If you want to pursue a career as a pilot in the new flight simulator, you should first check the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 system requirements , because the impressive appearance demands a lot from your PC. We have therefore summarized the official requirements for minimum, recommended and ideal AMD / Radeon and Intel / Nvidia systems on this page. Regardless of which components you have, you can easily get more FPS out of the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 settings by fine-tuning . Which screws you have to turn it, and what graphics settings effect what you experience below.

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If you’re waiting for the console version, learn all about the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Xbox release here. Until then, you can take a look at all aircraft and paintwork in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and check all Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 successes and activation conditions.

The best Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 graphics settings for more FPS

Even decent gamer bolides with 10-core CPUs, 32GB RAM and Nvidia’s Geforce RTX 2080 Ti work up a sweat when it comes to depicting the virtual earth as realistically and accurately as possible. Such a setup for the flight simulator is not much more than a small snack if you turn up the resolution / FPS towards 4K @ 60fps and increase the details.

Fortunately, the range of requirements also extends far down (of course, with graphic cuts) and offers a lot of tuning potential. When you start the flight simulator for the first time, it checks which hardware is available and accordingly gives you a recommendation for one of the four ready-made presets “Ultra”, “High”, “Medium” and “Low”. That’s okay for a start, but with a few small adjustments you can get a lot more out of it without losing much of the graphics quality.

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If you don’t want to fine-tune, simply reduce the preset level (if not already at the bottom) and thus increase the FPS at the expense of the graphics quality. In terms of the pure optics / performance ratio, you get the most out of the “medium” and “high” levels. On the other hand, the world looks extremely blurred on “Low” and even 30 FPS is not always possible on “Ultra”. We therefore recommend fine tuning.

There are countless screws in the graphics options that you can turn. However, it is difficult to generalize the settings, because everyone has to find the best compromise between performance and quality for themselves. In the following we explain to you which graphics setting is responsible for what, and so that you also know how much performance you can get out of one setting, we give you a rating level from 1 to 5 in brackets. An option with a “Rating: 1” means that you can get a very large gain in performance here, while a “Rating: 5” has hardly any influence on the performance.

