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Dos and donts of XPlane12

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Posted this on oher forum, seems its not important enough for a sticky. so here.

Some links to other forum broken Not sure its wanted.

Dos and dont’s of xplane 12

Can those who use MAC or Linux please add any additional info to the end.

Also can someone who uses steam and actually understands it add a topic at end, regarding updates, checking install etc



Any corrections please PM me so I can update

Release notes




Xplane 12 is not xplane 11 and is a far cry from XP10.

Xplane 12 graphics engine uses Vulcan, for Windows, Metal for MAC and Vulcan for Linux

OGL is only utilised for plugins and this uses ZINK as an iterface to Vulkan to overcome some AMD driver issues. This will also be used by Nvidia but currently there is a Nvidia bug (20/11/2023) so the option is disabled for Nvidia users until such times we get an Nvidia driver update that fixes it.

Zink Forum topic


The xplane 12 engine, if one reads Laminar notes is basically being rewritten form scratch. XP11 was the Vulkan test bed I suppose you might say.


Xplane 12 ATC has vast improvements over all previous versions, see forum topic


And notes



There has being a lot of changes to make plugins and textures etc more compliant, this pretty much breaks scenery ans other addons earlier than 11, even those updated for 11, so don’t expect them to work in 12.

As a side Note for online flying plugins

Some online flying plugins disable Laminars ATC so it wont work as long as they are active, so if you try ATC and no sound you know why.

Flight model

Again there have being many flight model changes, wheel inertia, N2 star speed and lots of other stuff under the hood, so if you are wondering why developers are charging for updates, its because its not a simple job.



Again theer have being many changes to the datarefs to clean up and improve etc. so many planes even from XP11 will be broken and many plugins etc that use them need updaeting to the new data refs

Multi Screen

Yes you can run multi screen, but as mentioned in a post when I find it, the higher the resolution the more pixels one must push and that can cause an FPS hIt.

More screens/ bigger screens means less fps - proportional to your CPU/GPU processing power and cache size. whatever system you are on.


Xplane 12 supports VR, Currently they are looking at Open-XR

Topic Here


Networking and Multiplayer

Xplane does support limited multiplayer, they are currently updating all the networking to improve for this and multi machine usage, keep an eye on the release notes.



Xplane12 airports are not compatible with XP11 or previous versions. Gateway is currently only accepting XP12 validated airports. This is due to new textures and objects and other items that are not available in earlier version.

You need WED 2.5.2r1 or later (when updated) for XP12. There was a round of gateway airports released last beta, the next bunch will come when ready.


Installing Plugins

Plugins go in  xplane12/Resources/plugins and no where else unless specified in the readme file so read it.


Installing Scenery

All addon scenery goes in the xplane12/Custom Scenery folder and no where else, check install or read me instructions. And add on in this folder overrides the default, installing scenery in the incorrect order can cause your scenery to be displayed incorrectly. If you have issues, post your scenery_packs.ini file for people to peruse.


Installing Aircraft

Do not by any means install any addon aircraft into the Xplane12/aircraft/Laminar Research folder, it may break them.

X-Aviation Aircrfat by default go in the Xplane12/aircraft/X-Aviation folder, leave them there or you will break things.

Airfoil labs tend to install in the Xplane12/aircraft/Airfoillabs folder. Leave them there.

You can create folders to install you planes within the aircraft folder, see attached pic.



First 2 Big Donts

Do not put xplane in any windows managed folder that makes files read only, it wont work

If you dont like testing stuff do not use Betas. Theyre for us brave foolish people who like to break things. This is enabled/disabled on a checkbox on the installer.



After you install XP12, run it once, shut it down and copy the whole XP12 folder some where as a backup. This will be you basic clean install. XP is not tied to any window registry entries, so when it gets corrupt, you can simply delete the messed up install and copy the backup back and it will be fine 99.9999% of the time.

Do ensure you only use XP12 approved or updated addons and plugins, also ensure you check for updates replacements for old plugins.

When you have a complete and working XPLANE 12 with addons, again make a back up, I and many others run 3, saves a lot of reinstalling.

You can also than use 1 copy for Beta testing, the installer allows multiple copies to be updated separately, so make sure you name folders appropriately. Ie “ xp12_Beta”.

Don't Reinstall Xplane before attempting running the Xplane Installer or Steam verification process. These processes will identify and correct, missing or corrupt files pertaining to base (vanilla) Xplane. There is often no need to download the entire Xplane set of files.

If you have any issues ensure you post a copy of you log.txt saved right after issue so we can look at it, see this topic


If you have an issue peruse or search the forums, most have already being discovered and its frustrating rpetaing ones self.

Do ensure you read the addon compatiblity for XP12 before purchasing, if it doesnt say it is, BBW


Fault finding Guideline – Thanks @Janov

This is a guideline on how to cure your X-Plane problems of crashing or device loss errors (DLE):

1.) Make sure your operating system is in prime shape. No overclocking. Latest drivers. Default graphic settings (no esotheric Nvidia settings, etc.), no paranoid anti-virus, no "I got this on a cool reddit forum with Windows tips" stuff.

2.) Remove all third party content from your X-Plane installation. Physically move them somewhere else, disabling them in X-Plane is not enough. This includes plugins, aircraft, scenery. If you are not sure you can do this reliably, just delete everything and install X-Plane fresh.

3.) Fly a default aircraft for several hours. Let it go on autopilot if you don`t have the time, but fly a default aircraft in a default ("vanilla") simulator setup until it crashes or 6 hours are up, whatever comes first.

4.) If the simulator crashed or you suffer a device loss error, file a bug with Laminar Research (google X-Plane bug reporter). Wait for LR to fix the problem. You can now post here and let us know about your problem, maybe someone can spot something wrong with your system that you missed.

5.) If you completed the 6 hours with no problem, you can install your FIRST add-on. ONLY ONE! Fly it for 6 hours. If XP crashes or has a DLE, you have found the offending third-party item. Do not use it anymore. Contact the developer of said item to fix it.

6.) Add your NEXT  add-on. Repeat testing, discarding all add-ons that cause crashes or DLE´s.

Remember, there are no "must have" add-ons. There are only compatible or incompatible add-ons. It is the developer´s responsibility to make his add-on compatible or take it up with LR if the problem is not on his side.




Do not just copy all your addons from 11 or any other version into 12, and expect it to work, you will simply get a link probaly to this post or a copy of the above.

Do not simply install xplane12 without making a backup copy, this saves a lot of frustration, but ensure you run it first with a default plane to make sure it works before doing so.

Do not submit an issue on forum withoput a copy of your log.txt you will simply be asked for one. Must be complete not just the bit you think is the problem.

DONT move all the graphics sliders to maximum, even with a top end graphics card.  Start low and work up methodologically - some settings (especially AA) have different effects upon system performance. What you see and what frame rates you target depend very much upon your monitor(s)/VR setup, add-ons etc.

Don't go chasing the perverbial high FPS for the sake of high FPS.

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