How to attract more players to MSFS

Hello devs,

Below are a few areas that I think should be focused on to attract new players and give current players a more compelling reason to return to play MSFS:

  1. Overall Performance (fixing stutter in airports and cities)
  2. More Natural Landmarks and Scenery (less airports and cities)
  3. Plane FX

Overall Performance (fixing stutter in airports and cities)
As it stands, MSFS is a technical achievement and I realize this game is “10 years in the making” and it’s still in it’s infancy so it does little good to harp on existing issues that are slowly being addressed at a later time. However, I think refocusing some short term goals will make the game much more appealing and add more replay appeal for new and current players.

More Natural Landmarks and Scenery
Currently, MSFS gameplay feels like I’m floating above a bing-maps-wrapped globe of varying quality in a hi-res aircraft skin. While it is initially impressive and pretty, the visual eye candy has a distinct lack of detailed and popular landmarks to visit. The first thing most players do when first purchasing the game and logging in is compiling a list of visual landmarks to visit that they just googled. The Great Wall of China, National parks, Natural wonders, etc. Many, if not most of these visual landmarks aren’t in-game or not detailed (iconic mountain formations) so it’s a letdown when they see a lump or flat image of what should be a major visual landmark.

The good news is these landmarks are already compiled in all the google search lists for “top 10 places to see by air” or similar search. They just need to be fleshed out and I imagine they would take the same amount of time that is spent on airports.

While adding more detailed cities seems to be a current focus, the stuttering and poor performance in these areas makes them less compelling to visit (especially with the melted-building photogrammetry visuals) and many players just end up avoiding these updated areas completely which is a shame. So my recommendation is putting more focus on natural scenery locations.

Plane FX
When it comes to thrilling flight, MSFS really needs to look at DCS World. The plane FX for that game are on point which is why any fan-made videos for DCS look exciting and it looks really fun to fly around in and make videos. MSFS looks pretty but the lack of plane FX is very noticeable by comparison to DCS. MSFS has these impressive commercial aircraft but it’s such a let down to land without tire smoke. MSFS is missing the “umph” when it comes to flying.

Especially now that MSFS has jets, we sorely need smoke fx, vapor trails, vapor cones, landing gear tire smoke, fire, flames, and smoke for aircraft failures and emergencies, etc. Adding these FX in sooner rather than later will increase player retention and add so much more immediate satisfaction than these “world updates” that suffer from performance issues.

I mean, you’re stuck in a plane the entire time in this game, I would think plane FX would be more of a priority than adding 50 new airports that notoriously just cause more lag.

Well that’s my two cents. Thanks for reading.


I think these are valid points… But sometimes we need to balance things out…

You want overall performance fixes like stutters in airports and cities. And I agree, there are too many instances where I’m about to land and I get hit by these annoying stutters which throws off my flare technique and timing.

But then again, you want more SFX from the plane like tire smoke, vapor trails, etc… While I also agree with this too. How does it impact the performance that you mentioned in the first place? Even without these FX, the performance is bad enough as it is. And adding these FX without addressing the first issue would just make things worse.

Even if the first issue is fixed and the performance is restored. Adding these FX might bring the stutters back due to how the CPU calculates and renders these effects.

I’m just saying that there’s so many things that affects this sim, so many factors that come into play. Hardware capabilities, etc. I’m on i9-9900K and RTX 2080 Ti, and I can only fly at Medium-High settings for a 30 fps, but still have stutters. Adding more effects without scaling to consider the hardware capabilities is just going to make things worse.

But like I said, these are all valid points, but we do need to be a bit more considerate on how and when to prioritse improvement to the sim so that we can balance them between performance and visual quality.


MSFS should spin off “MSFS Combat Flight Simulator”. It should have fully functional warplanes spanning generations with fully functional weapons and bombs. Multiplayer should be set up to fly battle groups and staging for dogfights. Missions should have recreations of famous air battles. MSFS has all the core fundamentals and servers that can be cloned for “Combat Flight Simulator “.


I have the same processor, and when I was using a 1080 I could get just over 40fps while sitting at the ramp at Heathrow at Ultra settings.

Well, I’m on 2160p HDR, so… yeah…

Fix the glaring bugs (systems and visual), keep improving the flight model and continue to release World Updates and they will come.

Oh and I like the idea above about Combat, that could be a huge draw.

I’m sure Asobo’s team has a good laugh reading these threads lmao

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Note the plane effects I was referring to from DCS that would be beneficial to be emulated for MSFS were the plane FX (vapor, trails, gear smoke, etc) that give those planes a real visual sense of speed, flight, weight, etc.

DCS videos look like real life planes in flight while MSFS look like floating plane models because of the missing effects.

Not suggesting combat be integrated. However plane damage from over-stress, engine fires with well rendered flames and smoke, electrical, etc would be beneficial for simulating emergencies, aviation failures, and procedures for remedying the situations.

the mass market doesn’t want a civilian flight sim :wink:

show MSFS to any friend and they’ll be like “wow, that’s amazing!!! …now, how to you blow sh*t up? can you crash into something?”

if they can’t do that, they’ll try to grief others that are trying to land an airliner on a VOR approach :stuck_out_tongue:

If you want to make MSFS more accessible in general, it should:

  • Do more things well out of the box ( seems like Asobo is trying to achieve this )
  • Not require the user buying or installing loads of 3rd party programs “to make it work right” ( not talking about add-on planes / airports )
  • Not require hours of tweaking to get a balance of visuals & perf
  • Not require hours of tuning curves, hardware to “get it to feel right”
  • Streamline the update/install process ( 3 separate downloads for 1 update?! )
  • Improve multiplayer, so you can interact with other players without needing to have a Discord account and pre-arrange group flights.
  • Shared cockpit - so multiple people can be in the same aircraft and a. learn from each other b. have a more social / realistic crew experience
  • Replay mode - so people can properly fly from the cockpit, then go back and re-watch the flight from any camera angle.

