Global AI Ship Traffic MSFS V1

Current Version 1.0 by Henrik Nielsen
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Version 1.0
Initial Release March 06, 2021
Last Updated March 06, 2021
File Size 1.14 GB
Downloads 33,652
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#Real-Life Drag and Drop

The Global AI Ship Traffic Project provides AI ship traffic accross the globe with realistic models of real life ships of all types from fishing boats to cruise ships, from tugs to tankers, container ships, and bulk carriers, from patrol boats to submarines, destroyers and aircraft carriers. More than 1300 models are placed on routes all over the world according to what is realistic for each region. More than a hundred ferry routes are covered with their specific ferries  and you will find naval exercises with Navy ships from most regions. Watch a full scale NATO landing excercise on the West Coast of the Jutland Peninsula in Denmark or the Brazilian or Chinese navies doing the same in their respective areas. Watch the departure of a Tall Ship race from Saint Malo, Kiel or Sandefjord or a round the world sail race departing from Gothenburg... Go looking for Maersk Alabama in the exact spot she was attacked by pirates of the coast of Somalia as later depicted in the movie Captain Phillips with Tom Hanks. More than 24.000 ship movements ensure that the sea is no longer empty. Add to that killer whales, humpback whales, and right whales....

Models and textures by Erwin Welker, Jean-Pierre Fillion, Knud Kristoffersen, Dexter, Milton Shupe, Manfred Siedler, Bernardo Barroso, Paul Donnelly, Finn Kristoffer, Didier ‘‘Lagaffe’’ Puentes, Andrew Thomsen, Robystar, Antonio Diaz, Sebastien Viale, Alberto Garcia, Cxema, Pascal Dumat, Rick Keller, Lazarus Starkweather, Dave Garwood, Darren Lane; Henrik Nielsen, and more

A great thank also to the many beta testers and a special thanks to the shipping company DFDS for providing documentation to make realistic models of their fleet of passenger and freight ferries.

Idea and conceptualisation Henrik Nielsen, KL791

For support and additional information please follow our threads on the project on forums.flightsimulator.com, avsim.com, fsdeveloper.com, sim-outhouse.com in English, on flightsim.no in Norwegian and Danish, on voovirtual.com in Portuguese, and pilote-virtuel.com in French. 

Installation is simple: unzip and drop in your Community folder.  Ensure you traffic settings for Ships and Ferries is 5% or more. All ships will appear at 5% so no need to increase to 100% unless you want to see repetition of the default ships.

Known Issues - please be aware this is an "advanced" conversion of the FSX/P3D models meaning the models are not native MSFS models, however file structure, textures, and many of the older model files have been modified to suit the requirements of MSFS AI traffic. However as the project contains mdl files conversion can give stutters approaching ships depending on your system and settings; on high end gaming computer this should be negible, but if you run a MSFS minimum spec computer with high graphic settings you might see FPS drops when close to the ships. Also loading time of routes depends on your computer specs. You can read more on this here:


Currently - March 2021 wakes are not enabled by MSFS. Nor does the models have hard decks. This will come in a subsequent update.

Referencing or any other use or sharing of the models included in Global AI Ship Traffic can only happen after written permit by the copyright holders. 

How to install this?

Unzip and move to your community folder. Ensure that your traffic settings for Ships and Ferries is between 5-10%.

if you use Addon linker to install you might get an error message; so far all users reporting this problem have managed to solve it with a new installation, but please contact Addon linker's author if you need support with installation with addon linker or use the above method which will work.

Will this affect FPS?

This depends on your settings and system. If your computer is already stretched by MSFS this could add loading time at start up or if you change time during your flight and/or stutters when getting very close to the ships - approx 1 kilometre. Stutters will disappear once the mdl file is converted. If you experience stutters consider reducing your graphic settings a bit.

We work on a native version but it won't be out before Christmas 2021.

How can I find the ships?

I recommend you to use Little NavMap besides the sim - it will show you the presence of ships in the vicinity of where you fly including the name of the ships.

Remember to activate display of ships in LIttleNavMap - It is done clicking on the boat icon in the menu bar.

Are there ships all over the world?

There are routes along most coastlines and some routes crossing Oceans, however the focus is on coastal areas. There are approx 24.000 ship movements programmed - spread them over the globe and comparte to around 300.000 ships in the real oceans... don't expect hundreds of ships everywhere - it would kill of performance.

There is generally no or few ships docking in harbors - due to the different sceneries used by different simmers the risk of conflicts is high if we let ships go into harbors. Most of the ships will be found between harbors on the major shipping routes.


The sim adds a folder _CVT is that normal?

yes, this is perfectly normal as the sim stores converted textures in the that folder. It will continue growing until all ships have been present in your flights.

No ships show up, what could be wrong?

If no ships show up there can be three main reasons...

You have an installation or setting issue

You fly in an area without or with limited ship traffic

The sim does not load the ship traffic properly

To check if you have an installation issue go to an area with a lot of traffic. I recommend departing from Calais, France flying towards Dover, UK - you should see both ferries and cargo traffic. If no traffic appears check the following - Did you install the unzipped GAIST_MSFS_V1 correctly in your community folder? if yes, did you adjust settings for Ships and Ferries to above 5%? You find that setting under general options traffic.

Of course you can be flying in an area with limited or no ship traffic. The routes are mostly along the coasts and they are preprogrammed following realistic patterns but this in not real time and to avoid performance issues traffic is not as high as in the real world. You can use LittleNavMap to see where the ships are during your flight. In order to see where the routes from the Global AI Ship Traffic are download the AI Ship Locator V2 by Carl Vokes from simviation.com. It contain most of the routes included in the project. 