  • Display mode (rating: 3) – We recommend “full screen” (at the same time gives the MFS high priority).
  • Resolution (rating: 1) – 1920 × 1080 is usually sufficient. If you have a current, powerful graphics card, you can go up to 2560 × 1440. We advise against 4K, otherwise you have to sacrifice too many effects to achieve smooth FPS.
  • HDR10 (Rating: 4) – You can activate high-contrast images, provided your monitor supports HDR.
  • Quality: Global Rendering (Rating: 1) – These are the presets. You can choose between “Ultra”, “High”, “Medium”, “Low” or “Custom”. If you don’t want to fine-tune, just reduce the level. If you make adjustments yourself, “User-defined” is automatically displayed here.
  • VSYNC (Rating: 3) – Adjusts the FPS to the refresh rate of your monitor to avoid graphic errors. Should always be switched on, unless there are massive problems such as freeses or FPS drops.
  • Max. Refresh rate (rating: 1) – you can choose between 20 FPS, 30 FPS and 60 FPS. Depending on the hardware, resolution and effects, you should stay at 30 FPS and only go up to 60 FPS with a very powerful computer. The perceived difference is not too great due to the relatively slow flow of the game, but the required performance is very large.
  • Render scaling (rating: 2) – Here you can adjust the scaling for 3D rendering. Better to leave the setting at 100 and reduce everything else first, because here the world quickly becomes spongy and blurred or over-sharp. Only with extremely weak PCs should you turn it down to about 70.
  • Anti-Aliasing (Rating: 4) – Here you can activate the different levels of anti-aliasing or deactivate them entirely. With a weak system you should set the anti-aliasing to “Off”, otherwise you can leave it to “FXAA”. A higher level (DLAA, TAA) requires significantly more power and only makes sense with strong systems.
  • Degree of detail accuracy of the terrain (rating: 1) – Influences how many details are displayed on the ground (snow, mud, sand, etc.). It’s best to try out for yourself what you like and what your PC can do. The settings mainly affect areas that are further away. “Medium” offers the best balance between performance and quality.
  • Vector data set for terrain (rating: 3) – Here you determine how detailed the tessellation of the terrain is displayed. This is most noticeable on oceans, lakes, rivers, and roads (block-like patterns can be seen). It is best to try “Medium” first and then reduce or increase.
  • Buildings (Rating: 2) – Here you set how detailed the buildings in the world are to be displayed (dirt, lamps, switches, gates, etc.). In addition to the level of detail of the terrain, you can get the most out of your performance here if you go down to “medium” for good systems or “low” for weak systems.
  • Trees (Rating: 3) – Like the “Buildings” option, only for trees. Depending on the area, you can get some FPS out of here if you fly over many forests. “Medium” for good systems or “Low” for weak systems is easily sufficient here.
  • Grass and Bushes (Score: 2) – Same as the “Buildings” or “Trees” option, only for grass and bushes. On low you only see different shades of green, which indicate grass, on higher levels real tufts of grass and stalks are rendered, which however eats up a lot of performance. “Medium” for good systems / “Low” for weak systems.
  • Degree of detail accuracy of objects (rating: 1) – Influences the display quality of things like garbage cans, cars, telephone poles, wind turbines (etc.) until you can see every screw. The settings primarily affect areas that are further away and are barely noticeable from a distance in the aircraft. We recommend “Low” or “Medium”.
  • Volumetric Clouds (Rating: 2) – The clouds are among the best that have been seen in games so far. However, that costs a lot of performance. On the other hand, you can almost always see the clouds in the plane, so a “high” setting is worthwhile if your system can do it.
  • Texture resolution (rating: 2) – higher settings lead to much more realistic textures of the environment at the expense of the FPS (does not seem to affect the immediate area such as the cockpit). We advise you to go somewhere in the middle, if your hardware allows it, otherwise you can turn it down further.
  • Anisotropic filtering (rating: 2) – Affects the quality of textures and surfaces when viewed from an angle. This is practically imperceptible from the airplane, so you should go down to a low setting here or switch it off completely.
  • Texture Supersampling (Rating: 2) – With supersampling, images are rendered at a higher resolution and then scaled down to the resolution of the monitor. This increases the quality of textures dramatically, but it costs a lot of performance. We recommend a low or medium setting. The effect is particularly noticeable in the flight simulator at greater distances. This setting only appears to be effective in conjunction with anisotropic filtering.
  • Texture synthesis (Rating: 2) – In the case of texture synthesis, larger images are generated from a smaller sample texture with the same structural content and proportions in order to improve details in textures (especially from a distance). Hardly any of this can be seen from the aircraft, so you should leave this power-hungry option on “Low” or “Medium”.
  • Water Resolution (Score: 2) – Adjusts the level of detail of the wave simulation to create more realistic waves in oceans. At lower levels, the oceans appear flatter and less dynamic in motion. Here you have to decide for yourself whether you sacrifice performance for more beautiful waves. We recommend “Low” or “Medium”.
  • Shadow Mapping (Rating: 3) – Determines the resolution of shadows. A higher value results in more accurate and detailed shadows on more complex objects, which is at the expense of performance. Since you can hardly see the sharper shadows high in the sky, we recommend a low resolution.
  • Terrain Shadows (Rating: 2) – Adjusts the resolution of terrain shadows for distant terrain, which allows much more detail in terrain shading to be seen from a great distance. With a low value, shadows appear softer and disappear more easily; with a high value, shadows are displayed sharply even when the viewing distance is great. The slightly nicer shadows cost a lot of power, so you should choose a low value (256) or switch them off right away.
  • Contact shadows (Rating: 3) – Here you adjust the shadow quality for objects in the near field of vision, which leads to more detailed shadows for objects in the vicinity. This is particularly noticeable in the cockpit, so it is worth choosing a medium or high setting here.
  • Windshield Effects (Rating: 4) – Adjusts the level of detail for rain effects and reflections on the aircraft’s windows. This can be seen particularly in the cockpit view. Since the effect ensures better immersion, you shouldn’t be too sparing here. Depending on the system, we recommend “medium” or “high”.
  • Ambient Occlusion (Score: 2) – This option creates artificial shadows on nearby objects and surfaces to enhance the play of light without much impact on performance. In the end you have a better object depth, which visibly beautifies the world. So it is worth choosing at least a low level. If your PC allows it, you can also go higher.
  • Reflections (Rating: 4) – Adjusts the quality of reflections on reflective surfaces (water, glass fronts of buildings, etc.). Low values ​​result in blurry reflections or even no reflections at all. They are not essential and eat up some performance, but you should choose a medium or high level here, if your PC allows it – as soon as you fly past a city like New York or London, you will know why.
  • Light rays (Rating: 4) – Adjusts the representation of light rays from bright sources, which gives the play of light and shadow more depth. In practice, this does not happen often and is not particularly noticeable, so you should choose “Low” or “Off”.
  • Bloom (Rating: 5) – Adjusts the lens flare of light sources. This looks more realistic, but can also be annoying (dazzling). Since the setting has little influence on the performance, it depends entirely on your taste.
  • Depth of field (rating: 3) – Here you adjust the level of detail of the background blur. When looking at certain objects, only part of them appear sharp, objects are given more depth. We recommend a low or medium setting as a compromise between performance and quality. But you can also turn it off if you don’t like it and want to get more FPS out.
  • Lens Correction (Rating: 4) – This process corrects the distortion of the camera lens. Decide for yourself what you like better. Since the effect is barely noticeable while playing, you can turn it off to gain more power.
  • Lens Flare (Rating: 4) – Adds lens flares to bright light sources. Decide for yourself what you like better. This has only a minor impact on performance.
  • Use generic aircraft models (rating: 3) – If activated, simple standard models are used for the aircraft models controlled by the AI, which mainly reduces CPU and RAM usage. But you don’t see so many different planes either. We advise “Off” if your system accepts it.
  • Use Generic Airplane Models (Rating: 3) – As above, only for multiplayer. Activate the option if your CPU and RAM usage is too high.

