Change default thermals / turbulence?

Is there any way to change / reduce the default thermals an/or other turbulence that MS included?

Moved to Community Support-Weather for community input.

If you don’t want live weather then use a preset or create your own.


That’s no solution, presets are static and affect the weather equally all over the world.

There’s nothing in between to allow live weather to be even slightly tweaked to personal preference, it’s an “all or nothing” deal, and that’s not satisfactory at all.

Turbulence and up/downdrafts are indeed very much exaggerated in the sim, especially now after SU10, which brought us amphetamine-fueled wind gusts that twitch the plane continuously at an impossibly rapid pace.

This makes GA flying rather unpleasant in real weather. Even in areas where reports suggest a much smoother ride should be expected. (10~12kts winds should NOT rattle the plane like it’s inside a CB)

Alas, the only alternative available is to completely disable live weather and have the same static pattern cover the whole globe. (a no-go for realistic IFR and let’s not even mention Vatsim)

Not acceptable. There MUST be options added to adjust these live weather factors which are not included in the data (gust frequency and such) Presets do not in any way cover the lack of this functionality

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RW pilots are saying that it’s now finally becoming close to reality. It’s just a matter of adjusting and you’ll get used to it. Look at YT with GA aircraft and you will notice how much they bounce in the air. If there are hills/mountains in the area there will be thermals and they can stretch a long way, same flying over a lake and then crossing a corn filed in the summer (gliders heaven) the same and lots more.
But maybe MSFS can make a button for the old weather engine and one for realistic as it is right now.


Are you a licensed Pilot? If you don’t like flying in “unpleasant weather” you should choose a different time to fly or maybe take up Train Simulation. No gusts there :smiley:

I am finding the wind generation is now much closer to real-life (at least at GA altitudes) and I’ve been flying “real” aeroplanes for many years. My license in my profile pic for doubters.

I posted this video in another thread last night showing my “Live Weather” crosswind landing at LFAC. I found the weather pretty accurate and it made for an interesting challenge.


It’s closer to reality than “no gusts at all”, but it does err on the other side of the issue all the same, if only to a lesser degree.

I’d say it’s 75% of the way there. There were no gusts before, that was 0%. Now there are gusts, but they act in a rather unlifelike manner. Too constant with too frequent and rapid spikes. It was worse in earlier beta, call it 50% then.

They did smooth it down a bit since then, thus: 75%. But still, not enough to get a convincing result in many cases.

Results vary a lot depending on where and when you fly, (you’ll get almost no jerkiness if you choose an area that’s dark in real time)
Yet, as you try different parts of the world, you’ll find many places where GA flying is extremely uncomfortable, even if METAR suggests it should’ve been mostly smooth.

You can easily get symptoms that pilots would report as “strong” or even “severe” turbulence just by flying with as little as 10kts winds (and no gusts reported) - That’s not realistic, it’s just gratuitous difficulty.

I’ve flown gliders IRL, and it does get bumpy down low, esp. when the thermals are hot and the wind is choppy. But the jerky tossing we get in the sim under those same conditions (albeit not always) is something I have never encountered. Even on the bumpiest days, you’d have three parts of calm air to every one part of chop. It’s not “chunky chugging all the time” like this.

My experience in the sim suggests they need to add a smoothing pass to the random generation of gusts, so that they don’t spike as often as not. Shifts in wind speed and direction should be as frequent as they are small. Only occasionally a sharp bump should be felt.

As a programmer, I can infer the logic for gust generation right now goes something like:
gust = Random() * gustmax; *

*It’s surely more intricate than that, as there are additional factors and I’ve skipped a lot here for clarity. But deep down, there’s gotta be some bit of code that does something similar to this

That function outputs equally likely shifts of any magnitude at any given time. The result is unrealistic, excessively gritty turbulence that rocks the plane like a jeep over boulders

If they would simply add a second random term, you could have a larger chance of smaller shifts vs greater ones to much more satisfying results.

the logic would then go something like this:

gust = Random01() * Random01() * gustmax;

The double random multiplication causes a linear falloff of probability as both functions need to output 1.0 for a maximum spike to occur. If used correctly, this method would yield much more lifelike results than the single equal-odds random that afflicts us now.

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Interesting to hear from a programmer. The only time I got involved with that was writing software in BBC basic (showing my age…).

You’re quite right - it doesn’t feel natural - it’s too repetitive. These baked in gusts make it feel like you’re flying an aeroplane (GA at least) along a corrugated iron roof. It ain’t like that Microsoft/Asobo! I thought you told us you had some real Pilots on your team. Where are they?

And what’s the point in having a forum if you ignore the major bugs and just keep releasing more CPU hogging eye-candy?

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I fly out of LOWI/Innsbruck in GA all the time, in real life. The only time I’ve ever experienced winds like are now constantly all over the world, is when they were reporting “Caution light gusts” in the ATIS, or Föhn conditions were building. Yes we do get windspeed changes but they are not as rapid or as highly deviating as currently in sim.

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My turbulence question was about setting up weather conditions in MSFS, & had nothing to do with my personal flying preferences.
If it matters: I am a licensed pilot (Private Pilot, Airplane Single Engine Land, Instrument) with 2000+ hours flying my own C172L (tail # N4266Q). I’ve flown the entire US West coast, and a ways east. I don’t deliberately seek out bad weather (a 172 doesn‘t have the performance to handle much) but I have been in technically moderate turbulence and occasional light icing.