Are Microsoft/ASOBO pushing MSFS in the wrong direction?

I’ve tried to not write this post. I really have. But I’m finally frustrated enough with the sim and with the development direction Microsoft and Asobo are taking MSFS. It pains me to have to write a negative post about a sim that I have 1,500 hours (and hundreds of dollars invested in) but it’s gotten to that point. The main issue is the stability of the platform. In the recent Dev Q/A on Twitch, Jorg mentioned three things that really drew my attention, and convinced me that some perspective might be helpful for the team. So here goes.

  1. “Gaming as a service.” Jorg at one point made the comparison between FSX and MSFS and stated – correctly – that FSX was a static platform and that MSFS was built basically as an always evolving “service.” Software as a service (SaaS) in the business world makes sense when the platform is stable and the software updates are thoroughly tested before being rolled out to end users. Windows is essentially SaaS at this point, so is Microsoft Office and a wide variety of other business software.

I didn’t buy MSFS as a GaaS. I bought it as a simulator. I presumed it would be stable. I presumed that it would be a great development platform. I knew it would be updated with new content (everyone’s got to make money on this) and that there would be the occasional bug fix. But what we’ve got now is a what amounts to a new version of the sim every couple of months, which fixes some bugs, introduces new ones, and generally frustrates the end users. That leads to the second thing Jorg said:

  1. “We’re thinking about giving more time between updates” (paraphrasing here). I wholeheartedly agree with this, but I’m not sure the team is ready to do what I think really should be done: quarterly updates. Two world/scenery updates, and two sim/bugfix updates, per year. Separate the add-on planes from the world updates, have emergency fixes go out for major show-stopping bugs off cycle, but otherwise please commit to a cycle that will give your engineers the time they need to really need to first stabilize the platform, then fix the outlier bugs, and then finally start working on new features.

For example, Asobo is working on things like a new flight model for helicopters, adjusting the atmospheric physics engine for soaring, creating a system to more realistically represent airflow from props, etc. These are all great things and I look forward to seeing them all in the sim at some point. But you know what I’d really like to see done first? Fix the memory leak that prevents so many users – me included – from completing flights of over an hour without our frame times going to over 100 ms and our FPS going down to 2. The performance degradation bug should be an “all hands on deck” priority and take precedence over all other development efforts. Adding content to the sim isn’t going to do any good if the sim doesn’t work, and that’s the state it’s in now.

And that brings me to the last statement Jorg made:

  1. “Make sure you test your modules in the flighting because we can’t possibly test everything out there.” On the surface this is 100% excellent advice. But the question is…test against what? The platform isn’t stable enough to test against. Or at least, it isn’t stable long enough to be tested against thoroughly. It’s really difficult for developers to know how to do what they want to do when the rules keep changing and new features keep popping up unannounced, not to mention the new bugs that come with each new Sim Update.

I myself have wanted to take a shot at writing a program that would integrate into the sim as sort of a logbook replacement (side note: the logbook has been broken since FS2000, probably earlier. Not blaming MS/Asobo for this). But each time I start to take notes and get going on it, I realize not everything is there that I need, marked as available in the SDK when it really isn’t, etc.

Now I would never expect MS/Asobo to thoroughly test third party products. They are responsible for the platform and the add-ons they themselves have produced, nobody else’s. So yes, PMDG/Fenix/Aerosoft/FBW/Carenado/Etc. need to make sure their products work when new versions of the sim are being released. But that’s a two-way street. They also need a known starting point to test against. When PMDG delayed the 737-700 because SU9 was imminent, and they wanted to make sure it worked with it, that was a wise move. But I’d hate to have sunk all the development time and money into the -700 only to have to regression test it continually as monthly changes to the core platform keep coming out, breaking new things in their product. We all would rather have them be able to work on the next thing in their product roadmap, not keep retesting the same thing over and over again.

