Increase render distance for other aircraft

Hey all, this seemed like the most appropriate place to post this. I wanted to see what the plans by Asobo are for the aircraft render distance.

I fly a lot on Vatsim, and I notice that the folk who fly on P3D tend to see the strobes or the planes of other players a lot earlier than I do in MSFS. I was wondering if Asobo are planning a feature where you can adjust the render distance of other planes, so that we can see the big airliners from a greater distance. I have noticed that this is a thing in normal multiplayer as well.

Now of course, loading in other planes while they are not as close can be performance heavy, this could be solved with a slider, where people who are experiencing lower frames in heavy traffic can turn it down, to make sure those planes are not rendered. It is a bit more of a hassle looking out for traffic on Vatsim when you cannot see it past a certain range. Hope to hear from you guys what you think of this.

Thanks for reading!

Definitely, even in the built-in multiplayer with default models they simply disappear far too early and are loaded far too late. Sometimes, you only see the nametag but no model.

Also (since this is directly related) we should be able to control the LOD for other aircraft models. Especially on the ground I often see other aircraft taxiing without gear just because one LOD lower the models simply don’t render the gear.


Just a thought here and not being contentious but in real life seeing other aircraft is pretty difficult at times. Perhaps if it is made too easy that also makes it less realistic? Again, just a thought for discussion. :slight_smile:

One cool feature would be see them on tcas. I mean, I also do flights on vatsim from time to time but I don’t see any tag about player name or the flight number, to know who are near me I need to see the vatsim map. A can see airplanes at a lower distance but if I takeoff after a small nautical miles they just desapear, this on vatsim. In msfs multi-player I can see them a bit far way but It would be nice to see their tags with flight number and destination too.
Maybe that feature will be implemented in future.

TCAS can probably be fixed with better support for it with the SDK, but I’m sure Aerosoft, PMDG and all other developers are pushing Asobo to get it done. What I have noticed is once planes are within loading distance, they show up on the TCAS of the Aerosoft CRJ. With the loading distance being as small as it is however, they only pop into view quite late however.
And yes, nameplates for Vatsim traffic would be immensely helpful. If we want to discuss that however, we might need a different forum post.

Don’t know if exist already a thread or not about this but if not someone could open one.

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You can see strobes literally from the ground for aircraft that are at FL400. You should be able to see them from an airborne aircraft even further away, but you often dont.


Are you talking about night time maybe? I was referring to daytime. Agree with you regarding night time. :slight_smile:

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I find that especially with smaller GA planes in MSFS, Even in daylight, you clearly see the lights, and them being separated, with NOTHING between them, until they get a lot closer, and the suddenly a plane appears between the two lights. I would like to therefore see the small GA Planes at , at least 2 - 4 times the distance, that they currently start rendering.

Ideally a slider, so users can adjust it, also depending on the power of their systems to handle the xtra processing ?

Can this already be adjusted somehow by the user ? Editing LOD values in aircarft cfg files maybe ??

I would be very happy with a config file which we users could edit. A slider in the menu would also be great, but I wonder how much you would have to offer customisability for usability.
The advantage a .cfg file would bring is editing the range for each LOD, and perhaps even the range for each LOD for each plane. Now, editing every single one can be a hassle, but we have seen that the community is more than able to create and distribute these kinds of files. Sliders would make useability a lot better though, and keep it simple for the masses. In the end, that would be up to Asobo as to what they have time to implement.

Agreed - Some sort of setting would be handy if needed. Just so we can actually see them, at the moment it seems they vanish far too quickly and they don’t reappear fast enough.

I can see where you are coming from but I feel the models of the planes disappear too quickly even though they aren’t that far away. I think it would be nice to see an increase of render distance for them as it does help multiplayer traffic and when flying with friends. Hell, even a setting that can be changed so it’s up to the user on the distance (within reason) wouldn’t be a bad shout.


Yeah at night the sky looks completely empty. Need lights to be rendered at a realistic distance, if they can make the lights load in at further distances than the 3D model then performance shouldn’t be an issue. Even stock FSX was better with traffic visibility at night.


I also noticed this issue I don’t understand why it has only 12 votes. I only see ugly labels but no airplane in sight you really have to be very close in order to see other planes.

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For aircraft models. I want an option to allow my plane to stay in view for longer than 2KM.

I really really would like to see this as an adjustable parameter! I suspect it won’t affect CPU load much, especially with low poly 3d models.

The value is 2km, interesting!
How did you find it out, if I may ask? Is it somewhere within the code, or have you done testing to deduce the value?

And I agree, if you take a look at the lowest LOD models in developer mode, they really should not be that intensive on higher end systems.

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I watched enough planes disappear and it’s always when they’re 2km away.

I just pause the sim and look at the map and I know the runway is 3km and it’s 2/3rds down the runway.

Bigger planes are different, 747 disappears after something more like 8 miles.


I’ve noticed that the draw distance (the distance at which I first see the actual lights or aircraft) of other players is extremely low lately. I either have to be right on top of other aircraft to see them at all, and often times they don’t even appear until they have passed me. If I didn’t have nameplates turned on, I wouldn’t even know I was flying near anyone. From an immersion standpoint, this is a little lack luster when we expect to see live player air traffic without having to use nameplates. This is mostly when airborne. Aircraft don’t usually appear until I am within a mile or so of them. Please increase draw distance or give us a slider option.

Same on PC (2D/VR)

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I constantly look around at how empty the skies are and turn on the nametags welp, there’s dozens of people around me that I cant see.

Then I remember how hideous the player tags are compared to AI’s and I throw up and turn them off.