What a disappointment

This hurts me to write as a long time enthusiast of the MSFS series. Growing up, I played countless of hours in the 2004 edition and FSX. In anticipation of this game’s release, I built a powerful modern PC was kept very up to date on development progress. From the first launch of the game was let down and it frustrates me to no end that this game keeps getting rave reviews, as beautiful as this game is. After about 20 hours of game time, I’d love to see Asobo start working towards fulfilling the potential. I am a private pilot, instrument rated and tailwheel/complex/high performance endorsed with hundreds of hours on the G1000 (which is important for my expectations for the avionics) and maybe my expectations were a little too high.

The good-
This game is absolutely beautiful. It deserves all of the praise it is receiving for its graphical fidelity in my opinion.

The game is fun for off-the-cuff shenanigans.

This game is likely to be relevant for years, and improving hardware will improve the experience available in MSFS2020 over time.

The physics models seem to be generally pretty good.

The sound design is good, being able to hear when the fuel ignites in turbine engines with the tell-tale little “puff”

The bad-

Too many switches in aircraft are “inop”. I understand that there is no need to simulate every single switch in every single airplane, but come on. In example, the Baro knob to adjust the PFD altimeter setting on the King Air 350 is inop, so realistic IFR flying is less immersive.

Enough has been said about the load times. I have the game on a blazing fast NVME SSD on PCIe 4.0 and the game still takes forever to load just into the main menu.

Engine parameters seem to be off on a lot of the aircraft. In example, at cruise the Citation Longitude sucks down a total of about 2400lbs/hour (the flow meter show this units of lbs/minute, which is a bit ridiculous on its own). This gives the plane only about 2.5-3 hours endurance, not the 7 hours endurance touted by the spec sheet in game. None of the turboprops seem to behave correctly, and it takes almost full power to get the DA-62 to start moving.

The air traffic control was more life-like in FSX in a lot of regards. In this game, approach controllers do not clear you for an instrument approach as they do in real life. Instead, the tower controller issues the approach clearance and landing clearance, another deviation from true immersion.

The taxiways at most airports are not named as they are in real life. The taxi guide ribbon helps make this forgivable, but FSX and X-plane 11 were able to get the identifiers as they were in real life. This makes my real life taxi diagrams useless for this game and I don’t understand why we took a step backwards here.

The autopilots often do a very bizarre oscillation when leveling off at any altitude from either flight level change or vertical speed mode.

The ugly-

The avionics are atrocious. The G1000 has been around since 2006, and a $9 app on iOS blows MSFS 2020 away as far as realism goes. I don’t think that there is an excuse for this. Most of the MFD pages are not implemented, and many soft key options are not simulated. The Garmin suites in game also suffer from the same problem as every other plane in the game—

The leg sequencing is awful. A total step backwards from X-plane 11, even. I am a nerd for aviation, and I like to do trips hard IFR. Often this means managing the navigation sequence. When activation an instrument approach, the FMS likes to have the airplane turn around, fly to the last way point that I passed, and then start a new leg to the first way point on the procedure. The FMS won’t allow the user to activate a leg from present position, either. It leaves me having to use the heading bug to try and brute force your way through the approach.

The optimization is just bad. When starting a flight, the game utilizes all the horsepower provided to it. After leveling off, it seems that the GPU slows down as the graphics are less difficult to render. Fine. But on approach, the GPU never ramps back up to 100% leaving the game stuttering and sputtering at 6-7 frames per second and the game becomes more graphically demanding again.

The conclusion-

After the way this game was marketed to aviation enthusiasts I cannot help but feel let down. Instead, this $120 program I bought is a tech demo. I feel Asobo wanted to show off their ability to recreate the world in game. This seems justified and they did a great job in that regard. But this is still far from a flight simulator and its going to take some serious effort to keep the aviation community engaged, as X-plane 11 still offer more realistic aircraft behavior. I really want to see some of the problems listed get better but I’m so let down that I’m back to waiting and hoping that Asobo wants to finish making the game a flight simulator, and not leave it as an expensive alternative to Google Earth.