I’m writing this in the spirit of constructive criticism. Software engineering is hard. Having to make such a huge product work on both Xbox and PCs makes it exponentially harder. I get that. But it’s starting to feel like the team is settling into a mind set of “we’re in this for 10 years, and we’ll keep improving things over time” instead of “we’re in this for 10 years – let’s make sure the platform will continue working that entire time.” We’re two years into this 10 year timeframe, and we still have an unstable platform. A beautiful, enchanting, promising, enticing platform. But it’s also one of the most frustrating experiences I’ve ever had with any flight sim, or computer games for that matter. I’ve been using flight simulators since 1983. Hard to believe that after almost 40 years, the best looking sim out there is more frustrating that the hard-coded 2 FPS Flight Assignment: ATP where geometric cubes counted as towers, perfect pyramids were mountains, and cities were just flat polygons with random dots of lights. But honestly, ATP was more fulfilling to me than where we’re at with MSFS.

So please, MS and Asobo, I ask two things: keep working hard – we sincerely appreciate the efforts you go to in order to even give us a chance to fly in a modern sim – but also please step back and refocus on stabilizing the core platform. In the long run, I think it will make your users happier, and encourage more investment by them into the sim. I realize “new shiny” things are what continue to get people to spend money on the sim, and without income there wouldn’t be a sim, but I think you might start losing people if the core issues aren’t worked out. As I said above, the degradation problem is paramount. I know there are others. But separate core from “nice to haves” and really focus on the core issues first. Please.

Thank you for reading!


The games been great,

The platform is fine….I don’t see any issues

I personally think this whole part is like “make it like my dream game and if I have issues…everyone does” I hardly seen compliant as bad as yours.

Every game is like this


No, it isn’t. And you’re proof of it. It works fine for you (and I’m happy for you that it does!) but it doesn’t work fine for others, including me. I’m not talking about it not having certain features I’d prefer, or different aircraft, etc. I’m just asking that it run fine for everyone, not just part of the user base. Having the sim stop functioning after an hour of flying is definitively an “issue.”

Not really. The closest analogy to MSFS I can think of is World of Warcraft. It’s been online since 2004 and Blizzard has been through the wringer enough to have the engineering on this down pretty well at this point. Major game system changes are introduced maybe twice a year. Two or three times a year, they do a pass at fixing bugs and minor other tweaks, but the core program remains stable throughout. And if something does go bad when it goes live, they usually have it resolved in a week or two with an emergency patch.

My point isn’t to stop developing MSFS - exactly the opposite. I want TONS of development and add-ons for it. But I really wish it were stable first so I could fly from Washington to Tampa successfully, something I’ve tried doing six times in the last two days without any real success. I made it there once, but landing at 2 fps in this sim is extremely frustrating.


Well said.


Thank you!


I understand your frustration, I try and Fly every day, busy airports UK and Europe mostly (I also fly across pond and around the the world, due to shift work) I generally have a smooth flight (not interested in FPS, I know if its smooth or not) I believe its a server issue, I flew out of EGKK to BIKF…Stuttery as anything…next day did the same flight Smooth as butter.

Fenix Airbus

Same settings live weather AIG traffic.

But I agree its not 100% Stable


All - OP is right on the money. ATC flew me past destination for the first 6 months, flying the 747/787. I can list many issues, too many times already. Had installation error on last WU, took the thing off PC. I cannot speak to SU9, but reading problems posted glad I did not try to reinstall after reading all those. Developers have got to have deep pockets, because they have had to reinvent their product each and every update, because something deep inside changes.
Currently moving, and new house has high radon in basement so won’t be able to even fly FSX or XP-11 until that is fixed. BUT internet is so slow there, I won’t waste time downloading and installing MSFS, because here it takes a week, there it would take a month. Believe, it will be late this year before I can fly again, sad, but just more important stuff going on now.
However, I do check into this forum about once a week to see the “state of the sim”, and this confirms to me, not much has changed.


What you want is basically what they said in the latest Q&A they are going to do. Mind you, I for one have hardly had any stability etc problems and I love the WUs and new features, but at the same time I am happy with what they say they are going to do so that more people will have fewer problems. Cheers.


