After weeks of testing, and even more weeks of delay, Sim Update 10 for Microsoft Flight Simulator is finally beginning its rollout. Users should now see a prompt for the mandatory update regardless if they use Steam or the Microsoft Store. Sim Update 10 includes a hefty payload, including support for Nvidia DLSS, multi-monitor support, bug fixes, and, most importantly, performance enhancements.
Downloading Sim Update 10 first requires you to update the Microsoft Flight Simulator client to version 18.104.22.168. This will come via 1GB download. After you launch the sim client, you’ll see a mandatory update screen that requires you to download over 12GB of data. Additional data will be downloaded afterward, making the total package approximately 17GB.
Ready, set, jet
Once everything is ready to go, you’ll get to enjoy the various improvements and additions that this new version of Microsoft Flight Simulator has to offer. Here are some highlights, starting with graphics/performance.
First up, the update addressed performance issues that were caused by memory leaks and having more than four World Update photogrammetry packages installed. Some third-party aircraft also created performance issues. These have been fixed as well. Additionally, less crashes should be present, but Asobo still describes performance optimization as an “ongoing” process.
Nvidia DLSS support is now here for RTX 20 and 30 Series users. You’ll find it tucked away in the anti-aliasing toggle menu, allowing you to swap between different modes: Quality, Balanced, Performance and Ultra Performance. AMD FSR sharpening is also now available, allowing you to artificially raise the internal rendering resolution beyond the output resolution of your display.
According to the patch notes, DirectX 12 support has finally received some attention, with better stability, performance, and memory usage. More improvements will come in the future. Asobo warns that you may need to lower your graphics settings when running the sim in DX12 mode in order to avoid performance issues. Development of this feature is still ongoing, so the default DX11 mode may still work best for most people.
Multi-monitor support is also now present, and users can set different viewpoints for different displays. In the case of a triple monitor array, for example, the left monitor can have the left viewpoint, the center monitor can face directly ahead, and the right monitor can have the right viewpoint. This will allow for a much wider FOV, reducing the need to consistently pan the camera around. You can access this feature in the new Experimental menu, which also now contains access to the Replay Mode (still being worked on), the new Low Power Mode (for lower power consumption at the expense of performance), and some other new tidbits.
Clouds have gotten another upgrade, which brings a new cloud layer system to the sim. With this, low altitude clouds will look and behave a little more realistically.
With Sim Update 10, Microsoft Flight Simulator has also received some upgrades to its core features and avionics systems across various aircraft.
The built-in VFR Map is now far more useful. New “quality-of-life features” have been added due to enhancements made by Working Title. This includes the ability to access various NAVAIDs, searchable airport data, and more. These updates to the VFR Map are paired with the now enhanced Garmin G1000 NXi’s newly added external flight plan system. This model of GPS now serves as the default version of the G1000 across the sim for all planes that have a G1000 unit installed (e.g. the Cessna 172 & Beechcraft King Air 350i). Various features have been added such as “VNAV, procedure turns, holds, arc legs, visual approaches, accurate autopilot/modes, full RNAV, and more.”
Another neat new tidbit is that the CFG files for all default premium and deluxe planes have been unlocked. This will allow modders to dive in and alter aircraft behavior, leading to potential overhauls like what we’ve seen with the highly-acclaimed A32NX project from FlybyWire.
A weather update has brought new features like wind gust data, more accurate temperature calculation, alterations to turbulence and drafts, and more.
There are a boat load more changes that have come with Sim Update 10. In fact, on that note, AI boats will now display a wake as they sail.
Various fixes have come to different default aircraft like the Boeing 747, Airbus A320neo, Boeing 787, Beechcraft King Air, Beechcraft Bonanza, Daher TBM 930, and a whole lot more. Bush trips will now have less issues, various aircraft have had their avionics upgraded, bugs have been squashed — the list goes on.
You can read through the extensive list of patch notes on the official website for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Sim Update 10 has been a long time coming. Initially set to release in July, it was then pushed back to August. Due to issues found during its beta testing phase, Asobo then decided to scrub its launch once more, now finally delivering it near the end of September. This makes it the most delayed update the sim has seen yet, but Asobo had a good reason to do so.
Since launch, Microsoft Flight Simulator has garnered a reputation for having messy updates, where major issues crop up shortly after a major update releases. Crashes, stutters, memory leaks, and other issues have reared their ugly heads in the past. Sim Update 10 has proven to be a turning point for Asobo.
Asobo has even gone as far as to abandon its former goal of releasing a new major update each month, all in an effort to ensure quality. It’s worked hard alongside beta testers throughout the last few weeks to iron out the aforementioned issues prior to this public version.
It shouldn’t take long to see if Asobo’s efforts have truly paid off. While it can’t guarantee a hiccup free update, the hope is that only a small number of simmers will experience any issues.
The next major updates for Microsoft Flight Simulator will be World Update 7: Canada, set to come later this month. Then, the 40th Anniversary Update, which will come with new aircraft, new handcrafted airports and new missions, will launch in November.