Longterm for XBox

I try very hard to maintain the climate for MSFS. I help people find out how to solve their issues. I try to explain things, set expectations with people so they don’t get upset. I try to work with 3rd party developers to avoid issues.

When MSFS was first announced, I was amazed. I had an XBox, I didn’t have a PC. But good news, it was announced it was coming to XBox too. I remember my days when I had a gaming PC, and having to modify config files, and figure out driver issues, etc. It wasn’t something that I wanted to get back into. So even though XBox was going to come later than PC, I decided, I would wait.

Well, at first, the XBox community had the hardest time convincing 3rd party developers to come to XBox. Slowly but surely, they started coming, and started committing to the platform. But then we started finding mods which work on PC fine, but don’t work on XBox. Worse yet, we found developers only on a PC can simulate what XBox will be like, and rely on testing in the Microsoft labs. And then the even bigger revelation that many of these mods pass in the test XBoxes in the Microsoft labs, but they don’t work out in the the retail XBoxes.

I currently have 5 different packages now that work fine on PC, evidentally worked on the XBox test labs, but just don’t work outside the Microsoft network. The latest today was, I reported an XBox specific bug to FSAcademy about the Voyager bush trips. I waited a couple weeks for a fix, a fix which was tested in the XBox labs, and it still doesn’t work outside Microsoft

As you can see, Number of Legs for all the bush trips reads as -, and the legs panel is missing. Same exact thing it was doing before the fix. I can’t blame the developers, they can only test by simulating. And yes, I get it. They pass in the XBox test labs too.

We have content developers starting to re-evaluate whether they are going to continue to support XBox. Some will say its just talk. But I don’t think so. SOme of these purchases I have made, they have been broken for months on XBox, and to this day, some of them, people STILL have no idea what is wrong. It really is throwing dice for them on whether their package is actually going to work on a real XBox or not.

Obviously, the source of difference of the XBox test labs machines versus a retail XBox HAS to be tracked down. But once that is done, I hate to say it, but several more test XBoxes are going to have to be built, and several more people are going to need to be hired, and these people will be available for content developers to send their code to, and in a live stream with the Microsoft personnel, be able to test on an XBox. Content developers have to have more certainty than what they have now. They work totally in the dark, taking guesses what is wrong, and what is really going to work for XBox. I know nothing can be put in the code that will allow 3rd parties to inject mods into a test box, because as soon as you open that loophole, hackers will figure out how to exploit that. But the name of the facility is the XBox Test Labs. Surely as important as MSFS is to Microsofts plans, having dedicated personnel that will interface with 3rd party developers will not only help with developers being able to develop mods more efficiently and confidently, but it will benefit the consumers too.

I know there are bugs, and there is weather, and there is lots of things that are all a priority. But frankly, with XBox we reached a point where content developers and consumers confidence is starting to get shaken. Some of my broken products have been broken for more than 2 months. Its going to be more than two months before we will be able to have a possible fix. I’m not even sure then if I will get an actual working content.

I have almost every single piece of content in the store for XBox. I’ve got the HOTAS and rudder pedals, and the Boeing yoke ordered. I’m too committed at this point to just walk away. But I have to say, I’m at the point where I have to use my tax refund for a PC. As I said earlier in the article, I specifically wanted an XBox for the simplicity of use. I am spending most of my time helping other XBoxers or trying to get my XBox problems resolved. I specifically gave up functionality for the sake of simplicity, but I just am not getting any of those benefits at all. And mostly, it really stinks being a lost and frustrated customer working with a lost and frustrated 3rd party developer, and none of us know what to do. I get their frustration and uncertainty.

I know 3rd parties probably want the ability to test on their site, and I know that would violate the whole XBox security model. I tried to think of a compromise that would work for everyone, but it does involve an increase of headcount for MSFS. And I’m not trying to cause chaos. I’m presenting a rational solution that I know wont totally make 3rd party developers happy, and it won’t make Microsoft happy, and even probably won’t make most of the forum readers happy, but provides a compromise that everyone can live with. Something has to change, and so far in the last two months, no one has come up with what. And I think its because there has to be a solution that is a compomise for everyone.


Confirmed? Where is this news from?

