With a size of 90 GB minimum, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is no doubt a big hit to the game market. It’s a must-play especially to those travelholics who are being cooped up by COVID. But the game is still at an early stage, so there’s been many players complaining about the crashing issue. If you happen to be one of them, don’t worry. Here’re some fixes you can try.

Try these fixes

You might not need to try them all. Simply work your way down until you find the one that does the trick.

  1. Check if your PC meets the requirements
  2. Update your graphics driver
  3. Install all Windows updates
  4. Verify the integrity of game files
  5. Change your power plan
  6. Disable peripherals
  7. Increase virtual memory

Fix 1: Check if your PC meets the requirements

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is challenging not only to your pilot skills, but also to your computer hardware. If your gaming rig doesn’t meet the minimum requirements, the game is expected to crash from time to time. And even if you can launch the game, it’s going to look like a slideshow.

So, when troubleshooting the crashing issue, first make sure your specs meet the minimum requirements. Because if they don’t, then maybe it’s time for an upgrade.

Here’re the system requirements of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020:

Minimum requirements:

Operating System:Windows 10 64-bit
Processor:Intel i5-4460 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200
Memory:8 GB RAM
Graphics:NVIDIA GTX 770 or AMD Radeon RX 570
DirectX:Version 11
Storage:150 GB available space

Recommended requirements:

Operating System:Windows 10 64-bit
Processor:Intel i5-8400 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
Memory:16 GB RAM
Graphics:NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX 590
DirectX:Version 11
Storage:150 GB available space

If you’re confident about your gaming rig, please move on to the next fix.

Fix 2: Update your graphics driver

Graphics driver updates include not only bug fixes, but also improvements of compatibility with new games. Sometimes a driver update gives your graphics card a second life. So if you can’t remember when’s the last time you updated or installed your graphics driver, now it’s the time for that.

You can update manually: first go to the manufacturer’s download page (AMD/NVIDIA), then search your model and download the correct driver installer. But if you don’t have the time, patience or computer skills to update the driver manually, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy:

  1. Download and install Driver Easy.
  2. Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers.
  3. Click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system.
    (This requires the Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All. If you don’t want to pay for the Pro version, you can still download and install all the drivers you need with the free version; you just have to download them one at a time, and manually install them, the normal Windows way.) 
The Pro version of Driver Easy comes with full technical support. If you need assistance, please contact Driver Easy’s support team at support@drivereasy.com.

Once you’ve updated your graphics driver, restart your computer and launch Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. You can now test your gameplay and see if the game crashes again.

If the problem persists, please check out the next fix below.

Fix 3: Install all Windows updates

Windows 10 and 11 include 2 types of updates: feature updates and quality updates. Feature updates include enhanced features and security improvements, while quality updates are mostly security fixes. If you’re not sure whether you’re using the latest version of Windows 10/11, you should check for system updates.

Here’re the steps:

These screenshots are taken from Windows 10, and the methods also apply to Windows 11.
  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and I at the same time to open the Windows Settings app. Click Update & Security.
  2. Click Check for updates. Windows will download and install automatically available updates. It might take some time depending on your connection speed.
  3. Once you’ve installed the updates, restart your computer.
Usually you’ll need to check multiple times to install all the updates. So repeat the above steps until it prompts that your system is up to date after you clicked Check for updates.

After installing all the available updates, you can open Microsoft Flight Simulator and check if it stops crashing.

If this method doesn’t give you any luck, please take a look at the next one.

Fix 4: Verify the integrity of game files

There’s a funny yet scary thing about Microsoft Flight Simulator: some players reported they can somehow launch the game when there’re files missing. Missing or corrupted files are one potential cause of the crash. If you downloaded the game from Steam, you can try to verify the integrity of game files. Here’s how to do it:

Though rare, some players reported that verifying game files could result in the whole game being deleted. Given that, you may want to consider it as the last resort.
  1. Go to your Steam library. Right-click Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and select Properties.
  2. Navigate to the LOCAL FILES tab and click VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME CACHE…. Then wait for the progress bar to finish.
  3. Launch Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and test your flight.

If there’s nothing wrong with your files and the game still crashes, please try the next fix.

Fix 5: Change your power plan

Windows includes a feature called power plan, which manages the way your computer uses power. You can change your power plan to maximize performance, which might very well fix the crashing issue.

To change your power plan, follow these steps:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time to invoke the Run box. Type or paste control /name Microsoft.PowerOptions and click OK.
  2. In the pop-up window, select High Performance and click Change plan settings.
  3. Click the Turn off the display drop-down list and select Never. Then click Save changes.
  4. Launch Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and see if the problem has gone away.

If this fix doesn’t do the trick for you, check out the next one below.

Fix 6: Disable peripherals

Gaming gears can greatly improve your gaming experience, but it’s true only when they are perfectly compatible with the game. According to some pilots, crashes can occur when there’re 2 or more peripherals plugged in. So if you’re using gears such as controllers, joysticks and yokes, try unplugging them and see how things go. If the crash disappears, you can root out the problem by disabling peripherals one by one.

If you’re using only a mouse and a keyboard when the game crashes, please move on to the next fix.

Fix 7: Increase virtual memory

Virtual memory serves as additional RAM when your system is out of memory. This is often useful when you’re running a big and resource-hungry application. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 consumes lots of memory, and it’s very likely to crash when the physical memory is used up. If that’s the case, you can try increasing the virtual memory of your PC.

Here’s how:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and type advanced system settings. Click View advanced system settings.
  2. Under the Performance section, click Settings….
  3. In the pop-up window, navigate to the Advanced tab. Under the Virtual memory section, click Change….
  4. Deselect the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives checkbox. Then select Customize size.
  5. Enter Initial size and Maximum size according to the physical memory of your computer. Microsoft recommends that virtual memory should be 1.5 to 3 times the size of physical memory. In my case, the physical memory (actual RAM) of my computer is 8 GB, so the Initial size for me here is 8 x 1024 x 1.5 = 12288 MB, and the Maximum size should be 8 x 1024 x 3 = 24576 MB. Once you’ve entered your size of virtual memory, click Set, then click OK to save the changes.
  6. Restart your computer.

Now you can open Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and check if the crash reoccurs.

So these are the tips proven useful to many gamers. Hopefully, you have now fixed the crash and can enjoy your flight. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment down below.

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