Microsoft Flight Simulator

Yep, the SU5 update was very disappointing. From having pretty acceptable performance I couldn't even get into a flight before it CTD'd (something that had rarely happened before). Ended up having to re-install the whole thing (five hours) which at least did get me back flying and with the few mods I use and live weather and AI traffic.

I agree about the UI update, not quite as horrible as ED : O (in my opinion, obviously) but does nothing to enhance the game. I've managed to figure out a way to use the new UI that isn't totally offensive, but it sure doesn't feel like a step forward. (I fly the TBM 930 a lot, and I don't think it's possible to get that plane started up now in legacy mode.)

As to graphics and performance... Well, I don't obsessively monitor FPS, but the game feels pretty smooth, but then it did before, clarity doesn't seem noticeably improved, maybe just a tiny bit inside the cockpit... maybe. But the world graphics seem worse, very washed out colors, strange reflection behavior, much less detail with regards buildings and structures, nowhere near as crisp and in places almost photorealistic (and yes, I checked that I still have Bing data and photogrammetry turned on). I hope this is a temporary setback, but it's a bit sad making really coming right on the heels of Elite's updates that has pretty much killed my desire to fire it up. :(
 
I've been raging more about MSFS these days than I have Odyssey (considering I paid for the one and not the other), just not in this forum.
I only really found out today - performance seemed great but the textures... oh boy. I've exhausted myself moaning about Odyssey, after resetting my main account (yes, I actually went through with it - with little regrets so far I have to say... I don't really care that I lost everything and that probably says a lot about 'my' future with the game) ..... I binge-played through the early game over the past two days to see if there's anything to be salvaged Elite-mojo wise, but honestly the visual and performance issues are very hard to get past, much more so than with FS.

And then there's the game-play - after getting into X4 and the possibilities it offers to your average space pilot, I struggle to see "the point" when doing anything in Elite other than "because reasons" and sightseeing. I can see myself uninstalling the game sooner than later, with MSFS I have hope that the current issues get sorted in a future patch.

Yep, the SU5 update was very disappointing. From having pretty acceptable performance I couldn't even get into a flight before it CTD'd (something that had rarely happened before). Ended up having to re-install the whole thing (five hours) which at least did get me back flying and with the few mods I use and live weather and AI traffic.

I agree about the UI update, not quite as horrible as ED : O (in my opinion, obviously) but does nothing to enhance the game. I've managed to figure out a way to use the new UI that isn't totally offensive, but it sure doesn't feel like a step forward. (I fly the TBM 930 a lot, and I don't think it's possible to get that plane started up now in legacy mode.)

As to graphics and performance... Well, I don't obsessively monitor FPS, but the game feels pretty smooth, but then it did before, clarity doesn't seem noticeably improved, maybe just a tiny bit inside the cockpit... maybe. But the world graphics seem worse, very washed out colors, strange reflection behavior, much less detail with regards buildings and structures, nowhere near as crisp and in places almost photorealistic (and yes, I checked that I still have Bing data and photogrammetry turned on). I hope this is a temporary setback, but it's a bit sad making really coming right on the heels of Elite's updates that has pretty much killed my desire to fire it up. :(
I played on mostly Ultra settings at 1440p, and locked my framerate at 35fps - this felt pretty good to me as I was able to achieve that framerate pretty much everywhere, even busy cities, and only large airports made things drop below 30fps occasionally, this was before update 5.

In turn though the game looked as close to photo-real as anything (as you say yourself), I was surprised that I could actually run it on my PC like that. Unfortunately while the smoothness improved (somewhat), the price of the visual downgrade was 100% not worth it for me.

Together with Odyssey it's quite the double whammy and I've been thinking I should just steer clear of this games-as-a-service malarkey - unfortunately most modern titles are operated like that, and patches can really make a pig's ear of things from one day to another.
 
