Dynamic LOD by altitude/flight level

Dynamic LOD tool, like X-Plane. Higher flight level lod could be a lot more than 200 for high-end systems. At approach LOD could be little lower.

They said that they plan to increase the fidelity exposed via the graphics settings, which means that the Terrain Level Of Detail could go beyond 200 when hardware is stronger. Right now it makes sense to keep 200 as the limit because it’s very CPU-heavy, and unfortunately the game’s CPU optimisation isn’t great at the moment.

However, there is a workaround for now that involves tweaking. Look in here: PSA: LOD Slider Can Be Increased Past 200 - Dramatically Improves Photogrammatery

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Yeah, I have tried those and thats why I wrote that. I can easily have LOD 400 in FL300 and everything looks so much better. It would be good if the LOD would chance higher at high FL. XP has couple of that kind of plugins and they are absolutely great.

I’d suggest to better articulate the “dynamic LOD”. Basically we are suggesting a way to specify a target fps and the LOD can be auto adjusted to meet that fps, so increasing details for objects and terrain if there are spare fps capacity. But that should work in a way that LOD is adjusted only for objects in the field of view so to ensure objects outside are not “calculated” with a higher detail if they are not shown. Hope this can be done.


Thank you for all your efforts to make the better simulator.

I found as I lower the altitude stuttering increase significantly.
So, Please make some special setting screen where I can input terrain LOD values according to the altitude of the plane.

Alt. 500 - LOD 60
Alt. 1000 - LOD 80
Alt. 1500 - LOD 100
Alt. 2000 - LOD 150 like this…

And, I would like to have two separate values of LOD for each glass cockpit and steam gauges.
In my computer I can set LOD to 165 or more for airplanes that have steam gauges
But, for glass cockpit LOD would be only 60 or below to remove stuttering.

Thank you.

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This is CPU bottleneck. Set glass cockpit refresh rate to low and see how it improves.
What CPU do you have?

Thank you for your reply.
Actually my system is in GPU bottleneck.
CPU: i9-11900K
GPU: GTX980 ti
Mainly CPU usage is below 30%, but GPU usage is over 80 to 100%.
I really want to buy new RTX3070 or 3080, but bitcoin raised the price double or triple. So, I’m waiting.
As I increase LOD both GPU, CPU usage is increasing.
I also tried to set glass cockpit refresh rate to low but no difference.

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I actually think this is a great idea and effecient use of resourses

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Yes. You are right. I set the glass cockpit refresh rate to low. And I found it makes difference at low altitude below 300 feet.

I replied there was no difference. But, at low altitude it makes a big difference. Thank you.

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MODERATOR EDIT: This post merged into this topic.

I’m not even sure if this is technically possible.

But could a dynamic LOD system be implemented where a minimum LOD is set but if system resources allow it the LOD increases?

Pardon the long background but it’s important to fully appreciate the concept I feel. This concept as two premises: 1, most of us want maximum image quality while sustaining smooth performance; and 2, we’d generally rather not have to manually stop the sim and adjust settings to meet the #1 goal above.

What I have discovered is the MainThread, which is most impacted by Terrain LOD and perhaps less so by Object LOD, always goes up some over time, especially longer flights. I if use Dev Mode’s frame monitor I adjust T-LOD such that the MainThread (MT) is always < = ~22ms, at departure. If I do this, I am assured I will have a smooth, stutter-free 30fps (Vsync to a 60hz display). What happens is over time and miles flown, the impact on the MT increases, presumably as more and more scenery is processed. Now, if my arrival airport and environs is ~ the same in terms of complexity as the departure was, and I started w/ a T-LOD high enough to put MT at 22ms, then very likely I will experience a degradation in performance, and for Vsync at 30fps, that means inability to sustain 30fps at landing. Therefore, if I know the arrival airport load is the same or greater in predicted demand, I will compensate by lowering LOD at departure by several milliseconds—by dialing back T-LOD, and sometimes O-LOD as needed, to give myself enough headroom. And it works great–able to sustain the critical 30fps. In simpler airports and lighter planes I can run T-LOD at 400 and still keep MT to less than 22ms.

