Over on Twitch, Jorg, Sebastian and Martial spent over 2 hours answering community questions and sharing more details on the immediate future of Microsoft Flight Simulator. During the Twitch live stream, the three of them took turns answering questions from the chat and updated us on the likes of Sim Update 6, DirectX 12 for PC and the future of live weather. You can watch the whole stream above, but we’ve done our best to summarise the biggest notes from the conversation below.
Sim Update 6
It has been confirmed that Sim Update 6 will be released on Tuesday, October 19th 2021 and will come with “hundreds of improvements” to enhance the simulator. This includes changes to a new LOD implementation, which will see trees adjusted and night lighting can be seen at high altitudes. Furthermore, the Terrain Level of Detail slider will be increased from 200 to 400 for even high draw distances of terrain, houses and trees. Alongside changes to the visuals, the flight model has been improved considerably for aerobatic aircraft, which includes snap maneuvering and wake turbulence. Obviously, this is being done in preparation for the Reno Air Racing DLC that’s coming later this year. Aircraft developers will also be able to adjust ground effect behaviour, lift forces and adverse yaw.
Working Title – Improving the Stock 747, 787 and the G3000
The team at Working Title continues to work with Asobo and Microsoft on improving many aspects of the simulator for numerous aircraft. Their work on the G1000 continues to impress and their skills will soon be transferred to working on the stock 747, 787 and the G3000. There’s no timeframe for when this will be. However, Working Title did confirm that they will bring a new flight plan system to Microsoft Flight Simulator Sim Update 6. Finally, they committed to improving the Garmin G1000 NXi and the CJ4 systems even further by the end of the year.
Live Weather Improvements
Microsoft’s weather partner, Metroblue will be improving the live weather functionality in 2022/23. The plan will be to increase the update interval and density of the weather data to make it much more realistic in the future. This includes injecting METAR data into the weather data so the live weather will be much more accurate near airports. As for opening up the weather API to developers, this will be looked at in the future, but right now, there are license restrictions that prevent it from happening any time soon. Finally, when asked about visibility conditions, the team said that they are tricky to implement but will look at that in the future.
Microsoft reconfirmed that DirectX 12 will be coming to Microsoft Flight Simulator by the end of the year as an optional setting for simmers.
More improvements will be coming to Virtual Reality in future Sim Updates. For example, VR controller support will come to the simulator in Sim Update 7. Sim Update 6 will see a range of bugs and issues fixed to make the experience more enjoyable.
Gliders, Replay Functionality, Scenery Gateway and Misc
In other news, the team has found a developer to work with on bringing gliders to the simulator. For those looking to have multiple screen functionality, this is currently planned for 2022. The awaited scenery gateway, sadly, has hit a roadblock as they are now looking for a new developer to help with bringing it to the platform. Finally, Microsoft confirmed that a Sim Update planned for 2022 will focus on fixing bugs and not introduce new features.