Open letter: Re Update Process and the PC version

Hey Asobo, Everyone else and welcome to all Xbox simmers, great to have you onboard.

While SU5 introduced many great things to MSFS such as Discovery flights, Floats and ski’s, better performance (at a cost), water and tire effects its undeniable that it also introduced a great deal of changes that were never mentioned/announced and are causing issues in-game and in the community.

This is not the first time this has happened, Asobo is making a habit of not releasing full patch notes and making changes to the sim/game that were never announced and/or promised not to change.

this is where my personal problem lies with the continued development of this game, and the main subject of this post.

This letter is not to rag on Asobo, but to help them understand why a decent amount of people are unsatisfied about SU5, Feedback is more than welcome. My native language is not English, so i might make some mistakes.

1) Broken promises
Prior to the Release of SU5, Asobo in the QnA stream assured the performance updates on PC would not mean a graphics change or downgrade - they found the improvements by optimizing code.

Post Su5 Result:

  • Draw distances for terrain and LOD are a fraction of what they were beforehand unless you tweak the CFG, and even then you can’t get it where it used to be.
  • Incredibly poor ground textures when at higher altitudes.
  • Due to the shorter draw distances, you can see buildings, objects and high-res textures load-in infront of your plane. Even on airports/taxi.
  • Panning the camera, using trackir or VR shows the culling system in-use and you can visually see the terrain load-in.

Note: This comes across as incredibly untrustworthy and is a blow in the face for many PC Simmers that had a great looking sim before, something that set MSFS really apart from the competition before, VFR flying was unmatched. We still havent heard if this was an unintended consequence/bug or something they have done to merge the PC version with the Xbox version.

Let me clearly say i do not want low-end pcs to lose the ability to use the new LoD or performance settings, but allow high-end pcs to revert to how it was via an option or slider. (Slider to adjust/disable the scenery culling (reduce panning pop-in and stutters) - #83 by ChaoticSplendid)

2) Unannounced Changes / Don’t fix what aint broken

We’ve had this several times over the past few Sim-updates, where we thought we were seeing a decrease in photogrametry detail, texture resolution. This Update cranked it up to 11 and changed several things for the worst that most of us didn’t see coming or wasn’t even announced.

  • PC UI change - PC now has to use the legacy UI to use the original in-cockpit UI, however this new UI, even with all the right settings is not the same as before. The tooltips are larger, percentages and headings are missing and it doesn’t feel as snappy as it did before. Try it yourself, load up the default A320 and turn the heading knob using a scroll wheel, its nowhere near as snappy and fast as it was before. Now obviously this UI change was never announced, and to put the new controller-centric UI as the default post-SU5 on PC was mind-boggling to say the least.
  • Graphics/Post-processing completely changed - On PC the image exposure settings changed, shadows are drawn differently and a highly aggressive sharpening filter is drawn. The only way to adjust this currently is via the usercfg which is… subpar to say the least. Why was this added? the game looked fine, and even if you do add it, allow us to turn it off via the menus. (just like you did with bloom and lens correction)
  • Complete re-do of how controllers work on the PC version - its practically impossible to use an Xbox controller now for just camera operations in showcase and/or external mode.
  • Changes to how the mouse-wheel interacts with turnable knobs and trim wheels. The mouse-wheel used to be pretty much 1:1 when turning 1 click, the knob turned 1 click. Now there seems to be a disconnect/delay (again try this with the hdg knob in the default a320), when quickly scolling to change heading it starts lagging behind quickly, no more quick adjustments.

Asobo please understand that when things are liked or working properly, you should not (in my opinion) changes those around completely without the option to remain or revert back to the original method. Thats why game franchises sometimes still have (true) legacy settings that date back to the late 90’s because thats the controller layout they “used to” have. When it comes to something incredibly noticable such as graphics, they should be options/optional on PC, let people figure it out themselves.

In addition to that, why did you choose to overwrite control, ui and graphics settings by existing players? for existing players new features should be optional, not swtiched on by default.

3) Lacking Patch Notes / communication

Experienced PC development studios know, always publish good and complete patch notes, modders and users need to know all that changes to adapt their mods and/or work-around issues post-update. It also promotes transparancy and increases trust in the development process.

I find that the Patch notes, especially for SU5 are lacking tremendously in regards to everything that changed. From small ECAM changes in the default a320 to most of the items above - its just not done properly. And i would ask Asobo to look into improving patch notes.

Asobo and MS do a great job with their feedback snapshots, QnA’s on twitch… however i find that post-patch it can take weeks to get a straight answer if something changed or why it even got changed… or was it a bug? this is incredibly tiresome, especially when you create and maintain mods.

4) Update process

Ill keep this short and sweet

Please for the love of all that is good, improve the patch download and installation process its a pain in the backside :slight_smile:

Closing note:

I’m not the best at writing, and i feel there is a huge disconnect with how i feel and what i want to put down on “paper”, this is not me being salty, hateful… i just really want Asobo to know where they can improve as they are probably all really doing their best.

And please no hate towards Xbox players, its not their fault either. Feedback is welcome, and ill gladly update and add to the post with proper feedback.

Notable Comments (Edit 2, 3,4 or 5 losing track :stuck_out_tongue: )

I thought i’d dedicate this section about notable comments, written by some of the posters here that i fully support:


Totally agree, this update is absolutely awful for all PC users with decent systems. We need personalized settings for PC users so we can adjust the graphics quality to suit our systems.


