Night lighting issues still present - The community solutions

Won’t waste my time anymore. Bye dude.

Indeed… It feels like viewing the game through a video recorder.
I like the original colour palette more… It feels more “natural”. Once Asobo deal with the size (or apparent size) of the orbs in mid-long distance, the night scene will look way more pleasant I reckon.

Have a look at this video that just got out and was proposed by the official MSFS Facebook page:

How Microsoft Flight Simulator Recreated Our Entire Planet | Noclip Documentary

A nice documentary to watch it from beginning to end.
Have a look at 27:28…or 15:40. Really why would you like to change that and turn it into a completely different thing?


Yeah I saw that… Thought exactly the same as you…
However same old… Due to “NDA” we would never know sadly :frowning:

That “visually” look like a solid base to build on. Judging by that alone, all they needed to do then were adding various window lights to skyscrapers, lower buildings and houses, add white sporting field lights, some green/red lights on intersections to simulate traffic lights, red beacons on top of skyscrapers, change light colours on top of harbours / warehouses / factory complexes to white etc and we’re mostly set!

The rest, 3rd party devs who make city sceneries can do their stuff…
It will even be better if the SDK allows third parties to do their stuff to night lighting in a particular region.

Fully understandable and probably for the best, given the way it was going.
No hard feelings. : )


That’s exactly what many was wondering when those gorgeous & sharp lights went from being visible for long distances like in that video, to be reduced to a fraction of the distance and be replaced with he sepia mask after very short distances as just a kilometre or two.

Screenshots from the much cherished early alpha build (before that big change that removed the lamp visibility and replaced it with Sepia mask) showed quite a few rural roads being lit, and with tons of lamps visible at the same time, they were bound to look uniform in places. same as now since they haven’t implemented a solution for that yet.

Not knowing what the devs thoughts were, one can only guess/assume they might’ve listened to all the voices (same as now) saying everything is so bright and rural roads should have no lamps, with no suggestions on how it could be done, and lacking examples of how it actually works/looks like IRL flying at night at various altitudes & scenes.

Those voices surely got their wishes fulfilled when the lamp distance got cut down to almost nothing compared to IRL. And that effectively hid all those rural roads, the somewhat uniform appearance and so on.

The version after this big change (sepia/short lamps)got more and more polished up until release version, looking natural and balanced up close & down low. And this is great for all those just playing around at low level.

But everything just a bit higher just looked nasty to those knowing what it actually looks like flying at night.

I really hope for the sake of all types of users they will implement two choices of night tech, legacy for everybody who got used to the sepia version, and modern for those wanting a more realistic approach like we had early alpha.
That way the realism development wouldn’t be held back/downgraded by those only caring about eye candy down low, avoiding another big change like what happened to the early alpha, once again.


Can’t agree more …

1 Like

I understand why the NDA existed in alpha and the need for it then, but why is it still in effect now months after release? Would it not be helpful to the discussion to be able to give context about why something may have looked better in Alpha but was ultimately removed because of x,y,z rather than having to just say, “Yeah it was better, but can’t talk about it.”


I believe this is already addressed and illustrated in this discussion in previous posts. You’d have to search for them but I remember having posted publicly released pre-relesae screenshots (and a URL to get much more of them) and @Grinde81 further commented and contributed with the relevant information.

So true. That’s a real immersion killer too,together with the unusual uniformity and mesh-like arrays of the light bulbs.

I strongly encourage everybody to watch those Developer Q&A streams, in particular those of you who’re doubtful as to whether the team is willing to listen to us and address the discussed issues. Every time I have watched one, I felt much more certain afterwards that things will eventually get much better.
These things take time, that’s all.


I fully agree on this, but then again there are probably reasons well beyond the insights I gained from being on the alpha, that made them take this decision.

Here’s the post regarding NDA for alpha/beta testers.

With respect of this I restrict myself to giving my opinion on what could also be learned by close inspection of the from the pre-alpha / early-alpha screenshots/videos officially released

But in this particular case, I really wished this could be more openly discussed, since early-alpha had absolutely stunning night lighting in terms of realistic visibility range and lamp textures (as can be seen in the screenshots and videos posted earlier) , and building upon this and polishing using facts / real life properties would probably have given us stunning night lighting already, both low medium high altitudes, close and far.


Yep… Before I decided to buy MSFS and watched those pre-alpha trailers etc, I said to myself “show me your night lighting then we’ll talk”.
When I saw those pre-alpha nights, I was sold. Granted, there are stuff to improve, such as window lights from buildings weren’t there etc, but the basic was solid.

But of course out of the hundreds of images and trailers, screen shots / clips that shows night lighting were only about 1-5%(?) so we don’t really remember how it looks like, unless we’re part of alpha/beta team.
Honestly after I bought MSFS, I thought the pre-update 5 night light WAS the pre-alpha night light! Just when I got engaged with this topic and it got brought up, I checked again past clips etc and yeah they’re different!

Again, i don’t understand at all the “technical side” of software development etc… But if right now they “randomize” lights, and wants to randomize lights at rural area etc… They could’ve done it right then with the pre-alpha lights? Why reducing lights visibility? Short term solution back then?

I was one of the “starter” threads about night lighting - I didn’t ask anything else at that time - why do they change something that already looked good and nobody complained about it, even in the versions we “are not allowed to talk about”.
And why is it so hard, Asobo will probably still be able to compare these versions with the versions at Asobo or the approaches of that time.
There were lots of other problems to be solved and then you change what already worked. It can only be a performance change, or an adjustment to something, they will know what they are doing, but I didn’t see any difference in the performance
I mean, it’s not a criticism and just a question - it’s easy to sit here and “criticize”, they have the work and the overview, but it’s still a legitimate question. I’m not allowed to say that in certain versions the lights weren’t stretched with the resolution, which for me personally is one of the biggest “bugs” here. With 1920x1080 it still looks usable - but with 5760x1080 it’s terribly distorted and stretched. already reported 2 times to ZenDesk. I don’t think that people with UHD, WQHD and multiple screens are a “minority” or does everyone use just a one 1920x1080 screen nowadays ?
I mean it’s a development process and certainly not easy, no question, but if 500 customers tell me (myself also working in the software business) that the other solution is better, it must make sense to me.
As I said, they will know it, but there must be a reason why it has been changed, but it doesn’t look more “realistic”!

1 Like

which filters do you are using ?

Use NVIDIA Freestyle.
Having the latest drivers, press Alt + F3 to open up the Freestyle menu.

Take a look at this post for more info:

:slight_smile: Thank you very much but, I know NVIDA Freestyle, I put it in the forum at the very beginning - I meant which FILTERS YOU use to achieve this effect - which freestyle filters exactly ? which values did you change to make it look like this ?
thank you anyway !

My bad, Freestyle is all news to me and I love it, thought it was fairly fresh :stuck_out_tongue:
I’ve been going back and forth between two presets, one “realistic” and one more “artistic” … will post some settings/examples perhaps tomorrow when getting back to the computer.

But mainly clarity and sharpness reduced, and the hdr slider as well.
Plus tuning vibrance/saturation, highlights, shadows, gamma.

1 Like

this is really awesome analysis. Thanks. Have you posted this to Zendesk. I’d bet they’d really appreciate it…

1 Like

Has anyone noticed the “Volumetric Lights” option in the useropt.cfg file? Does anyone know what it relates to in the graphics options and what it does? In mine it’s set at 0 (zero). I haven’t played with it yet.