Currently MSFS does not simulate all factors important to realistically simulate flight. What are the plans to focus on functionality to improve this and where does this sit relative to graphical improvements in forthcoming sim updates?

Evident by certain design decisions, bugs and flaws, it seems Asobo does not rely on real-world aviation experts as much as one could have hoped. It’s difficult to understand how many of the current bugs and flaws could have made it into the release of the simulator if pilots and aviation experts had been closely involved in the development and testing. To illustrate this; some examples listed below most of which I summarized in a different thread and something which came to my attention today as a flaw in the atmospheric model:

  • ATC phraseology,
  • US altimeter settings system used world wide,
  • Lack of low visibility / RVR simulation,
  • Lack of missed-approach procedures, holdings etc.
  • Wrong taxiway numbering,
  • Icing effect,
  • Airliner flight dynamics,
  • Turboprop engine model,
  • Missing propeller effects,
  • Multi-monitor support,
  • Absence of offset approaches,
  • Flight director and autopilot logics.

To add to this there are many tiny “nit-picks” which show a lack of technical understanding. Things like the baro-set knob setting current QNH instead of switching the altimeter to STD when pressed, the transponder not showing pressure altitude, the ISA indication on the Garmin not showing ISA deviation, being able to steer the aircraft with the autopilot servos engaged, the autopilot not disconnecting when using manual trim or at stall warning activation, RMI needles / bearing pointers able to point to ILS antennas etc.

It seems like temperature is not taken into account in altimetry. In the real world we need to correct the indicated altitude for cold temperature (below 0C at ground level). In MSFS temperature has absolutely no effect on the true altitude. I flew an ILS approach at my local airport down to baro-minima of 330 ft (200 ft DH) with -50C, the radio altitude was indicating 200 ft, I paused the sim and changed the temperature to +45C, the indicated altitude does not change at all! In my opinion this should have been an area of focus for the previous update together with improving the icing effects instead of visual goodies like snow and frozen lakes (although nice, preferably I want both).

OAT -50C

OAT +45C

Btw: when looking closely you can spot the (blue) bearing pointer overlapping with the (green) CDI needle, pointing to the localizer antenna. In real life it is not possible to receive a bearing to / from a localizer antenna. Also the “ISA” is not showing ISA deviation as it should on the real G3000.

As a disclaimer, I’m not trying to discredit Asobo or the developers of this simulator, they did a truly fantastic job. But I do think it is time for Asobo to tip the scale a little bit, consult aviation experts and start to deliver on the “simulator” promise. Personally I couldn’t care less about World Updates or more “eye-candy”. Yes the simulator looks FANTASTIC but it is still lacks functionality and has some flaws which prevents it from being a fantastic flight simulator. Although somewhat more true for the IFR pilots compared to the VFR pilots amongst us. Just as many others I’m also addicted to the nice visuals MSFS has to offer which makes it difficult to move back to other platforms. I just wished the rest of the sim was as big of a leap forward as the graphics.

There is an enormous potential with this simulator, and I’m sure we all have the same goal, which is the most realistic simulator possible on a home PC (no I don’t mean study level aircraft out of the box). Apart from the many positive effects of having such a broad audience, one drawback is that hardcore flight simmers with the experience and technical knowledge required to identify such bugs and flaws are no longer the majority. Important bugs / wishes required for accurate flight simulation are therefore not receiving sufficient attention and are not ending up in the “top bugs” or “top wishes”. I sincerely hope that in the end “no pilot will be left behind”.

So please elaborate on how you are planning to bring the simulator up to a reasonable standard for those of us interested in accurate flight simulation. Consult more real world professionals? Or are those conscious decisions in order to be more appealing to the casual user perhaps? Apart from the 6000 combined flight hours, what level of (professional) experience is there within the Asobo team? IFR, CPL, ATPL?

Ok dad, thanks for clarification! Completed those flight lessons you speak of over 10 years ago :wink:.


I could not agree more. Very well stated. This game could be a fantastic simulator with outstanding visuals. However a software package at its current price point does not need to compete with a certified trainer.
Would be nice to get a statement from asobo how far they want to take this game/simulator.


As one of the greatest engineers in the 23rd century would say:”The more you overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to plug up the drain”. I think too many people on here are expecting MSFS to be nothing short of a multi-million dollar Level-D simulator. At some point, the developers have to make some compromises to keep this project in scope instead of becoming very bloated in software code. Yes, the altimeter settings saying the same regardless of temp may not be realistic, but to the 99% of MSFS users, they probably wouldn’t notice or even care about it. What we should be concerned about is the stability of the program, fixing the autopilot/flight dynamics, and getting that SDK solved.


Sure, and nobody is expecting study level aircraft for that reason but we should at least be able to expect a reasonably accurate atmospheric model, it is just one example of many flaws.


The Asobo team has indicated that this is supposed to be a sim for simmers. I do not think it is unreasonable to expect density altitude to be modeled correctly. Not to mention aerodynamics, phraseology, procedures, etc.


