X-Plane 11.50 is a major update that completely rewrites the rendering engine to use modern rendering APIs: Vulkan (on Windows and Linux systems) and Metal (on Mac).

Using X-Plane with Vulkan and Metal

Modern rendering via Vulkan and Metal are enabled by checking an option in the graphics setting screen and then restarting X-Plane. You can tell if X-Plane is utilizing Vulkan or Metal via the startup screen or by viewing driver information in the beginning of Log.txt.

Not all add-ons are compatible with Vulkan and Metal. In particular, when Vulkan and Metal are enabled, 3-d drawing callbacks and map drawing callbacks are not sent to plugins. If an add-on appears to not work correctly, you can disable Vulkan and Metal and restart X-Plane.

Known bugs

  • First load time with Metal and Vulkan will be surprisingly slow. This is lots of shaders/pipelines compiling for the first time; subsequent runs will be faster.
  • Blurry textures.
  • Jagged cockpit shadows.
  • XPD-7871 Dark contrails instead of white.
  • XPD-9234 Flickering cloud shadows on the ground.
  • XPD-9729 Contrails and wing condensation missing in replay.
  • XPD-10506 First run shader creation is super slow.
  • XPD-10616 Water reflection off if wave height is non zero.
  • XPD-10653 ‘Heat’ turbulence in front of engine.
  • XPD-10673 GPU counter broken.

Known Addon Issues

Needs update from developer to work with Vulkan/Metal:

  • Aircraft using DreamEngine Sound
  • Bandicam (prevents sim launch)
  • BetterPushback
  • Ground Traffic
  • Flight Factor A320
  • Flight Factor 767
  • Flight Factor 777
  • JAR A320
  • JAR A330
  • JCS Talon T38
  • librain
  • Pilot Edge
  • SimVim
  • ToLiss A319 & A321
  • X-Aviation Torque Sim Pocket Rocket
  • xEnviro
  • XJet
  • XPRealistic Pro
  • xSquawkBox
  • xSwift

Features and improvements

  • Can toggle between OpenGL and Vulkan/Metal in rendering settings.

New and updated global aiports

Bug fixes

Beta 13

  • Fixing bad plugin blaming and race conditions.
  • XPD-10911 Crashes at startup in OGL due to missing shaders.
  • XPD-10914 Fixed missing pipeline with Thranda PC-6.

Beta 12

  • XPD-10267 Fixed typo in data output screen.
  • XPD-10705 Fixed Vulkan pipeline always using depth clamp instead of depth clip like we do on OpenGL and Metal.
  • XPD-10747 AVI Video recording unplayable under Windows/Vulkan.
  • XPD-10790 Fix crash if user has junk prefs for joysticks.
  • XPD-10842 Fixed grid in ocean.
  • XPD-10871 Analytics for custom navdata is broken.
  • XPD-10873, XPD-10577 Crash with video recording.
  • XPD-10879 Fix for “freezing.”
  • XPD-10884, XPD-10883 Crash in Metal with lots of trees.
  • XPD-10897 Fix for another missing shader.
  • XPD-10900 Tuning TACAN through map inspector doesn’t work.
  • XPD-10903 Fixed paging crawler trying to read obj kill datarefs from a backgrounds thread.
  • XPD-10904 Fixed missing shaders when DXT alpha can go both ways.

Beta 11

  • XPD-9329 Fixed distant mountains looking crappy due to low res planet textures.
  • XPD-10704 Low shadow fade distance in cockpit view.
  • XPD-10717 Made more objects pageable to help with VRAM usage.
  • XPD-10741, XPD-10842 Fixed decals being allowed to modulate the alpha channel even if there is no alpha.
  • XPD-10780 Scenery shadows not seen from cockpit view, shadows seen from exterior view.
  • XPD-10796 Flashing colors in OpenGL.
  • XPD-10820 Crash with 3-d artificial horizon and legacy panel lighting.
  • XPD-10828 VR scenery shadow issues determined by two art controls.
  • XPD-10840 Experimental FM can be selected in Plane Maker.
  • XPD-10845 Crash inside drawing hook.
  • XPD-10851 Make GPU info easier to identify in log.txt.
  • XPD-10854 Fixed paging plan background crash with SAM.xpl.
  • XPD-10874 GL shadows broken when scenery shadows are off.
  • XPD-10875 Fixed missing pipeline with HDR + 2-d panels.
  • XPD-10876 Fixed pager paging instances while plugins delete them.
  • XPD-10877 Fixed shadow lines on scenery.
  • XPD-10878 Preparing World takes forever to complete.
  • XPD-10882 Added anisotropic filtering slider.

