Realistic Up and Downdraft option

As this thread was closed you can now leave a vote and comment at the wishlist thread above. Thanks everybody.

Original Post:

In the last Q&A on Youtube (Developer Q&A Twitch Series: Top Community Question [01.27.21])
Sebastian stated (at 10:30) that the up/downdrafts are limited because ‘‘people wouldn’t know why they are shaken around’’ and ‘‘people wouldn’t know why they are going upwards on a final’’

Having an option for realistic up and down draft would be a very nice feature.
People who want to have an easy flight could still leave it disabled.

In my opinion, forcing everybody to use the current reduced and limited version is not the right way and takes a lot away from the whole experience of realistic flying.

(Also the current glider mods could benefit from that)


Option: enable/disable realistic up and downdrafts

Full part of the interview:
how about upward downward drafts and currents?

…as this is something that was really new,
there’s just a limit to the effect
so in video I showed it can build up to 1000 feet per minute.

if you look at some extreme weather on the internet you can see that updrafts they can
reach 10000 feet per minute

so we have limited it, but when we get better we will unlock this further.
But currently if you start with a light plane and you get a 10000 feet per minute updraft
you would just not understand what is going on, it would look like a leaf.

this is something which we keep improving but also I think we need to add more systems
where people will understand why they’re just getting shaking around.

One thing we were doing during the alpha is that this was much stronger
I think updrafts were limited to 4 or 5 thousand and some people didn’t understand
why on final they were just going upwards and it’s because they were on a hill and
the wind was blowing them.

Question for the next Q&A:
Are there other reasons for the up/down draft and thermal limits besides ‘‘people didn’t understand’’ and ‘‘we need more systems to make it more understandable’’ ?

Is it possible to make the limit just optional / limit slider?

That’s like saying, we will make all the Clouds semi-transparent, because people will not be able to understand why they cannot see the ground when they are in a cloud !!


At the same time, people shouldn’t buy a simulator and expect an arcade game… especially when it is called Flight Simulator.

I say bring on the realism! Force everyone onto a level playing field. Otherwise, what is the point of buying a simulator if developers keep tailoring them for arcade gamers. As if sim options aren’t slim already…


‘‘Leave no pilot behind’’ does mean even people with no idea about aviation should be able to fly the sim,
but it also should mean: people with the knowledge can use the full possible realistic range of the sim

otherwise you leave these people behind.

ultimately making realistic up and down drafts as an option possible would be the best solution for all. Nobody gets hurt and it would bring a lot of fun to the sim.

Having to manage the up and down drafts (and maybe even thermals?) are a big part of the whole experience.

(don’t forget to vote if you agree)


And by extension “leave nobody interested in medicine behind” means people with no idea about medicine should be able to do brain surgery.

Guess what !! Some things you may have to put some “WORK” into, to be able to do them !!

It was my opinion.
But still people should buy an arcade game if they want an arcade game - and vice versa.
A good example is my friend, he got MSFS expecting planes to fly on rails, dogfighting, and everything to do mach-4 into orbit. He does not want to learn even if it is the basics tasks, yet blames MSFS for everything… he should be playing War Thunder in my opinion.

I have nothing against the flexible gameplay style that MSFS offers. Even if you aren’t into the in-depth flight models, the scenery can be breathtaking if you simply want to explore with a friend.

I have not tried it but does Legacy Flight Model reduce things like you say?


Yes Sebastian, the CEO from Asobo, stated in the latest Q&A (you can watch it on youtube on the official channel, starts at 10:30) that they had to reduce it/ can’t give the full range of up/downdrafts because they believe people wouldn’t understand why they get shaken around.

Which I believe is not the right decision, they should leave to everybody if they can handle the realism or not. That’s why I made this thread, maybe they can make it at least optional.

I noticed the very weak/limited updrafts in a glider mod. Almost impossible to get uplift. Thermals are missing completely I guess.


Yeah, they should have just include realistic drafts and such under Modern and less or disabled under Legacy in the Flight Model options.
Instead of just settling in the middle - which is what you was saying if I understood correctly.

Yup, no thermals for a year+ if ever. You have to use the updrafts on slopes and such to obtain lift, which works.

1 Like

Yes. I agree there should be a way to disable this. That is the whole point of the different settings. There are many things that have an easy mode setting all the way up to full realistic mode. Things like turbulence and thermals could be off in the easy modes and turned up in the more realistic modes.