This game is God's gift on Xbox Series X. Lots of rage from PC players (at least on the official forums) convinced that the game has been downgraded for console and that peasant console players like me will move onto another, simpler games real soon after we get bored after crashing into homes :rolleyes:, not condescending at all.

Apparently optimization, even for lower-end PC hardware (let alone consoles), is bad now, and that's from players previously moaning about pre-Update 5 performance. Whatever.

But, plot twist - it could be a Azure server issue, because some players on PC are reporting that the graphics are now back to normal.

Either way, I love this sim. Been busy training and tonight flew around Mount Everest tonight. Stunning views.
 
This game is God's gift on Xbox Series X. Lots of rage from PC players (at least on the official forums) convinced that the game has been downgraded for console and that peasant console players like me will move onto another, simpler games real soon after we get bored after crashing into homes :rolleyes:, not condescending at all.

Apparently optimization, even for lower-end PC hardware (let alone consoles), is bad now, and that's from players previously moaning about pre-Update 5 performance. Whatever.

But, plot twist - it could be a Azure server issue, because some players on PC are reporting that the graphics are now back to normal.

Either way, I love this sim. Been busy training and tonight flew around Mount Everest tonight. Stunning views.
I just want to be able to install the stupid thing. My rage is with the Launcher / Updater / Installation Manager, which will literally take ALL MONTH to download this 120+ GB monster, during which time it'll be preventing me from playing other games because it needs to commandeer my GPU for whatever reason.. And a download speed of 2-3 megaBITs per second? That's insane! My Internet isn't great, but it isn't dialup either!

And if after wasting a month downloading this at 2 GB a day I find that it's all rubbish because of pop-in and bad LOD and blurry textures, yes, I'm going to be miffed. But don't worry, I would never blame consoles. There's zero reason from a programming perspective that the same program can't offer reduced fidelity at higher framerate AND high fidelity at lower framerate, allowing a range of hardware to run that program. IMO a console is just a lower-end PC in a nice box, optimized for gaming.

When I buy something on Steam, I should be able to download it from Steam using Steam's BRILLIANT software installation manager. You would think Microsoft would be eager to let Steam shoulder the bandwidth burden. AFAIK they pay the same either way. I just don't get it... Pizzas me off, that's for sure!
 
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This game is God's gift on Xbox Series X. Lots of rage from PC players (at least on the official forums) convinced that the game has been downgraded for console and that peasant console players like me will move onto another, simpler games real soon after we get bored after crashing into homes :rolleyes:, not condescending at all.

Apparently optimization, even for lower-end PC hardware (let alone consoles), is bad now, and that's from players previously moaning about pre-Update 5 performance. Whatever.

But, plot twist - it could be a Azure server issue, because some players on PC are reporting that the graphics are now back to normal.

Either way, I love this sim. Been busy training and tonight flew around Mount Everest tonight. Stunning views.
Well, just like with Odyssey, if optimization is realised at the cost of visual degradation that's not good is it - especially if the game already ran pretty decent before (a flight sim running at max settings at 30+ FPS was unheard of in the past so apart from some stutters, which are now worse, I had no complaints on that front despite running middling hardware).

My biggest gripe are blurry textures - very noticeable at higher altitudes but even yesterday I noticed them when flying low and slow, especially hills/mountains, together with morphing terrain details - quite similar (though not quite as bad) as Odyssey.

The UI is objectively worse as it's now missing details (in legacy mode but hoping it's a bug), and while I'm not sure that the textures have anything to do with the console release, the latter does - and it is a downgrade for PC players as the only thing that wasn't great before is performance - which was already fine for me so I'd rather take visuals and functionality over a few extra frames. Flight Sims don't need to run at 60 locked, 30 is fine as long as it's stable (which it was).

So some of the rage I can understand alright. It was so close to perfect for me before this update, now I'm waiting for another one.
 