Beta 10

  • XPD-10458 Need control of eGPU selection for Vulkan.
  • XPD-10543 Crash with AviTab.
  • XPD-10639 Wrong Graphics card used when multiple available.
  • XPD-10645, XPD-10682, XPD-10635 Fixed V-Sync on Vulkan.
  • XPD-10668 Doesn’t launch when display is connected to different than rendering GPU.
  • XPD-10713 Vulkan disabled on startup.
  • XPD-10726, XPD-10796 Removed the validation layer callback unless we explicitly enable validation.
  • XPD-10733 Disable Vulkan checkbox for Win Intel users.
  • XPD-10757 Nav, Com, ADF, Transponder Radios draw current when turned off.
  • XPD-10765 Reduce the OpenGL overhead caused by XPLMDrawString.
  • XPD-10800 The modern 3d drawing callback has the wrong blend mode applied.
  • XPD-10801 Fixed crash with touch up of 4k textures.
  • XPD-10807 Fixed normalization of null vectors becoming NaNs.
  • XPD-10811 Map AI aircraft icons don’t update when dragged if paused.
  • XPD-10815 New tools that can be popped out in 2d are not showing in VR.
  • XPD-10820 Fixed missing pipelines for 3-d panels.
  • XPD-10821 Fix crash when plugin makes VR surface that does not exist.
  • XPD-10823 Fix crash in dumping ATC state to log when controller is half-built.
  • XPD-10824 Fix crash in shut down if a plugin loads airplanes during XPluginQuit.
  • XPD-10825 Fixed stale projection being passed to SDK map layer when it is created while map is shifting.
  • XPD-10829 Loosened severity of squawking with validation rules a little.
  • XPD-10831 Outright ban writing to art controls that ALWAYS crash the sim.
  • XPD-10832 Camera entitlement for TrackerXP.
  • XPD-10833 Hang when capturing video in replay mode.
  • XPD-10841 Improvements made based on blurry texture reports from 11.50b9.
  • XPD-10843 Correctly indicate that runway wetness at temps below 0 Celsius are modeled as icy, not wet.
  • XPD-10849 Fall back to opengl every 3rd launch.
  • XPD-10852 Camera next-plane code inop with TCAS override.
  • XPD-10859 Take small systems code fixes: A/T TOGA and REF, LNAV toggle not working for some autopilots.
  • XPD-10860 Log and cmd line override of IPD for SteamVR.
  • XPD-10865 XPLMFindNavaid not finding airport ICAO code on some gateway airports.

Beta 9

  • XPD-10617 Regenerate icon crash fixes again and again and again.
  • XPD-10766, XPD-10721 Vulkan Not Loading – failed to initialize.
  • XPD-10769 Multi color flashing aircraft.
  • XPD-10798 TKS surface dataref is wrong in readout, but works when writing.
  • XPD-10802 TCAS datarefs added.
  • XPD-10806 Crash opening VRAM profiler.
  • XPD-10808 Fixed deleting and rebuilding plugin layers at async reload.
  • XPD-10809 No longer drawing AI acf on map.

Beta 8

  • XPD-10794 Blurry acf in 11.50b7.
  • XPD-10799 Blurry textures on 737 AP.

Beta 7

  • Updated plugin SDK for TCAS changes.
  • More obj validation and error checking.
  • Fixes for some blurry objects.
  • Improved texture pager again.
  • Updated VRAM profiler.
  • XPD-8112 Override TCAS datarefs for our own and third-party TIS.
  • XPD-8162 Ocean tiles loading slowly & appear to be missing entirely in scenery.
  • XPD-10538 ADS-B Track Data wrong when plugin is controlling multi-player datarefs.
  • XPD-10617 Take two on CTD when using “regenerate icons for current aircraft (and livery).
  • XPD-10649 Too many inflight command buffers.
  • XPD-10654 Took King Air to get fuel pump start script.
  • XPD-10740 Fixed Orbx obj crashing.
  • XPD-10755, XPD-10767 Fixed race condition in map with plugins.
  • XPD-10756 Added map callbacks for vk/metal.
  • XPD-10764 Fix crash if modal is deleted before VR system can pop it up.
  • XPD-10773 Fixed SDK version numbers.
  • XPD-10774 Fixed crash with legacy CRJ700.
  • XPD-10775 Missing pipeline with instrument planet_globe.
  • XPD-10777, XPD-10776 Fixed hangs/crashes in PM any time we get a warning box while opening things.
  • XPD-10779 Fixed crash deleting ALL objects from G1000 C172.
  • XPD-10791 Fixed wasted VRAM when dome warp is not in use.

