Completely broken AI GA traffic makes this not worth playing for me

I bought MSFS a couple of years ago, at the time I had a GTX1080. Even on minimum settings, like with no textures at all it wouldn’t run smoothly. Not only that it would CTD pretty much every flight. I spent literally weeks trying to get it to work. Over the course of the year I rebuilt pretty much my entire system from scratch apart from the 1080, same neverending CTDs, same as loads of other people.

Last year I finally got my hands on an RTX3080. Game now runs smooth, no CTDs. Great I’m thinking! Wrong.

Unfortunately, two and a half years later, the stuff that was broken when the game came out, and which I assumed would be fixed in reasonable time, is still completely broken.

I fly GA and have no interest in airliners at this time. The only way I’m aware of to populate the game with useful amounts of GA traffic that interacts with ATC is Offline AI, and it appears to be completely broken. No matter what settings I use (and I’ve tried everything I can think of) 9 out of 10 AI aircraft are completely invisible. All you can see is their nav lights in the sky and as soon as they touch the runway even they disappear. You can hear them taxiing on the ground but they are not rendered at all. And of the few AI aircraft that are rendered at all, half of them are either embedded in the ground or rotating upside down on their roofs!

Not only that but even stupid stuff like planes on the ground not rendering their wheels properly isn’t even fixed yet.

After 30 years of PC gaming I don’t think I’ve ever known a game to be in this bad a state after this amount of time. It’s atrocious and gut-wrenchingly disappointing. I wonder how long it will actually be before this basic stuff is fixed.


Maybe there is something else amiss…
I have a second minimal PC running MSFS with the following specs:
AMD Ryzen 7 3800x CPU at 3.9 MHz, 32 GB Ram, 1TB NVMe SSD and a GTX 1050ti GPU at 1920 x 1080. Most MSFS settings are on medium with Volumetric Clouds at Ultra.
My FS runs pretty smooth at a normal 25-35 FPS, even at KLAX and KATL where there is lots of online traffic. I run in multiplayer, NO AI, NO Addons (NONE, ZIP, NADA), Live Weather.
Something else other than your new 3080 GPU is keeping you from enjoying the game.
… What Storage Drive do you have ? a SSD, NVMe SSD, Spinning Drive ?


Is your goal in the game to look at AI movement? Some people expect everything from this simulator, graphics like GTA in cities, live passengers, counting leaves on a tree and God knows what else, maybe simulating a plane hijacking?

I can write that after 25 years of playing I didn’t expect to ever play a game like MSFS - beautiful world, beautiful plane models and I play on a GTX 1050 Ti, and I’m satisfied :slight_smile: CDT? I’ve had about 10 out of 500 flights.

There are a lot of add-ons (also free ones like FSLTL which is great if we talk AI movement). Asobo can’t guarantee us everything, but they still delivered a great product, which they improve all the time. And most importantly, this product is not available as a subscription - you pay once and have all SU/WU/AAU for free. Some companies would probably release paid DLC for every WU, I can bet on that :slight_smile:

So I slightly don’t understand your title which suggests that because of MSFS you’ve spent £1500 and can’t play - that’s not true, you bought it once and have it with ongoing development.


Respectfully, this is one of the silliest posts I’ve seen here and I’ve seen many… FS is certainly not perfect but it is very, very, very good and keeps getting better. Pretty hard to complain about the value proposition or MS/Asobo’s commitment to continuously trying to improve the digital world they have given us.


Hi !

So, you have to keep in mind, that the simulator is just a big sandbox, with weather, physics, terrain, airports, a few basics in box features, right ?

What I’m saying is that, we all want different stuff from the sims, some want Milsim stuff, some wants helicopters, some want more GA planes, some wants nice bridges, some want antennas, others wants accurate rivers, other wants airliners, other wants to drive boats, and there are a lot more that I’ve seen so I’ll just stop there.

People could say, I think the game is broken because this river is not at right elevation, it’s so wrong. Other will say the game is so broken I can’t even drive my boat.

The game (or the sim) can be as great and as broken from people to people, I think the most important is that this core ‘‘sandbox’’ get better and nicer for everyone’s taste. Therefore, I encourage all people to add elements to their sandbox, elements that they enjoy, for example, Military simulation player will add military addons plane, they will add Aircraft carrier bridge. Airliners, like myself will add GSX Pro, VATSIM, FSLTL Trafic and much more.

