Don't Leave the Hobby and Come Back

Man, I havent used MSFS2020 in several months. I had a lot of stuff in my community folder, most of which I have no idea what it is now, due to how people name their files. I see stepping away and coming back is a nightmare. I now have about a thousand items in my community folder that needs updating. This is impossible. This community folder jazz needs to go to the wayside, and I do remember the old way of doing it, which was even worse (scenery/texture folder).

I have a lot of payware in the folder too. And a lot of the things I had downloaded are now no longer found on the website .to thing. Man, what a colossal mess. I would not suggest stepping away from this hobby and then trying to come back.

I will never be able to fix this without just deleting everything in the community folder and starting over. Maybe I’ll just stay gone for good. I hope the new flight sim has a better way of going about this community folder mess thing. And maybe have something that does not require constant freeware updates every time a new MSFS update is released. That is just ridiculous making people waste half their life updating files over and over. The headache just isn’t worth it.

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Could be a very good argument for being a little more “selective” as to what you STUFF into your community folder,

  • MSFS Addon Linker helps significantly in organizing your items in the community folder.

  • Yes, updates are difficult to keep track of, especially when you loose track of where you got a given addon from. here again, addon linker can help, as you can leave your own notes associated with each addon you have.

Maybe a good lesson to learn , do not overdo, what you cannot handle, and be a little more selective in what you GRAB for FREE from sites like flightsim.to

Once again … ADDON LINKER is a MUST if you choose to have a large number of Community Folder addons, as it allow you to organize those items in the Community Folder.

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You choose to download and purchase a bunch of addons then complain about keeping them updated?? How about only putting what your are using in your community folder? Or using a tool such as addon linker? Or not use so many addons?

As long as this hobby is around there will be updates to scenery, utilities, aircraft…on and on.

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Especially flightsim.to makes it very easy to stay up to date. Simply follow all addons you download and you get a message when there is a new version.

Also all other stores I used so far notify me whenever there is a new version.

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Personal Comments and Observations

Disclaimer: since August 2020 launch, I have only fully reinstalled the sim three times. I have also been in all the Sim Update Beta 'Flightings" since they opened it up to Steam Users with the exception of SU13.

Stability is relatively easy if you follow a few simple principles:

  1. Only install what you need - that goes for both the Base Sim and Add-ons, free or commercial.

  2. Evaluate if you really need to be in a Beta Flighting.

  3. Take a long hard look at what you do in the sim most, and adjust your content and control mappings accordingly.

  4. Once a month, coincide your update checks with the AIRAC updates - I’m on third party NavData, so everytime I get that push notice, it prompts me to go around and just run a quick check to make sure all my content, free and paid, is up to date.

In practice, I removed everything I did not need - Bush Flights (I copied the tiny PLN files instead for my own use later), Discovery Flights, Lessons, and any and all aircraft that I won’t even fly occasionally. Ahem…Top Gun DLC…ahem…

Since I fly a mix of VFR and IFR, I installed only QoL sceneries that were global - GAIST, Mamu piers/docks/power lines, ILoveVFR. I fly mostly out of the Northeast US, so that’s where the majority of my custom free and paid airports are (less than a dozen which speaks to the curation of quality content available).

Having a smaller SSD also imposed discipline on me early in the sim as far as content. I’m blessed now to have a dedicated 2TB just to the sim, but that discipline carries on.

I have bought a variety of third party aircraft from various stores over the years - Orbx, Aerosoft, Simmarket, etc. But the last reinstall really made me look again at what I enjoy the most, and it wasn’t surprising to see those planes were mostly quality freeware and only two paid, so the rest I chalked up to experimentation and they’re not even installed.

Every update push in the sim is not a “flying” session. I dedicate that time to understanding what’s getting pushed down when reviewing Content Manager. Do I need it? Same thing with third party - it’s not MS/Asobo’s responsibility to check full interactivity - it’s mine. They’re responsible for the base sim only. Much like installing aftermarket parts on a stock car, that’s the owner’s duty to make sure it’s all still running after.

It’s entirely possible to walk away from the sim, not touch it and come back. Getting it working again is one or two sessions of updates, but after that, Fly Now!

Good luck whatever your decision is.

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Sometimes I have the feeling that some people just need to complain about something :grimacing:
How about just getting everything from the Marketplace? Then you have the single source for your addons within the MSFS UI to update everything. Has never been that easy in any other Flight Sim :wink:
As stated by others: Flightsim.to makes it easy to keep track of installed versions and available updates and an addon linker helps organzing everything.
Don‘t download everything from every source and accept that you cannot have everything or just live with more work to maintain your customization, you won‘t get everything at once.

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That’s on you to keep the library of addons updated. This is why I only keep a dozen or so of them on addons linker.
You just have to make a revision, do you really need so many addons in the community folder, when you come back?
I think it’s easier to wipe the community folder clean and then add the updated must-haves.