Beta 6

  • Fixed reflection slider labels.
  • Made aftermath opt in from the CLI only.
  • XPD-10693 Fixed crash when re-opening VR.
  • XPD-10760 Fixed typo in –allow_reshade CLI flag.
  • XPD-10761 Crash in ATC if no suitable destination found for aircraft.
  • XPD-10762 Fix crash in AI spawner when user’s plan is bad.

Beta 5

  • Updated Gateway airports.
  • Support for new Control Pad.
  • Fixed default key bindings for trim.
  • XPD-10617 Generate preview icon works on Vulkan/Metal.
  • XPD-10623 Fixed panel screenshots with OpenGL.
  • XPD-10633 Crash when returning to sim after enabling VR mode.
  • XPD-10637, XPD-10644 Vulkan Error Device Lost.
  • XPD-10646 Took art fix to facades to fight log spam.
  • XPD-10649 Too many inflight command buffers.
  • XPD-10693 Vulkan device lost SECOND time VR is started.
  • XPD-10707 Fixed issues with multiple monitors that have different resolutions.
  • XPD-10714 Vulkan disabled when auto-update runs.
  • XPD-10719 Stars reflected in the water.
  • XPD-10722 Fixed detection of 1Gb cards.
  • XPD-10723 Nvidia device STILL screwed up with Metal and MSAA.
  • XPD-10727 XPLMSetAircraftModel leads to crash under OpenGL.
  • XPD-10728 Fixed wireframe rendering in Plane Maker.
  • XPD-10729 Fixed crashes in ATC system (null segment & waypoint).
  • XPD-10731 Zero size window blows up OpenGL.
  • XPD-10732 Fixed minimizing OpenGL windows.
  • XPD-10742 Fixed MSAA being reset to 2x on restart.
  • XPD-10744 Update error message to only request auto crash report.
  • XPD-10749 Plane maker problem with OpenGL.
  • XPD-10751 Wrong callback dispatched for panels.

Beta 4

  • XPD-10643 ATC crash when entering approach mode.
  • XPD-10648 London Bridge road fix.
  • XPD-10670 Fixed misaligned 2-d panel click regions.
  • XPD-10672 Add the Paris-Orly Aerosoft hybrid airport.
  • XPD-10677 Gate Lines not appearing with Airport environment HD in OGL.
  • XPD-10681 Fixed missing text with airport navigator.
  • XPD-10684 Fixed missing scenery with markings+5 as its group.
  • XPD-10686 Fix reloading sky colors.
  • XPD-10687 Fixed null pipeline in vulkan/metal deploying cirrus chute.
  • XPD-10688 Fix null pipeline editing weapon load out in VR.
  • XPD-10689 Fixed null pipeline on vulkan in texture browser.
  • XPD-10691 Fix crash in G1000 map screen when no airports.
  • XPD-10692 Fix crash clicking popped out g430 with click regions visible.
  • XPD-10694 Fixed crash when thrashing whacking replay slider.
  • XPD-10701 Mouse cursor in VR mispositioned.
  • XPD-10702 Fixed VR mouse with HDR and Vulkan.
  • XPD-10706 Fixed error handling of missing point pool.

Beta 3

  • Fixed crash at launch with Linux + Vulkan.
  • Fixed null pipeline with third party aircraft using custom lights.

