Frequently Asked Questions

FWsim crashes when trying to stream my screen on Discord

When using the Discord Windows app to stream FWsim, the simulator might crash. This is because of Discords method of screen capture, which crashes FWsim as well as a number of other games and applications.

To solve this, please open the Discord settings, then click on “Voice & Video”. Find the option called “Use our advanced technology to capture your screen” and disable it.

Is FWsim Fireworks Simulator realistic?

FWsim has been designed from the ground up with realism in mind. Professional pyrotechnicians and enthusiasts around the world served as advisors from the very beginning.

Great care was taken that rising heights, timings and burst speed match real fireworks. The sounds are also recorded from real fireworks.

The fireworks effects included in FWsim Basic & FWsim Creative Edition do not correspond to specific models of real fireworks from a specific manufacturer. However, they are very similar to commercially available fireworks.

There are two areas in which FWsim Fireworks Simulator is not as realistic as it could be: First, when you simulate very small effects (consumer fireworks), the scale is sometimes not right. And second, the environment sometimes looks a bit boring, with low-quality 3D models. We aim to address both issues in a future update.

Does FWsim work on Mac?

No, only on Windows. However, you can install Windows on your Mac computer and then run FWsim on that.

Can you recommend an iPhone or Android app, to create fireworks on your smartphone?

For Android, you can try Fireworks Deluxe. It’s a live wallpaper, and has the best graphics of any apps out there. Highly recommended!

How much does it cost?

You can try the full version of FWsim for one hour. If you want to continue using it, it costs €24.99 / $24.99.
FWsim comes with an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee!

Where are my own firework effects stored?

In My Documents\FW-Sim. There are subfolders for every author name.

How can I delete effects that I downloaded from the Internet or created myself?

Please make sure FWsim is closed. Then, go to My Documents\FW-Sim. You will find subfolders for every author name. You will also find one folder with downloaded effects. If you don’t need effects anymore, simply delete them or move them to a different folder outside of My Documents\FW-Sim.

Then, re-start FWsim and your effects will be gone.

FWsim runs slowly. What can I do?

FWsim should run very well on current PCs, even with huge fireworks. If you do experience bad performance, please try the following:

How does the “Music Synchronization” work?

See Music Synchronization.

Where can I download ShowSim?

ShowSim is a different fireworks software. ShowSim and FWsim sometimes get confused.

How do I build half/half shells?

A half/half-shell in FWsim.
In the effect editor, click “File” -> “New”. Select “Peony”. Add a second set of Stars to the explosion node. Give each of the stars a different color. Set the distribution on both stars to “Hemisphere”. Then, click one of the stars and check “Rotate”, enter “180”. Be sure to rotate only one of the stars, and not the other. Your effect tree should look like this:

        Stars (Green, Rotate by 180°)
        Stars (Red, no rotation)

To make the shell look a bit more clean and perfect, reduce the “speed variance” and increase the star count in both “Star” nodes.

How do you build a multibreak shell in FWsim?

Create one shell, and attach several explosions to it. Each explosion can occur at different times, and release different stars. The shell flies until the last explosion.

How can I reduce the brightness of my environment when it gets illuminated by fireworks?

There is a configuration option, hidden in a file, which you can use to adjust how much light shines from fireworks on buildings and on the ground. To change this option, please follow these steps:

  1. Make sure FWsim is closed
  2. Open explorer and go to “My Documents\FW-Sim”
  3. Right-click the file “user.xml” and select “Open With” and “Notepad”.
  4. Find the line which says “1
  5. Set the number to a value between 0 and 1. 0 means, no light shines on buildings and the ground. 0.5 means, only half the amount of light. Please make sure you use the English decimal separator “.”, even when your computer is set to a language that uses different decimal separators.

How can I use my iTunes music in FWsim?

Right-click the file in iTunes, then select “Information”. A window pops up and at the bottom you will find the exact filename of the music file.

This file will usually be an M4A or AAC file. Unfortunately, starting with FWsim 3.2, M4A or AAC music files cannot be loaded directly. They need to be converted to FLAC. This conversion will not lead to any loss in quality, because FLAC is a lossless format. To perform this conversion, you can use this online converter.

