Solved: Airline Tycoon runs very slowly on Windows 8.1

A game I loved back when I bought my first Windows PC recently popped up on Steam: Airline Tycoon (Deluxe).

But once I started it on my notebook with Windows 8.1, I noticed, that everything in the main hall is running extremely slowly – almost like in slow-motion. Since this is a game released in 1998 running on modern hardware, I was suspecting compatibility issues. I also knew how the game was supposed to run, because I played it 1 1/2 years ago on the same machine, but on Windows 7.

By the way: The game is hard coded to run on 20 frames per second – it’s pretty ancient technology and will never be able run “smoothly” by today’s definition. But the game was running with 3-5 FPS.

But, thanks to a reply in the Steam user’s forums I can finally play the game like it’s meant to be. The problem was, that the game was using the integrated graphics card of my notebook instead of the additional “High-performance NVIDIA processor”.

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If you’re having the same problem, give this a try:

  1. Open your NVIDIA control panel (I usually right click on my desktop and select “NVIDIA control panel” in the context menu).
  2. Navigate to “Manage 3D settings”
  3. Click on the tab “Program Settings”
  4. (Add the Airline Tycoon executable at.exe to your programs if it’s not in the list)
  5. Choose “High-performance NVIDIA processor” as the preferred graphics processor for this application

Airline Tycon Win8.1 low framerate fix

And yes: I think the game should be able to run without problems on my integrated graphics card (and it did on Win7), because even that thing is way faster than what I had in my PC in 1998, which was a Geforce 2. This is still bugging me as playing it with the integrated card would probably require less power…