A high level review of the logic for handling connection issues

I would like to request a full, formal, top-down review of the entire logic of how MSFS handles all of the network service connections - especially when there is a connection problem. For a “Game as a Service” MSFS is far too fragile when 1 or more services are unreachable, and immersion is constantly being broken unnecessarily. Sometimes it renders MSFS unflyable at all.

MSFS connects to many servers and content delivery networks:

  • Xbox Live for authentication
  • Bing Maps for terrain
  • Photogrammetry
  • Weather
  • ATC
  • Traffic
  • Multiplayer
  • I believe there is a cloud instance of some kind loaded for your flight
  • probably more I’m not aware of…

The current experience is that when any 1 connection is slow or unresponsive, it’s as if MSFS is in “debug mode”, it interrupts flight with a popup message that is often worded, “Your connection…” implying it’s the User’s responsibility. The choices offered are of little help or are dead end links, immersion is broken, and there is no graceful fallback to continue flying uninterrupted.

Further, because of how this Forum and Zendesk are designed, the staff have no visibility in to Microsoft server issues. And, there are many individual reports about these issues, but they seem to get lost in the noise and not recognized collectively as 1 larger issue. I fear they each only get a bandaid fix, only if voted heavily. I would like to request that Asobo proactively search for all the Network-related issues to be reviewed TOGETHER, in CONTEXT with one another, because the flawed logic of how MSFS behaves underlies them all.

I have put a few links below to some, but it is easy to search the forums for “Connection” or “Server”. Imagine if fixing the logic could resolve a whole bunch of these issues together, and result in a much better experience?

After 9 months of beta testing MSFS on XBox X, The network connection issues and behaviour collectively are (in my opinion) the biggest problem facing MSFS. This week alone I’ve read several posts of paying users who now dread turning on MSFS, and are taking a break because it causes more stress than enjoyment. I am close to feeling the same way.

I would suggest a simple logic to start with (from a customer perspective):

  1. The current behaviour seems to have bias built in - that when any 1 server is unreachable, the game is interrupted, the user is notified, and the message of “Your connection…” or, “Your bandwidth…” seems to put the responsibility on the User to check their internet connection, etc. That’s backwards.
  2. There needs to be much more detailed automatic checking of connections to each individual service before MSFS logic concludes it is the User’s entire internet conection is the problem.
  3. Provide a Network Toolbar icon so the user and Microsoft can SEE the status of the various services live, all the time.
  4. If any individual service is slow or unresponsive - while others are ok - obviously it’s not the User’s internet connection. So in that case, automatically log the issue with Microsoft so they can see patterns in real time, and automate things.
  5. If any individual service is slow or unresponsive, MSFS should have a more graceful fallback - especially if offline files are installed - so pilots can just continue flying. There is no need to “inform” the user, because any degredation will be visually obvious - and more importantly, you shouldn’t break immersion.
  6. Allow the User to choose if they want the pop up alerts. My guess is that most people would prefer a Toolbar Network Status window of some kind.
  7. Review the full GUI for various Online / Offline scenarios - currently on Xbox with Premium Deluxe the option to turn General Options > Data > Online Functionality ON or OFF is greyed out! And there is a chronic problem of not being able to authenticate MSFS even for offline flight, etc.

Here are 2 simple visual suggestions (which I’m sure you could improve upon):

An in-flight Network Status Toolbar icon:

When in the MSFS home screen, under the Gamer Tag:

Here are a series of posts and issues which I believe all suffer from the same flawed underlying logic. Please consider reviewing them in context of each other:

Please consider these network-related issues in context, and do a top-down review of the logic, provide better, clearer info to the user, log issues with Microsoft automatically, and improve the experience for everyone. Thanks for your consideration.

I agree with you 100%.


lol. However… ?

To summarize the request - don’t interrupt flight with messages about network connections.

There is zero need to interrupt flight with connection messages. MSFS is supposed to allow offline flight, so just allow it. Provide a way for the user to see what the connection status is - if they choose to. But any disconnection will be obvious visually anyway.

Sometimes clouds block view, sometimes photogrammetry doesn’t load, but keep flying!