What I find compelling about a dynamic optimizer for addressing this sort of thing is this: when you go into options and change any settings as I did w/ the LODs, the change is done instantly, and there is no need to repaint the screen. This is in stark contrast to FSX/P3D that would require a screen redraw and so increasing autogen or would be nye to impossible to execute dynamically or so it seems. That does not seem to be the case w/ MSFS, which to me suggests indeed variables could be altered dynamically w/ disrupting fluidity.

Arguably, the closer you get to touchdown, the less LOD matters as it becomes largely obscured by near field buildings and scenery. So to have this done in the background, with no need to stop the sim and adjust, seems like some relatively low hanging fruit to optimize performance. The idea of poorer performance at arrival v departure is a recurrent complaint for many in MSFS–very likely all related to how each is setup on their respective hardware.

Perhaps Asobo is already doing something like this that we can’t see, but again, it’s a recurrent issue for many. The part that fools us is the change over time/miles. We can TO at say KJFK w/ LOD 200/200 just fine, and yet arrive at say FSDT’s KORD only to find performance greatly degraded, even though KJFK and KORD are comparable in terms of demand. If I stop right before touchdown at KORD, and lower LODs to say 120/120, it will be fine. But, as with premise #1 above–we generally like the better image quality wherever possible, and don’t want to have to stop the sim to retain smooth performance.

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Here is another relavent finding on this issue:

I had been wanting to do this so did today: dialed back T-LOD all the way to zero (actually 10 is the lowest value) after setting up a landing I knew would tank frames: flew into EDDF from LGAV, where I had set LODs to 200/200. A few miles out it was becoming apparent frame rate was about to take a hit, and by touchdown frames were hovering around 25-27 w/ of course complete loss of fluidity (consequence of vsync to a rate of 30). Opened Dev Mode and the MT was ~30ms. So went ahead and dialed back all the say to T-LOD of 10. MT now at 16-17ms, and here is the screenshot hovering above in SLEW mode to take a gander at distant trees/buildings/horizon: no problem, as predicted. Of course when you’re on the ground taxiing you hardly notice this. Of note, tried several other variables to see what MT impact they had, and they were so neglible it makes sense to focus only on Terrain LOD, which simplifies things it would seem.


Agreed and voted. A dynamic LOD setting would be fantastic to help avoid stutters on approach.

Yes, please! That would be a game changer at least for weaker systems.

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Very welcome if we could get this

I’ve often suggested this feature would be incredibly beneficial for the sim. I’m surprised this thread has gotten so few votes and had little attention because if Asobo could get it to work it would have a profound impact on the sim’s performance.

I presume Asobo have thought about it and I presume its a very technically difficult thing to implement? It seems like quite an obvious feature for a flight sim to have otherwise.

I’ve watched quite a few of the dev Q&A’s and I’ve never seen it discussed. I’d love to hear them talk about it.


Do you think a zendesk submission would have any value?

Any way of raising it at the next one?

Flying out of KLAX on an easterly heading with a DR400 and realtime traffic on. i9 9900k, RTX2080 Ti, all settings basically on Ultra, addon scenery KLAX

LOD terrain: 200, LOD buildings: 200 → 25 fps on ground, 40 fps at 800 ft AGL
LOD terrain: 100, LOD building: 100 → 37 fps on ground, 45 fps at 800 ft AGL

As I cannot see any LOD 200 while on the ground it does not affect anything. Therefore it would be 37 fps on ground. While gaining altitude and leaving heavy airport scenery I would expect 40 fps while reaching LOD 200. This would be fantastic not having to change LOD once airborne and never again below 30 on the ground… Please vote this up!

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I presume there’s a solid technical reason why they have never been able to bring a dynamic LOD to the sim. It otherwise seems such an obvious thing to have to help performance.