Asobo has rolled out a new update (version 188.8.131.52) to Microsoft Flight Simulator. This update has been hotly anticipated by the community as it finally addresses the performance degradation that plagued so many after the release of Sim Update 3 early in the month.
In the patch notes, Asobo highlights that this fix mainly applies to performance issues when flying in the vicinity of heavily-congested airports (MIA, DFW, LAX, LHR, and so on). However, users across the board are reporting that the sim’s performance has improved in general. The hitching caused by server requests while in the menus and during flight has also been addressed by this patch. Some VR users are also reporting that they’re now seeing dramatically smoother performance after the patch.
The developers have not said what caused the issues in the first place or how they were able to fix them. Regardless, it looks like fans of Microsoft Flight Simulator can rest easy and finally get back to enjoying the sim. In my case, issues also plagued my system prior to this patch. I was seeing performance mostly in the 20-30 fps range. Before the controversial Sim Update 3, I was getting 35-50 fps. Now, after the latest hotfix, the sim is back near that 35-50 fps threshold. However, I have yet to test the newly-released Aerosoft CRJ after this patch. It is a resource hog even under the best circumstances. In addition, Aerosoft has stated this “is not going to change” due to the jet’s high level of complexity.
What’s on the horizon for Microsoft Flight Simulator?
Following this patch, the next major update for the sim will be World Update 4 in early April. That update will enhance the scenery of France and Benelux. But if history is anything to go by, Asobo will probably throw in a few extra minor improvements and changes.
Nevertheless, any significant changes for the core sim won’t come until later on this year with Sim Update 4 and World Update 5. Those updates will roll into one massive update to “reduce the number of builds” and increase testing, according to the studio. After the controversy caused by SU3, some fans have called into question why so many of Asobo’s updates have created more issues when the studio is supposed to be fixing them. Thus, this move from the studio seems to be an attempt to address those concerns.