I am yet to test it. HP approved my G2 cable warranty claim, but they don't have the improved replacement cable on stock. :(

In other news I bought a used Saitek rudder (plus joystick I don't need, but at least I have something I can use for games like SW Squadrons or other sims for which I don't want to waste my Airbus stick for) that was still much cheaper than the next option as new. So I am properly invested in flight simming, MS and Asobo better get their act together. :)
 
I just want to be able to install the stupid thing. My rage is with the Launcher / Updater / Installation Manager, which will literally take ALL MONTH to download this 120+ GB monster, during which time it'll be preventing me from playing other games because it needs to commandeer my GPU for whatever reason.. And a download speed of 2-3 megaBITs per second? That's insane! My Internet isn't great, but it isn't dialup either!

And if after wasting a month downloading this at 2 GB a day I find that it's all rubbish because of pop-in and bad LOD and blurry textures, yes, I'm going to be miffed. But don't worry, I would never blame consoles. There's zero reason from a programming perspective that the same program can't offer reduced fidelity at higher framerate AND high fidelity at lower framerate, allowing a range of hardware to run that program. IMO a console is just a lower-end PC in a nice box, optimized for gaming.

When I buy something on Steam, I should be able to download it from Steam using Steam's BRILLIANT software installation manager. You would think Microsoft would be eager to let Steam shoulder the bandwidth burden. AFAIK they pay the same either way. I just don't get it... Pizzas me off, that's for sure!
Yeah the way the install process works is terrible - I own it in Steam and it launches the game and then installs updates - and yes, at times the download speed was around 0.3Mbit/sec.... think I spent a whole day (of my holiday, no less) downloading and installing it, which was the day after launch day. While I can't play other games as technically the game's launched as far as Steam is concerned. Also note that there's a lot of additional downloads (about 20GB+ for me) for the Premium and World Updates content. I had to stagger those because I wanted to play at some point... at least the initial CTDs (I had a lot of those initially) seem to be fixed with subsequent update now.

Also just to be clear (as my post above might be read that way), I don't begrudge console players either, however the changes they made to the UI are really bad - though not unfixable. I play with an Xbox pad, but use the mouse for interacting with the cockpit - you'll get a shock when you see what they did to the interface as they set the casual-UI as the default (huge non-opaque text boxes Fisher-Price style covering too much of the cockpit), but at least you can switch to "legacy" UI (found in the accessibility menu, took me a while and an eventual google to find it).

The problem is, while the functionality of using your mouse is back, the information that is displayed when you turn dials etc. - such as the % of the throttle set, or what clicking on it does - is completely gone now, so you solely rely on looking at gauges/button/lever positions now. I really struggled due to this when flying the airliners as some buttons have different functionality if you pull a up/down (such as the altimeter dial). Which caused me to mess up an ILS approach in the A320neo. Though the lost detail when it comes to mountain textures etc. is much worse to observe. Many players complain about clouds having deterioated, honestly I didn't really notice this myself).

I really hope the blurry textures are a temporary streaming issue - although if you watch OA's video you can clearly see where the LoD transitions happen altitude wise (but also object pop-in/out). I always wondered how reliable this approach is, and now I guess we see the downside of 'cloud' assistance - even if your own connection is solid (like mine is) you still rely on servers to perform adequately.
 
I just want to be able to install the stupid thing. My rage is with the Launcher / Updater / Installation Manager, which will literally take ALL MONTH to download this 120+ GB monster, during which time it'll be preventing me from playing other games because it needs to commandeer my GPU for whatever reason.. And a download speed of 2-3 megaBITs per second? That's insane! My Internet isn't great, but it isn't dialup either!

And if after wasting a month downloading this at 2 GB a day I find that it's all rubbish because of pop-in and bad LOD and blurry textures, yes, I'm going to be miffed. But don't worry, I would never blame consoles. There's zero reason from a programming perspective that the same program can't offer reduced fidelity at higher framerate AND high fidelity at lower framerate, allowing a range of hardware to run that program. IMO a console is just a lower-end PC in a nice box, optimized for gaming.

