Maximum Number of Effects

Hey all,

does anybody know if FS9 has a maximum number of effects it can view at once?

I ask this because I have created an airport taxiway centerline system in gmax using a total of 2876 effect references.
Because of the number of effects, I can't compile them all at once. So I have divided the airport into 12 sectors with about 200 lights each.
Each section compiles well and can be viewed individually within FS9.
The problem arises as soon as I start adding them together.
I would estimate I can get about 1000 of the effects to show up at any one time. And it is always the first in line name wise (omega_1, omega_2, etc).

So, I was just wondering if FS has a maximum number of effects it will show at one time? If it does, than I have to figure out another way of making center line lights.


Sean E.
Hi Sean!
I wouldn't know what is the limit but You are asking if 2876 effects is too much. Are these different effects or only few different effects put in the scenery in total 2876 times? The later seems reasonable but the first one is :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: I can't imagine why one would need so many different effects?

Best regards,
Hey Gorchi,

Sorry for the LONG delay.

I am designing centerline taxi lights. I created an fx file and have used Gmax to lay out a line of effect-objects.

They export fine, but after a certain number (of identical effects), they start to not appear. They compile, but won't appear in FS9.

What's odd about this, is that I have duplicated the same project using XML code and they all show without any issues. So, I am thinking that there is a compiling problem within Gmax.

Sean E.


Staff member
I have found that sometimes effects do not show unless you reload the simulator. It is a bit hit and miss.
Well, I can definitelly conclude that there is a maximum number of effects that can be rendered at one time.
I am not sure of the exact number, but I do know that it is close to 1000. Any more than this and the effects start to disappear in a radial fashion from a point within the area of the effects.

I was successful in getting all the centerline lights to appear. But, once I added the edgeway lights, did the problem begin again.

So, in the end, after redoing the entire airport lighting system twice over, I have reverted to SCASM coding with layering to place the lights. Apparently, FS9 has no issues to how many 'lights' that can be rendered from the built in effects.

I will continue to experiment with the effects and see if there is a way around the system.
Oh, one other thing, Effect Type=3 (distance light effects) along with the controller portion for this type of effect does not work. If you enter a distance greater than zero(0), the effect isn't rendered. Kind of odd considering the controller is designed to control the viewing distance of the effect. (just like putting in viewing distance on an object).

Sean E.


Staff member
Sean, sorry to dig up an old thread, but I have this issue....

How did you code the SCASM... I am beginning to give up on the idea of effects :(
Not a problem on the old thread thing. I have advanced farther in my light quest.

Since I have learned how to use the LIGHT_NAV routine, I have converted my centerline lights to this style.

Here is how it works:

1) Create an object with the texture name of LIGHT_NAV (color is your choice)
Make sure the ref point is at ground level
2) Create a line of these objects
3) Export in 2004 MakeMDL
4) Place in flightsim via XML. For ALT setting in XML put -.35

What this does is bury 2/3 of the light into the ground leaving a small twinkle of a light above ground. The effect is very good.

This also allows for ASM tweaking for day/night/dusk/dawn.
The only problem is that Gmax can only export 1,400 of this object types at a time. (Yep, I am still well over the 2500 mark.... :) )

Anyways, this is how I have solved my centerline lights issues. Using effects is more or less just a one time object. It wasn't meant to be used in large scale manners

Sean E