UPDATE: A fresh performance trick for X-Plane 11. The first official X-Plane 12 trailer can be found below. We are still waiting for the long-awaited xAmbience Pro addon for X-Plane 11 to enhance the weather engine. The next-generation X-Plane 12 is expected to be released in the first half of 2022. A new video shows some interesting upcoming features of X-Plane 12 default aircraft systems, including a need to temperature correct altitudes during winter flying. A sneak peek of the default volumetric clouds coming with X-Plane 12.
While we are waiting for the next X-Plane 12, expected to land in the first half of 2022, I want to share the best graphics settings for X-Plane 11. There are a lot of newcomers to X-Plane due to the release of the most detailed addon, Hot Start Challenger 650. The most stuttering situation in X-Plane 11 is when flying near an overcast cloud layer beneath or above. It’s something you can get rid off by setting the X-Plane 11 graphics settings as instructed below. Also, I highly recommend installing Airport Environment HD, Xtreme low resolution clouds, and drifting snow overlay replacement. The hardware I run X-Plane 11 is Intel Core i7-9750, RTX 2060 6GB, and 16GB RAM. I’m using the Full HD resolution 1920×1080, and if you are too, I recommend disabling FXAA to make the cockpit glass screens more sharper. You can find the settings.txt file under the Resources folder, and line 321 is the one to edit. This tweak is not needed if using 4K resolution.
Before running X-Plane 11, note that I have the Max Frame Rate of 35 FPS for x-plane.exe under the Nvidia Control Panel. It’s up to you if deciding to limit frame-rate, but some users report smoother simulators with it. Also, note that all aircraft failures are enabled by default, so you need to disable them by unchecking the Set mean time between failures option under Failures settings, or you start losing an engine at some point. Below are the recommended graphics settings for the Graphics options screen under Settings.
Visual Effects: High (HDR)
Texture Quality: High
Antialiasing: 2x SSAA+FXAA
Anisotropic Filtering: 4x
Number of World Objects: High
Reflection Detail: Minimal
Uncheck both Draw parked aircraft and Draw shadows on scenery. You can run X-Plane 11 either by OpenGL or Vulkan driver. Some users, me included, have reported crash-to-desktop issues with the Vulkan error message. I recommend flying with Vulkan first, and if no crash-to-desktop ever comes, you are good with it. If and when the first Vulkan error comes, uncheck the Use Vulkan driver for faster rendering, and the crash-to-desktop issue should be gone. Remember to reboot X-Plane 11 for these changes to take effect.
While you start learning to fly the most detailed simulator addon aircraft ever, we are still waiting for the upcoming weather engine addon for X-Plane 11. It was meant to be released at the end of 2021 but got delayed due to unexpected issues. The hopefully soon upcoming HST Simulations xAmbience Pro addon includes many new features not seen on the base X-Plane 11 yet. Some to mention are the dynamic procedural sky, accurate aerosol conditions, voluminous photoreal clouds, full range of cloud types, rain showers seen from distance, smooth live weather transitions, real-time seasonal changes, snow accumulation on aircraft surfaces, extended cloud draw distance, and many more.