Its been confirmed with the PMDG aircraft, and with Global AI Shipping. This update to FSAcademy’s Voyager was to fix this specific problem I submitted, it was tested in the test labs, yet it doesn’t work out on an outside XBox. So yes, there is something different between the test labs XBoxes and retail XBoxes. Microsoft needs to resolve that so at least we can stop products from going but some of those products are going out the door that just don’t work when they get to the consumers XBox. I am sure they will fix that, its just that so far there is no word when that will be, but meanwhile each week more products are being tested on those, and some of those passed tests are going to be a false positive.


When a xbox is running in devmode you can acesss more system function then in game mode. So here we again - the closed system of an console. i dont expect any change on this. Changes on this will open the box of the pandora and MS has to open it also for other 3rd party game devs. The change will not be in the game - it will be on the OS level on the xbox.

Perhaps some should ask this question on the next Q&A which will be in december.

Developers dont develop on an XBox in devmode. They use the PC in DevMode, and there is a menu option to “Simulate XBox”. So they never really get to test on real hardware until they submit it to marketplace. My suggestion was that there be a Microsoft team that they could submit their mod to, the Microsoft person load a test XBox, and then in Teams the 3rd party developer could walk the Microsoft personnel through what they want tested. There is no violation then of the OS or the security layer, but it does allow a developer to be able to test on hardware during the development cycle.


you don’t understand - because of this closed system on a console (same for sony) you can not do an develop on a pc and easily put the same code to a console. that doesn’t work - i case for example external scripts etc etc. but with an xbox on devmode it works for example :wink:

But anyway… perhaps it same sense to raise such a questoin “The future of MSFS on Xbox” for the next QnA.

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I have to agree with much of what you say, the points you make are valid. I too was an XBox series X owner. I wasn’t a gamer per say and really didn’t do much game pass type sampling, I get very easily bored these days (sorry it must be an age thing) with many video games. I bought the XBox X specifically for flight simming. I wanted a steady, stable, reliable platform without the uncertaintly of graphics card drivers (like on a PC). The XBox X was a technological wonder, it sat quietly behind my TV not making a noise, and could run MSFS in glorious 4K HDR on my TV. I went through the phase of being mesmerised, enthralled, engaged and addicted to learning FS after a 20 year absence. I am greatful to it for this as I may not have returned otherwise.

I then quickly realised the deficiencies - the ties to the marketplace, the lack of mods/freeware, the closed and restricted nature of it, the never arriving 3rd party aircraft, the bugs that were not being quickly addressed, the lack of a specific XBox bug list, the loss of mouse control, the crashes to dashboard, the black avionics, the non upgradability etc.

I then went and did a test on my laptop (which I have to be honest and say I didn’t think could run FS, it was a minimum spec graphics card wise.) After the install I was only seeing FS run at 10-15fps! However I spent ages optimising it and tweaked every last FPS out of it and am now running at 30fps, 1080, rendering at 1400x810 on a 15" screen ( so not even HD), but you know what, it was like having handcuffs removed. I could finally do things I wanted/needed without waiting for the blind faith hopes/promises of things that may sometime/never arrive. I have not looked back. I sold the series X about a month ago for what i paid for it (there is a huge demand leading up to Christmas).

Just about every XBox disappointment I’ve seen since eg PMDG DC-6, seafront global shipping, carenada sale etc has reaffirmed my decision. I feel the pain for all you XBox long haulers. If you are a simmer on XBox then you will need I fear many more months of patience and hope that bugs get fixed and features/releases arrive. I just didn’t have that patience. The PC is a platform with well over a year of relative FS evolution & stability with it, it has 3rd party devs that you can buy stuff from and get timely updates and isn’t reliant on the marketplace at all. It’s liberating.

One note/observation re FS in general : there are so many bugs/wishes even on the existing lists that are published and most look like popularity contests. Many have been there since before I started using FS in July, and many XBox bugs/wishes have never climbed that high as the older PC related ones. What hope do you have that XBox bugs will be addressed in this type of a popularity contest bug system? Even common to both platform bugs like ATC audio dropping don’t make it into the top 25, but older ATC “nice to have” bugs do. In this environment, I just don’t see timely fixes happening. The devs are IMO too busy firefighting after Sim Updates and creating new content, they likely see the XBox as a very recent/immature platform that they have months to optimise/fix. I’m not sure end users feel the same way though. I mean why does the XBox not have it’s own dedicted bug list yet? VR does!

If you are a simmer on XBox I really urge that you consider switching to a PC (even if it isn’t high end), it will honestly be a liberating experience and you won’t ever look back.

