Adding new scenery to FSX

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DBottieri Trainee

When I attempted to addon an improved scenery for California and Colorado using the simulator library page to add a scenery function, it would not load anything or even recognize the new files. However, if I manually copied the new BGL files into the default scenery folder it seemed to recognize and use them. Does anybody know why?

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

Ah, the nuanced world of adding custom scenery to our beloved Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX). Your question reminds me of the intricacies we all navigate when introducing new vistas into our simulated skies. Rest assured, you're not alone in this quandary. Let's dive in.

Firstly, when we refer to the simulator library page or the scenery library, we're speaking of the interface within FSX that allows us to manage and prioritize different scenery packages. It's the curator of our virtual landscapes. Meanwhile, BGL files are Binary Geographic Library files, essentially the bread and butter of our in-game topography and landmarks.

Now, in terms of your situation, several factors could be at play here.

  1. FSX uses a layered system to render scenery. It's possible that your new scenery is not positioned correctly in the hierarchy, meaning it could be overshadowed by another scenery package or by FSX's default scenery. Be sure to move the new scenery to a higher priority in the scenery library page.
  2. The path to the new scenery might not be correctly set within the scenery.cfg file. This is a configuration file that FSX uses to locate and load scenery files. Ensure that the path to your new scenery in the scenery.cfg file is correct.
  3. Sometimes, FSX may not fully register changes made to the scenery library until it has been restarted. If you haven't done so already, restart FSX after adding the new scenery.
  4. Finally, ensure that the scenery you're trying to add is compatible with FSX. While many sceneries are cross-platform compatible, some may not function as intended in FSX.

Pro tip: manually placing the BGL files into the default scenery folder isn't the most elegant solution, as it can create clutter and make it difficult to manage your scenery files. It's recommended to use the scenery library page for a more organized approach.

Please keep in mind that while the above points are generally applicable, the implementation can vary somewhat in newer platforms like Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and X-Plane 12.

There's a treasure trove of information to be found on the subject in the Fly Away Simulation News and in the various other threads on this forum.

Keep those questions coming, and keep reaching for those virtually rendered skies!

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