Floyd’s Epic Clouds & User Guide

A free cloud pack for Microsoft Flight Simulator including a set of Big Cloud variants to fill your landscapes to the horizon! Each cloudscape has been tested over mountains and plains to optimise them for a broad range of environments.


  • The clouds have interdependent weather properties.
    Including cloud cover, temperature, pressure, snow, wind speed and winds aloft.
  • Each name contains cloud cover and temperature.
    The cloud cover is in 1/8th units. Therefore 50% cloud cover would be for example:
    “fec 4’8 12c – Layered Clouds” or
    “fec 4’8 53f – Layered Clouds”
    The temperature will be in Centigrade or Fahrenheit depending on the package you choose to install.
  • Winds aloft has been included
    The winds aloft direction is based on the temperature of the cloudscape:
    Below 23c/73f is treated a temperate climate and the winds aloft will blow from West to East.
    Temperatures of 23c/73f and above are treated as tropical and the winds aloft will blow from East to West.
    Note: This will be reasonably realistic for flight paths that stay within their tropical or temperate starting climates. It is not possible to change the wind direction automatically if you traverse that boundary.
  • There are two sort orders available
    There are options to show the list in cloud-cover order or name order, both with their Centigrade and Fahrenheit temperature variants.


(click to enlarge).


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Installation Guide

How to Install the Cloudscapes

You install in the same way as other addons:

  • Uninstall any and all previous versions
  • Download the file and unzip it
  • There are 4 possible installations which allow you to choose a sort order and a temperature scale.
    • The two sort orders are by cloud cover or name. If you are not sure choose cloud cover as the first item in the title.
    • The temperature is listed in Fahrenheit or Centigrade
  • Put one of the ‘Floyds Epic Clouds’ folders into your community folder.
  • Restart the sim
  • The new presets have been added to the Weather presets list and will be prefixed with ‘fec’ meaning Floyds Epic Clouds.
  • If you do not see the presets, check the Troubleshooting guide on this web page.

How to Uninstall the Cloudscapes

You uninstall in the same way as other addons:

  • Move the ‘Floyds Epic Clouds’ folder out your community folder
  • Restart the sim
  • The presets will no longer be in the Weather presets list.

How to Get the Best Out of the Cloudscapes

The quickest way to be able to appreciate the differences between the Epic Clouds is to do the following:

  • Start a flight in a jet so you can quickly traverse distance and altitude
  • Go to 15000 ft
  • Choose a cloudscape
  • Keep moving to ensure you are not inside a cloud when the cloudscape loads
  • Set the time of day to sunrise, noon or sunset to get a feel for how the clouds respond

Some of the cloud cloudscapes cast big shadows and leave large open areas as well. This contrast often increases the colour range for mountain peaks and fields exposed to the sun. Some of the clouds have drizzling mist and rain beneath them if you would like a temporary change of environment. Nice!

Gliders, Balloons and Helicopters

Release 1.7 and higher will contain an additional subset of weather presets that will provide specific environments for balloons, helicopters and gliders. These presets will require explanation for you to get the most out of them: you can find them on the Epic Weather Guide here.

Need More FPS?

If so, you can follow this link to find all of the settings in a PC environment that affect how well the sim runs. It was written for VR users, but a lot of it applies to non-VR uses as well.


I Don’t See the Epic Cloud Cloud Presets

There are two reasons why the clouds might not show up in the sim:

  • You didn’t restart the sim after you put the clouds into the community folder
  • You may have too many folders nested inside each other.

The directory structure you will need to end up with is:
…\Packages\Community\Floyds Epic Clouds

Boxes or Stripes (GPU)

If you see boxes or stripes in the clouds, this is an indication that your computer in general and your ray-tracing hardware in particular is nearing its capacity. Note that using DLSS antialiasing in MSFS will magnify the problem, but this effect varies as Asobo adjusts each DLSS update.

Potential workarounds:

  • Try TAA antialiasing instead of DLSS in MSFS General Options. This works well in combination with the OpenXR Toolkit FSR upscaling.
  • Try turning down the Raymarched Reflections setting in General Options

Be aware that:

  • AMD’s ray tracing tech is a generation behind Nvidia’s for equivalent GPUs, so are more vulnerable to stress.
  • The MSFS DX11 graphics library is currently more efficient than the DX12 graphics library.
  • MSFS Cloud setting ‘Ultra’ is best but ‘High’ is reasonable and captures the majority of the subtlety.
  • Try easing the load by by adjusting settings – here is a guide you can use.

Stuttering (CPU)

Just like everything else onscreen, the clouds have an FPS cost, therefore you will have to factor that into your settings from the outset if you want to see them at their best. The FPS cost varies according the the complexity of the clouds.

Clouds with the least FPS cost will either be the simplest looking ones or those that immerse you in restricted visibility. The problematic clouds will be those that have multiple layers that you can see through to the horizon.