Beta 2

  • Fixed show traffic path pipeline nullptr error.
  • Fix crash when AG item has bogus forest ref.
  • XPD-10422 Plane Maker >Expert>Build Weapons>Geometry UI Overlap.
  • XPD-10438 Update King Air beta angle.
  • XPD-10442 Incorrect leg-deduplication with DF-HA, losing turn restriction.
  • XPD-10569 VR Right eye not working with Vulkan.
  • XPD-10607 Fixed skycolors nullptr pipeline on Vulkan.
  • XPD-10621 Fixed FOV and all screen pref param dataref being broken.
  • XPD-10624 Fixed null pipeline on right click of hierarchy in Plane Maker with Vulkan.
  • XPD-10625 Fix for un-inited turbulence.
  • XPD-10629 Fixed black screen on GF 6,7,8 series.
  • XPD-10632 Removed extra comma in loading screen.
  • XPD-10636 Failed to create Vulkan window, no surface formats found.
  • XPD-10638 Metal out of memory.
  • XPD-10641 C172 panel all black with OGL.
  • XPD-10642 Crashes when starting flight on Nvidia Mac.
  • XPD-10647 Can’t use Vulkan with multiple GPUS + SLI.
  • XPD-10656 Fixed Vulkan error handling for better crash reporting.
  • XPD-10657 Fixed missing pipeline on Vulkan with night vision mode.
  • XPD-10662 Fixed aircraft being in wrong place in Plane Maker wing view.
  • XPD-10668 Doesn’t launch when display is connected to different than rendering GPU.
  • XPD-10669 Muted ATC log spam.
  • XPD-10671 Fixed crash going from setting FX 1 to 2 with Metal.
  • XPD-10674 Fixed sound spaces not rendering correctly.

Beta 1

  • Latest manuals added.
  • Fixed missing VRAM use Text in UI.
  • XPD-10626 Hacked around crash on AMD in Catalina 10.15.4.

Developer Preview 11

  • Stutter check is off by default.
  • Fixed text about shader load time.
  • Dataref to tell modern driver.
  • Fixed race conditions.
  • Added link to info on required drivers.
  • XPD-10615 UI says to restart when it shouldn’t.

Developer Preview 10

  • Rewrote shadow & water code.
  • Additional UI alerts for issues initializing Vulkan/Metal.
  • XPD-8162 Ocean tiles loading slowly & appear to be missing entirely in scenery.
  • XPD-8304 Fixed bezier curvature for highest world object settings.
  • XPD-9447 Creepy crawly moving shadows.
  • XPD-10275 Fixed Plane Maker “Special Equipment” window typo.
  • XPD-10284 Art control to force panel to always render for third parties.
  • XPD-10471 Shadows are low res and generally silly.
  • XPD-10599 2D Panel Texture not being mapped to 3D cockpit.
  • XPD-10603 Blurry orthophoto textures after long flight in d9.
  • XPD-10606 Bug with strange large shadow.
  • XPD-10607 Fixed missing pipeline in sky colors.
  • XPD-10610 Low resolution textures on ground trucks close to aircraft.
  • XPD-10611 Low res acf textures for parked airport aircraft.
  • XPD-10614 Shadow on acf when camera is very close.

Developer Preview 9

  • Took FMOD runtime updates & bug fixes (only version 1.08 still licensed).
  • If multiple localizers on the same frequency, always take the one that can be combined with a glideslope.
  • XPD-9059 Add command to reset to the next runway on the current airport.
  • XPD-10410 G1000 amperage indicator no longer hard coded.
  • XPD-10413 Anti-ice all_engines_inlet_heat_toggle not available.
  • XPD-10431 GPS exception crashes.
  • XPD-10508 G1000 Collapse Airways doesn’t hide everything.
  • XPD-10560, XPD-10592, XPD-10593 Fixes for blurry orthophotos.
  • XPD-10569 Clouds missing from right eye in 4x SSAA + VR.
  • XPD-10580 Fixed OGL depth being reverse-z when doing Vulkan/Metal panel callbacks.
  • XPD-10590 Fixed missing aircraft textures.
  • XPD-10594 Fixed most/all XPCallbacks not restoring the GFX device and then blowing up when they ever need to access it.
  • XPD-10596 Fixed ATC dialogue lines broken.
  • XPD-10598 Fixed textures being low res in VR holodeck.

Developer Preview 8

  • Yet another new paging algorithm.
  • XPD-10464 Updated UI text when Vulkan/Metal not available, and added messages on Linux.
  • XPD-10466 Fixed Plane Maker and AirfoilMaker gamma in UI.
  • XPD-10475 Metal + NV + AA broken.
  • XPD-10501 Fixed log typo about backend.
  • XPD-10551 Loading screen blip with pop out map.
  • XPD-10553 Crash when minimizing on Windows.
  • XPD-10561 Plugin admin performance profiling doesn’t change name.
  • XPD-10567 Opening Plane Maker causes X-Plane to be unable to load with the Vulkan driver.
  • XPD-10572 Fixed B52 2d panel layout.