After you have converted to FLAC, you can load the file in FWsim. In FWsim, simply click the “Music” button on the lower right, navigate to the path that iTunes displayed and select the correct file.

How can I use .skp 3D model files with FWsim?

.SKP is a file format used by SketchUp Make, a 3d modelling software. These files cannot be directly imported into FWsim.

If you downloaded the 3D model from Google Warehouse, please download it again from there. After clicking the “Download” button, select the “SketchUp” format.

Otherwise, please follow these instructions:

  1. Install SketchUp Make, if you have not already. (download on - you can stay anonymous by entering a fictional e-mail address)
  2. Launch SketchUp Make.
  3. Under “Template Selection”, choose “Simple Template - Meters”.
  4. Click “File” -> “Open” and select your .skp file.
  5. Select “File” -> “Export” -> “Export 3D Model”.
  6. Create a new empty folder.
  7. Navigate to that empty folder, and select a filename. Make sure the “Collada File (.dae)” option is selected. Hit “Export”, and close SketchUp.
  8. In Windows Explorer, right-click the folder you just created. Select “Send To” -> “ZIP-compressed archive”.
  9. In FWsim, open the World editor (“Tools” -> “World Editor”).
  10. Click “Add”, and then “Import”. Select the ZIP file you just created.

Does FWsim support water reflections?

At the moment FWsim does not have the feature to add water reflections. Some FWsim users export their videos and then use Adobe AfterEffects or other video editing software to add water reflections into the video.

How do I know which version of FWsim I have?

In earlier versions of FWsim, you can see the version number at the top of the main window. In newer versions, you can see the version number at the lower right corner of the logo during startup.

How do I load a city environment or other 3D model into FWsim?

First, try clicking Show -> Scenery and see if there’s any 3D world you like already included with FWsim.

If not, you have two ways of bringing new scenery into FWsim:

Method 1: Custom Background Image. You can choose a custom background image by clicking Show -> Scenery.

Method 2: Download 3D models from the Internet. The second way is to find 3D models you like on the internet. For example, you could download 3D models from 3D Warehouse. Make sure you select “Models” and not “Products” when you do your search. To download models from 3D Warehouse, you will need to sign up there (it’s free). When you find a 3D model you like, click “Download” and make sure to select the “Collada” file format. Then, please open the FWsim world editor (from the Tools menu), click “Add” and then “Import”. Select your newly imported model file. You can then arrange it in 3D space and when you’re happy, save this 3D world from the File menu. Then, close the world editor and from your show, click Show -> Scenery to select the world you just created.

How do I change the language?

FWsim by default uses the language of your Windows. If you want to use a different language, please follow these steps:

  1. Make sure FWsim is closed.
  2. Find the folder “Documents” -> “FW-Sim”
  3. Find the file “User”. Right-click and select “open with Notepad”. (or open it in any other text editing software)
  4. Find the line that says “<Language/>” and delete it
  5. Insert this line at the same location: <Language>de-DE</Language> . This will switch FWsim into German.
  6. Save the file
  7. Start FWsim.

For German, use “de-DE”. Other language codes available are:

How can I move my FWsim data to a new computer?

FWsim stores your data securely on your own hard drive (in the “Documents” folder). It does not store data in the cloud.

Please keep in mind that hard drives sometimes fail. Therefore, please make sure that you regularly make backups of your hard drive.

In order to move your FWsim installation to a new computer:

  1. Install and activate FWsim from your personal license page. You can retrieve your FWsim license key here on the website, or simply click “Help” -> “License Info and Upgrade” on your old computer.

  2. On your old computer, locate the folder “Documents” -> “FW-Sim”. Copy this entire folder to your new computer, and put it into the same location. To copy the folder, you could use a USB drive. You could also pack the folder into a ZIP file (by right-clicking in Windows Explorer) and then send it via email.

  3. On your new computer, make sure that FWsim is not opened while you copy the data from your old computer.