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Microsoft Flight Simulator is getting huge PC performance improvements this month

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The PC improvements arrive alongside the Xbox launch

Microsoft Flight Simulator is a notoriously demanding PC game, but a big patch is arriving later this month that promises significant performance improvements. Asobo, the developer of Microsoft Flight Simulator, has been busy rewriting its engine to perform well on Xbox Series X / S, and the changes will also bring some much-needed improvements to the PC side on July 27th.

During a recent Twitch stream, spotted by Twinfinite, Asobo demonstrated just how significant the performance improvements will be on older systems with an Intel Core i7-9700K and an RTX 2060 Super. Microsoft Flight Simulator jumped from around 30fps to nearly a solid 60fps just thanks to the patch. CPU utilization also drops from 100 percent to 75 percent on this particular PC, and memory drops from around 16GB to 4.7GB.

“We have rewritten a lot of the parts of the engine ... in order to get the maximum performance out of the sim,” explains Asobo CEO Sebastian Wloch. The team has been mainly working on CPU optimizations, as the game has been incredibly CPU heavy since its launch last year.

While Microsoft Flight Simulator will move to DirectX 12 for Xbox Series X / S, the game will remain on DirectX 11 on PC for now. “All the performance improvements come from just improving the simulator,” confirms Wloch. “PC has not yet moved to DirectX 12, the team is still working on it. It may bring improvements further, or not.”

Martial Bossard, an executive producer on Microsoft Flight Simulator at Asobo, confirmed the upcoming move to DirectX 12 on PC will also allow the team to enable ray tracing in the game. Effects should include better water, improved shadows, and the usual reflections we expect to see in ray-traced games.

With the Xbox version of Microsoft Flight Simulator launching on July 27th, alongside these PC changes, the team confirmed that the simulator will run at 30fps on both the Xbox Series X and Series S. As both consoles support variable refresh rates (VRR), there will be an option to go higher than 30fps on TVs and monitors that support it. The Xbox Series X will run Flight Simulator at 4K, while the Xbox Series S runs the game at 1080p.