Just my 2c.


Looking at the UI it seems likely that Xbox was the target of the sim from day 1.

I game on both Console and PC but my platform of choice for simulation is PC for many of the reasons that you have outlined but most importantly VR and headtracking which aren’t supported on Xbox…and flight simulation is where VR really shines. I can’t imagine not flying without at least head tracking and/or VR, it’s really a game changer.


My W2 was locked 10 years ago with a set Additional Withholding for a fine, which I paid many years ago. But it still gets taken out each week even now and I get it back as a tax refund. So in February, I can easily go with a i9 12900, DDR5, RTX 3090 box with the Varjo Aero and the LG C1 48 inch display. I was only toying with the idea up until this point, but today pretty much made my decision.

I’m 58 years old. I really wanted the simple carefree environment it was supposed to be. But with all the time spent on XBox issues, frankly its feeling like another full time job. And then you get the announcements like PMDG refund today, and the fix I had been waiting for 3 weeks finally comes in, and it still passes on the Xbox test lab, but doesnt work on a retail XBox, and yeah, my patience has worn a little thin at this point. And there isn’t even a proposal on the table how we move forward. I figured I would put something on the table, at least give people ideas, and start the talks. There has to be some solution to giving developers a way to test during development cycle, but still ensuring the integrity of the XBox’s security model.

And that isn’t even mentioning that on XBox after SU7, any conflict seems to be causing random CTDs. I can reproduce the problem. If I add back in the 5 World Update airports that I have payware, attempting to take off from Chicago, I crash. None of those airports are anywhere near Chicago. Take them back out again, and all is fine. Conflicts before only caused problems at the location the conflict existed, but with SU7 and on XBox, now a conflict will cause a crash somewhere, and usually not anywhere near where the conflict actually exists. And then for the last 3 months, they haven’t been able to figure out how to put DRM encoding onto Milviz’s Corsair for XBox. Yes, the PC has its issues, but most of those are also shared with XBox too. And at least with PC and the core sim, there is a plan.


True UI could almost be designed for a touchpad, despite FS not being available on a touchpad. Surface maybe? I still don’t get the UI design. Even some aspects like menu drop downs aren’t windows, but don’t work well on Xbox either (eg flight planner). Would love to try VR at some stage, I need a better PC though.

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Can you raise a question for the QnA - seems that you are a native english speaker / writer…

I’m so glad a post like this exists.

To everyone here who reads my comment.

Does everyone agree that things are looking grim and agree that big changes need to happen?


Me personally, no, I can’t. My work hours are during Q&A.

I hear you. Similar age myself. I don’t have 10 years to waste waiting around for XBox fixes to arrive, assuming they ever do. I keep a tab on XBox issues having owned one, I’m in no way gloating at XBox users, I really do feel their pain. XBox is great if you game with other titles and just dabble with FS, not so much for dedicated simmers. I really just wanted to share what a liberation its been finally shifting away from Xbox. As I still don’t see any quick fixes for the platform on the horizon it’s really time for simmers to say I can either live with it the way it is now or I need to move on to PC.
FS even on PC does have issues eg. I still get occasional CTD’s (mainly on launch!) but they are way more infrequent than on XBox. I also get other similar issues like occasional loss of mouse control in UI, but unlike XBox it’s easily rectified.
I now spend more time simming than scrolling through endless XBox bug threads for some issues that have been around since launch and may or may not ever be addressed. Which is also a healthier situation mentally I have to say.

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Xbox being a closed system is a blessing and a curse. It’s a nightmare to fix things on, and as many developers have already mentioned, they’ve no way of knowing if their product will work properly until it’s been released as the Xbox dev platform isn’t an accurate test environment. Getting the Xbox team to apply fixes / updates at the console leave takes forever. If it wasn’t designed to do it from the outset, it can take years to have functionality added… not because it can’t be done, but because it’s a choice by the Xbox team to keep it very tightly controlled. They’re desperate to not let it become a sort of PC. Most of the big software houses who release on Xbox have hundreds of developers with Xbox dev hardware, and even then, it isn’t always plain sailing. Forza horizon 5 didn’t work on PC when it was released if you used an Xbox controller. Behind the scenes, Microsoft are push this virtual dev environment because they want everything to ultimately play from the cloud… streaming games; but it just doesn’t work for all games, and there is a complete lack of acceptance of that.


