MSFS: UserCfg.opt Settings

Editing the UserCfg.opt manually can allow you to change settings in a way that isn’t available in the user interface.


The UserCfg.opt file is a text file that contains your option settings. You can open it with a normal text editor such as notepad, but before you make any changes you might find it useful to zip up the current copy and keep it in the directory as a fallback in case you make any errors.

Location: C:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.FlightSimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalCache

All of the settings are kept in sections defined by curly braces and a name. An overview of that sections are:

Popular Settings

Most of the file is used to record the settings that are shown in MSFS user interface, but there are some settings that are not accessible by other means, and can be edited.

  • The sharpen setting is a little harsh and is something that can be applied with more finesse at a later stage depending on your configuration. If you leave it enabled here it may create artifacts that cannot be removed.
  • The view distance limit in the MSFS UI has a maximum of 200 (2.0). You can extend this by editing the UsrCfg.opt file with a value of 5.0, equivalent to 500 on the MSFS user interface.

GraphicsVR Settings

    LoDFactor   1.000000   (can be extended up to 5.000000 (500))

    Size            4096   (make realistic shadows)

    Enabled            1   (1 = enable post-processing)
    EyeAdaptation      1   (1 = apply dynamic exposure level)
    ColorGrading       0   (1 = apply colour changes)
    Sharpen            0   (1 = sharpen the image)
    Fringe             0   (1 = mimic camera lens colour aberration)
    LensDistortion     0   (1 = mimic camera lens distortion)
    Dirt               0   (1 = enhance dirt effect on camera/windscreen)
    LenseFlare         0   (1 = mimic camera lens light patterns)
    Filmgrain          0   (1 = add film grain effect to the image)
    Vignette           0   (1 = darken the edges of the image)
    LensBlurMultiplier 1.000000 (defines the amount of camera lens blur)
    FringeMultiplier   1.000000 (defines the amount of chromatic aberration)

Some of these values may be reset by MSFS if you go into the Graphics Settings UI panel or there is a system update patch. You can protect your changes by making the UserCfg.opt file read-only but this may cause problems if the file needs to be changed as part of a system update.

Realistic Shadows

One of the most useful changes that I have seen from altering this file is to enlarge the shadow mask to a level that isn’t available on the user interface.

shadows with a size resolution of 4096

As you can see from the screenshot there are no saw-toothed edges. These are precise shadows with a soft edge that looks excellent. Set the GraphicsVR Shadow Size as follows or refer to Q8Pilot for a video guide.