What does manual cache do?

I was under the impression that this was meant to store the terrain files so that it would look the same or at least look good if the internet connection was spotty or off altogether. I tested with a small local area which I know well and I also made a note where the low, medium, and high quality transition areas are. I then started MSFS, turned off the internet, and went to take a look at the areas using the drone camera.

The results were disappointing. I could not tell where the transition is between low, medium, and high quality because they all looked the same — bad. Did I do something wrong here? Did I misunderstand what manual cache is for? Or is this one of those things in MSFS that just doesn’t work yet?


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Top pic is taken with internet off and the immediate area should be medium quality, bottom pic is taken with the internet on. While roads and buildings stay the same, the tree placement and ground textures are totally different between the two.

Nobody knows… o.0?

But seriously the difference you see appears to be the top pic has no photogametry and the other does.
It’s all rather confusing but the manual cache isn’t what one would expect by it’s name. from what I can deduce (lacking actual documentation) is the cache stores the basic data which allows live data to have more bandwidth.
Hope that helps you figure it out.

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Currently manual doesn’t seem to work quite right. Or at least doesn’t do what many of us want it to do.

The hope, for me anyway, was that I could use manaul cache in the same way you used added scenery in other sims. Like I could download the areas I like to fly in and use that instead of streaming it via the internet. In my case that would be souther MI and northern OH. I was also hoping it would improve performance a slight amount. Niether of these worked for me.

First of Manual Cache at this point only works with photogrametry 3D modeled areas or whatever they are called. So mostly with more popluated areas that have that data. Which for some crazy reason ISN’T Paris and other places you would think would be lol. Yet Toledo Ohio is? So for me it flat out didn’t work because where I live is mostly rural farm land is just using normal satalite data. I would guess this is your issue as well.

On the upside Rolling Cache works very well. If you have areas you fly over a lot just fly over them and let them load into rolling cache. When you go over them again the sim will automatically use that data rather than stream it. Unless you fly a bunch of other places and the data gets over written because of the size limit on your cache. I doubled my size to 16gb just for the heck of it. And rolling cache will also work if you disable online mode. If you go offline and fly over areas that are in your cache it will automatically pull it from your rolling cache and use it. Down side is if you leave those areas it will revert to the default scenery in the sim.

I will also note that using cache had Zero effect on my performance. I got the same FPS and stutters in the exact same places regardless of if I used manual cache, rolling cache, default scenery or in offline or online mode. Actually for some odd reason using the default scenery in offline mode was a bit worse in performance lol.

So at this point the only thing Cache will help with is your data usage. And you might as well just use rolling cache in most cases because it is easier. You don’t have to fiddle with selecting areas and dowlnoading them. Just fly over it and let it load automatically.

I hope this helped you.

I would want to

  1. have unlimited rolling cache size. I would dedicate my 4TB SSD for it

  2. press a button to start recording to rolling cache and another button to stop it

With that I could cover my most flown area in rolling cache.


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Thanks for the replies. Being able to cache only the limited areas with photogametry doesn’t make sense at all when they present us the entire world to cache. I have rolling cache set at 50GB and have loaded the same area taken in the screenshots, with internet off, the effect is the same as the screenshot so the rolling cache doesn’t seem to do anything either. At this time, I’m only spawning from the same airport; I’m just testing and not doing any flying so the 50GB is definitely more than enough to store the local area’s info if that’s really what it’s doing.

For testing, I loaded up the sim, started in my location and used the drone to take a look in the direction as shown in the screenshot. Exited the game, did the same process without internet connection. Same results as above, so if rolling cache is supposed to do something, it doesn’t seem to be this.

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You’re right - any sane person would expect caching to store the exact same data you’d get streaming at the highest quality… not the case though.
One of the most confusing things about the sim for me at the moment is this whole ordeal.

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Anyone know how to delete the rolling cache file and free up the disk space? For me, the cache doesn’t seem to offer any advantages, and I could use the disk space for something else.

I believe you have to manually delete it. Do a search of deleting cache I am pretty sure there some threads on it already.

And some have said disabling rolling cache actually fixed stutters for them. Down side it uses a lot more data if you are concerned with that.

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I’ve tested the manual cache a bit. It seems hit and miss. I manually cached Barcelona. Couldn’t get it to work at all until I realised you need to have the photogrammetry option on in the data settings for it to work😊 when I did that it worked but only in offline mode or when photogrammetry data setting is on. It doesn’t seem to work when you’re in online streaming mode with photogrammetry off which is strange because it should still be pulling data from the cache. I think when photogrammetry is on and you have manually cached the area, the simulator knows to take the data from the cache and not online because I’ve noticed the performance is way better than when you’re streaming. When offline you need to make sure you save data in high to get good quality. Otherwise the textures can look grainy/ low res.

But watch out, if you save too many high detailed areas, the UI becomes sluggish then eventually unusable. So right now I can’t use it. It’s clearly bugged but hopefully Asobo can sort it out.

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I found it, and successfully deleted it. Thanks for the info!

Neither of the caches work properly.

The rolling cache is hit and miss and the manual cache doesn’t seem to make a difference.

Run the two together and you get stutters on take off and landing…though not in flight; well, usually anyway.

Of course, if there was some documentation…

Rolling Cache works great for me.

I updated MSFS yesterday and I tried the manual cache again, this time I extended the high quality area past my airport to definitely include the area I was looking at. I look at the area with internet connection on and it is correct (bottom pic). I go back to the main menu, turn the internet connection off, and look at the area again and it is still correct. Maybe this is the rolling cache at work?

With the internet connection still off, I exit the game, reload the game, look at the area again, and it is no longer correct (top pic).

So I am still confused what the manual cache is for? And it seems that the rolling cache only works for that instance of MSFS so if you exit the game, the rolling cache seems to be cleared too.

Does manual cache go with rolling cache and photogametry on? I mean when use manual cache I have to turn on rolling chache and photogametry in Data menu, is that right?
I’ve tested with rolling cache and manual cache when on and off with photogametry was off. I also cached New York with 30gb data of high res and 30gb of rolling cache, there was not any difference between on and off cache, so that I don’t understand what is purpose of cache @_@

Atlas … I’ve been playing around with manual caching and rolling cache a lot lately and have made some discoveries. A lot of which corroborates what you mention earlier.

I was motivated to do this because I want to get MSFS up-and-running for my dad who does NOT have internet but has been simming since FS2004. My thinking was that I’ll install the sim at my place (I DO have internet) and then pre-cache a lot of areas I know he like’s to fly in so he’ll be all set with great aerial imagery. Well, that isn’t possible … sort of.

Here’s what I’ve discovered …

If you launch the simulator with internet connected and then cache an area (either manually or with rolling cache by flying the area initially) and then disconnect your internet (but don’t re-launch the sim) and then re-fly that same area … it works. Scenery looks great because it’s pulling in aerial imagery and photogrammetry from local cache.

If you launch the sim WITHOUT internet connected and then try to fly an area that has been pre-cached … it won’t work.

Seems there is a bug whereby the cached data is useless and will not be utilized IF the sim if not able to authenticate properly (with internet connection at launch).

Microsoft/Asobo … PLEASE fix this and allow legitimate owners of the sim to play it offline AND retain full functionality of pre-cached data.

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