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Anything below ~ 15 fps can probably be considered to be hardly playable or at least enjoyable.  Not only that, but the more the framerate decreases, the less functional systems such as the autopilot become.
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Anything below about 15 frames per second (fps) is close to unplayable, or at least, will not be enjoyable.  Additionally, the more the framerate decreases, the more other features of the simulation will suffer.  The current FG software architecture is such that long rendering time (slow framerates) will prevent other parts of the flight simulator, such as the autopilot, from having sufficient CPU time to respond correctly in the context of the simulation.
    
FlightGear's framerate is influenced by various factors, among others:
 
FlightGear's framerate is influenced by various factors, among others:
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* scenery complexity
 
* scenery complexity
 
* cockpit complexity (2D vs. 3D)
 
* cockpit complexity (2D vs. 3D)
* environmental options (i.e. visibility)
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* environmental options (eg. visibility)
 
* FDM update interval
 
* FDM update interval
 
* AI scenarios
 
* AI scenarios
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You can usually disable pretty much most features that may be framerate killers, here's a collection of settings that you may want to try, please note that some of these options will only take effect if they're passed at startup time and won't affect the game at runtime:
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You can disable most features that often adversely affect framerate. Here is a collection of settings that you may improve your framerate. Please note that some of these options will only take effect if they're specified at startup and cannot be changed after the simulation has started:
    
TODO:
 
TODO:
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Contrary to what many people believe, the impacts of high vertex-count models on framerate is fairly minimal.  For graphic artists, the key things that should be avoided are:
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Contrary to what many people believe, the impact of high vertex-count models on framerate is fairly minimal.  For graphic artists, the key things that should be avoided are:
    
* high resolution textures
 
* high resolution textures
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