It now takes less time to download a planet. Indeed, the latest update of Microsoft Flight Simulator has optimized the initial download size of the game, reducing it to 83 GB from over 170 GB.
The latest patch notes don’t explain how the file size has been reduced, only that the developers have “done some tuning.” Maybe they deleted some countries that they didn’t think people would miss.
Patch 184.108.40.206 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. Considering there were some great Flight Sim mods to download as well, it’s a good thing that the base install is now smaller.