Well we are making progress, MSFS is slowly improving for the better and I’m sure in time after the program gets some maturity, it will become the sim for the simmers.


Yes, it certainly will if we keep bringing those points up!


I don’t think ‘how’ is the big question so much as ‘when’. We know how the Sim will be brought up to scratch - feedback, real world data implementation (correct performance numbers, navdata completeness, weather completeness, etc), correct aerodynamics and so on and so forth.

When? It’s a pretty big question given also that there’s a massive pandemic that is likely affecting Asobo as much as it is other game companies (and especially Europe). I would venture to say that in my opinion, 6 months down the line, we’ll be in a pretty good spot in terms of the items I mentioned. I think 6 months is a safe bet given the update time line and what’s in the works.

You ask a very tough but good question and hopefully we’ll be shown perhaps what challenges they’re facing but also their outlook going forward.


That “eye candy” is the reason I fly this sim rather than X-Plane, for example. There’s only so far a desktop simulation can go in accurately replicating real world aircraft and environmental conditions. I don’t just want the feeling of flying an airplane, I want the feeling of flying anywhere in the world and seeing true-to-life scenery there. MSFS gives me a reason to look out the window.


Same, X-plane is superior in everything else but graphics compared to MSFS. Or at least it takes too much effort to make X-plane look decent, download ortho’s etc. So I have to admit I’m also addicted to the nice graphics and it makes it really hard to move back to X-plane. Therefore hoping MSFS will live up to the hype, also as a simulator.


It does seem that they don’t rely on real-world aviation experts as much might have been expected. The ATC phraseology, the icing effect, the autopilot returning to the last waypoint, it’s difficult to understand how any of these could have made it into the production version of the sim if pilots and aviation experts had been closely involved in the development and testing.

They have absolutely knocked it out of the park with the visuals. That alone makes the sim a joy to use. I hope they change focus now and bring the rest of the sim up to the same level.


Nicely said, I did copy your response into the main thread, hope that’s ok!

What kind of answer do you expect on this besides ‘we’re working on it 5 days a week’?

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I rephrased the question :+1:

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Its funny how this thread appears soon after the release a aerodynamic video stating they have real world pilots and aeronautic engineers on staff. Over 6000 real life flight hours accumulated by the staff. Watch the video and I think it answers your topic question. another thread to the mute pile.


Where in my topic do I mention aerodynamics? I deliberately left those out awaiting what the flight model improvements will bring us. And 6000 hrs of combined flight experience is not all that much, I have close to 6000 hrs myself, for a commercial pilot its not that much. Are those hours accumulated VFR or IFR? Commercially or private? The kind of experience is just as important as the amount of flight hours, it might explain why the sim is reasonably accurate for GA aircraft but lacking in the IFR department + airliners?


I think they are trying to keep it, at least in the initial stages, somewhat accessible to a very wide range of simmers/users. They are trying to entice an entire new set of people as well, gamers, who may not even realize the interest they have in flight simming. As this develops I think there will be scalable levels of complexity that will push the title further along a more intensive road (IF desired by the simmer).
That said, the hardest part of a simulator will be attempting to accurately portray the world. If is a far more detailed and larger project. I think it will also attract a lot of casual users who want to check out the scenery rather than mash buttons and program on the tarmac for an hour. That is a legitimate thing to do for serious simmers and a necessary part for them - the more solid and in depth the systems the better - but I think the complexities have to be managed as they try to be a lot of things to an awful lot of people.
After the Xbox version is complete and DX12 is done, I think there will be a restructuring of how to tackle bugs, add features, and expand the simulator as a whole. They have promised at least 10 years of involvement so it points to long-term work, not just maintaining something from 2020 but in 2026, having new features and incorporating new tech, to keep the sim fresh and appealing to current and future simmers.
I hope one day the title will be both things, a near-trainer standard sim AND a VFR joy to experience. Right now, for once, we have the VFR outpacing IFR in some areas but I think MS and Asobo’s commitments to the sim show, they will be bringing complexity and beauty, usefulness, and reality along with them for their decade-long project.


I understand the enthusiasm but let’s give them some time. The transparency they’re showing is light-years ahead of what it was for any previous release. We actually have a development roadmap, for example.

Fundamentally this is a $60 product. One of my son’s Nintendo Switch games can cost more than that and he finishes it in a couple of days.


Hey @Nijntje91

I totally agree! It is much more than the atmospheric model. In general, I see this product leaning heavily on the gaming side of the game<—>sim spectrum.
Making a sim for pros and gamers is not mutually exclusive. In fact I am convinced that the long term appeal of this game, even to casual gamers, would benefit greatly if those “pro-features” were implemented properly and FS2020 could attract a large professional user base.

I am a professional pilot as well and I looked at some very basic data from the physics engine and I was pretty disappointed. I haven’t checked todays update yet, but I have very little hope for improvements. Keeping fingers crossed. :slight_smile:

Because I know that some will feel offended: I don’t want to bash the product, nor its users, nor its developers! As someone who has literally spent a lifetime in cockpits, I am saying this with the most benevolent intentions: Asobo, you can do better!