@BragRaindrop933, I’ve seen you around here frequently ever since I first joined these forums. I’m actually saddened that you’re no longer on Xbox. There’s someone really wrong that you felt you had to go. I’m grateful that you’re still one of us, have our interests at heart and I hope for your continued support. Us on console are out numbered from what it looks and would like to see more PC players see our problems and realize we have it pretty bad as compared to them. Thanks a million mate, much appreciated.

@tgbushman wow, where do I even start? For a good while now I’ve suspected there’s something very wrong with our version on Xbox or something stupid happens between receiving 3rd Party Dev files and them releasing them on the Marketplace.

In either case, this won’t do and cannot continue on like this in the short term let alone in the long term. As is said about insanity, doing the same thing again and again expecting different results. I’m reckoning that what they’re doing with how they operate isn’t working as we’re clearly experiencing the results of it. Something needs to change, they need to find a way even if that means they need to take some greater risks and learn to bite a bullet every once in awhile. I’ve long thought they need an Xbox focused specific division testing rigorously on real consoles and not this emulated nonsense. Anyone with emulation experience will tell you it’s just not the same as getting hands on with the actual hardware, something is different and it doesn’t hit the same way.


I originally thought about hanging on to the XBox just to casually use on my TV, but then it just sat there unused/turned off more and more as I used the PC, so decided to sell it while it had value. It’s not what was promised in terms of same experience. Visually it’s up there, but stability, add ons, and bug wise it’s not.

It’s a personal decision but I feel I’ve made the right one despite the loss of resolution that I’m currently running with. I’ve honestly had way much more fun checking out the aircraft, scenery, mods & freeware add ons available and I’d really strongly encourage anyone serious about FS to contemplate a PC. It still looks great at 1400x800px with nearly all of my settings on medium. To me now 4K isn’t such a priority as stability, mods, aircraft availablilty and freeware.

I do fully appreciate what you are all dealing with on XBox. For me it’s grating not knowing whether bugs/issues are even being acknowledged let alone get fixed. TBH it seems like it’s just how things operate, like I said previously the ATC audio drop hasn’t been officially acknowledged yet it’s prevalent across platforms. I do feel that the devs are continually in firefighting mode and that the bug list really needs a complete revamp or refresh and an XBox list is now well overdue. I will keep hoping for a better XBox bug outcome for you all in the meantime though.


Honestly, how can we make this happen? I’d love it if more PC users would back us up and show support even though they have no investment for the platform. “For the greater good” is more of pipe dream isn’t it? We need way more votes for our issues in order to have a chance in said “Popularity Contest”. I’d really like the forum moderators to have a more active involvement in raising our concerns. It’s seems they pick and choose what they escalate. The very core experience on Xbox is in turmoil in comparison and we pay the same money. On business ethics and morals standpoint, it’s wrong how we’re treated.


To be fair to the mods, that’s not what they are here for.
Both Asobo and MS read the forums and are acutely aware of the issues. At the crux of it is the development environment for Devs on Xbox isn’t suitable. This is an MS issue. As a consumer, I’d be mighty annoyed with the way things have panned out too, but I understand the difficulties that Asobo and other Devs are facing. The reality is that a console will never be as flexible as a PC (or Mac for that matter). But, the core functionality should work. As an Xbox owner and PC simmer, the Xbox guys and girls have my sympathy, but think of it a bit like GTA V. Its lasted a lifetime on both PC and Console… BUT, you can’t do on a console what you can on a PC. Console users need to accept that. But MS have a duty to help Asobo and 3rd party developers make the Sim work on the platform, and to ensure content they publish in the marketplace works on the platform.


I think it’s a microcosm of bigger issues with the core sim. They have chosen prioritisation of sim expansion/headline grabbing new stuff (VR, XBox, planes, scenery, multiplayer games) over the sim stabilisation and bug removal. Every expansion brings its own subset of bugs and problems which if not addressed just leads to long bug lists.

I think XBox has been great at expanding the base experience and has opened simming up to a new broader audience, that can only help continue future development, but with bugs going unrecognised/unaddressed much patience and goodwill is being expended in the process. I reaaly do feel that current sim bug lists need to be wiped, started from scratch and if a voting system is deemed to still be the way forward, give everyone votes on bugs as they stand now and not as they stood 6 to 8 months ago.
I do hope SU8 takes care of a lot of issues, but having been through a few updates already I am finding I have to constantly reset my expectations in this regard.