[READ THIS] PC Crash Troubleshooting Suggestions

I just wanted to add to this when it comes to the PC side of things.

MSFS has gotten to a very stable state compared to what it was at launch. The first 6 months or so, we would see a good bit of crashes just due to the software. Asobo has done a very good job of tracking down the causes of most of those early crashes and has resolved them for the most part.

PC’s by their nature are not spec systems like gaming consoles. There is a myriad of different hardware configurations, installed software, drivers, updates, etc. etc. As a result, you will often see 9 people have no problems with a certain combination of software, then the last person will have ongoing problems. It is part of the experience with gaming on a PC and it is something that everyone needs to accept. Sometimes there is nobody to blame when things go wrong. It just is what it is.

The overwhelming majority of crashes that we see nowadays at support are just due to third party software and/or add on mods. By this, I mean add on mods from sites such as flightsim.to or third party software like (just using as examples) Navigraph, GSX Pro, FSRealistic, Fenix A320, FSLTL, FBW A32NX etc - none of this software by itself will cause crashes, but running them all concurrently with MSFS can just overload the system. These types of crashes usually occur once you are in flight or when you are loading into a flight. Sometimes they will occur upon MSFS launch, but only rarely. If you crash during a flight, then it is almost assuredly due to mods, third party software designed to be used with MSFS, or overclocking or process management software. MSFS will push your hardware, so overclock settings that work for other software will often times be too much for your PC when MSFS is in use. These types of crashes will show as a Flightsimulator.exe fault in the crash reports. This fault (in layman’s terms) is just MSFS saying “I need the CPU now…what’s that? The CPU is busy with all of the other processes at the moment? But I NEED the CPU now, or else…OK fine I quit!”.

There has now been over thirty sim and world updates combined for MSFS. This is important, because anytime software changes there can be conflict. Any change to hardware or software on a PC can cause a ripple effect. If you run into any issues, start working backwards to try and determine the cause of the problems.

Mods - If mods or software that are used concurrently with MSFS are not made compatible, then this can and will cause conflicts. These conflicts will not occur at a 100% rate across the board for all users. Every PC has different specifications, different installed software, different driver versions, etc. This can (and often does) result in a crash for one person from a particular mod that will not affect other people. Older mods in particular will have a higher instance of conflict just because they were developed for an older version of the sim. Even mods that seem innocuous like a livery can cause problems. If you installed a livery mod back in 2020, it can suddenly cause a problem today. “But I never had these problems while using mods in FSX, XPlane, etc” - these pieces of software did not have over 30 updates in less than 4 years, so this is not directly comparable. While we are at it - those 30 updates were all FREE with plenty of updated scenery, new airports, and new aircraft (Game of the Year and 40th Anniversary editions).

Third party software - what we usually see is not any one piece of added software causing problems, but usually it is just the sheer abundance of third party software running concurrently with MSFS just overloads the CPU. MSFS is already a resource intensive application, but then if you add 5-10 instances of other software running alongside MSFS, then there will be bottlenecks that will result in crashes. If you are using more complex aircraft in the sim such as the Fenix A320 or PMDG 737, then these bottlenecks will be magnified since these aircraft will put a PC under a bit more strain than another aircraft such as a Cessna 152.

SU15 - so far, we are seeing very positive results from this update (myself included). The way that memory was handled within the sim while using third party software was changed.

Things that you can do on your end. Make sure that you always have the latest version of any third party software installed. If you start noticing any problems occurring, reinstall everything clean. This is generally enough to resolve any problems. Limit the use of additional software in use if you start having problems. If you don’t need it for this flight, don’t use it. If you do need it, then understand that each additional process added to go alongside MSFS increases the chance for problems as well. Limit variables when you can! DO NOT OVERCLOCK. MSFS is going to push your system close to it’s limits even at normal clock speed. Overclocking components is just asking for problems. It does not matter that you can use 10 other games without problems. GTA, Red Dead, etc. operate in a closed environment. MSFS operated on a global scale literally! Throw in flight modelling, fully developed avionics, 3D models of aircraft, converting Bing scenery and TIN date to 3D scenery…these are a LOT to ask of a PC, so MSFS just is not directly comparable to any other software. DON’T OVERCLOCK. Another good practice to get into is to reinstall Windows fresh ever year or two. This should get rid of any bad links or small corruption within the OS and installed software and almost always results in a system running closer to it’s optimized level. Sometimes you may need to sacrifice running software alongside MSFS.

Crashes at launch. These usually occur during launch are often caused by conflicting drivers, profile problems, missing updates, overclocking of RAM/CPU/GPU, conflicting software, etc.

I’ll probably add more to this later. I just wanted to give a general overview of the causes of crashes that we see at MSFS Support.