My point is, if you find GA trafic not so you, but this is a really important aspect for you, don’t expect the default inbox feature to satisfy you. You will have to use better addons for this, perhaps the free FSLTL will help you ! It adds better models, with working flaps, lights, but I’m usure how it works for GA aircraft. But there might be something else for you, and if not, it’s just unfortunate… but the sim is doing as much as it can, sure thing, it does respect its role of being a great sandbox in which you find your own stuff you really like.


GA traffic is non-existent and/or buggy, and ATC is pretty terrible. Turn both of them off and just enjoy flying the planes.

No flight sim has ever done ATC well, and most haven’t done traffic well either (good traffic almost always requires 3rd party mods). The work that goes into the development is on the flight modelling and avionics mostly (along with performance and bug fixes).

Currently the only traffic mods available really only do airliner traffic. I’ve yet to see anything that brings decent GA traffic to the sim.

The sim is great though. No other flight sim looks and runs this good imo. You just need to temper your expectations.


I fly in the sim almost everyday and I love it.


It is not MSFS the issue, It is your setup. I run a 4770/1080 combo without any issue at 30 fps. I fly GA and warbirds with traffic, mostly out of large hubs. LODT at a minimum of 150 , Everything is on high except some items on ultra.

About the GA traffic, it is not perfect but certainly not what you described.

So instead of lamenting about bad the sim is (hint : it is not) try to see what you did wrong !


Suggesting that because you can run the game with no AI traffic and that therefore it must be something else that is preventing me from enjoying it is daft. If doing airliner stuff in big airports or watching other players flying between the city buildings and landing on the roads is what you enjoy, then good for you. But if a functioning GA airfield simulation is what I want then it’s my perogative to expect that based on how the game was sold.

And obviously I’m aware that there are third party solutions to a lot of the stuff that’s broken in MSFS, and if you want a better airliner simulation for sure there’s FSLTL (which I have used and is really good), however, it does nothing for GA traffic at all. The number of GA flights logged on FR24 is miniscule. Currently there is no third-party solution that populates local airfields with GA traffic. I appreciate the game is a work in progress, but with respect I did not buy it two years ago with the hope that in 4 or 5 years I might have a flight sim with a functioning airfield environment! My goal in the game is to fly GA aircraft around and see other GA aircraft doing the same thing. That was my goal when I bought the game, I expected to be able to do that then, I certainly didn’t expect not to be able to do that two and a half years later!

Suggesting that’s it’s not the game it’s my setup is silly. When the game came out there were literally tens of thousands of people with the same problems. Stuttering rendering, constant CTDs. These were tens of thousands of people who all had no problems playing any other games, all having the the exact same problems with MSFS, and some of these people are still having some of these problems. I had a CTD myself just yesterday when switching off my rolling cache. Of course an intermittent CTD like that doesn’t stop me enjoying the game, but what’s also true is that MSFS has been one of (if not the) most unstable game on release for the greatest number of people ever, and trying to pretend that’s not the case just because you’ve been lucky enough to be one of the people who’ve had minimal issues is just ignoring the facts.

I have worked as a developer for 25 years, and done some games development myself too. It’s a clean system, with a clean MSFS install, without a single addon installed, that runs every other game in my library flawlessly. I’m pretty sure that’s it’s not an issue with my system or configuration that is causing AI planes to be invisible or rotating on their roofs, an issue which thousands of other players have been experiencing and reporting for years. The forums being full of uninformed people jumping on every post to claim that whatever problem is being highlighted in the game isn’t anything to do with MSFS but is instead down to the individual setup of the thousands of people experiencing the problem is rather annoying.


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To reproduce an aerial control simulator is much more complicated than to realize an aircraft simulator since the latter is mainly equations in aerodynamics.
I know these difficulties well because I worked 5 years on an air traffic simulation program in a french Civil Air Navigation Research center
MS/Asobo has a hard job to improve integrated simulator ATC


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Getting the in game ATC to a high standard is certainly complicated. I’m not going to say that’s easy, and I’m not going to complain that it’s not in a good state yet.

Getting some AI planes to take off from one airfield and go and land at another, sure it’s not trivial, not much in software development (especially simulation) is trivial. But it’s not especially hard either. On the ground you have a pathing node matrix that details where planes can park, taxi and takeoff, and in the air you have waypoints that they route between. You create (or reuse) an algorithm that controls how AI entities get from one place in the game to another, this is something that needs to be done in pretty much every game ever made. It’s well trodden ground. FSX had AI traffic, it wasn’t particularly intelligent, but it worked, as has every other flight sim I’ve ever played.

Rendering a plane at a parking spot so that it’s up the right way and not rotating on it’s roof. Now that’s really not difficult at all. Nor is it difficult to set up your LOD meshes correctly so that you can see the planes undercarriage properly from 20 meters away. This really isn’t hard to get right at all.

