Letter to Asobo/Microsoft

Dear Asobo and Microsoft,

I am 80 years old. I have owned every version of Microsoft Flight Simulator since 1982. I have built many PC’s to run it on. I solo’d an Aeronca Champ in 1962 in 6.5 hours, and got my pilot’s license on the GI Bill in 40 hours in 1970. I have used MSFS to supplement my love of flying, especially since I no longer fly full scale. Building and flying over 50 Radio Controlled aircraft has also been a way to enjoy my love of airplanes.

MSFS 2020 is a masterpiece of computer simulation, and a triumph in bringing together all the technology currently available. My congratulations and thanks for making this product available, and for all the enjoyment it has brought to thousands of virtual flyers. Here is an example of my enjoyment of not only flying, but also of being creative: Aerobatic Stearman.

I understand the need to upgrade the underlying software to make the product even more enjoyable and able to exploit the latest and greatest in technological resources. As has been stated by Asobo, they’ve “hit the limit” of what can be done with the current software architecture. Also there is a desire to reduce the storage requirements in the current “client based” solution. This is all well and good, and I hope you can make good progress in this pursuit.

I also understand your being hesitant to spend any more time on the 2020 version, now that you have committed to a replacement version. However, I am concerned that many of the issues in MSFS 2020, that are not being held back because of “hitting the limit”, will not be addressed as a result of your focusing on the 2024 version. Some of these issues are preventing the full exploitation of the current offering. Essentially the product is being unnecessarily handicapped. Here are a few examples.
… An “event viewer” for diagnosing problems.
… Updating the multiple window feature to allow viewing of different cameras.
… The ability to save controller setups with hangar craft.
… Correcting the save/load feature so that a flight can be fully continued at a later time without a lot of user intervention weather, date/time, location, altitude, aircraft settings, etc. are all the same as when you saved the flight. NOTE 10/20: Recent testing has revealed that most of this issue has been corrected. The loaded numbers for a few things like altitude, speed, rpm are close to what was saved – but not exactly – but close enough for most intents and purposes.

There are many more such issues addressed in the “wish list” category of the forum. Many of these are not “new development” but just improvements and corrections to what is already available/programmed. They are not related to “hitting the limit”. They are doable in MSFS 2020.

Please keep in mind during the development of the next version of MSFS, that internet bandwidth is an issue for many of the users of the simulator. Personally, I prefer a client based solution like we currently have in MSFS 2020. But I understand the drive to exploit the potential of “streaming”. I understand that it would be impractical to have three versions of MSFS – Client based, Internet based, and XBOX. But anything that can be done to “balance the load” would be greatly appreciated.

Finally, I would like to discuss the issue of priorities. As a software developer myself I understand the need to optimize “bang for the buck” – doing that which benefits the most users first. You use a voting system on the forum to get feedback along these lines. But I must share how disappointed I was in watching the 9/27 Developer Live Stream that time was spent discussing things like the accuracy of snow, and the height and transparency of clouds, versus what I would call handicaps as listed above (things that are already there, but need to be tweaked/improved/fixed). I don’t use live weather or ATC or fly multiengine planes, or manipulate the instrument panel/cockpit, or use a resolution higher than 1080p and have max frame rate set to 30. I don’t care for the green roads and other issues related to Bing maps, so use other means to get more realistic scenery. I’ve given up on trying to use Replay Feature to create videos, and use SkyDolly instead. Essentially I use MSFS 2020 as a much improved version of FSX. So my priorities are not the same as the “professionals” who use MSFS. Apple used to have a marketing slogan that said their computers were for “the rest of us”. Without being able to confirm it, I suspect that there are lot of MSFS users who aren’t concerned about the accuracy of snow cover or the height of clouds, and would much rather be able to save and restore a flight correctly, or be able to put the cockpit camera (instruments) on their second monitor. Please keep “the rest of us” in mind as you develop.

Thanks for listening and considering what I’ve had to say. And thanks again for the creation of MSFS 2020!



Nicely said!

Ditto here, and I suspect for a considerable portion of the MSFS user base.


I love this.


I appreciate your perspective and respectful attitude. I hope it finds a way to the right ears!


Good post. I agree that while MS2020 is mostly a large step forward in flight sim, it’s a product that will likely be left unfinished. Many of those issues do not interfere with simulating piloting skills (such as cloud replication or lack of voice variation) but others are frustrating (such as ATC voice drops and unrealistic ground handling). I am not onboard with MS2024 until I read reviews that prove it’s a better pilot experience.

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I’ll be honest… As concisely (yet expansively - a rare talent) and intelligently as that was written, I thought that had to be a misprint.

Kudos to rgp1942 for saying pretty much exactly what I’ve been thinking in the year I’ve been using the sim, and participating in this forum.