Stuttering results when the complexity of the whole scene exceeds the capacity of your CPU. When the GPU has problems you will see boxes or stripes that indicate that the ray-traced parts of the image hasn’t been rendered completely.

Thunder Volume

The volume of the thunder claps that follow some of the lightning strikes seems low. This is down to Asobo’s implementation, but it might be affected by the very low storm intensity I have used in an effort to make the strike frequency more natural.

What Hardware is Required for VR?

  • I started my VR journey with a Rift-S and a 1070 on War Thunder, then X-Plane, which worked if I turned the settings down. In X-Plane I could not have clouds as my computer wasn’t up to it. I couldn’t see London until I wrote a plugin to manage the view distance. But in the end and overclocked track repair fried the computer, so that was that.
  • I then bought a new computer with a 3080, a fast intel CPU, 64 Gb of RAM, M.2 drives and a RAM drive for the cache. That allowed me to increase the resolution of the headset image to a good level. and after a year of software and driver upgrades I could fly over London at 1500 feet with a decent resolution, then 500 feet.
  • The next upgrade was to an RTX 4090, but the improvement wasn’t instant: it took a few weeks to find out how to get the best out of it and even now its under-utilised at about 180 watts at 55c. The 4090 improved things but the limiting factor is still the CPU 2 core limit that causes the stutters.

So if you are thinking of an upgrade, these are the negatives that will probably persist that you might want to bear in mind:

  1. The 2 core CPU limit will cause stutters in complex scenarios unless your settings tuned to deal with that as a worst case scenario (which would reduce the quality you could have in the rest of the sim).
  2. The sim will stutter while its loading data because of the way it is written. This is not a rewrite, the code came from a time when there were only one or two cores to worry about.
  3. The sim will stutter as your view moves laterally due to the quantity of data moving through the image. Its a shame that Microsoft will not use a competitor’s graphics engine called Nanite whose speed relies solely on the screen size rather than the size of the original data from which the scene is derived. From that point of view, their Direct X engine is passé.
  4. The headset resolution is hampered by the 2 core limit because of the resolution of the output image is in proportion to the speed of the 2 primary CPU cores – unless you are content with soft focus DLSS output.
  5. If your hardware were perfect you would then clearly see the imperfections of the buildings, rivers and satellite imagery in the sim itself. There are plenty of areas where the terrain displays excessively vibrant vegetation and fuzzy ground details due to the images being from a 10 year old image store. So if you have an annoying lack of definition in your current hardware, bear in mind that it might be protecting you from seeing the failures in the sim itself.

I think a second hand 3080 would be a good buy if the rest of your PC isn’t too old to make good use of it. A 4090 is for those who still feel the need to push into increasing costs and decreasing returns anyway.

I think this sim and hardware will take another 5 years to accumulate a noticeable increase in quality. My intention is to buy hardware that is better than the sim is now and then wait for it to catch up.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can the Epic Clouds drive the live weather?
    Microsoft have isolated their live weather system and there isn’t a way to access it at the moment.
  • Do these presets replace the standard clouds?
    The Epic Clouds can be added to and removed from the dropdown list of cloud presets that are already in the sim. They do not replace any other clouds that are available so there no reason not to try them out :0)
  • How do I know what type of cloud I am loading?
    Each cloud type comes with its own preview image that appears in the sim’s drop-down list of clouds, along with a descriptive name.
  • Is it possible to show airline wings fading into cloud cover? (aka ‘wing fade effect’)
    Default MSFS doesn’t show this effect even on maximum cloud densities. There is a forum topic about this you can contribute to.
  • The clouds didn’t show up, what’s happening?
    The trouble-shooting section of the installation guide on this web page will reveal all.

Which Clouds were in the Original Set?

In the original set there were 6 cloudscapes and as the set grew, the numbered clouds acquired names instead of numbers. To find the original clouds, you can look for these names in 3’8 to 4’8 okta range which is included in the name:

  1. Three Big Layers
  2. Porous Clusters with Rain
  3. Dense Islands (removed)
  4. Fluffy Clusters
  5. Intermittent Drizzle
  6. Large Loose Assemblages


Joni Mitchell

A classic song delivered with style in the year 2000 by Joni aged 57. Her thoughtful words and rich singing style is focussed on the airborne mountains of vapour that hang in the air on a regular basis.

2000 (57)

Rows and floes of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all


This screenshot (right) shows occupation of the Featured section, the Trending Right Now section (the third time back on top) and the This Week’s Best section.

After release 1.1 the Clouds entered the Trending Now section for the 4th time after 1000+ were downloaded in 24 hours.


  • Downloads: 9586 at the time of measurement.
    • No comment: 9542 (99.54%)
    • Comments: 44 (0.46%)
      • Positive comments: 28 (64%, 0.29%)
      • Neutral comments: 11 (25%, 0.11%)
      • Negative comments: 5 (11%, 0.05%)

The most common request and complaint was that the Epic Clouds don’t drive the live weather system. A handful of users decided that was an error and gave the clouds a low star score.

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