I’m a reasonable person and as willing as anyone else to give Asobo a pass where stuff is difficult, or where edge case functionality isn’t perfect yet because it isn’t a priority to address. But where really basic stuff that should have been working on release still isn’t working years later, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to call that out as simply not being good enough.


Why dont you fly on VATSIM instead ? Don’t get me wrong I do understand your offline GA trafic wish. To be honnest though, I think people like you having the same wish are in a very low % of the population. I personally cannot understand the interest of having Offline GA flying around. I do think it would looks even more broken if intergrated. I do think because most of them are VFR, it can be very hard and complex to replicate in the sim, these GA can suddenly fly where they want, unless using data from Flight Radar 24, which is still very far from being precise for VFR trafic on it’s own plateform. My school plane had so much unprecise route on FR24, it was not accurate at all and from from it.

Airliners are MUCH easier to track and replicate routes in sim.

I’d suggest two alternative, one would be to use multiplayer mode, in which I see the most people using GA airplanes. Second would be to fly on VATSIM where are many GA / VFR trafic, but still in a very, very low numbers compared to Airliners.

Forgot to mention, GA has a LOT of models compared to Airliners. When we think about Airliners, is MOSTLY 737s, A320s, CRJs, Dash-8, fewer 777s, 787s, A330 and that’s more or less about it (getting rarer after A320s 737s. GAs however, there are a lot more that has to be correctly modeled, which is much more complex. All the cessnas (all of them), Pipers, Kodiaks, Aaaaalll the bush planes… If they integrate GAs tomorrow, you will most likely complaint about broken models, on top of broken routes.


VatSim is great. But that consists of maybe a hundred players across the whole of the UK, the vast majority of which are also flying airliners out of major airports. It doesn’t remotely address the issue of having some kind of GA traffic at GA airfields.

It’s a flight sim, surely it’s perfectly reasonable to expect to be able to load it and see planes flying! That’s true whether I’m loading into Heathrow International or the busiest GA airfield in the country.

Anyone trying to equate that with people wanting to be able to drive boats in the sim or see pretty bridges and antennas are making an obviously false equivalence.



All I’m saying is that I do think it’s a very specific needs which most of users don’t really want anyway, but also that would be complex, nearly impossible to generate that kind of trafic, also correctly modeled, flying where it should be, with correct paint. I just can’t figure how it could be possible.

Ultimately, it could be generating random AI trafic based on the models that you have in your Sim, flying VFR around so you can feel like there is life in most of GA airfields.

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My two centavos:

  1. From a software QA perspective, I totally agree with OP’s situation, as there are so many things, (the Canada update is a classic example), that should not have even happened in anyone’s fiercest nightmares.  That it was released in such abysmal condition is a shame and disgrace - I would be so humiliated if I had anything to do with it.

  2. I also agree that MS/Asobo/Blackshark seem to be placing more emphasis on the latest eye-candy and “feature upgrades” than game stability and fixing bugs/regressions.  Note that these are not necessarily mutually exclusive, there just has to be a company culture that emphasizes it.

However - and this is a BIG “however”:

  1. MSFS, as both a “game” and a simulation, is “boldly going where no game/simulation has gone before”, and as a consequence there will be many rocks in the road.

  2. This is DRIPPING EDGE of the “bleeding edge” technology - aside from military and intelligence development projects that have bottomless budgets.  AFAIK, MS is the first company to even THINK about trying something of this scope and magnitude - and they’re trying to do this on systems that aren’t peta-flop supercomputers.

  3. Because of the intense nature of this game/sim, this places demands on a system that are unprecedented in the world of gaming.  When I was originally researching getting MSFS, and researching the kind of system I would need, I noticed many game and/or GPU benchmark/review sites were using MSFS as a “benchmark” with very interesting results, such as things like: (I’m making up examples and I don’t have the actual numbers, but I remember that they looked a lot like this. . .)

    • Muscle-Man Nukes 'em 3D/ VR - 178 FPS
    • Grand Theft Everything - 156 FPS
    • Zombies, Ghouls, and Monsters - 135 FPS
    • Apocolypse - The End of the World - 217 FPS
    • MSFS 2020 - 40 FPS

These benchmarks were done on systems where they were reviewing the best and brightest GPU’s/CPU’s available at the time - systems and money to spend were not constraints - and realism settings on all the examples were set to the game’s “Are you absolutely KIDDING me?!!” extreme levels of detail.

