Active Sky 2012 Vs Active Sky Next: Which One is Better for Flight Simulation?
Active Sky is a popular weather engine for flight simulation enthusiasts who want to experience realistic and dynamic weather conditions in their virtual flights. Active Sky 2012 (AS2012) and Active Sky Next (ASN) are two versions of this product that offer different features and performance. But which one is better for your needs? Here are some of the main differences and similarities between AS2012 and ASN.
The real difference between AS2012 and ASN is how they control weather. AS2012 uses SimConnect exclusively. SimConnect is an interface that allows third-party applications to communicate with Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) or Prepar3D (P3D). ASN also uses SimConnect, but it uses the as_btstrp.dll to actively hook into the program itself (much like FSUIPC does) to control weather in different ways SimConnect can not do[^3^].
Some of the advantages of ASN's weather control are:
Better cloud depiction and transitions
More accurate wind aloft and turbulence effects
Improved visibility and fog simulation
Enhanced precipitation and icing effects
More realistic thunderstorms and lightning
Customizable weather themes and historical weather
However, AS2012 also has some features that ASN does not have, such as:
Weather radar gauge for FSX and P3D
Flight planner integration with FSX and P3D
Wake turbulence simulation
Airport weather station database
Weather avoidance system
User Interface and Performance
Another difference between AS2012 and ASN is their user interface and performance. AS2012 has a more complex and detailed user interface that allows you to customize many aspects of the weather engine, such as cloud layers, wind shear, turbulence, visibility, temperature, pressure, etc. ASN has a simpler and more streamlined user interface that focuses on the essential features and settings. ASN also has a map view that shows you the current weather conditions and warnings in your area.
As for performance, ASN is generally more efficient and stable than AS2012. ASN uses less memory and CPU resources than AS2012, which can improve your frame rates and reduce stutters in your flight simulator. ASN also has less issues with compatibility and stability than AS2012, which can sometimes crash or freeze your simulator.
Variations and Compatibility
Active Sky Next is available in three variations: FSX (Non-Steam), Steam DLC, or P3D[^2^]. Please make sure you download from the appropriate section depending on your desired variation. This section is for the NON-Steam DLC ASN Product purchased from simulation add-on resellers other than Steam.
Active Sky 2012 is compatible with FSX (Non-Steam) or P3D only. It does not work with FSX Steam Edition or X-Plane.
In conclusion, Active Sky 2012 and Active Sky Next are both excellent weather engines for flight simulation enthusiasts who want to enhance their virtual flying experience. However, they have different strengths and weaknesses that may suit different preferences and needs. If you want more control over the weather settings and features, you may prefer AS2012. If you want more realistic and dynamic weather effects and better performance, you may prefer ASN.
The best way to decide which one is better for you is to try them yourself. You can get a trial version of AS16 that works for 7 days[^1^]. You can also read reviews and watch videos of other users who have used both products. Ultimately, the choice is yours. 0efd9a6b88