Well…ive been flying for 20hrs also and its by far the most entertaining piece of software I’ve ever used, within the genre.

I’ve just landed on an ILS in Edinburgh using the Beechcraft Bonanza. The sun was setting, I desended through amazing clouds, with the sun glistening off the water as I made my way down the glide slope.

I’ve only got an i7 laptop and GTX 1060. But it held 30 FPS. I could never have done this in FSX and pretty much, had retired from flight simulation, until now…

I’m sure there are elements others are not impressed with. But as a base package goes. Im lost for words.


There are moments where I feel like I’m actually back in the plane, and not just playing a video game. I’ve never experienced that from a flight simulator until now. I agree this thing was released prematurely and needs a lot of work. But “far from a flight simulator” is the subjective opinion of one pilot, and not the “aviation community”. Because of a lot of other pilots are already digging what this thing can do.


Since you’ve played “countless hours” on FS2004 and FSX, maybe you should realize that this offers, out of the box (in quantity, quality, and features), much more than those two combined, and you can probably add to that combination every other sim in the market.

the whole complaint about inop switches or the childish out-of-place comparison with smartphone apps tells me that we’re looking at another case of unrealistic expectations with someone who wanted $90 study-level aircraft included in the base game, which isn’t going to happen.

This is when fully unrealistic expectations for a super-complex product and completely irrational rose-tinted glasses when considering competing products and predecessors’ state and features out of the box causes just another whinethread that is completely out of touch with reality.

You can boast whatever you like about “real world pilot whatever” (when this kind of thread comes up, it appears that pilot licenses just pop out of nowhere), but you don’t seem to be very much in touch with what a flight simulator actually is, especially out of the box.

No. It isn’t. This is certainly a flight simulator, and pretty literally the best and most accomplished released in the history of the genre out of the box, not by a small margin.


Fair critiques from the OP but as many have said before, why good does it do for any of us to relive the past.

We all know this was a far from baked sim. It’s sad.

But, now it’s up to asobo to fix things and make it as it should be.


Yep, I think you expected too much too soon. It sounds to me like you might be more happy with Prepared 3D or something that is more of a training tool. Then again you most likley won’t get that for 60 bucks, or even 120 for that matter. Then come back and check this out in a year or so when there are more 3rd party aircraft with more detail to them.

I am curious to see how they will run in the sim though. Some people are already complaining about performance issues. I can’t wait to see what happens when they put a detailed airliner in this thing. I got a payware plane for Xplane once and it crippled my performance so bad it wasn’t even usable. Maybe I just got a bad one but I certainly wasn’t going to waste more money to find out lol.

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You can be more practical by reporting bugs to Zendesk or upvoting them on this site. Just waiting is not very helpful.


Strongly disagree. This sim gives more out of the box than any other we’ve had. Asobo is invested in fixing issues, but the issues that exist (besides weather) are minor.


I have had zero issues to this point… 42 happy hours of flying so far. :slight_smile:


Much improvements are coming this month with patch #2
This is only the beginning of a new era.


Very well said, and pretty much spot on.

I think when you’ve actually flown aircraft and used aircraft systems, whether steam gauges or Garmin glass, your expectations are higher. I learned to fly in 1978, when an aircraft equipped with LORAN C was cutting edge and expensive. I learned IFR procedure using an avionics stack that had dual VORs and an ADF.

Having used Flight Simulators over the years - for me, going all the way back to X-Plane on a PowerMac - you get a feel for what is and isn’t possible: some things cannot be realistically duplicated by software.

The effort by Asobo has so much potential I get excited. We live in a time that promises the potential to simulate with software something as truly complex as flying an aircraft within the established air traffic control environment. You can sit at your desktop and “fly” anywhere you wish, with a modest investment in hardware. It’s far less money than it costs to get and/or maintain a pilot’s license these days.

For the moment I am happy that we have a modern, working Flight Sim once again. I agree completely that there are many, many “broken” things that actually worked better in FSX, and even in FS9. Some of those “broken things” - such as the mysterious taxiways - have me scratching my head. Control towers magically spawning at uncontrolled airports? Like I said, a head scratcher.

