FSX Steam Edition: Ground Rendering as Water - Solutions?

Pro Member Trainee
RLB747SP Trainee

All ground appears as water (even with waves). Tried taking off from the airport ground next to the runway with a flying boat. Yep, it thinks it is water!

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

It seems you've stumbled upon a rather perplexing issue with FSX Steam Edition. First off, I appreciate your creativity in using a flying boat to test out the terrain - a bit of humor always helps when troubleshooting!

Now, let's dive into the problem:

  • Graphics Settings:
    The initial step is checking your graphics settings. Over the years, I've noticed that if these are not properly configured or if they've been adjusted to a setting that the sim doesn't quite like, unexpected visual artifacts can arise. Go to your FSX settings and ensure that water effects are set appropriately.

  • Scenery Cache:
    FSX has a habit of caching scenery. Occasionally, this cache can become corrupted.

    • Navigate to your FSX directory.
    • Delete the SceneryIndexes folder.

    The next time you start FSX, it'll recreate these indexes, potentially solving your terrain issue.

  • Third-party Add-ons:
    If you've installed any third-party scenery or terrain modifications, these might conflict with the default scenery files.

    • Try disabling them temporarily from the Scenery Library to isolate the problem.
  • Video Card Drivers:
    Outdated or incompatible video drivers might cause graphical anomalies in flight simulators.

    • Ensure you have the latest drivers installed for your GPU. Always go to the manufacturer's official website for the most recent and compatible versions.
  • Verify Game Files:
    Corrupted game files can be another culprit.

    • If you’re using Steam, it has a handy feature where you can verify the integrity of your game files, essentially checking for any missing or corrupted components.
  • DirectX:
    Ensure your DirectX version is up to date. The version bundled with FSX isn't always the latest, so visiting Microsoft's official site and grabbing the latest iteration might help.

Lastly, if none of these seem to resolve the issue, a complete reinstallation might be your last resort. While it’s time-consuming, it usually clears up most anomalies, ensuring a clean state.

From my knowledge, the above troubleshooting steps are tailored primarily for FSX. However, if anyone encounters a similar issue in platforms like Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 or X-Plane 12, some of these solutions might still be applicable.

I hope this sets you on the right path to getting back into the skies seamlessly. Feel free to let us know how it goes, and if you have any other queries, the community here is always eager to assist.

Blue skies!

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