When I buy something on Steam, I should be able to download it from Steam using Steam's BRILLIANT software installation manager. You would think Microsoft would be eager to let Steam shoulder the bandwidth burden. AFAIK they pay the same either way. I just don't get it... Pizzas me off, that's for sure!

I read somewhere, that an FPS limiter solves this issue as uncapped it can go as high as 700+ during installation, like in my case.
I agree, the installer just reminds me what made me a console gamer 20 years ago, when everything about PC felt just so clumsy.
 
I read somewhere, that an FPS limiter solves this issue as uncapped it can go as high as 700+ during installation, like in my case.
I agree, the installer just reminds me what made me a console gamer 20 years ago, when everything about PC felt just so clumsy.
Normally Steam is the perfect "I want the ease of console gaming on my PC" solution, but not in this case. As for updates ruining a game, my first experience of this on console was Elite, so console isn't immune either.

I'll try this limiter sometime, though I doubt it will fix the ridiculously slow download speeds. I'm pretty much ready to give up until the next update (which ironically I said with the last update before this one). This is what I get for not waiting a year (like I usually do) before buying a new game. Never again!
 
Normally Steam is the perfect "I want the ease of console gaming on my PC" solution, but not in this case. As for updates ruining a game, my first experience of this on console was Elite, so console isn't immune either.
Whoever believes that consoles are easy maintenance and plug-in-and-play is mistaken - when I was a consoliero (PS3) downloading and installing a mere 80MB (yes, Megabyte) update would take 40 minutes for MGS5, and Gran Turismo 5 took hours to uninstall (apparently it used a really cluttered file system).

PS3 is still a rock solid console though, after owning it for 15 years now it still soldiers on as my Bluray/media player underneath the TV. Though I don't play games on it any longer.

The true console experience ended with the PS2 generation in my view, and I see modern consoles merely as limited, ring-fenced PCs with much more limited utility. Cheaper though if all you want to do is play games, at least in the short term.
I'll try this limiter sometime, though I doubt it will fix the ridiculously slow download speeds. I'm pretty much ready to give up until the next update (which ironically I said with the last update before this one). This is what I get for not waiting a year (like I usually do) before buying a new game. Never again!
I think it'll keep your PC cooler (and use less power as a result) but it won't do anything for download speeds (I lock my framerate to 40 now as I prefer stable performance over max frames). To be fair, last week everyone and their dog downloaded the game so their servers must've gotten hammered. I downloaded an additional update for the optional content I have installed and that went a bit quicker (though not as quick as Steam).
 
Whoever believes that consoles are easy maintenance and plug-in-and-play is mistaken - when I was a consoliero (PS3) downloading and installing a mere 80MB (yes, Megabyte) update would take 40 minutes for MGS5, and Gran Turismo 5 took hours to uninstall (apparently it used a really cluttered file system).
I do understand why people choose console over PC, because I did for years. I grew tired of driver version hell, Windows updates, and always chasing the next piece of hardware that cost twice as much as an entire console (cough video cards cough). And one nice thing about consoles is they actually get better with age rather than worse, in that games tend to offer better visuals and play as developers learn the very specific hardware they are writing to and optimize specifically for that hardware.

I have something of a hybrid system today - a gaming laptop (so no hardware upgrades except memory and storage) with a locked 1909 version of Windows that never updates. Nor do I go chasing new drivers unless I absolutely have to. I took a week or two to rip everything out of my OS that I don't need, uninstalling every piece of bloatware and shutting down every unnecessary service, and I locked it down with an aggressive multi-layer firewall, so it's almost like having a console in that I don't need to worry about drivers and ruinous OS updates. Same goes with my Oculus software - it's locked in the pre-Facebook version, where it will remain forever.

