Note: Article updated after MSFS Sim Update 2
Here is a quick guide to set-up the best graphics without losing too much performance of the new Microsoft Flight Simulator. My kinda solid frames-per-second value increased noticeably, and I still maintained very good-looking graphics visuals and terrain detail, almost no difference compared all set to Ultra. Of course, the benefit is tied to what kind of system you are running MSFS in, and the effect might change by future MSFS patches and optimizations by Asobo Studio.
I highly recommend reading the official How to improve the performance guide before continuing to read this. With the help of that guide, check that your system is up to date, update and switch to dedicated GPU, use Game Mode, increase the Virtual Memory on your system, and turn off any extra power monitoring software. For Nvidia users, I recommend uninstalling the GeForce Experience software. It can change the MSFS graphics settings without user notice. Instead, download and install GeForce Drivers manually.
Next, let’s tweak some Windows settings to force the operating system (Windows 10 version 2004 or Build 19041 or newer) to work as much as possible without stutters. Go to Game Mode and turn it On, so all priority is given to running games such as MSFS. From the right-hand side of the Game Mode menu select Graphics settings and open up Hardware-accelerated GPU Scheduling to be set On to reduce latency. Back in the Game Mode menu select Captures and for Background recording ensure it’s Off.
Now before you launch MSFS, restart your PC and continue reading then. After your PC has booted, it’s time to tweak MSFS graphics settings behind MSFS Options and General. Several settings have a high impact on performance but by setting them right you gain a smoother flight simulator and still maintain very good-looking visuals and the best terrain details. At first, select Global Rendering Quality to be High and then set the options as described below.
Global Rendering Quality: High
Render Scaling: 100
Terrain Level of Detail: 125
Object Level of Detail: 200
Anisotropic Filtering: 16x
Texture Supersampling: 8×8
Motion Blur: Off
Glass Cockpit Refresh Rate: Medium
Finally, this is optional based on your needs, but turning off the Live Real-World Air Traffic will give more extra FPS’s. To remove all the static aircraft from the gates, go to Traffic options and set Ground Aircraft Density to zero. For air traffic and ATC service seekers, there are proper online flying networks, such as VATSIM, IVAO, and PilotEdge available.
Hardware used for MSFS when writing this article: i7-9750, RTX 2060 6GB, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD. If your Internet connection is slower than 50 Mbps, I recommend disabling Photogrammetry. Also, disabling Rolling Cache makes the performance more stutter-free. With graphics settings explained in this guide, my FPS is normally 45-55. When flying in a highly-populated autogen area such as west of Chicago, it’s 35-45.