When it comes slow download speed issue with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, there’s no single fix that can work for everybody. In this troubleshooting guide, we’ll give you a number of solutions that you can try if you’re having an issue with slow download speed during game installation or when trying to get major updates for this game.
Why download speed is slow on Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020
There’s a lot of factors that can affect the download speed of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. Let’s talk about each of them individually below.
When Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 was released in 2023, many gamers who rushed to download the game were disappointed at first after realizing that getting the game took forever. While it was understandable at the time, as popular games like this one can suffer from high traffic during the first few days after the release day, the issue did not go away at all.
Even now, several months after Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 was officially released, many players may still have a problem with long download times for both first time game installation and when installing major updates.
Microsoft needs to improve the server side of things for this game, especially the download speed during installation and updates.
Game settings limitation.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 has an in-game setting called DATA BANDWIDTH USAGE LIMIT that lets you control data bandwidth allocation when the game is running as Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 downloads the map in real-time while you’re flying. This can effectively limit the download speed to the options you selected, which can also affect how fast the download speed during updates work.
Windows Auto-Tuning feature bug.
Windows 10 has a feature called Window Auto-Tuning that helps the OS manage TCP packets on a network by constantly monitoring certain connectivity aspects like latency, application delay, and bandwidth. By design, average users should never tinker with this feature as its meant to ensure that your system can work smoothly with all sorts of network conditions.
However, some Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 players have claimed that disabling the Window Auto-Tuning feature did improve their download speed.
Windows download settings.
For some people, the main cause for their slow download speed has something to do with their selected Delivery Optimization option. This is a Windows 10 system settings feature that allows you to control how fast Windows updates and Windows Store apps are updated.
If the selected options are set to slow, this may be reason why Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020’s download speed is way too slow.
Slow internet speed.
Your own internet speed is of course another possible factor that you need to consider. If you’re paying for a slow download speed, you’ll have to invest in a faster plan to improve your internet.
The quality of service of your ISP can sometimes be blamed as well if you’re having slow download issues. Your ISP may intentionally limit or throttle down your bandwidth or download/upload speed for various reasons.
Many people who are paying for high-end internet subscriptions may still end up with slow download speed due to technical issues, high network traffic, or network congestion. This situation can only be determined by your ISP but if you noticed that your internet download speed seem to fluctuate or slow down at certain times of a day, you may be dealing with network congestion.
While not all, some ISPs may put a hard stop to your bandwidth or internet speed if you’ve already reached a certain usage value every month. If you continue to use your internet after you’re already reached your cap, you may experience slow download speed.
Selective data prioritization.
At other times, your ISP may intentionally slow down certain types of data in order to free up bandwidth for others, or for other applications in their network. Also known as paid prioritization, this form of throttling is often observed on game updates and is the reason why huge game updates like the ones for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 can take a long time to finish.
Wifi signal interference.
If you’re using wifi, the performance of your wireless device or network may also affect your download speed. You can try to connect your laptop directly to the router by an ethernet cable to see if that will fix the slow download speed issue. If it does, then you have an issue with either your router or wifi network.
Slow storage device.
Downloads and installation for huge games like the most recent Call Of Duty titles and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 can also extend if the installation drive you’re using is slow. This is because the game tries to download, decompresses, then download the next set of files afterwards. This cycle can take a long time especially if we’re talking about tens of GBs during download and installation.
If possible, try to install Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 in an alternate installation repository such as an SSD, which has a faster write/save speed than conventional mechanical hard drives.
How to fix Microsoft Flight Simulator slow download issue
Below are the solutions that you can do if you have a slow download speed problem with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.
Fix #1: Check the game’s Data Bandwidth Usage Limit
Follow the steps below to set this feature to Unlimited:
- Open Microsoft Flight Simulator.
- Go to Options > General > Data.
- Under Data Bandwidth Usage Limit, select Unlimited for Bandwidth.
- Press F11 or click on Apply and Save.
Fix #2: Restart the game.
Sometimes, it can only take a simple solution like a quick game restart to fix slow download speed issues on games. Once the game has been restarted, try to download Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 again to see if there’s any difference.
Fix #3: Turn off Auto-Tuning Level.
Here’s how to go about disabling the Windows Auto-Tuning feature:
- Press the Windows key on your keyboard and type the word Command.
- Look for Command Prompt and right-click on it.
- In the menu, select Run as administrator.
- In the command prompt, enter: netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disable
- Press the Enter key on your keyboard.
- Reboot your computer.
Fix #4: Check Delivery Optimization settings.
Make sure that Windows updates and Windows Store are not limited to certain bandwidth cap or download speed. Here’s what you need to do:
- Press the Windows key on your keyboard and type the word Delivery optimization.
- Open Delivery optimization settings.
- Select Open.
- Click on Advanced Options.
- Under Download settings, make sure that you check the box for Limit how much bandwidth is used for downloading updates in the background and move the slider to 100%.
Fix #5: Use a VPN.
To bypass possible ISP throttling, you can use a Virtual Private Network or VPN. Although some good VPNs may not be free, not every one of them can help you fix possible slow download speeds due to ISP throttling. In my case, may paid VPN (CyberGhost and ExpressVPN) did not improve the situation but the free Cloudflare Warp did. Some gamers tried premiums VPNs and it worked like a charm for them so it really depends.
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