Well, for XBox it definitely is unstable. For most PC users though, the sim is stable. Yes, I understand you and some PC users have the issue where after an hour FPS drops. It isn’t a widespread issue, or else this forum would be absolutely flooded with topics about it. Now, Jorg did actually answer a question this week in the Q&A about the issue you talk about, and they said, they perhaps have found something on it dealing with the VFR map. So your issue that you are referring to, they haven’t been able to fully replicate it yet. You said this was a stop everything and all hands on deck issue. If you put everyone at Asobo at just dealing with this one issue, the problem is, you aren’t going to get it fixed any sooner without being able to replicate it. It isn’t a personnel resource issue that is stopping this fix. Its knowing what the cause is, and part of that is how to replicate the issue. They said they have in one room PC’s and XBox’s just running the sim for hours and hours trying to replicate the issue so they can track it down.


Right there is the issue. One day the flight is fine, the next day the exact same flight is not fine. That’s the indication that something in the core of the sim is wrong. Is it the network layer? Is it the rendering engine? It’s not necessarily the end-user’s hardware (especially for Xbox users - their hardware is all the same). It doesn’t matter if you have an Nvidia card and I have an AMD card. It doesn’t matter if you’re on Intel or AMD for a processor. In the same plane on the same flight with the same parameters on the same computer, one day it’s fine, the next day it’s broken. This is precisely the issue.


Please see this thread on performance degradation which has over 2,600 posts. It’s a widespread problem.

And therein lies the problem. They can’t reproduce it, so they can’t track it down. In my opinion, they need to work harder to reproduce it then. It clearly affects tons of PC users, so if they can’t replicate it in house, they need to start thinking outside of the box to figure out ways to replicate it so they can track it down.


Exactly, Its strange I am no PC expert TBH PC technical stuff What I know I could write on back of a postage stamp, (Have you tried turning off and on is my limit). I know there must be issues same flight same aircraft no change to settings. So I put it down to Server issues.

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Well I’ll toss in my humble opinion. I agree with JWATTS, so I guess I’m not an expert either :wink: but I think server problems are a huge part of this. Sure, there’s coding issues, but once again, as stated here ad nauseum, one day we fly fine, the next, we have problems. And it seems that after every big update, we all have problems for a few days and then it settles down. If a server isn’t “serving” properly, then multiple people will have multiple problems. If the server problems were eliminated, maybe they’d have a shot at resolving those that remain because they would have a consistent performing base to use as a reliable platform.

I also agree that MSAsobo should put all hands on deck to solve the performance problems. I get the Top Gun stuff - they gotta make 13 year old kids like my nephew happy 'cause that sells soap. But come on, people. Some of these bugs have been going on for a LONG time.

And something for you experts to answer, please. Is it possible that code could be well-written and not contain bugs, but if the server continues to have problems, we would interpret the problems as code-related? Would they manifest themselves similarly?


It has 2600 posts since April 2021. Over a year ago. Not everyone that has posted on that thread has the issue still. Seriously, if it was as massively widespread as you say, these forums would be exploding. Absolutely no one would be able to fly the 737 or the Fenix. I get that you and other people have the issue. I get it. And Asobo is trying to get to the issue.

For a widespread issue, just look at the number of XBox issue threads that have come up since SU9. There are several of them in just a month that have exceeded the post could of your issue, and there are numerous of those threads. I’m a PC user, so I am not biased. I’m just stating, it IS a huge issue in terms of playability for you and other PC users who have that issue, but it is NOT as widespread as you make it out to be, Asobo is working on trying to replicate it, and I don’t think every single Asobo resource should drop what they are doing and work on your issue.

It likely is a network issue (like for instance, those on the east coast, two hops before the store CDN is a bad Bell router that causes download issues), or memory, or memory overclocking, or something environmental like hardware or networking. I think the best way Asobo would be able to deal with the issue is find a user who is able to 100% replicate (every flight after an hour does this) and have Asobo basically remote into that users PC to investigate. All the key environment factors that lead to the issue will be there. I’m sure Asobo has direct VPN connectivity to the CDN so they will never be able to from their offices replicate some of these issues.


