds, just so much more alive.


Wow that’s a shame. That looks better than what we have now. Rip.


People may disagree with me and that’s fine.

I believe the title of this thread and the underlying premise is misleading.

If we go back, there was only one cloud type when MSFS launched - cumulus. Now we have so many clouds, especially cirrus, which was non-existent back then. So, forgive me, but I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “pretty much zero improvements to clouds.”

As I recall, there was an entire update, primarily for weather. Remember when they added the convection/heating/turbulence model? As a real-world pilot, I think it’s very accurate. Some people weren’t used to that and then asked for a way to reduce it.

The wind model was initially quite strange; most notably, the depiction of gusts was “dumbed down” initially, then updated. Now, we have mechanical displacement, airspeed fluctuations, etc.

Then we had lightning everywhere and constantly. That was fixed.

Then they introduced something like a CFD (computational fluid dynamics) model to certain aircraft. Granted it’s only an approximation of local flow, but it’s definitely an improvement, even if it results in interesting and sometimes questionable flying qualities.

In the end, you can say that

… but I’m not sure I agree.

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I purchased Active Sky this week and it’s amazing to see the variation in cloud types, however I find it extremely disappointing that I have to purchase a third party application in order to see clouds that were in the game prior to an older Sim Update.

Having watched many videos and seen countless screenshots from around the time of release, it’s very clear the clouds have taken a monumental step backwards and I cannot fathom how the lead developers don’t see let alone acknowledge this, it’s poor management.

Of course their angle now is “the weather is better in MSFS 2024”, but it should not be this way. They’ve clearly made big errors in game design with the clouds, on both a graphical sense with the reduction in quality and the reduction in visuals of cloud types.

These design regressions have happened throughout the games life in various areas, I just hope the next game does not go through the same dramatic downgrades as this one has.



I understand the frustration, but we ‘must’ purchase a 3rd party product for nearly every facet of this game that we want to get the fullest ‘simulation’ part of the experience from!

Aircraft… :white_check_mark:
Ground Services… :white_check_mark:
Airports … :white_check_mark:
Clouds / weather … :white_check_mark:
Navigation / Airport charts… :white_check_mark:
ATC … :white_check_mark:
ETC :white_check_mark: ETC :white_check_mark: ETC :white_check_mark:

The only thing we are lucky enough not to have to buy are ground texture replacements like Orbx and REX used to flog on the other platforms!

Also, the price of the addons are generally cheaper than what we had to buy in the past due to the large market XBOX has brought into this ‘market segment’ :face_holding_back_tears:


There is no third party application / preset generator that can provide the same clouds and lighting prior to Sim Update 5. Let alone localized weather.

All the presets out now would have looked much better with that early graphics fidelity.