Microsoft Flight Simulator getting huge performance boost in next update

Microsoft Flight Simulator piloted by a dog
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Flight Simulator is receiving a substantial performance boost on a PC set to land later this month. 

The Sim Update 5 looks like it's going to be enormous for the simulation flight game. In a Twitch stream, developer Asobo Studios took an hour to show off the impressive performance enhancements coming to the game, which should make the experience much smoother in the long run. 

In a demonstration of the tech behind the update, Asobo Studio's CEO Sebastian Wloch showed a fly-over of Manhattan on a high-end PC, running the game at 4K Ultra settings. The game was only able to reach around 35 frames per second consistently, making for some fairly choppy viewing. 

Wloch then ran the same simulation again with the update installed, and the game ran much smoother. It consistently output around 55 frames per second, showcasing a nearly doubled performance. For one update, that is pretty impressive. 

The update is set to go live on July 27, alongside the Xbox Series X version of the game. 

Even with the update in place, you will likely still need a very beefy computer to get the most out of Microsoft Flight Simulator. It's not just the photorealistic graphics either - the astonishing tech behind rendering a to-scale reconstruction of the world that replicates real weather and time is a massive ask for most hardware. Even the powerful Xbox Series X version of Microsoft Flight Simulator will only be able to run at 30 FPS at a currently unspecified resolution. 

That's why it's great to see these updates coming, which should make it a generally more pleasant experience. It's an astonishing game and getting it into more players' hands with reasonable hardware expectations should help the title no end. 

The update will extend past performance, too. Asobo has announced that Sim Update 5 will also bring reworked tutorials and flying assist that should make the act of flying a plane much more accessible all around. If you've been thinking about jumping in, July 27th seems like the perfect time.

Love realistic depiction of the real-world in games? Check out our list of the best simulators games list.  

Guides Editor at TechRadar

Patrick Dane is currently the Guides Editor at TechRadar. However, he was formerly a freelance games journalist writing for sites and publications such as GamesRadar, Metro, IGN, Eurogamer, PC Gamer, and the International Business Times, among others. He was also once the Managing Editor for Bleeding Cool.