It depends on where you’re flying and the availability of the live traffic data. Few weeks ago was pretty busy in my usual airport. Then we got Covid lockdown again, and the traffic data is next to nonexistent. It’s not really a bug if there’s barely any air traffic.
There’s also multiple problems that could cause this, like garbage data that the sim can’t work with to spawn the air traffic. Or connection issue, and the likes.
It’s a type of data that it’s formatted in such a way that MSFS can’t work with it. For example, the sim needs at least the proper ICAO airline code, the flight number, the ICAO aircraft designator as well as positioning and flight plan. If any one of this data is either missing or formatted in such a way that the MSFS can’t read them, the sim can’t work with it, so they won’t spawn.
It also takes a bit of time for the aircraft to spawn. I understand that you expect that as soon as the you jump in to your flight, you expect every single aircraft in Flightradar24 (actually MSFS uses FlightAware data) is spawned and operational in the sim. But that’s not really the case. Sometimes it take a bit of time for the data to download, process, and then render it in the sim. And they do this one flight at a time.
Usually for me, when I jump in to the flight all the live traffic is pretty much empty. So I just spent time doing my flight checklist, making sure everything is setup. After 15-20 minutes or so before I’m ready for departure, that’s when I start getting ATC chatter from the Live traffic, and they start appearing and spawning either on the gates or in the air on approach.
But I don’t really check with FlightAware to validate the proper traffic. Doing so just takes too much of my energy trying to get “realism” as possible that it takes away from enjoying my own flight. So over time, I learned to just let it do its thing. If it spawns, great… If it doesn’t… well it’s not my lucky day and just go on with my flight. Sometimes I got lucky on cruising where ATC asks me to have traffic in sight nearby.
I find the Live Traffic takes awhile to appear in Sim, there’s certainly something wrong with the way the data is collected and then loaded into it. I’ve sat for 5 minutes waiting for them and suddenly a fair few appear on the map and visually, definitely needs fixing if not already fixed for SU5 next week.
Live Traffic is SIMULATED in the Flight Simulator. It is NOT another FlightRadar or Flight Aware! I was using Live Traffic landing at KJFK right in front of an Airbus. Well, I was slower than the Airbus and it kept getting closer. Finally ATC told the Airbus to go around which it did. Now if this traffic is REAL, did the Airbus actually go around at JFK IRL? Does this make Live Traffic unusable? It isn’t perfect but try flying around any busy international airport.
I agree and I would call it in alpha stage. I just don’t like the way aircraft warp which IMO is the worst of the bugs. But it is a step in the right direction and I am looking forward to improvements.