Here’s why some Flight Simulator 2020 landmarks look worse than others

Image credit: Reddit

Airplane enthusiasts are discovering that some Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 landmarks don’t quite live up to their real-world counterparts. While Microsoft has certainly done an impressive job rendering its own interpretation of the world, a few critical areas have fallen somewhat short.

One notable example is what’s seen in our header image: Buckingham Palace doesn’t quite look as impressive as its real-world counterpart, with one Redditor mentioning a YouTube comment that called it “Buckingham Housing Estates.” Another user in that same Reddit submission claims to have worked with the team and has an explanation.

“Firstly, the downloads alone would be in the terabytes as each landmark building has a polygon and texture burden that is above the autogen buildings and not easily atlased like those simpler objects,” read a portion of /u/ProfPorterSMU’s comment. “Secondly, there is a licensing fee for some buildings, which makes it [cost-prohibitive] to recreate everything. Additionally, there is a security issue with recreating some buildings with accuracy as well.”

Flight Simulator 2020 landmarks Amphitheatre of Nîmes Reddit

Image credit: Reddit

Indeed, some of these issues were hinted at in a 2019 Xbox news post that previewed the game described the techniques used to create this simulation of the world.

“By using a combination of global satellite data and aerial imagery from Bing, and the power of Azure Cloud to bring a visual representation of the entire planet Earth to life (2 petabytes of data, to be precise), and procedural techniques using machine learning algorithms developed by the team that defines where to generate trees, grass, terrain surfaces, and other elements based on world data, all help bring this flight… no… world simulator to life.”

Users are having a fair bit of fun finding some of the wonkier Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 landmarks. Another submission discovered that the Amphitheatre of Nîmes looks less like an impressive theater and more like a donut with a couple of apartment buildings strangely stuck in the middle.

While many of these landmarks are lovingly recreated, not all of them made it into the game looking their best. Other companies, however, are quite willing to step up and solve the problem if you’re willing to pay them a few extra bucks. Companies like Orbx simulation systems have created DLC packs that can add hundreds of buildings to your game to make up for the shortfalls.

The problems with the worst Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 landmarks are likely to be fixed with DLC from third-party developers. For now, you’ll just have to tough it out — there’s plenty of great stuff to see in this lovely virtual world!