Reflections look grainy, even if reflections are on ultra


I’ve tried turning off the ‘film grain’ in the UserCFG.opt file - that hasn’t helped.

What on Earth is causing this horrible effect that utterly destroys the clarity and readability of the gauges and causes distracting effects on the windshield and cowling?

The bottom of the fuel gauge doesn’t have this effect yet (sun shine?) and it’s crystal clear, but this grainy film just washes over everything and because it’s static and the cockpit moves, it creates this moire effect that is utterly distracting, ugly and make the gauges unreadable.


Here it is washing over the GPS screen.

Do you have any add-ons in your Community folder? If yes, please remove and retest before posting.
Are you using Developer Mode or made changes in it?
Brief description of the issue:
Pixelated clouds are a well-known issue meanwhile and has been reported by many players (including myself) so far. But pixelated sunlight on the windshield seems to be a new bug/issue to me.

That’s not pixelated sunlight. It’s a reflection coming from the reflection of your dashboard. So the light rays are polarised depending on the materials of the dashboard. If it’s made from a grainy leather texture, then the reflected sunlight would be grainy as well. Then it gets reflected back to your eyes from the smooth glass surface.

Try to go to your MSFS installation folder and look for the UserCfg.opt file. Open it using notepad and search for FilmGrain 1. Change it to 0 and save it.

You can’t make any graphics changes in the sim anymore after this. Otherwise it’ll reset the film grain options and you have to look for the files and change it back to 0 again.

See kf this works.

1 Like

It seems to me that you are not using any anti-aliasing method. Unfortunately, TAA is rather mandatory because it helps denoise reflections, shadows and ambient occlusion. It’s not perfect, and the denoising has gotten a little worse with a more recent patch, but it should look a lot better than without it.

What’s more distracting is that “horizon line” going through the the screen about 1/4 length from top on your screenshot. I’ve reported that on launch day and they never fixed it. It seems to happen when flying through misty days .

1 Like

There is a separate thread about the horizon line bug. According to the Feedback Snapshot they haven’t started working on it yet though.

1 Like

Sounds good your explanation but unfortunately I have never seen any sun reflections like that in a car for example. So it does not look realistic to me at all…

1 Like

Grainy reflections is a known issue and will be fixed with DirectX 12 (Summer 2021). It’s useless to fiddle with various settings and configuration files because this is a known issue and will be fixed.

I agree, But there must be some sort of solution, because it doesn’t happen to most people(even with top end hardware)

I don’t know if you actually read my post, but I already said that I had turned ‘film grain’ to off, and it makes zero difference.

Are there some NVidia settings I’m supposed to change then?

Has anyone found a way to possibly improve it? maybe a graphics setting?
Also, does anyone think it will be fixed in sim update 3?

Initially they said that this will be fixed with DirectX 12, but for a while its release has been set to TBD.

Sebastian’s answer in the latest Q&A seemed to suggest that the solution to the grain is ray-tracing.


Yes that’s exactly right. Direct12 support in the summer initially I think is a like for like feature set. I don’t think anything new will be introduced in the initial version like ray tracing as it will not be in the Xbox version which this is based on.

Of course we’ll have to wait and see but that’s my understanding. So TBD is exactly right, who knows when reflections will be fixed. Certainly there are a lot of issues with reflections so it will be a much appreciated update and I’m kind of hoping some of the existing bugs do get resolved beforehand like the ‘floating bridges’ effect you get over water.


Only fixed with ray tracing? Omg…so we will have no more grainy reflections, but 30 fps less.
Well…maybe, at least, directX12 will optimizes CPU cores and thread to be used by system (I hope).

I’m not sure if ray-tracing will be the only solution, but with Sebastian’s answer it sure sounded like it. When explaining the benefits of ray-tracing, he said “you will see less grain in the reflections”.

I’ve seen much better screen-space reflections in other games so I hope they will take some steps to improve those too. Today’s hardware is still not very good at ray-tracing, we will need at least one or two more generations of GPUs to handle ray-tracing without upscaling being necessary.

1 Like

Hello everyone,
I was wondering why this problem doesn’t occur on all systems, so I thought it maybe has something to do with the version of windows 10 we are using.
It would be much appreciated if everyone could say which version they are on, many thanks.

I’m on 20H2

Yes, I know that, but It doesn not occur on all systems, regardless of settings. Windows version is one of the things which may vary accross systems.

Actually you see less grain when setting the Reflections and other settings to a higher one. At Low there are fewer samples and they are further spread apart. It is also influenced by resolution/render scaling (the higher the better), and of course TAA which is necessary to help denoise reflections, shadows, ambient occlusion and clouds.

So to reduce the grain in the reflections as much as possible, set Reflections to Ultra, keep TAA on, and set the resolution or render scaling as high as it can go. Disabling the sharpening filter can help make the grain less obvious too.

This thread is about the grainy reflections though. The one for the pixelated/grainy clouds is that one.