Developer Preview 7

  • New paging algorithm.
  • New modern plugin admin with performance profiling tools.
  • XPD-10443 Crash with Vulkan & VR max AA setting.
  • XPD-10447 Cannot drag anti-aliasing slider with VR mouse.
  • XPD-10454 Device Lost While Flying.
  • XPD-10465 VRAM usage is inefficient under heavy pressure.
  • XPD-10461, XPD-10456, XPD-10474 User out of device memory at startup.
  • XPD-10496 Fixed crash loading Orbx NorCal.
  • XPD-10542 Crash when copying bodies in Plane Maker.

Developer Preview 6

  • Crash fixes.
  • XPD-10489 Fixed plugin VR windows with Vulkan.
  • Additional logging for XPD-1050 Crash with custom scenery OBJ.
  • XPD-10529 Mouse not being found on startup window in Linux.
  • XPD-10533 View is upside down when running Vulkan VR with HDR.
  • XPD-10534 Fixed flight path missing in Vulkan.

Developer Preview 5

  • Rewrote the OpenGL bridge between X-Plane and plugins to fix a number of design limitations and bugs.
  • Plugin drawing is now in the correct gamma.
  • Plugin drawing outside of an XPLM window is no longer clipped.
  • Plugins can read back the frame buffer from any 2-d drawing callback.
  • Scissors-related drawing bugs are fixed.
  • XPD-10232 No more empty space padding dropdowns.
  • XPD-10481 Alpha blending of DRE is wrong.
  • XPD-10483 Invalid shader error with x737 freeware.
  • XPD-10487 OpenGL – Plugin Admin window causes shadow distortion.
  • XPD-10490 Plugin dialog box widgets not rendering in OpenGL.
  • XPD-10492 Hang or crash when resizing window in Vulkan.
  • XPD-10513 Misc Objects list outside of UI in PlaneMaker.

Developer Preview 4

  • XPD-10477 Fixed crash when calling XPLMSetGraphState from XPluginStart without VK or Metal enabled.
  • XPD-10479 Fixed lots of AB412 pipeline problems.
  • XPD-10480 Plugin windows & clouds flipped vertically.
  • Stutter fix during Vulkan buffer deletion.
  • Fixed blit shader.
  • User submitted joystick profiles added.

Developer Preview 3

  • Fixed auto-crash reporting for real this time.
  • XPD-10476 fixed red tint at Nimbus KATL v2.
  • XPD-10478 fixed red objects when texture is missing.
  • XPD-10472 fixed missing pipeline when JATOs fire with Vulkan.
  • XPD-10455 fixed backward inverted normal maps on Metal/Vulkan.
  • Fixed crash when opening an invalid aircraft in Plane-Maker.
  • Fixed Plane-Maker open dialog box when install location is mounted in multiple locations in the file system.

Developer Preview 2

  • XPD-10445 fixed crash at Nimbus KPHX.
  • XPD-10457 fixed OpenGL SkyMaxx Compatibility with SSAA.
  • XPD-10453 crash on startup on Linux.
  • XPD-10459 fixed DataRefTool crashing.
  • XPP-10460 fixed missing pipeline crash with popup plugin windows.
  • XPD-10470 fixed clipping with SSAA, HDR and clouds.
  • Automatic crash reporting fixed.
  • Fixed crash on startup with Intel GPU on Mac with Metal driver.
  • Beta 2 will warn when drivers are too old and need an update.
  • Fixed missing pipeline crash in HDR when not viewing the aircraft in free view.
  • Silenced stutter reports when the UI is being twiddled.
  • VRAM and timing profiler are accessible in the UI for diagnostics.

Developer Preview 1

  • XPD-10288 FMC typo should be VNAV DESCENT.
  • XPD-10316 Baron B58 Autopilot oscillation during climb / descent.
  • XPD-10389 Ability to configure data output visibility in replay/screenshots/videos.
  • XPD-10401 Fixed crash when plane with bad attr_cockpit is loaded.
  • XPD-10410 Amperage indicator scale in G1000 page.
  • XPD-10413 Anti-ice all_engines_inlet_heat_toggle not available.
  • XPD-10422 Fixed Plane Maker Geometry UI overlap.
  • XPD-10434 XPLMSetActiveAircraftCount doesn’t affect the map.
  • XPD-10439 Added support for disabling incoming UDP packets, or disabling networking entirely.

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