Were the stunning visuals a HUGE trade off for everything else?

I fell in love with the stunning visuals seconds after loading my first flight. I literally mean before I ever took off! As I life long and avid fan of Microsoft Flight Simulator who still owns every version of flight simulator every released, the one thing that I’ve always dreamed of, was realistic scenery. And now, thanks to technological advancements in computing, that dream has finally been realized.

But was there a huge trade off made in order to deliver the stunning visuals that FS2020 has given us? I say, yes.

Before I continue, let me preface the following by stating that I am well aware that shortcomings and bugs are by no means uncommon in initial releases, and that I for one understand this and call for patience and “CONTSRUCTIVE” criticism whilst we await the patches, fixes, updates that are sure to follow.

To continue, below is a list of items that I feel need the most attention “right now”, and again, it is intended to be constructive and helpful.

  1. Flight Model, Flight Model, Flight Model: Simply put, most of the airplanes are almost impossible to control, and leave you so busy trying to fly the plane, that there’s no time to enjoy the scenery. On take off, the planes want to lift off before reaching takeoff speed (adjusting trim doesn’t help). If you somehow manage to survive the take off and make it to cruise altitude, you are now faced with annoyingly unending Pitch, Roll and Yaw oscillations.
  2. AutoPilots: too much to mention here, but I’ll capture a few: the AP is constantly “chasing” the assigned headings and altitudes when LNAV anf VNAV are turned on, AP doesn’t follow flight plan, AP pitch, roll and yaw oscillations during approach, etc…
  3. User interface: Ability to change planes without having to quit to main menu, Instant Replay feature, Ability to change seasons.

Lastly, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that fixes for some of the items that I mentioned above, are already in the works. If so, please hurry. With that said, the most common issue at hand comes to mind, "Why was it released in such an incomplete state?


^ What he said.


I am pretty sure that they simply ran out of time to implement all their ideas by release date (so basically like every other software project ever) and decided to focus on the graphics and the ability to fly over your house, i.e. the things that get Joe Sixpack* to buy a flight simulator. I really hope they follow this up by finishing all the stuff you mentioned (and they themselves in their YouTube videos), and maybe, pretty-please-with-cherry-on-top, teach the ATC to vector you in and be aware of the terrain.

* And by “Joe Sixpack” I basically mean myself. I only got X-Plane like two months ago after getting a joystick for the really important flight simulator of 2020 (Star Wars Squadrons :grimacing:) and wanting to use it for something.


Clearly, developing the world engine was top priority. I don’t fault them on this - it’s what makes this a next generation platform and separates it from XPlane or FSX. I don’t fault them on the default aircraft being simplified either; the door’s open to 3rd party developers.

But it’s rougher around the edges than it should have been for release. Just have to see what the next month or so looks like with what all gets rolled out for updates and at what frequency.


Releases will be on a monthly cadence going forward with the first two detailed for September (World update) and October (VR). Check out this excellent interview with Jorg Neuman on YT. Lots a great information here.


Strange, all aircrafts are perfectly easy to control on my end, the flight model seems realistic and comparable to the real thing. Flying isn’t always smooth, it’s perfectly normal to reajust your trim.

I agree with you on the buggy AP and the user inferface though.


Oh wow, monthly now instead of every 2 or 3. That’s really good!


same even the AP is overall doing well for me

1 Like

I don’t think a plane realistically is supposed to be perfectly steady in the air and constant slight deviations is more realistic.

I’ve personally only flown a plane once, in a Cessna 172 and I was constantly reaching for the trim wheel throughout the flight, so maybe what you think is a bad flight model, is simply a more realistic flight model than what you’re used to in other sims?


Sounds to me that your controllers are too sensitive. Try reducing the sensitivity and try adding a little bit of dead zone - that helped me out immensely, and initially I was having the same exact issues you mention here. Once I set the sensitivity to -50 and set a dead zone (on all axes), the simulation smoothed out considerably. I still have a twitchy throttle (it tends to move on its own, forward then back - probably because I have a really old joystick I’m currently using), but other than that, I’m pretty happy, after I made these changes.


In a word: NO.

Just flew the 747 out of SFO to 36000 feet using the AP for takeoff and flight control, and while it’s not “PMDG Complete,” neither is it rife with hitches and glitches and bugs. I’m running an 8 year old computer, and it runs fine.

I have a strong feeling there’s plenty more work planned for the AP and FMC and PFDs on all the airliners. There are lots of little things that can be remedied easily over time.

The emphasis on stability is HUGE. I’m not from MS, but I’d also recommend getting it through the Windows Store. I’ve had not a few problems dealing with flight sim stuff purchased through Steam; the fact that MSFS2020 is so closely coupled to the Windows OS on the PC means you’re best off limiting the number of intermediaries involved, especially for factors like streaming and network performance.