Have you found your perfect graphics settings and now you want to take some great pictures? Here you can find out how you can create the perfect background in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020: Start from anywhere in the world with two clicks and activate the photo mode in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 with the active pause to capture a beautiful picture.

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These factors have the greatest impact on FPS when gaming

The FPS depend not only on your hardware and your settings, but also on how you play. With the help of the developer mode of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 (to be found under “Options → General → Developer → Developer mode”) you can easily determine yourself during the game what the performance looks like and what causes it to collapse. You can also see which hardware component is currently causing the performance to collapse. If you let this helpful tool run on you, you will find that there are a few factors that eat up massive FPS:

  • The Camera Perspective – Normally, one would expect the exterior view to require more processing power than the cockpit view, as the dashboard obscures much of the landscape and not much is visible through the windows. However, the exact opposite is the case: In the cockpit view, the FPS drop and the detail levels drop. That’s because the aircraft’s dynamic displays and controls are presented in such detail and realism. Accordingly, the cockpit of a jumbo jet eats up more power than that of a Cessna. There are also other effects such as reflections in the window, which do not have to be shown in the external view.
  • The altitude – if you are flying high up and can see over half the globe, the graphics card has to calculate a lot of moving terrain and is provided with all sorts of additional effects. On the other hand, if you are flying over a field at 1,000 feet, it doesn’t have much to do. Sure, there are a lot more property details here, but that’s nothing compared to calculating a continent.
  • The nature of the terrain – unsurprisingly, your daddel box has to work a lot harder when you are flying over a city with many glass and reflective skyscrapers than when you are sailing over a steppe in Africa. The more details (houses, animals, cars, etc.) and effects (light, shadow, sharpness, etc.) come into play here, the faster and more the FPS rushes into the basement.
  • The live data – If you activate all data streams for weather, traffic and satellite information, this information must of course also be converted into visible objects that are not generated automatically. This costs additional performance, which is also noticeable in the FPS. It’s not much – it was around 2 to 6 FPS for us – but the game also matters.
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The minimum system requirements for Microsoft Flight Simulator