Obviously, on systems that mere mortals, (like you and I), can afford, these are aspirations not realities.  Even with a reasonably hot CPU, a current generation MOBO with heaping handfuls of fast RAM, and a MONSTER GPU with 16 gigs of VRAM, I wasn’t expecting things to look like they look out my front window.

As for me, I’m perfectly happy if the scenery looks reasonably realistic, (reasonably realistic means that I can navigate “by sight”, recognizing local landmarks, so I can know where I am), and the object of the game is to have fun - not to see my neighbors waving at me in real time as I fly over their house.

Remember, the whole idea is to have fun.  If you’re not having fun then the best thing to do is to do something else that you DO enjoy because life is too short to be miserable about a game.

What say ye?


It seems really unlikely to me that very few other people want to fly GA and see other GA traffic. It’s a feature of all other flight sims that have been made in the last 20 years or more, and something that various third-parties have already tried to address in MSFS, but no one has managed it yet, with suggestions being made that that problems are due to limitations in the underlying systems. Instead I suspect people have just got used to basic stuff in MSFS not working.

And it really isn’t that complicated.

All that’s required is to randomly spawn x number of aircraft within a certain range of the player at load time. Some of those in the air at cruise altitude and some on the ground at the player’s airfield, and assign a random destination to each of those aircraft. The types of aircraft spawned are just a random selection of the aircraft installed with the simulator’s base install.

Then as the sim runs those aircraft just taxi to takeoff, fly point to point to their destination, fly a simple traffic pattern, land and taxi to a parking spot. As AI traffic flies out of range of the player it is despawned and replaced.

That is all really quite strighforward.

Probably the most complicated part would be getting the AI aircraft to interface correctly with the built in ATC. But even that isn’t that hard, after all when the AI aircraft do spawn, they actually do this already, so it can’t be that hard can it!

In fact all of this is already in the sim (and every other flight sim out there too btw). The only issue is that it’s been implemented so poorly that stuff spawns upside down, or invisible, or something else ridiculous.

What’s being asked for here isn’t some ludicrous, impossible pie in the sky dream. Just do the basic stuff that people expect from a flight sim to a decent functional standard.

Yes there are aspects to this sim that are new and radical, but that’s mostly to do with scenery generation and streaming. Spawning some AI aircraft to fly around and make the place look alive really isn’t affected by new scenery technology to an extent that would justify the current state of AI traffic.


You are correct. I would also like some nice AI GA flying around. It can’t be that hard as you say. and it doesn’t need to be anything super special but it should be at least good.

What I am hoping is that the WT updates to the default planes will also be the beginning steps to allow them to fly and otherwise move and interact with the player more realistically.

I personally fly with all traffic off because it caused crashes when I first tried the sim and I decided to devote resources to other things like scenery. I’d love to have more AI GA. I feel the GA side of the sim has been a bit ignored. Too much airliner emphasis… but it all goes together.



I really cannot argue with your point-of-view, but I do see things differently.

If I had a magic wand, and I could wave it to make things the way I wanted them, then what I would do is this:

  1. Have MS/Asobo/Blackshark build a reasonably bug-free framework and engine that provided a reasonable gaming experience for those, (like me), who don’t really care about up-to-the-minute realism.  Note the “reasonably bug free” requirement.  Fancy features would be left to 3rd party developers that, perhaps, have more experience in particular aspects of the game than others.

  2. A consistent, published, and well documented set of API’s that allow 3rd party developers to integrate seamlessly into the base game and it’s engine.  This should also include tips on how to perform tests on the 3rd party object to make sure it doesn’t negatively impact the game.  Note that the API’s would always work and improvements to the game would come as extensions to the existing API’s, or new API’s, without changing the existing ones.

  3. Any fancy features that might be desired, be they scenery, landmarks, aircraft, or whatever, should be provided by those 3rd party developers who have the skill and experience to make these extras perform well - and have the desire to spend the time to make them right.

IMHO, if things were organized like this, then all the various parts of the sim - the base sim as well as 3rd party content - could work together in a coordinated way that leverages the best parts of everyone’s efforts.

That’s just my opinion and I realize this isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

I fly strictly GA and VFR GA in ideal weather conditions - with multi-player off and I very seldom use environments like Vatsim and IVAO, (unless buddy flying), as I don’t need the distractions.

I’m working on basic skills - you know, silly things like taking off without crashing into the trees or landing without bursting into a violent ball of flame - or trying to fly a pattern that looks, sort-of, like a pattern - and the presence of other aircraft would drive me batty!

IMHO, when I feel confident enough to fly in a more “realistic” environment, (ATC, other aircraft, etc.), then I would much rather get the add-ons that are guaranteed to work rather than expect MSFS to do everything.

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