This is exactly what needs to be put under the eyes of the management team.

A reasonable statement. Well said.


I agree with petty much everything here.

Here’s something that’s just popped into my mind. Maybe the reality is, the overlords (e.g. Microsoft) are in this for the money. It’s a business, so fair enough. Maybe they’ve got the bulk of the income they’ll get from PC users already from the actual sim purchases (e.g. perhaps the majority of PC users who were ever going to buy the sim have already done so, so diminishing returns etc). Whereas opening up to Xbox brings a whole new wad of cash in, I’m guessing.

Which makes me think they really just don’t care about us PC users particularly any more? We’ve served out purpose - provided them with a ton of cash and Alpha/Beta tested it for the the Xbox users (and fair play to the Xbox users - it’s amazing something like this is available on a console and welcome to the party). Awesome business decision when you think about it - let’s get beta testers to PAY to test the product for us, then dumb it down (from the previous PC version) for a completely different audience. Sure, they’ll get their cut from the add-on marketplace, but once we’ve bought the sim, we’ve bought it, so there’s no real money in it for them to improve it for us.

This is the only real explanation I can come up with for us PC users to get basically completely shafted in this way.


well said - completely agree.


I wish they would give us back the original version after sanding the edges and fixing the most important bugs, and then working with both PC and Xbox versions separately.


I confirm what was said MSGX88. I could not say it better.


There’s nothing wrong with this version - why is it running near-perfect for me? Admittedly, A.I. Assist is still borked (it’s always been borked and it still is now), but performance-wise, after both SU5 and its Hotfix yesterday, I’m genuinely not seeing any issues at all.

I look at these huge ‘open letters to Asobo’ and I wonder what they’re for. Sim’s running great for me.


What exactly is your point? Just because it is fine for you, doesn’t mean it is fine for everyone else. I am glad eveything works out for you, but for many, many other users the sim now isn’t the sim we used to have in terms of visual fidelity and various other things.

Saying “it runs perfect for me, so whats the problem?” does sound quite arrogant in my opinion.


Agree 100% with the OP… The draw distance and pop-ins have ruined the experience for me.


Great stuff OP - well formulated letter. 100% agree with the points raised.


Well-written. Asobo did some amazing things with this update, but there is still lots of fine-tuning that needs to be done, especially on the PC version. It was also somewhat overpromised, as their claims that there would be no visual degradation seemed to be very much definitive.

The ability to make finer adjustments of the visuals has been sorely needed since launch (like the sharpening filter you mentioned), and I hope they will listen to our requests. We do not need to direct hate to the Xbox version and its players.

They explicitly said in an interview that they wanted to work with the PC community in order to let us influence the simulator’s development for about one year before they release the Xbox version. So what you said might partially be true, but I don’t think they’ve stopped caring for us. Releasing to the Xbox was important because it will help keep the hobby alive and will provide more funding for further development, but they’ve still got a long roadmap ahead, including many PC-specific features.


Heya People no need to go over who is right or wrong.

This topic was made with the intention to help Asobo improve.

From the OT i mainly kept it to things that have changed (factual).

The point is to get Asobo to communicate better, think carefully before they make changes and add options for pc users to turn on/off settings instead of it being mandatory.

Thanks for the feedback so far


Writing an overlong, self-indulgent ‘open letter to Asobo’ seems far more arrogant to me, TBH. Still we’re all entitled to our opinions. Speaking of which, in my opinion the sim is running better than it ever has, to date. I’d like a few tweaks here and there, but I’m pretty happy with the direction the sim is going in. I won’t be writing a self-important ‘open letter to Asobo’ any time soon.


Agreed I have a top end powerhouse of a pc, and my experience has downgraded considerably, from release date on 20th August to now, it’s not the same simulator,

And SU5 being the biggest downgrade for me, seriously considering reinstalling my old sims now and throwing in the towel


Probably because you never played it at the highest level at max Ultra in 4K.


I agree with MSGX88 as well. For English not being your native language you said it very well. As for CalUKGR, I also agree with you in terms of how good it worked after the hotfix. I managed a couple of flights from Sunshine Coast, Queensland to Tamworth, NSW in the CRJ700 and then from Tamworth to Sydney at night and it was really great. The graphics even were more realistic than the previous version. I had a break and came back and ever since when I load a flight I get a CTD. So the hotfix only worked for a little while. It has reverted back to the sham of an update we are calling SU5. Maybe we should call this update Covid Delta SU5

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I completely understand that not everybody sees it the same way, and not everybody sees eye to eye on some of the issues/downgrades. But if somebody feels that their sim of choice is heading the wrong way, then they have the right to express that freely, as long as it is in a constructive and non-toxic way. I’m pretty sure we agree on this and I also respect your point of view.


Really? That’s the only explanation you could find? Not that they had to crunch in order to release on consoles and they didn’t really have enough time to separate the two builds? Because that seems way more likely to me.

They themselves have said that they had to make many changes on a rolling basis as explanation to why patch notes are not more complete. This seems as if they didn’t have much time to spare no?

If they didn’t have enough time to do proper release notes it sure seems to me that the focus was the xbox release primarily, and any more permanent changes they have to make in order to split the builds pc and xbox had to be put on the back burner.

After all, splitting the builds can come later, getting a game ready for debut, much less so.


2 years isn’t enough time? This just reinforces the theory that it’s all financial.Which is understandable - as I keep mentioning, it’s a business.