Interestingly, the system requirements for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 are quite broad: Sure, for smooth 4K resolution with HDR and all effects there is infinite room for improvement in hardware, but on the other hand, a six is ​​enough for an Intel / Nvidia system Year-old Intel i5-4460 and a seven-year-old Nvidia GTX 770 to lift off the ground. In the case of AMD / Radeon systems, the hardware must not be quite as old, since AMD only came into existence again with the Ryzen age. Nevertheless, the minimum required Ryzen 3 1200 has been around for three years and the Radeon RX 570 is almost as old.

The minimum system requirements for Intel / Nvidia systems

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  • Operating system: 64 Bit Windows 10 (November 2019 Update 1909)
  • CPU: Intel i5-4460
  • GPU: Nvidia GTX 770
  • VRAM: 2 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard disk: 150 GB of free space
  • Internet bandwidth : 5 Mbps

The minimum system requirements for AMD / Radeon systems

  • Operating system: 64 Bit Windows 10 (November 2019 Update 1909)
  • CPU: Ryzen 3 1200
  • GPU: Radeon RX 570
  • VRAM: 2 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard disk: 150 GB of free space
  • Internet bandwidth : 5 Mbps

The recommended hardware for AMD / Radeon and Intel / Nvidia

With the recommended components, the screw is already tightening significantly. The components required here – with the exception of the six-year-old Nvidia GTX 970 – are no older than two to three years. Since the average age of a German PC is around five years, some daddel boxes are likely to fail at this hurdle. So if you haven’t upgraded your PC in the last few years or bought a new one, you have to reduce the graphics settings and effects for better or worse.

The minimum system requirements for Intel / Nvidia systems

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  • Operating system: 64 Bit Windows 10 (November 2019 Update 1909)
  • CPU: Intel i5-8400
  • GPU: Nvidia GTX 970
  • VRAM: 4 GB
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Hard disk: 150 GB of free space
  • Internet bandwidth : 20 Mbps

The recommended system requirements for AMD / Radeon systems

  • Operating system: 64 Bit Windows 10 (November 2019 Update 1909)
  • CPU: Ryzen 5 1500X
  • GPU: Radeon RX 590
  • VRAM: 4 GB
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Hard disk: 150 GB of free space
  • Internet bandwidth : 20 Mbps
In order for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 to show what it is made of, your PC must not be too old.

The ideal hardware requirements for Microsoft Flight Simulator

If you want to exploit the full potential of the flight simulator, you should bring top hardware with you, because there is practically no upper limit. This is particularly noticeable when it comes to the highly detailed landscapes or when you change the weather & time or activate the live weather in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 to see impressive effects such as lightning, rain or snowstorms with many particles.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has not really updated its originally published system requirements over the months, which is why a Radeon VII is still specified as the ideal GPU in an AMD system. The production of the Radeon VII was stopped after just 5 months – among other things because the cards of the Radeon XT series have proven to be significantly cheaper and just as powerful. A Radeon 5700 XT would make a lot more sense than a Radeon VII. On the Intel side, too, there are significantly cheaper and better alternatives to the ideal Core i7-9800X as a high-end CPU. So see the information as a rough guide for the required performance and look around for current offers if you want to upgrade for the flight simulator.

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The system requirements for ideal Intel / Nvidia systems

  • Operating system: 64 Bit Windows 10 (November 2019 Update 1909)
  • CPU: Intel i7-9800X
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 2080
  • VRAM: 8 GB
  • RAM: 32 GB
  • Hard drive: 150 GB free space (SSD)
  • Internet bandwidth : 50 Mbps

The system requirements for ideal AMD / Radeon systems

  • Operating system: 64 Bit Windows 10 (November 2019 Update 1909)
  • CPU: Ryzen 7 Pro 2700X
  • GPU: Radeon VII
  • VRAM: 8 GB
  • RAM: 32 GB
  • Hard drive: 150 GB free space (SSD)
  • Internet bandwidth : 50 Mbps


Source: Eurogamer.de