They’ve made similar remarks about other aspects of the sim. I really wish they would change their mindset. The default should be to have everything as realistic as possible. Controls could be included to make it less realistic for anyone who wants to use them.

An initial onboarding routine when installing the sim could ask the user to specify what level of realism they want.


And what do you think that approach would do to the price of the sim. Not to mention the likelihood that it would continue to be supported by MS and Asobo for many years to come?
It’s best for everybody if as many people as possible can get enjoyment out of the same sim.

The proper solution would be a general “Realism” slider with steps from “Arcade” through “Easy”, “Medium”, “Hard” to “Full”. And there should be sub-parameters for the various simulation aspects, enabling you to make a “Custom” setup.

In short, something like the graphics settings where you select “Low” or “Ultra” or anything in between for a sensible starting point for your hardware setup.

Every racing sim that I’ve tried, had a Realism slider, because it’s extremely demanding to keep a realistically simulated racer on the road.

No need or desire to argue opinions… afterall, everyone has one.

Just saying, if you want a 4-door 4x4 diesel pickup truck with a towing package to haul your toys around, don’t buy a Smart car.
It’s common or “uncommon” sense.

Assuming they have realistic updrafts and downdrafts. Would love to be proven wrong, but I don’t buy that they’re withholding a well implemented feature merely to appease the newbs. The state of the rest of the weather engine should make that apparent.

If they put in a toggle switch, it may not be the newbs and arcade flyers that are most often turning it off.

It might be more productive to instead ask them to dedicate a team to continued development of the weather engine (or expand it if that’s already the case). What other upcoming features are you willing to give up or delay in order to pull the needed developers though?

Sorry for the departure from the original topic, and I voted for the feature, but I think we’re asking for a light switch here while the wiring in the wall is bad.

1 Like

(I’ve just added the full interview part into the first original post.)

While the up/downdrafts are noticeable, they feel really weak, even with the strongest wind setting.
I’m no expert, so how should an updraft with 1000 feet per minute look like?
When I’m flying an glider mod it’s impossible to gain some height with the current updrafts.

… and that’s exactly what’s missing right now, getting some possible strong updrafts to get upwards.

So again, killing this feature, because some people couldn’t understand it, is just not the right solution.
Please make it optional.

I might just create a thousand logins just to help vote this up!

Asobo! Stop dumbing down the simulator! If you have the capability to bring true to life realism, DO IT! Just put in a realism slider (novice, intermediate, pro) that would affect things like this.


Hello everyone,

Interesting topic, thanks for openning that up!
As Sebastian mentionned in the Q&A, this will be improved.

As any modifications, the team wants to do it properly for everyone. We know that some of you understand quite well the principles of aerodynalics and the will is to unlock this in the future.


I think a very high updraft close to ground is not possible. At the ground air comes in from the sides and warms up and then builds a bublle that might start ascending - the higher ut the higher speeds. Normal thermals could be 1000 to 5000 feet per minut perhaps at 3000 feet elevation. Inside clouds much higher. They usually have downdrafts as well.

I think the sim needs a more accurate simulation of weather local to the aircraft . Obviously it can not simulate all thermals in an region - but the air the aircraft flies into should be more accurately simulated

1 Like

As appears to have been adopted with the other flying assists, my view is that the devs should strive for the ultimate in realism and then, if necessary, offer an assist(s) to make it more flyable for anyone that needs it.

This thread appears to be suggesting the opposite, in that we should add an option(s), to a less realistic model, to make it more realistic. OK, I’m splitting hairs a little, but consistency of design will make for a far more sensible and understandable UI.

I created this thread for the opposite, more realism / unrestricted Options. The current model is the less realistic or more restricted one.

A few people couldn’t understand or handle stronger up and downdrafts, that’s why asobo made a limit to that effect. My suggestion was to make an unrestricted option for the people who want to have more realism.

One thing I’d like to see, in updrafts, and in the weather in general, is a degree of randomness. If you talk to glider pilots, they’ll tell you there are kinds of things that can cause updrafts, some man-made, some natural. But very often, they have no idea what is causing the updraft. It’s great that Asobo are creating updrafts where they should exist, on hills, etc. but it would be good to add a degree of random turblence to the weather, too, per the buttefly effect.