Active Sky Next SP4 Released

For all fans of Active Sky Next, the latest edition of this must-have add-on is here!

Introducing a fresh load of features and changes that freshen up, improve and optimize the entire experience for Active Sky Next users these adjustments make it easier than ever to get the most response possible. Sometimes, it can be nice to get those extra little touches of character and class from your simulation and with the introduction of Service Pack Four you can get the most comprehensive picture yet.

Demonstrating clouds using Active Sky Next

In SP4, you get access to a gluttony of new changes that help to completely alter the performance and design of the sky across many different indicators. This is fully compatible with the Active Sky Next normal edition, but please be aware that this does not apply to the Steam Edition; these updates are uploaded automatically via the Steam client.

What’s New?

SP4 introduces various fresh changes to the usage of your simulation, making sure that you can easily use this with Microsoft Flight Simulator X with ease. Given the various differences among both simulators, specific changes have been made for each to maximize the level of performance that you will receive.

This includes changes such as;

  • A comprehensive new listing for the date handling system when you load saved weather files. In the past this could be a problematic inclusion, but the latest SP4 additions make this far more effective to use. Now, bugs and errors have been minimized and you’ll get the accurate numbers.

  • A range of changes have been introduced to fix the issues relating to BR, FG, RA or SN modes in a METAR which resulted in a lack of precipitation.

  • Improved icing depiction greatly to give a more consistent result, ensuring that it looks as it should and gives you the right level of results both in and below the clouds included.

  • Surface temperature interpolation has been re-worked to remove conflicts and issues with the way this feature operated, balancing it out and removing typical issues.

  • New RVR/Runway conditions have been adjusted to ensure that it handles in a far more balanced manner.

  • The 9999+ meters issue has been changed, decoding when the aircraft reaches the specific threshold and thus avoiding crashes of this nature.

  • Improved the invalid radar API errors, reducing the system leading to various intensity levels when flying in light rain levels for any areas which are close to the aircraft.

  • Corrected issues with invalid simconnect version messages appearing when you utilize ASConnect. This stops you having to specify that the REDIST or SDK folders are placed in the right location. However, this can still occur depending on the version and style of simulator that you are using.

  • Fixed issues with “Ambients error” messages, making them far more accurate and descriptive with regards to the problem. Now, you can easily fix these issues to ensure that you have access to a specific URL, giving you access to a detailed knowledgebase on how to correct and fix this error.

  • Corrected all documentation included with regards to ambient errors as well as SimConnect and networked configurations, improving the information provided.

  • Corrected issues related to METAR visibility as well as parsing related to RVR and “Runway Conditions” elements which were being wrongly identified and creating poor visibility.

Each of these features work exceptionally well in ensuring that your system can be far more stable and fluid when using the Active Sky Next settings. These changes help to minimize errors and to improve overall performance in many ways “under the hood” which result in a much better level of performance.

Clouds at dusk

However, this adds more than just basic corrections for FSX. Indeed, this also adds various other benefits for P3D users. Alongside the improvements above, this also provides you with extras such as;

  • Negative interactions with the Visual Fix: Cloud Pop Fix system have been removed from any usage within the P3D version of this modification. It no longer operates with the same rules and thus is no longer needed thanks to improvements to P3D v3. It can also cause potential clashes with P3D v2.5 so it has been removed to avoid issues.

  • ASConnect used to previously try and install to the V2 version of P3D; now it has been changed to automatically target the v3 installation folder instead. If you have to correct this, be sure to look out for this issue when installing.

  • Likewise, various other changes have been named to the installer to ensure that the P3D v3 installation can be made as simple and as easy as it possibly can be.

  • Automatic detection of the P3D v3 installer has been included to ensure that the ASN feature can provide you with a notification message. Look out for this message if you are installing to the wrong version of P3D – the installer is now arranged to give you a specific prompt to point this out to you.

  • A new v3 variant of the xgauge.dll file has bene included, too, for usage with path/registry locations. This will improve likelihood of success when installing and to avoid any conflicts when using the program.

  • Using a new ASN client to handle the support of the installation to the correct locations, maximizing the chances of accuracy with the installation and making sure it fits with the setup and style of your hardware.

  • Full compatibility has been approved for use with P3D v3.1.2.15841, at the time of release the most modern version of the simulator released.

Weather radar

Version 4.1 Changes

With this version of SP4, you also get a wide range of changes that come from Version 4.1. Service Pack 4 was released with a huge amount of changes, but these minor improvements help even further to improve performance and compatibility massively by including features like;

  • A range of specific conditions have been corrected that limited the effectiveness of severe icing when it was not intended. This avoids an unrealistic level of effects being used when it’s not expected, avoiding the weather becoming too over the top and removing the realism.

  • Improved specific issues regarding both FZFG and FZBR (fog or mist freezing) systems that work incorrectly. This would cause freeing rain to appear when it was not supposed to, creating an imbalance in the weather that reduced the realism of the performance greatly.

  • Icing rates were reduced for snow precipitation conditions, making the entire weather feel far more authentic than previously.

Review Video

Please Note

Whilst this modification makes a huge amount of changes that can greatly improve the performance of the simulation, there are some issues that you need to be aware of to ensure that this works properly. These include making changes such as the following;

  • Ensuring that you set your paths properly when you are arranging both ASN and P3D. If you don’t do this, then you simulation can be installed improperly into the wrong appdata paths. Make sure that you set this up properly during the installation process, and that you then restart ASN before using the software.

  • Also, right-click on your shortcut for P3D v3 and ensure you tick the ‘Run as Administrator’ feature. This will ensure that you greatly minimize and reduce the likelihood of logging and ambient errors. This makes a massive difference to the level of performance received in general.

  • P3D v3 base installations are no longer required and typically include legacy simconnect interfaces. If you have to pick these files up prior to installation, you can receive them from the P3D v4 folder. Head to there on your machine, and look for the REDISTInterfaceFSX0SP2-XPACKretaillibSimConnect.msi file. Simply runner the SimConnect.msi file to run the installer and remove this problems.

  • Likewise, when you use ASNext it utilizes a traditional FSX/P3D v1/P3D v2 add-on configuration setting. This means that it replicates the file and folder replications of the older installation, and it’s important that you understand this. P3D v3 recommends that all add-ons use a new system that had add-on content and files located outside of the general installation location of P3D v3 to avoid issues when updating the base software itself. Make sure you adhere to these new rulings or you can find that various conflicts and issues exist with the installation of your software.

  • In short, when you use P3D v3 updates and install them you should first remove ASN to avoid any typical conflicts that tend to appear. If you do this, you can reduce the level and volume of problems that can occur when you are using the various recommended locations.

Settings panels

Getting Active Sky Next

You can download the service pack from HERE right away. It’s a fantastic product to have, and with the latest Service Pack updates you can get an even more impressive performance and level of realism back!

Download iconDon't forget... We have a huge selection (over 24,000 files) of free mods and add-ons for MSFS, FSX, P3D & X-Plane in the file library. Files include aircraft, scenery, and utilities All are free-to-download and use - you don't even need to register. Browse on down to the file library here.

Ian Stephens

Ian Stephens

Ian Stephens is a flight simulation industry expert with over 20 years of experience and also has a keen interest in aviation and technology. Ian spends a lot of his time experimenting with various simulator packages but has a love for Microsoft Flight Simulator X because of the huge selection of add-ons available. However, Ian also has copies of Prepar3D and X-Plane installed.

Ian has been writing for Fly Away Simulation for over 9 years. Should you wish, you can contact Ian via email at


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