MSFS: Suggested Settings

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

Suggested Settings

These can be used as a baseline to get you going, but there are many more things you can do. See also: Suggested Settings for Quest 3 PCVR

  • Check your IPD measurement
  • Disable real-time anti-virus scanning
  • Disable auto-starting programs
  • Check and adjust your PC’s Page File
  • Halt downloading and sharing
  • Use a RAM drive
  • Enable resizable BAR
  • PC Settings
    • Search for ‘Graphics Settings’
      • Set Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling (HAGS) = on
      • Set Variable Refresh Rate = on
    • Search for ‘Game Mode’ and set Game Mode = on
  • Use the OpenXR Toolkit, it may make a substantial difference to the load on your computer.
    • Enable NIS or FSR upscaling (eg: 85% meaning rendered at this fraction of the required size).
    • Use Foveated Rendering if it doesn’t detract from your experience.
    • While you are there, consider adjusting the saturation so it’s more realistic (eg: 45%)
    • Switch on Turbo Mode.
  • 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:
    • 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 VR Graphics settings, set everything to ’high’ then adjust the settings you care about least step by step until you get a stable output.
    • Use DirectX 11 for better performance (review that in 2024)
    • Try DLSS ‘Quality’ anti-aliasing first. If the image quality is less than desired, try out TAA instead. Unfortunately, the DLSS output quality can change for better or worse from time to time even if you don’t change its setting yourself. The variations are most likely due to MSFS updates, but could also be due to GPU driver updates or VR headset driver updates.
    • Set the size of the MSFS rolling cache to no more than 10Gb as a stutter prevention precaution.
    • Exit MSFS using the provided in-sim ‘exit’ menu option to save your settings.
  • Experiment with oversampling the VR render scale between 120% & 140% using either your VR Headset driver render scale or the OpenXR render scale. Ensure the MSFS render scale is at 100%.
  • Restart your PC and check that the PC settings are still set the way you want them
  • Launch MSFS and check that the MSFS settings are still set the way you want them
  • Ensure your ASW / Reprojection set to 30 FPS for your VR headset

If you go on to adjust the individual settings in depth it will take a few hours/days to get everything working together really well. Be aware that some settings require a sim restart before they become active and failing to do this will lead into a quagmire of incorrect observations.

Preparation for a Flight

  • Clear pending Flight Sim updates
  • Clear pending Windows updates
  • Clear pending Microsoft Store Library updates for the sim, OpenXR & Xbox
  • Clear pending Steam updates if that’s how you bought MSFS
  • Update your graphics drivers as necessary
  • Restart your PC to ensure you are running normally

How to Improve Image Quality

The best free improvement you can make for a lower resolution VR headset is to feed it higher resolution images than it natively supports. Although it doesn’t sound possible it works because the two images combine in your perception to increase the resolution. You can change the image size either by tools supplied with your headset or via the OpenXR Toolkit.

How to Improve Performance

The best performance boost can be obtained by upscaling the image in MSFS or in the OpenXR Toolkit. This tool can take a smaller image from MSFS (thus reducing load) and upscale it to normal size or greater using algorithmic tricks that enhance details.