The true console experience ended with the PS2 generation in my view, and I see modern consoles merely as limited, ring-fenced PCs with much more limited utility. Cheaper though if all you want to do is play games, at least in the short term.
I got my PS4 Slim for $200 (with a game), so that's a really good deal. I still use it for games like Overwatch today because the anti-cheat software on PC is too intrusive for my liking, so I keep games like this on console. I would not pay full price for a new console, however. The cost difference between PC and PS5, especially when you add the multiplayer tax, is not that big. My laptop cost more, but I needed a new laptop for work & hobby purposes anyway, and it's smaller, more powerful, and more portable than a PS5, so in the end it was the right choice for me.

One of the things that has dismayed me with consoles is that they have been removing features with each new version, at least on Playstation. PS3 was the ultimate home theater device, but many of the built-in home theater programs and functionality were removed on the PS4. I hear the PS5 is even worse. I'm also miffed that every console is incompatible with the hardware from the previous. I had a wonderful flight stick for PS3 that the PS4 refused to work with. Thankfully I can use it now with my PC. Rumor is Sony does this on purpose to make you rebuy all your peripherals, which should be a crime IMO for the environmental impact alone.

All these things said, I never ever will support the arrogance that dismisses console players as if they are some sort of "gutter trash" just because they can't afford a gaming PC, or chose the convenience and security a console provides over a computer. Though I will admit that I was glad when Overwatch went to cross-play, because I'm hoping PC has more mature players due to the very true and unbiased fact that a parent is more likely to buy their child a console rather than a full-blown gaming PC. There's nothing more annoying than being stuck in an Overwatch match full of 12 year olds!
 
I do understand why people choose console over PC, because I did for years. I grew tired of driver version hell, Windows updates, and always chasing the next piece of hardware that cost twice as much as an entire console (cough video cards cough). And one nice thing about consoles is they actually get better with age rather than worse, in that games tend to offer better visuals and play as developers learn the very specific hardware they are writing to and optimize specifically for that hardware.
Yes, I do remember the first few games on PS1/2/3 were always a bit rough (though some of those are absolute classics - SSX on PS2 brought me safely through the launch period lull) and TLoU which arrived towards EoL on PS3 was and still is a piece of art. The downside is (and in turn, the huge benefit of PC gaming) is you have to re-buy older games in the form of re-releases, or keep your consoles (clutter) or hope for backwards compatibility if you want to keep purchased games available. What I like so much about PC gaming is that my library stays the same, my hardware improves so hardware-hungry games like Crysis that barely ran on my PC back then now perform like a dream today.
I have something of a hybrid system today - a gaming laptop (so no hardware upgrades except memory and storage) with a locked 1909 version of Windows that never updates. Nor do I go chasing new drivers unless I absolutely have to. I took a week or two to rip everything out of my OS that I don't need, uninstalling every piece of bloatware and shutting down every unnecessary service, and I locked it down with an aggressive multi-layer firewall, so it's almost like having a console in that I don't need to worry about drivers and ruinous OS updates. Same goes with my Oculus software - it's locked in the pre-Facebook version, where it will remain forever.
I used to play on a laptop (not gaming per se, but I bought it with that in mind, but also work, like you describe below). I used to spend an awful lot of time tweaking settings and trouble shooting stuff in the old XP days, when I also had inferior hardware and hoped some tweaks could salvage poor performance (they didn't). Since Windows 7 in particular I find PC gaming very low maintenance, certainly combined with platforms like Steam, although I'm far from being a technophobe so don't mind a bit of fiddling under the hood if it's not too cumbersome. Windows 10 for me is a mixed bag - it runs fine for me but yeah some of the updates affected my system a lot more than they should've, and I'm no fan of how snoopy it wants to be (have most of the privacy relevant stuff disabled). It's a stable OS though for me in general, and I use my PC not just for gaming but productive tasks also - though not work as such (have a laptop courtesy of my client).

I got my PS4 Slim for $200 (with a game), so that's a really good deal. I still use it for games like Overwatch today because the anti-cheat software on PC is too intrusive for my liking, so I keep games like this on console. I would not pay full price for a new console, however. The cost difference between PC and PS5, especially when you add the multiplayer tax, is not that big. My laptop cost more, but I needed a new laptop for work & hobby purposes anyway, and it's smaller, more powerful, and more portable than a PS5, so in the end it was the right choice for me.

