Microsoft Flight Simulator’s latest patch cuts game download size in half

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It now takes less time to download a planet. This is because the latest update to Microsoft Flight Simulator has optimized the game’s initial download size, reducing it to 83 GB from 170 GB.

The latest patch notes do not explain how the file size was reduced, only that the developers “performed some optimization”. Maybe they deleted some countries that they thought people wouldn’t miss.

Patch 1.16.2.0 is also packed with small tweaks spanning the entire game, from the weather system and planes to the flight stick controls and the user interface. Live weather data streamed from the Internet will now require less bandwidth, for example, and – it’s a particularly nice phrase, it has “improved the accuracy of live snow cover.”

At launch, Flight Simulator took me a full 24 hours to download. The process was made worse by preloading through Steam by downloading only an 800MB launcher, which could only be started to download the rest after the game was released.

Other major updates to the game since its launch have also expanded the details of the game world, adding optional photogrammetry to make more cities as accurate as possible. Since there were also some great Flight Sim mods to download as well, it’s a good thing that the base install is now smaller.


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