Beautiful world, yet somewhat empty - missing "life"

both can be done parallelly. There are developers working on the core problems, others work on flight dynamics, others work on visuals. Those who would add walking people in the streets won’t correct wrong flight dynamics. That’s why they have a team.


I feel with you :slight_smile: and some 3th party scenery developers really try… with beautiful results

Well I for one would very much welcome the additon of lots of humans but it would be very CPU heavy. So yeah, something that may rather come in the coming decade.

But it has to be said that the airports in MSFS look particularly lifeless, like a post apocalyptic movie. Moving humans would make this 1000% more alive.

Birds should come second, the 2nd most dominant species in the world. Humans dominate the ground but once you look up some meters it is completely dominated by birds.

I want ants, I want ants!


and that’s where I stopped reading …

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I want cockroaches, I want cockroaches!

That is easy, just install Orbx London and see what happens :yum:

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Pretty sure this comes down to performance. We have performance issues already without a world full of life. Think we compare other games on the market that have an open world full of life. But lets not forget that its a world that is about 200sq km with a ground view. Theres a lot of details to see around you, but those open worlds have no where near the same things going on as a flight sim. Flight physics, aircraft behavior , calculations, MFD PFD displays, moving maps, sophisticated weather, other aircraft. ATC, ground traffic, coastlines and mountains ( yes even if not done right, its alot of to calculate and render ) big cities, and the list keeps going.

We are stuck in this never ending cycle of hardware vs software. Most pronounced when FSX came out. Software tech, yet no hardware could run it properly. Then hardware caught up and we could. Then came up scenery upgrades, and sophisticated aircraft. Once again hardware struggles often bringing it to its knees. I dont see this ending anytime soon. Both will push each other to extremes. We could have a 10ghz CPU, 256gb ram, an RTX 9090 with 96gb of vram, and blazing fast SSDs like never before, and you can bet that software will push that tech to the edge, with the latest in software development with breaking new features like never before seen.
I think its possible to make a section of the world full of life now, but this would have to be a small section. Use a sample city, and fill it with live data from live traffic levels, accidents, a volcano steaming, the time when a sports stadium is playing its game, an event going on. All can be gathered from the data out there. But certainly not on our flight sim 1:1 world scale. Maybe in 10 + years?


I agree with some of your points.Stuff like the particle system will be a w.i.p.
I would love to see stuff like birds around simulating bird strikes,doesn’t have to show physical damage.
Atm the sim is a wip and we are still on DX11.
Imagine burdening the sim with more stuff we would be running it at 10fps.


The fact is, when you fly for real you are very surprise that (except if you fly at a very very low altitude) you see any hardly life form ! As a lot of pilot (in real life) I went over my house and my girl friend was suppose to wave at me, except that it was dificult to spot her, although I was low and I knew she was there. Yes sometime I looked at the cars (especialy when there were traffic jam :rofl: ) but most of the time it is an empty world ! So except for other traffic I don’t really fancy loosing more perf just to see life around me.


Yeah tough to spot life details from a fast moving plane with any altitude at all. If you want a totally different experience sometime, take a hot air balloon ride. The animals below you get disturbed by the balloon going overhead. You hear barking dogs, horses and donkeys yelling at you and humans coming out all along the path to have a view.

I agree that the game is missing ‘something’…It’s hard to pinpoint what it is.

A friend and I used to fly to an island near us for lunch about once a month. Even at 4000 ft you could tell that the world was alive. We could see buildings under construction, smoke from factories, boats in the harbor, forests being harvested and trains moving. It was a living world below us. It is indeed a lonely world in FS2020 with only the occasional AI plane and some cars on roads.

And before anyone mentions it, yes I know about the boat addon, but I didn’t care for it, and yes I know about the people on the beach with some addon scenery.

Like I say, I can’t put my finger on it, but something just seems very ‘not alive’ about the game. I thought I was the only one who felt this way.

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Asobo has put the hooks in for everything you all are asking for. The pieces are all there. Just look at the animated workers walking around airports and vehicles, the TBM has working doors if you add the mod which turns on those features, the animals they’ve started placing, there can be audio of birds and wildlife. And they’ve got the beginnings of not just static “Living World”, but an animated one. Business men and women and pilots walking around the airports, too. Many characters are already in the sim. I’d love to see a pilot drive his car and park it next to his plane or off in the grass and walk to his plane and take off. The SDK describes how to create your own animated people and vehicles. But it’s going to take years to implement it all so we can see it world-wide. Sorry.

Personally I am annoyed by the animated people. They kill immersion. I agree on adding birds, together with the optional danger of birdstrikes.

The base is all there, but too sparse. We need much more big moving objects like ships, also on rivers and lakes, moving cranes, trains etc. That would make the world below come alive.

Is there a hook for more animated copilot ?

I’m using the mod that provide copilot but would like to see him/her a bit more realistic as we can see people in some other games : first see him/her move his mouth when doing the radio communications.

I did a post on this:

I’m sure it can be done, I have no idea how much effort it would take, or if it can yet be hooked to when communications are happening. There are still many items that don’t yet have hooks yet to the internal code.

One day in the distant future, in a galaxy far, far away, MSFS 2020 could become as good as this… maybe: (861) Miniatur Wunderland OFFICIAL VIDEO - world’s largest model railway | railroad - YouTube

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Personally I am highly distressed by the lack of cats.

AI shipping is already available as a free addon. Lookup: Global AI Ship Traffic MSFS at

To go with this you might want to check out this free moving map addon that shows the position of AI objects, including the ships, so that you can locate and fly down to take a close look at them:
FS2020BMAP at

I second this wholehartedly!