UPDATE – X-Plane 12 Beta 5 has landed. You can report bugs and issues to the developers. Due to the issues especially with the real-weather in Beta, this page will be updated later on with the best graphics settings for X-Plane 12. For now, the article below is for X-Plane 11 instead, which we prefer until XP12 Beta is more bug-free.
While we are waiting for X-Plane 12 to be more bug-free as the development goes on, 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, extended night lightning, NOAA weather plugin, and Enhanced Skyscapes. 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
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.