Quite frankly, sir, I’d love to have a drink with you, and just listen to the stories you can tell.


Lovely post, thanks for taking the time to compose it.

Agree completely with your closing para on priorities.


I am 79 and also started MSFS on an Apple IIe. I think that MSFS 2020 currently is client/server based. No? There is lots of stuff being done server side.


I`m 75. I have a full motion system pimax VR etc and spend hours pottering about the skies. Wrinkles dont impede the ability to fly, in fact it helps me to forget I even have them.


Add my vote to budgeting some time and resources to features for the rest of us. I’ve used every consumer flight simulator over the past couple of decades and have contributed content to many.

About a year ago, it occurred to me that there was a lack of content for beginners and casual flyers. So I started creating short, follow-the-visual-markers flight plans. Easy to use; easy to follow. I took a 7-month hiatus, so I actually have been creating these plans for a cumulative total of 5 months.

As of today, on flightsim.to, there have been nearly 51,000 downloads of these plans, and I have received positive comments from users. Clearly, there is user demand for non-commercial flight features.

Unfortunately, visual waypoint markers are designed for fast, high-flying aircraft, that tend to use navigation and autopilot tools that negate the need for visual waypoint markers.

Meanwhile, Asobo has invested a lot of effort to create a wonderful catalog of landmarks and points of interest, which are best seen at low speed and low altitude. But at low speed and altitude, visual waypoint markers disappear far before reaching the waypoint, and marker labels are often obscured unless they are placed at a high altitude. There are a variety of other issues, but the bottom line is that they are unsuitable for low, slow sightseeing, which is the best use case for visual waypoint markers.

Like the comments in the previous posts, MSFS is heavily biased toward commercial flying, not the full spectrum of users.


What a pleasure to read. Written by someone who understands how to write texts. :heart:


I’m a few years older than the original poster and started on an Apple IIc in the early 80’s. Since then I’ve used almost every MS simulator. Tried X-plane, a fine simulator, but MS was and is my favorite. Like the OP, I could care less about the depth of the snow or the exact color of the clouds or how the rain splashes on the windshield. Don’t care if the doors open or close. I do care about realistic flying, controls, scenery, roads in the right place and ATC. Waiting on Asobo or Working Title to fix the built in or ATC. If not available in 2003 then maybe Beyond ATC for Christmas. I get a kick when people complain that something ruins the immersion. I’m in our dining/computer room, the TV is on in the other room and my desk is cluttered with mail, bills, etc. Don’t think that’s going to bring on immersion. The only way I could get immersion is to spend all my retirement on a complete, realistic, 3D simulator. End of rant. Have fun. Good post, good thread.


yes, that letter was very articulate and impressive… I hope it gets the attention it deserves.


I know this is a topic for another thread but since you mentioned immersion…
May I suggest VR? When I sim with the headset on I forget that any other world exist for the duration of the flight :melting_face: Bliss.


You have my full hearted support for this clear article. Well said. I enjoy every minute cruising at 1000 ft and discovering our precious world. But then there are these moments when AP goes wild when changing to external view. Not being able to save and load flights is for me the biggest inconvenience together with the missing replay function. Not talking about a disfuntional ATC. Good eye candies but a lot of improvement necessary to make it a perfect simulator.


What a pleasure to read this! Forums and social media in general needs more people who knows how to writte and express themselves clearly and properly :clap:t4: :clap:t4: :clap:t4:


Same here (though only 72). MSFT could do better with stock aircraft (maybe 1 GA and 1 airliner with less NA features). Even paid for airplanes lack enormous features. (ATR 42/72)

My thanks to the 71 (so far) people who have liked this thread. Apparently the issues I raised are common concerns to many. In the four years MSFS has been out, getting Asobo’s attention on a particular subject/issue has seemed ineffectual because of lack of response on their part. As discussed in this thread, improving the dialogue between user<>developer, who are both striving to make MSFS all it can be, seems in need of improvement. Thankfully this forum is available to collect people’s input. Sorting it all out and using it productively must be a great challenge for Asobo, but hopefully they will get better at it over time. Perhaps “improved product management” should be on the “wish list”! :o)

A few days ago I virtually flew an ultralight over the Gaza strip to see what it is like. In going so I thought “how cool is this?” This product is absolutely amazing and has so much potential. Combining the efforts of users and developers via this forum seems like a good way to realize that potential. Keeping in mind that everybody has MSFS’s best interest at heart, no matter how our frustrations might be expressed, seems beneficial.

“Keep Your Nose Down”

p.s. I also started with an Apple II circa 1978, and started a mutual support club called “Hood River Apples” because we all needed to support each other to survive. In many ways this forum reminds me of that club! :o)


Nicely summarized and I agree 100%.

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Completely agree! This sim is a masterpiece (together with the PMDG 737 lol) and really looking forward to 2024.