I too built a machine for the express purpose of running Flight Sim at a high level. Aside from the occasional Crash To Desktop my experience has been good, from the perspective of my hardware successfully running the software. I have yet to drop FPS even into the teens; most of the time I see between 42 and 52 FPS. I haven’t tried JFK or even SFO yet. I like “flying” GA aircraft much better than airliners, so I’ve not tried those either. Maybe that would change my results?

Bottom line: this is a work in progress. There are some glaring glitches and some silly anomalies like the Thames running uphill and the “Melboune Citadel.” I think it’s still lots more polished than a true “public beta” and I can forgive the errors, glitches, and outright omissions. (The missing altitude knob for the G1000 in the Beech Baron comes to mind.) They are fixing those things. However, if the only truly realistic flight model remains the C152 one year from now I reserve the right to change my opinion. Things like a glitch on the map are actually funny. Things like bad physics or aircraft that don’t operate like the POH says they should? That’s another story.

But for now, I’m enjoying the “work in progress” and glad to be invited in. It’s been a long ten years. :slight_smile:


Bought a payware plane for X-Plane 11 A320 Couldnt get it started NO starter buttons or avionics switch Paid over $100 for it . I find most add on plane for X-Plane really don’t work and the ones I get from my VA seldom work either although they say they do , it’s frustrating . FSX and P3D are still great SIms able to change things as you want , add stuff even FS2004 is still being used by some people .
To run MFS2020 your going to have to spent tons just to get you computer up to snuff
I took a fly over Oolando Disney yesterday and scenery was great but my CPU sat at 100% and GPU at 95% Don’t have the graphics set high, i am running 17 with 16 g or memory and 6 g in my GTX 1060
I just cannot afford to spend anymore money on upgrading my computer.

Yes but what are you computer specs Most don’t have money to spend on a big rig

Took the Beech King Air up this morning and right away the avionics went out even though they were turned on when I took off
Couldn’t get them back and then the plane went all over the place and eventually I couldn’t get it to climb and crashed once again , frustrating

That’s weird.

Are the generators on?
Maybe your battery was discharged.?

As an Alpha tester I hear the frustration about leg sequencing because I saw it many times in the TBM and reported it in the forums. Activating the approach always turned the plane around to go in the opposite direction. The developers needed to recalculate the arc to the initial fix from where the plane is when you press Activate the Approach. Then the plane will not turn away from the airport. But most of the criticism will be ‘fixed’ with addon planes, new graphics cards, RTX IO (load times) and of course MSFS updates.


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Remember, they said they’re going to support this for a decade at least. Which means what we have now isn’t the end-all. When they said support it for a decade, they don’t mean they’re just going to leave the lights on for a decade. Do people not remember the beginnings of the other flight sim games? People forget almost all flight sim games come out of the gates with issues. As do almost all PC games that are this technically advanced. But what we have right now, in its current form, is much better than any of the past games. And it will only get better. But feel free to abandon this sim after a week of playing.


I’m running it on a 8 year old PC; i7 3770K, GTX 970 and 16 GB of DDR3 RAM. Getting a lot better FPS than I initially thought I would get. 25-40 FPS on medium settings with the jets, 40-60 FPS with turboprops and above 60 FPS with the smaller props.

I honestly thought I wouldn’t even get past the main menu… Came as a real surprise to me that the game seem to be heavier on the GPU side… It’s at 100% workload all the time… CPU cores reaches a maximum of 60%… :smiley: That’s not bad for a 8 year old CPU hey! Could probably better the performance a bit with a new GPU only and a extra 16 GB of RAM, if I could afford it that is. :smiley:


Ok thanks. Similar to what I have and it it heavy on the GPU for sure
Still lots of aircraft bugs to get fixed. One is the King Air the cockpit goes black after take off haven’t figured that out yet …

It’s a little disappointing, but keep in mind that the first versions of x-plane were really terrible, and to this day it has ■■■■ visuals, clouds and weather system. So give it time, all the stuff you listed should be easily fixable over time.