MSFS: Suggested Settings

In this article we summarise the most important steps to immediately improve your VR experience of Microsoft Flight Simulator.

This article is a subsection of
How to Optimise MSFS for VR

A Quick Guide

The primary way to make Microsoft Flight Simulator look good in VR is to increase the resolution of the image as far as you can while maintaining a high enough FPS for your needs.

If you generate a larger source image than your headset’s native resolution, you will be able to discern more detail due to the way the images are processed and by head movements revealing extra detail through the available pixels.

However, normal VR users will hit a source image size limit, beyond which stuttering becomes noticeable. Your task is to determine where that is, and which group of settings will provide the best response. How you do this depends on your headset, but whichever way you do it, it will be less confusing if the master scale is only set in one place.

Suggested Settings

If you don’t want to go through the pros and cons of all the settings, you could try the following steps. It takes a few hours to get everything working together nicely. The main performance boost came from using the NIS Scaling Tool in the OpenXR Toolkit. Soon, it may be from Microsoft’s own DLSS implementation which will be built in.

  • First, be sure to check and adjust your PC’s Page File as necessary by referring to the relevant section.
  • PC Settings
    • Search for ‘Graphics Settings’
      • Set Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling (HAGS) = off
      • Set Variable Refresh Rate = off
      • Add ‘Microsoft Flight Simulator’ to the Graphics performance preference and set its option to High Performance. This negates the need to set the whole PC to ‘performance’ mode all of the time.
    • Search for ‘Game Mode’ and set Game Mode = off
    • Search for ‘Performance Options’ and in the ‘Advanced’ tab set ‘Performance Allocation’ = background services.
  • Use the OpenXR Toolkit, it will make a substantial difference to the load on your computer.
    • Use NIS or FSR scaling
    • Use Foveated Rendering if it doesn’t detract from your experience
    • Adjust the image saturation so it’s more realistic while you are there
  • If you are using an Nvidia driver open the NVidia Control Panel from the desktop right-click menu and in ‘3D Settings > Manage 3D Settings> Program Settings > Microsoft Flight Simulator’
    include these values as a minimum:
    • DSR – Factors = all factors enabled (global settings tab)
    • Texture Filtering – Negative LOD bias = Clamp
    • Texture Filtering – Anisotropic sample optimization = Application Controlled (x16)
    • Texture Filtering – Quality = performance
    • Texture Filtering – Trilinear optimisation= on
    • Virtual Reality pre-rendered frames = Application Setting
  • Launch Microsoft Flight Simulator and alter these settings:
    • In the MSFS PC Graphics settings (yes, it is in the PC settings!)
      • Set everything to the maximum value. Ensure the render scale is set to 200%, this may get reset to 100% when you restart the sim.
    • In the MSFS VR Graphics settings, set everything to maximum (or high) values then trim down the settings you care about least step by step until you get a stable output. If you have pixilation, experiment with oversampling the VR render scale between 120% & 140%.
    • Set the size of the MSFS rolling cache to no more than 20Gb as a stutter precaution.
    • Exit MSFS using the provided ‘exit’ menu option to save your settings.
  • Restart your PC and check that the PC settings are still set correctly
  • Launch MSFS and check that the MSFS settings are still set correctly
  • Ensure your ASW / Reprojection set to 30 FPS for your VR headset

That completes the initial pass, you should be closer to optimal performance and in a good position to try out the individual settings according to your preferences. You can find the settings on other pages which look at the settings and tools individually. Note: although the settings might also indicate a preference, this is just a guide for those who aren’t sure what to do. Whichever way you go, you will need to experiment to see if the settings suit your computer and your own preferences.

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