One of the things that has dismayed me with consoles is that they have been removing features with each new version, at least on Playstation. PS3 was the ultimate home theater device, but many of the built-in home theater programs and functionality were removed on the PS4. I hear the PS5 is even worse. I'm also miffed that every console is incompatible with the hardware from the previous. I had a wonderful flight stick for PS3 that the PS4 refused to work with. Thankfully I can use it now with my PC. Rumor is Sony does this on purpose to make you rebuy all your peripherals, which should be a crime IMO for the environmental impact alone.

All these things said, I never ever will support the arrogance that dismisses console players as if they are some sort of "gutter trash" just because they can't afford a gaming PC, or chose the convenience and security a console provides over a computer. Though I will admit that I was glad when Overwatch went to cross-play, because I'm hoping PC has more mature players due to the very true and unbiased fact that a parent is more likely to buy their child a console rather than a full-blown gaming PC. There's nothing more annoying than being stuck in an Overwatch match full of 12 year olds!
I replaced my own laptop with a proper gaming desktop last year, and will never go back to laptop gaming again. I just don't travel enough to justify the need for mobility, and a heavy, large gaming laptop isn't really suited to that anyways (when travelling for work I try to pack as light as I can so every kilo counts) - and the battery of my laptop failed now so there's that also. Low-power consumption Ultrabook ftw going forward for my next work laptop for sure, and since I have a home office desk the desktop makes more sense logistically/ergonomically also.

As for your last para, yeah since I have a long history in console gaming (my first own console was a Mega Drive after moving from the C64, although I played on a friend's VCS early on) I don't look down on them, although I'm not a big fan of the direction they're going - too many hardware iterations and too often for my liking, the walled garden environment (which is why I don't buy into Apple products) and having to pay for online access is just a big no to me. Not begrudging those for whom consoles fit the bill nicely. I do miss the simplicity of old(er) school consoling perhaps, but thankfully I can play those on my Raspberry Pi anyways (and that fits into my pocket).

So aaaanyways MSFS2020... fingers crossed we'll get another update soon!
 
......... So I am properly invested in flight simming, MS and Asobo better get their act together. :)

Worth noting that FSX is worth watching for a sale price - it is £19.99 now but you might be able to grab it for much less in a sale. Sure, it isn't as visually stunning as MSFS2020 out of the box (well, no box but you know what I mean) but it doesn't overheat your room and is fun - I am using it a lot at the moment as MSFS lacks some stuff I like.

If you want to delve into real flight characteristics then X-Plane 11 is great to get into, unfortunately it is about £50 and is not exactly user-friendly but it has features that the Microsoft offerings lack. PREPAR3D is another alternative and has some great features but I am using it less these days, it also has a stupid "licensing agreement" from Lockheed-Martin.
 
Worth noting that FSX is worth watching for a sale price - it is £19.99 now but you might be able to grab it for much less in a sale. Sure, it isn't as visually stunning as MSFS2020 out of the box (well, no box but you know what I mean) but it doesn't overheat your room and is fun - I am using it a lot at the moment as MSFS lacks some stuff I like.

If you want to delve into real flight characteristics then X-Plane 11 is great to get into, unfortunately it is about £50 and is not exactly user-friendly but it has features that the Microsoft offerings lack. PREPAR3D is another alternative and has some great features but I am using it less these days, it also has a stupid "licensing agreement" from Lockheed-Martin.
LocMar, the name that must not be (ARRRGH) CARRIER LOST...
 
Worth noting that FSX is worth watching for a sale price - it is £19.99 now but you might be able to grab it for much less in a sale. Sure, it isn't as visually stunning as MSFS2020 out of the box (well, no box but you know what I mean) but it doesn't overheat your room and is fun - I am using it a lot at the moment as MSFS lacks some stuff I like.