Finally, the sim engine is not very stable when it comes to ships  - you might experience that ships do not show up as programmed and if you load the same flight another time they do show up - it happens in particular if you start your flight at a moment where the ships are waiting to depart, but it can also happen that the sim simply don't load a particular route or ship on a route during a flight. This has been reported to Asobo, but it might take time before it get high on the priority list. After all it is a detail in a complex sim.





I am looking at the sea and see a ship but it doesn't appear in the simulator... Why?

This is not a Real Time package, however, the scheduled routes simulates realistic shipping routes, but with the difference that you will find little traffic in the middle of the Ocean as few people fly there and it would spend computer resources. Also you will not find many ships in ports to avoid conflicts with the different sceneries installed by different users and because the MSFS Sim engine doesn't work well in narrow spaces like ports.

I can't find any ships on rivers or e.g. the Great Lakes, why?

For the moment - April 2021 -there is a bug in MSFS placing all AI ships at ocean level meaning that the AI traffic included for e.g. Amazonas, the Panama Canal, Mississippi or the Great Lakes will move below the water surface. Hopefully Asobo will correct and the traffic will reappear.


These users have donated to KL791 to keep him making awesome add-ons everyone can enjoy.

Pretty empty over here.

  • Launched March 06, 2021

    Initial release of this file just launched. Welcome aboard!

Title Subject Last Updated Answers
Cool but would love to see these pilotable
April 20, 2021

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Thanks for all the downloads, comments and suggestions over the last month since the launch of this first version of Global AI Ship Traffic for MSFS 2020. As it has taken up quite some time to follow and respond to messages on different forums, I have updated the FAQ above and asked admin on flightsim.to to disable comments on this forum. Comments will be enabled again once there is an update of the project, but due to the size of the project I do no expect this to happen until late in 2021.

For support please start by reading the description above, the FAQ and eventually follow the link to forums.flightsimulator.com in the description if your concern is about performance issues.

In case you have further need for support or want to share ideas please visit the threads about this project on:

www.avsim.com, www.sim-outhouse.com, forums.flightsimulator.com, and www.fsdeveloper.com - in English
www.pilote-virtuel.com - in French
www.flightsim.no - in Norwegian and Danish
www.voovirtual.com - in Portuguese

On these sites I will post news and help with support when time beside my day time job, family and other activities in life allow it, but you can also find support from other simmers as the threads are usually quite active.
I was expecting a pretty bad FPS drop with this but I haven't even seen one. My PC has a GTX 1060, i5 4690k & 16GB ram so I was pretty surprised.

Fantastic mod.
Great material to give more life in the landscapes. Congratulations for the hard work !!!
What a great work. Using since P3D.
Let's hope that MFS improve effects in order to help the developer(s) of this project.
That is super fantastic how much do you spent your work hour for this and OMG its free

Thank a lot
This addon is great seeing ships in real life, but it causes such an FPS Drop when your near some ships, when multiple load it can drop and stutter a lot! Removing the addon the stutter doesn't occur. 😞
You gotta have AI Ships, because it makes it feel like real life! Thank-You! 😀
Hi, I was wondering if you have any Great Lakes shipping? I haven't spotted any yet but have a friend who is a captain on a freighter.

I'd also love to see ferries from the mainland to Mackinac Island in Michigan.
I tend to fly at greater heights in Commercial airliners so at what point do these ships become invisible, IFR Low altitude airways probably put me at or around 11-14000 feet at the lowest and at these altitudes the Oceans are devoid of ships so would using this add on make them visible?
Is it normal that most of the ships are visible and bright at night with no lights around at all?
Thank you Henrik this is terrific to see all the ships of the ocean, I am in Australia and Sydney and Newcastle are busy ports ..luv it ..just if you can put some solid helipads on each ship so we can attend the crew with services would be great fun again terrific work mate.
Hmmm, ich habe einige weiße Schiffe in der Gegend von Las Palmas de Gran Canaria... Mache ich irgendetwas falsch? Fehlt mir ein Pack?
Vielen Dank für dein Engagement, ich weiß das zu schätzen!
Another nice video with the project and the best helicopter in MSFS:
Je suis à la recherche des baleines à bosse et baleine noires et autres animaux marins comme les Orques....Quelqu'un peut nous donner des coordonnées d'emplacement pour les voir car pour l'instant j'en ai vu aucun ? merci 😊
I'm not sure if the lack of anything around Scotland has to do with an error I'm seeing in msfsaddons gaist_msfs_v1_CVT_ It is there in the folder and it's contents are
"dependencies": [],
"content_type": "SCENERY",
"title": "GAIST_MSFS_V1",
"manufacturer": "",
"creator": "Henrik Nielsen (KL791)",
"package_version": "0.1.0",
"minimum_game_version": "1.7.14",
"release_notes": {
"neutral": {
"LastUpdate": "",
"OlderHistory": ""

Any idea if that's the problem? Or are there just no ships and boats around Scotland? (hope there are and there's just something I'm doing wrong 😊 )
Are there any placed around the coast of Scotland?
Great stuff!

Thanks for making this available in MSFS.
I made a Suez Canal Scenery using this great MOD

still live or not its a good effort to liven up the seas

© Henrik Nielsen - All rights reserved. Any reupload or redistribution of this file without the author's prior written consent is forbidden.
This Flight Simulator 2020 Mod was created by Henrik Nielsen and shared in Scenery Enhancements » Others for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

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