I suspect the exact same thing. Before SU9, I had a string of great flights with no problems in the experimental FBW A32NX after I got a VPN in place. Prior the VPN, with everything else the same, I couldn’t get a single flight done that was more than an hour in length.

But then SU9 hits and bam, I’m back to the same problem.

And while I’m sure you’re right that not everyone in that post still has the problem, more people report problems on that thread every day. I have posted a few times in there even thinking I had a solution with the VPN. That lasted two weeks for me until SU9 hit.

I don’t fly on XBox obviously (I don’t have the right kind of XBox anyhow - mine is too old LOL) but I’m sympathetic to them as well. And as I understand it, programming for the XBox should be a lot easier to debug since the hardware is all identical. Yet still they have issues that are show stoppers for them as well.

All of this points to a code base that isn’t fully fleshed out. And it needs to be addressed. But the fact remains that one day you can have a great flight, the next day you try the exact same thing and it fails. That’s an unstable platform. And that needs to get resolved before they can even know what’s causing other issues. IMO.



Take a CTD as an example. It’s the client software that is crashing, not the server. So that’s a very serious defect in the simulator code. The memory error messages that you see in your screen? Same thing.


I get what you’re saying and I respect it, but for some reason, it seems like some people are having orders of magnitude more trouble with stability than others are with the sim.

I count myself as one of the lucky ones because outside of dev mode activities, the sim has only crashed on me a handful of times and I’ve been playing since launch. I don’t get random crashes on final approach, pervasive stutters or terrain loading problems or crazy jank in my flight model or anything like what I’ve seen others on this forum complain so passionately about over the years.

For one reason or another, some people just have an absolute bear of a time with the sim while others have it easy. I wish I knew why that was the case, but my guess is that most of these stability issues that people are having don’t show up in Asobo’s testing. It’s hard to fix problems you cannot reproduce in a dev environment.

So what I’m saying is, I sympathize, but maybe we could tone down the melodrama of titles like “pushing the sim in the wrong direction”. They’re making regular updates and pushing it forward, as they should. Sometimes the road is bumpy. This is an unfortunate consequence of the era in which we live, where everything is subject to change. Not Asobo’s fault. Every video game (and yes, all consumer flight simulators are video games) that has been released in the past decade goes through this, to varying degrees. For example, Cyberpunk was an absolute train wreck at launch, but over time it evolved into something that is not only playable, but downright enjoyable.


I personally don’t believe the “we can’t reproduce” what many thousands are experiencing.

But, why don’t they pick a few users, set up a remote session with them and see firsthand what the user is seeing?

A friend of mine who plays the game had a few questions about flying the FBW320 and I remoted into his PC using Teamviewer and could walk him through setting up a flight plan and watched him fly. It worked really well.

They could do something similar.

They are not showing the community that they are trying. Botched BETA’s and lip service has gone on long enough.


That’s a fair point, but I disagree that it’s melodrama. I’ve been fighting the sim for two years it feels like. I’m glad that you, and others, haven’t had the same experience that I have had. I sincerely am! And you’re right that if Asobo can’t reproduce the problem, it’s hard to fix.

I chose the title of the thread carefully because of Jorg’s comments on the stream. And to be perfectly clear, I am not attacking anyone with any of my statements. Jorg said those things and so I’m quoting him, but I’m not saying him, Seb, Martial, or anyone else is somehow at fault for any of this. They’re all doing their best to make MSFS awesome and I do appreciate it. All I’m saying though is that it feels to me that there’s a push to introduce new things into the sim without first stabilizing it.

If there’s empirical evidence that this performance degradation thing is a very narrow issue, I’d love to see it. If there’s empirical evidence that CTDs are not due to the sim, I’d love to see that too. That would at least give us a starting point to help Asobo and MS fix those issues. When my AMD Radeon drivers crash and cause a CTD, I know that’s AMD and not MSFS. But…at the same time, my Radeon drivers only crash when MSFS is running. :slight_smile: I’ve never had them cause a CTD outside of MSFS.

So, I hear you. How can we help Asobo and MS fix this is probably the next discussion. I’m open to any ideas anyone has.


I’ve done the same. I would love to do this with the Asobo team.