If you want to delve into real flight characteristics then X-Plane 11 is great to get into, unfortunately it is about £50 and is not exactly user-friendly but it has features that the Microsoft offerings lack. PREPAR3D is another alternative and has some great features but I am using it less these days, it also has a stupid "licensing agreement" from Lockheed-Martin.

I am a new convert, and while the micro-management of aircraft adds to the experience, I don't think I can give up the scenery (the actual 'being there' and sense of traveling) plus the live, complex weather, both visually and how it impacts the aircraft. I had a number of landings that went haywire by strong crosswinds and sudden bursts - I love that challenge.

I guess it is like the Star Citizen (Stockholm) syndrome, however problematic and compromised this sim is, it just delivers on aspects no other sim/game does.
 
I am a new convert, and while the micro-management of aircraft adds to the experience, I don't think I can give up the scenery (the actual 'being there' and sense of traveling) plus the live, complex weather, both visually and how it impacts the aircraft. I had a number of landings that went haywire by strong crosswinds and sudden bursts - I love that challenge.

I guess it is like the Star Citizen (Stockholm) syndrome, however problematic and compromised this sim is, it just delivers on aspects no other sim/game does.
I own FSX but as soon as I got MSFS2020 I uninstalled it, and haven't been looking back even for a split second despite some issues with the latter recently. FSX still runs sub-par (which is due to its inability to make use of multicore CPUs from what I've read) and it ... hasn't aged well visually let's just say.

I'd rather buy X-Plane at full-fat price than spend a single cent on FSX would be my recommendation, but even in the current state MSFS2020 is by far the best of the bunch in my view, unless you're a proper sim anorak perhaps (no offense to those ofc).
 
........
I guess it is like the Star Citizen (Stockholm) syndrome, however problematic and compromised this sim is, it just delivers on aspects no other sim/game does.

I own FSX but as soon as I got MSFS2020 I uninstalled it, and haven't been looking back even for a split second despite some issues with the latter recently. FSX still runs sub-par (which is due to its inability to make use of multicore CPUs from what I've read) and it ... hasn't aged well visually let's just say.

I'd rather buy X-Plane at full-fat price than spend a single cent on FSX would be my recommendation, but even in the current state MSFS2020 is by far the best of the bunch in my view, unless you're a proper sim anorak perhaps (no offense to those ofc).

Yes you need to do some work to get good results in FSX and XPlane (I don't bother trying in Prepar3d any more).

It is certainly true that you need to get under the bonnet to produce excellence in FSX and it takes a bit of an investment to fly reasonably-modelled airframes over photorealistic scenery in live weather. Saying that, the issue is that flying a turboprop short-haul twin (Twotter, SAAB340 or Dash8 for example) over photorealistic Scotland or Norway just cannot be done in MSFS2020, when we can can I'll consider uninstalling the hundreds of pounds worth of addons I have squeezed into FSX. ;)

It all depends on what you want to do with your sim. If you just want to fly planes in pretty environments then sure MSFS is brilliant. If you want to fly a GA sort-of realistically then XPlane11 has your back, if you want to fly a helicopter then XPlane covers that too (brilliantly). However, to emulate certain real-world operations in favourite aircraft and locations then in my case that means FSX until MSFS gets it's turboprops sorted and some suitable decent payware aircraft appear. (Plus of course being able to selectively assign controllers / controls per airframe - that really grips my effluent at the moment in MSFS.)
 
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It all depends on what you want to do with your sim. If you just want to fly planes in pretty environments

This is literally all I want, which is maybe why I don't take the minor ongoing (and new) issues that seriously, or get too worked up about them.

MSFS lets me fly low or high over a proper Earthlike world, and that's good enough for me. 🤷‍♀️

This is why when people mention other sims to me, I just switch off. Maybe they are better sims, but they don't offer what MSFS offers, and the sim part is only of cursory interest to me. It has enough to feel 'realistic'.
 
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