1 Like

I know there are a bunch of self-designated experts who claim the controls are too sensitive (many of them of course citing real world XP, as usual), but I think MSFS2020’s flight model is significantly superior to the ones in FSX/P3D and XPlane11, in terms of feel and realism. Especially the Pitts and Extra are great fun to fly in windy, or mountainous areas, you get a real hang-glider-like feel while doing so.

Don’t care what anyone argues re: realism; it’s the feel that counts, and these feel great! Try flying out of Telluride sometime! :wink:


Thanks for the input “Joe SixPack”. LOL

I am sure you had all assistances disabled. You trimmed your AC for takeoff, you did not have head wind, your joystick was calibrated. Right? I haven’t felt that my airplanes took off that easily as you mention, But I was flying with a friend yesterday and his planes looked like helicopters, he could takeoff in 2 meters and he could climb like crazy. He had assistances enabled. My statement was based on GA planes like the 152 and the Cubs, they felt really well, but I understand that experience might vary and something else might be going on behind the scenes. Something cool I noticed is that the plane gets really influenced by barometric altitud (on performance), and the head/cross winds. The 152 takes off at 50 KIAS, so imagine if I have a little head wind, you can take off really easily. Whats more, if you fly in places with some wind, the plane really feels it, it is really sensitive to wind, and that I believe is OK, the maximum maneuvering speed for the 152 is around 104 KIAS, you are basically a paper plane in the air. Cheers mate

1 Like

Yes it is strange. Admittedly, I have my settings set for max realism, but that shouldn’t dumb the planes down to where they become un-flyable.

Right, but “slight deviations” are completely different from un-flyable.

I also want to emphazise on your third point “User Interface”

If there was something I loved about FS9 and FSX it was the ability to manipulate everything while the simulation was running. Sure you can change time, weather, fuel, payload (though without CG visualisation unlike in the map menu.)
But to change your plane or make a new flight plan, you have to end the simulation (maybe I’m just blind, correct me if I’m wrong) while in the older titles you could do this on the fly… no pun intended.

That’s something they might want to take into consideration in future updates. Streamlining the accessibility. I still find myself pressing Left Alt out of old habit which brings in the small menu bar on the top of the screen. Old habits :wink:


I bought the most expensive package. I knew full well going in, never playing the game a day before launch, that the default stuff would not be great. I knew it would be enjoyable to hold me over until real companies came in such as A2A and PMDG. Those were my two favorites for P3D.

I started to sim on FSX but quickly upgraded to P3Dv3. I went to v4 and up to v4.5. I only flew PMDG and had tons of payware airports and ORBX scenery. I hardly wanted to fly my A2A C172 because it still looked horrid.

So yeah, this amazing sim, is worth every penny and the best base product we could ask for. They plan to continue updates and due to the nature of the scenery, all default scenery should remain current as time progresses. I’m sure the AI will only improve from here. Then companies like ORBX can hand craft areas where the AI doesn’t do a 100% job on it.

The flight model is fun enough for default planes. Probably some of the best default planes I’ve experienced. Some are less fun than others. Auto pilot functions on basic GA aircraft work fine. Such as heading, navigation, V/S, FLC. Sometimes it messes up and airliners are not fun for sure.

There are seriously some people on here who expected 144 frames or more and perfection in everywhere they went. Ha…I was lucky play P3D with all the third party addons for 30 frames. I can get 60 out of this sim even on high.

There are a ton of threads out there and I mostly ignore them. I will continue to ignore them. Just finally saying my piece on one of hundreds. Between here and steam there are a ton.

The sim is a platform where companies can dedicate themselves to their own craft. A2A for GA, PMDG for Boeing, ORBX for scenery, ETC…Most of us who have been simming for a long time understand that. The entitled and impatient do not.


My theory for the “why was it released now?” thing is that they didn’t want to release it once the seasons changed over to autumn or winter, because that data just isn’t there (yet?). If they released it in winter, when we’re used to seeing trees without leaves and a generally brown and grey environment, then the summertime greenery would stand out like a sore thumb for those of us in temperate regions


“The sim is a platform”
The problems with the AP do not seem to be aircraft specific. ATC doesn’t work properly (and functionally hasn’t changed since FS9, 16 years ago). Live air traffic isn’t working properly. The lack of lessons and documentation in the base game is really unforgivable considering that this is meant to be positioned towards the casual simmer who might want to learn how to use these planes. People are having trouble with control peripherals not working correctly, including some really common ones like the Saitek X52. Performance issues abound, some of us getting stutters that make the game unusable at times, and the engine itself seems to not be able to take advantage of even fast single thread performance.

As a platform alone, this is not a good start.