What do they want?

Ah, they want to be a**hats, I get it. Sorry, no griefing here.

Now you just want to take the fun out of it entirely! :wink:

You mean so I can be sworn at by people who have no real interest in aviation? To be fair, it’s not a terrible idea in principle, but unless they added robust controls for banning/muting people, why try to re-invent the wheel when Discord works so well?

Already have it, via an excellent mod. I realise this violates your rule #2.

Again, there is a mod for this, several in fact. Sorry, I’m two for two now, aren’t I.

Agree. Asking for Asobo to branch off MFS into a combat sim, reminds me of The Simpsons episode where Homer designs a car…LOL. You can’t be all things for all people.

You want a combat flight sim? Download DCS World. It’s free. Buy a few planes, then realize it’s too complex, and come back to MFS. Hahahahaha.


I still agree with OP though. Performance, natural landmarks/better/more realistic terrain & FX such as smoke when landing would definitely make things more attractive to the casual gamer but I think Asobo is already working on those.

Valid points. All of that stuff would make any sim better, be it a train sim, trucking sim, racing sim, or flight sim. The more immersive, the better for sure.

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because this is already using XBLA, and you have to add friends on XBLA anyways and then have a totally separate account on Discord and do voice and chat through a different app when it should be built in. Discord is great if you want additional functionality, but you should be able to do basic voice and chat in-game. ( muting and blocking - obviously required )

I met a ton of people on FSX multiplayer and did a bunch of shared cockpit flights with people that were just learning the game, or wanted me to fly and look around without having to worry about crashing.

That’s currently “impossible” - you see someone flying the same type of flights in the same area and think - oh, there’s someone I have something in common with… you’d have to stalk them to track down their XBLA account, then try to find them on Discord? nah. You can pretty much fly only with people you pre-arrange to meet on Discord.

Making the game accessible is about removing barriers to entry. Like not spending hours, days, weeks to make things work right for your setup. I used to show my setup to people for FSX or P3D, and they’d be amazed and ready to pick up the game …and when I described the 5-6 payware addons required to make it look like it did, the 3rd party scenery required and the add-on planes - they were like, yeah, no.

I’ve been tweaking and tuning stuff for decades - and frankly, I’m kinda tired of it. Minor tweaks are fine, I mean - I’m running 4k at 30-40 with a 1080 Ti, but I don’t enjoy weeks of digging through forums, editing files, etc. anymore :wink:

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You just got to get a damageable physics model. At least as in DCS. All video hosts will fill with various air crashes. And of course failures must be working on just like in real life - leaking fuel or jammed gear.

black screen after crash is the most disapointing thing in game

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I’d like to see more than a message telling me I overstressed the aircraft, or the engines, and just end my flight. I want to deal with the repercussions of that. The failure state for my flight really should be the point I press the Esc key. Have the engines quit on me, or flaps no longer working, any number of things except a black screen.


would you like to see your wing cut off? would you like to land a plane without a tail? would you like to see a dark line of smoke out of your engine and deal with it? i would like!


I guess. I don’t feel too strongly about it either. I tend to fly inside the cockpit, and not use the external views much unless I am capturing screenshots, or rarely shooting a video.

Smoke from a damaged engine would be nice, as would glancing over to one of them and seeing sparks or flames, for example.

Wings being ripped off is pretty extreme, as would the tail. Not sure what you gain from that as the situation is likely unrecoverable so simulating it probably has limited value.

It might keep those watching elsewhere happy for five minutes I guess.


I’d love physics based damage, but it won’t happen - aircraft manufactures, that Asobo has a license agreement with, will never allow their planes to be depicted as crashing and breaking up. Same with cars in Gran Turismo - Ferrari will never let them show a street car getting trashed in a wreck.

I’d settle for better physics reaction, say if you clip a wing while taxing off the runway or drag a gear through the trees on landing - because the trees are way too high on short final. You get a black screen instantly in a lot of situations that might have been survivable. ( Like ramping the Icon A5 - gear down into or out of the water = crash )

the black screen is a total bummer… I’d prefer “continuing the crash” and just not show aircraft damage.

sure - better failures and emergencies… but that’s not a mass market feature, that’s for the hobbyists like us :wink:

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totally… I fly 99% in the cockpit, in fact I totally don’t get people that play in 3rd with the HUD on… but play however you want.

Although, if I make a great landing - it’s really nice to replay it in external view with any camera angle you want… and have the ability to record video after you did something cool.

Like in Ace Combat - you fly in cockpit or HUD view - but then you can re-watch the whole mission in cinematic mode and it’s a whole new experience - like watching Top Gun, but it’s you flying.

I’d love more “consequence hinting” with audio and f/x - like hard braking - there’s no real noise or shaking like in the real plane, excessive aerodynamic forces generating intense stress noises ( Flight Unlimited did a great job with this ) etc…