With so many connections to so many different online services, MSFS should expect all kinds of interruptions, and, should be MUCH better at handling them. It’s Microsoft’s job to pilot the server connectivity, it’s the Pilot’s job to fly the plane.


Agree with you, thanks a lot for the post, this is exactly what I think about the MSFS server issues but my little English knowledge…

I hope this post arrives to the devs ASP.


Xbox server issues today.

But at least the wording of this message is appropriate:

Xbox Network Problem
Your network is good, but there are some Xbox service issues.
Sorry there’s a problem on our side. To see which services are affected, check the current service status in Settings > General > Network settings or go to Xbox.com/status

A step in the right direction.

That’s better innit. Have they been listening?

The last 4-6 months have been really bad, in terms of constant disconnection issues. Data being unable to be streamed properly, Live weather not working, players unable to connect, Download speeds being constantly slow (suspiciously quicker using a VPN) etc. It seems to be happening a lot more frequently and MS/Asobo, as far as I know, haven’t acknowledged the problem. It’s a major part of the sim, so if it doesn’t work - the cards collapse.

Just this evening it’s turned off the Bing maps again for the umpteenth time (my internet speeds are fine and within recommendation) and it destroys the sim, because it looks awful.

I know there’s a topic for the disconnecting message, but this topic is focused on getting some improvements in this area, as (IMO) it’s become so unstable on any given day and much worse recently.

I’ve given up hope that Asobo or Microsoft will acknowledge or address the issues.

I asked if I could pose a question about network issues in the upcoming SU12 Dev Q&A, but my question was denied.

It’s a waste of time, unfortunately.

I suspect they do not have the capability to improve it, either.

If I understand it correctly, MicroSoft is providing server capacity and Asobo has little or no influence to get that increased or surely it would have happened before now.

It really shows the game in a bad light but as long as it continues to make loads-a-lolly do they really care?

I think not.

But server capacity is not the request I’m making - it’s how MSFS behaves when there is any variability.

MSFS is supposed to allow offline flying - it doesn’t need to stop your flight and put a big message in front of you, for an issue you can’t control anyway.

Netflix handles network variability by lowering resolution - but it keeps going. MSFS should do the same. Any reports of connection issues should go to MSFS, not to the user - especially when it’s obvious when all other online connections are fine. Then Microsoft can see the patterns of where there are server problems and make improvements on their end. Telling the user just interrupts flight, and doesn’t inform Microsoft - that’s backwards.

So my request is to re-think how MSFS behaves - which is by design. Popup messages are for debugging, for the programmers, not the paying customer.

It is not in my nature to give up hope but always to press on regardless.

Expecting Asobo or Microsoft to acknowledge or address any of these issues though, could be the one exception.

LOL … and just because I’ve given up hope doesn’t mean I give up advocating for obvious major issues to be addressed.

I do want MSFS to succeed and improve, because I eventually want to enjoy the experience. But I’ve learned not to hope with MSFS. Only to advocate.


True :slightly_smiling_face:

Anyway, well said and I don’t disagree with the points you raised :+1:t2:

I tried to submit a question about the Network Connection issues for the upcoming Dev Q&A but was denied for 2 reasons: because it isn’t a release note item, and the issues started before SU12.

So by that logic, we can’t ask about on-going issues that affect the ability even use MSFS.

I made another request, for the opportunity to have an open Dev Q&A session where more forum questions could be asked. I got no response. So I’m calling “bogus” on the whole thing - there is a very large elephant in the room, in the form of network connection issues, and Microsoft / Asobo are silent on the subject, won’t take questions, won’t respond. I have to say, it’s not a good look.

To be clear - I’m not asking for perfect server connections (which is not possible, online services will always be variable). I’m asking for fixing the logic to how MSFS behaves when there is variability or outage of any online service, so that MSFS has graceful fallback to allow flight to continue uninterrupted, and, that reports of outages are collected at Microsoft so they can learn of, and respond to, server issues.

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Every Friday, for many weeks, network services become a problem. Not just for me, please just look at the number of new threads for the same issues by new users.

A full, top-down review of how MSFS behaves when this or that server can’t be reached needs to happen.