Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS) 2020 – Stuttering and Freezing fix

Microsoft Flight Simulator stuttering freezing fix – Microsoft Flight Simulator, also known as Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 or MSFS 2020, is a flight simulator by Xbox Game Studios available for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One. It is the eleventh major entry in the Microsoft Flight Simulator series, preceded by Flight Simulator X.

Flight Simulator simulates the entire Earth using textures and topographical data from Bing Maps. The game generates 3D representations of the world’s features, such as terrain, trees, grass, buildings, and water using Microsoft Azure technology. Some players received the Alpha version as part of the game’s Insider program.

Now that the basic information about the game has been covered, lets talk about the performance of MSFS 2020 on PC. The problem is every single single AAA title suffers with performance related issues at launch nowadays. Microsoft Flight Simulator is no different. The size of the game is a whopping 150 GB and it makes sense as this is probably one of heaviest games of 2020. Ever since the game launched, players have been constantly complaining about constant stuttering and freezing in-game. That is why we decided to put up this basic guide consisting of some fixes that are quite easy to try.

Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS) 2020 – Stuttering and Freezing fix

Microsoft Flight Simulator System Requirements

Before you move any further in this guide, check out the official system requirements of the game to make sure that your system is capable enough.

Minimum:

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel i5-4460 | AMD Ryzen 3 1200
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 770 | AMD Radeon RX 570
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 150 GB available space

Recommended:

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel i5-8400 | AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 970 | AMD Radeon RX 590
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 150 GB available space

As you can see, you do require an i5-8400 or a Ryzen 5 1500x, in order to play this game at 1080p on high settings. If you ask me, even that is not enough. This game was struggling on a gaming PC having a GTX 1060 6 GB and a Ryzen 5 3600. You can obviously tone down the graphics settings a bit, but then what is the point of playing a flight simulator at low graphics settings.

Tweak the graphics settings of MSFS 2020

We are still fiddling with the graphics settings of Flight Simulator as there are a lot of options. As soon as we find a good combination of settings that will help players to squeeze out some extra performance without sacrificing much on the graphics part, we will post it here. Here are the specifications of our rig :

  • CPU : AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  • GPU : Zotac GTX 1060 GB
  • RAM : 16GB DDR4 2666mhz
  • OS : Windows 10 64-bit (Version 2004)
  • HDD : 2 TB 7200 rpm
  • Monitor Resolution : 1920×1080
  • Driver : GeForce Game Ready Driver v451.67

Update : Click here to check out a detailed guide on the graphics settings of Microsoft Flight Simulator

Disable all types of Overlays

Steam Overlay

The Steam Overlay has been causing performance issues in a lot of games lately. So it is best to keep it off. Here is how to do it:

  • Open the Steam client
  • Navigate to the Steam Settings
  • Select the In-game tab
  • Un-check the box next to Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game.

Nvidia GeForce Experience Overlay (For Nvidia users)

If you are a Nvidia user and you have GeForce Experience installed. Then you most probably have GFE overlay enable. Here is how to turn it off:

  • Launch Nvidia Geforce Experience
  • Click on the Settings icon on the top right corner
  • Select the General Tab
  • Turn of In-Game Overlay
  • Restart your system

Turn off Windows Background Recording

If you have Background Recording on on your Windows then it can cause micro stutters and freezes. Basically the feature constantly records in the background when you are playing a game. Here is how to disable Windows Background Recording:

  • Open Windows Settings
  • Click on Gaming
  • Select Captures
  • Now turn off Background Recording

Disable Xbox Game Bar

The Xbox Game Bar feature for Windows can cause stuttering and lagging in games some times. Try to keep it off. Here is how to do it:

  • Open Windows Settings
  • Click on Gaming
  • Select Xbox Game Bar
  • Now turn it off

Microsoft Flight Simulator – Nvidia and AMD Control Panel Settings

Nvidia

The first thing you should do is click on ‘Adjust image settings with preview‘ located on the left side under 3D settings and make sure that ‘Use the advanced 3D image settings‘ is selected. Now:

  • Open Nvidia Control Panel
  • Click on Manage 3D settings on the left bar
  • Click on the Program Settings tab
  • Locate Microsoft Flight Simulator from the drop down menu under “Select a program to customize”
  • If you don’t see the game on the list then click on the Add button and another list will appear
  • If you still cannot spot the game then you need to add the .exe file manually.
  • Click on Browse
  • Locate the folder where you have installed the game
  • Select the executable file or the .exe file which in this case should be msfs.exe
  • Once you have successfully added the game, you will then see the program settings become available for the game
  • Now tweak the following settings
  • Image Sharpening : Off
  • Threaded Optimization : On
  • OpenGL rendering GPU : Your dedicated GPU (GTX 1060 in my case)
  • Shader Cache : On
  • Power Management : Prefer Maximum Performance
  • Low Latency Mode : Off
  • Texture filtering – Quality : Performance

AMD

Click on Global Graphics.

  • Radeon Anti-Lag : Disabled
  • Radeon Boost : Disabled
  • Image Sharpening : Off
  • Anti-Aliasing Mode : Use Application settings
  • Anti-aliasing Method : Multi-sampling
  • Morphological Filtering : Off
  • Anisotropic Filtering : Disabled
  • Texture Filtering Quality: Performance
  • Surface Format Optimization: Enabled
  • Tesselation Mode: AMD Optimized
  • Wait for V-sync: Off
  • OpenGL Triple Buffering: Off
  • Shader Cache: AMD optimized
  • Maximum Tesselation Level: Off
  • GPU Workload: Graphics
  • Radeon Chill: Off
  • Frame Rate Target Control: Disabled

These are all the fixes we have for Microsoft Flight Simulator at the moment. We are looking for more and as we discover new ones will update this article with them.

Click here to check out some more fixes in our crashing fix guide for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Click here to check out the Official Steam Discussions page of Microsoft Flight Simulator.


With that being said, if you think this guide has helped you then let us know in the comment section below. Also, If you are facing problems that are not mentioned on this article then also you can comment below. We will try come out with a fix. Good luck!


That’s all folks!