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When I install a file to the community folder, I rename it to make it easy to organize. If there is a new version, I name the file with the version number so it’s easy to see when something is out of date. This does not break the files.

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I don’t agree with any community folder wiping. I left for just over 3 months. I have a ridiculous amount of payware. It took me 3 days. But I was adamant, and got it done. Do it, get on it!! I’m used to being a Sim cowboy, I run every addon I like, and overclock the Bejesus out of my system. The world at my fingertips is what is important. Not to take an hour planning my flight, and selecting certain addon groups. That ruins the spontaneity of what makes this sim great. That’s me though. Weather, time of day from Sim launch. These all play a part, and I have addons to cover the globe. Now that the addon limit is gone… I run thousands. Yes, it takes some upkeep. Even if I’m not flying for a week, you can bet I’m doing maintenance. (Lesson learned)

EDIT: Step one, yes, delete it all. Any outdated addons that remain can cause some troubles. Go back to where you got your payware, and freeware. Redownload it all. FS.to has a download record of anything you got. As does all payware sites. It takes some time. But in the end, it’s up to you. If there is something you had, and can’t remember. It’s probably not that important. I gave up on some. There is plenty more coming!!!

EDIT2: +1 to addon linker, that will set you free!

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Here’s a link for the MSFS 2020 Add-on Linker.
MSFS Addons Linker for Microsoft Flight Simulator | MSFS

I also use the Linker and glad I did…

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Thanks for all the replies and thanks for not being a-holes about it. I’m surprised. Great answers, all of them. Thanks guys. My main problem too is this RTX2080 and the Rift S. A terrible combination with this sim. Oculus Quest2 was even worse, as was my Reverb. I dont know what’s wrong. Just terrible shaking since this sim came out, no matter what I do. But that’s for another topic I guess. I really hate using this sim NOT in VR, ever since I started using VR. Just seems to be a breakdown between Oculus and Asobo. I’ve tried every solution under the sun. Advanced payware airliners are the worst for this. I suppose I will just go with an empty community folder. It sounds to be more trouble than it’s worth. Or maybe I’ll just delete the sim entirely. My rig doesn’t seem to be in any way compatible with it.

Edit - As a further annoyance, I just noticed Steam won’t let me post a review now either for some unknown reason. And they erased my earlier review. Wth? This hobby hates me. lol

If it helps, as well as using add on linker, i keep a spreadsheet log of every add on i install with a brief description of what it is, where i got it and, most importantly, links to where to update it. I also keep links to where the manuals are etc too. This has proved invaluable in the past and only take a minute to update whilst downloading the next best add on!

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I get most of my mods from flightsim.to. I’m really hoping that they make an updater app someday.

I avoid community mods because I can’t manage the “buckets of state” problem, put simply, in any simulator be it this one, or another one, if your configuration is highly unique to you, it’s very likely that you will discover corner cases that are unique to you.

To be fair to MS/Asobo their model is much simpler than their biggest competitor’s model, which is “this is a user problem, manage all add-ons yourself”.

Instead the MS Model lets us:

  1. Buy something or choose something free from the MS FS content store, and then have it installed automatically in a way that is really hands free and easy.

  2. Still allows community driven products to be manually installed.

Complaining that they let you do something and now you have your “let me do what I want” cake and also now, you get to manage the effects of that, well, I have about as much sympathy for that as the next person, because hey, I want a pony also.

But really, the big problem with MSFS is the download speeds are awful, and the product is now three years old and has more update download content packs than many people have hard drive space. A re-release is in fact now necessary because what MSFS 2020 has achieved, remarkable though it is, has now shown the weakness in the delivery model they’ve provided. They are going to rethink it a bit, but keep compatibility with as much of the content banks as they can, and then we’ll get a new MSFS 2024/2025 whenever that’s ready. And then the same growing pains as MSFS 2020 will repeat. Eventually they will probably sunset the MSFS 2020 scenery streaming and we’ll all HAVE to move to the next platform.

Content management of a lot of community mods that you unzip and manually install, is not fun.
Maybe the community mod system can be improved in the next sim. The cat is out of the bag on this one though. The mod linker thing above is about as good as you can get in the current product.

The person who keeps a spreadsheet above has the right idea. Creating a mess and then not documenting it and then wondering what to do with the giant mess, is all on you. Don’t want messes? Document.

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I also suffer from severe lack of patience as of late. I just got rid of everything I don’t use as per the suggestion above. I’m sick of messing with this community folder. Guess I’ll try a flight again this morning. If I see no change, I give up. I’ll wait for MSFS2030 and better computers/video cards/VR.

Thanks again.

Prior to my current rig, I was running a Ryzen 5 1st Gen and a 2060 Super (12GB) and I could get 40s average in 2D flight, higher if it was relatively CAVU WX.

VR is an entirely different system requirement - one that very few rigs and hardware combos can meet.

Consider using Tobii Tracker as an alternative to VR, which still gives you POV head track control, without the additional complications of manipulating cockpit items with hand controllers or workarounds.

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