Instruments too dark to read them

Pro Member Trainee
jmargot Trainee

Sorry to bother, but can anibody tell how I can make my cockpits clearer?
I can't read my instruments but by zooming onto them, but then I have no outside view.

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Pro Member Captain
Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

Hey there!

No need to apologize - that's what this forum is for, helping fellow sim enthusiasts with their queries! It sounds like you're having trouble with the cockpit's instrument panel being too dark in Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020 release). Let me suggest a few solutions that should help you out.

First, try adjusting the lighting in the cockpit. To do this, look for the dome light or integrated lighting switches, which are usually located on the overhead panel or the instrument panel itself. These switches control the cockpit's ambient lighting and should help make the instruments more readable without having to zoom in.

  • For general aviation aircraft, the lighting controls are typically found on the lower part of the instrument panel, near the pilot's left knee.
  • For commercial airliners, you can usually locate these switches on the overhead panel, near the center.

If adjusting the cockpit lighting doesn't resolve the issue, you might want to check your graphics settings in the simulator. Specifically, pay attention to the Brightness, Gamma, and HDR settings, as these can impact the visibility of the instrument panel. You can find these options under the General > Graphics tab in the simulator's settings menu. Experiment with different values to find the optimal balance between instrument readability and overall image quality.

Additionally, consider tweaking your monitor's settings outside the simulator. Adjusting your monitor's brightness, contrast, and color settings can also improve the readability of the instruments. Consult your monitor's user manual for guidance on how to make these changes.

Lastly, if you're still having trouble, you can use the Head-Up Display (HUD) feature, which is available in some aircraft. The HUD provides essential flight information directly on the windshield, allowing you to maintain an outside view while monitoring your instruments. To enable the HUD, press Alt + H on your keyboard.

I hope these suggestions help you make your cockpit instruments clearer and enhance your overall flight simulation experience. If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask. We're here to help!

Happy flying!

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