Flight Simulator Blog

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator, aka MSFS, is the next generation of one of the most beloved simulation franchises, developed for Microsoft by Asobo Studio in Bordeaux, France. Released in August 2020 on Windows 10, and in July 2021 for Xbox Series X|S. System requirements for PC can be found here with all the officially compatible flight controls listed here. Standard edition is available on Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription, as a digital download, and on the DVD box. Planes and hand-crafted airports included in Standard, Deluxe, and Premium Deluxe editions are shown here. The Premium Deluxe edition includes everything from Standard edition plus 10 additional planes and 10 additional hand-crafted airports. The DVD boxed Standard edition can be upgraded digitally to Deluxe and Premium Deluxe editions.

The entire Earth modeled using 2 terabytes of Bing Maps data and Blackshark.ai object placement technology to populate the world with 1.5 billion buildings, 2 trillion trees, roads with vehicles, animals, etc. Terrain data is downloaded during in-flight but also pre-caching to a hard drive is possible for offline flying. Bing Maps satellite imagery and NAVBLUE air navigational data will be updated every few months. A total of 37,000 airports on Earth is manually edited and included. Dynamic flight physics made possible by each aircraft over 1,000 simulated surfaces. Scale your level from full manual to full assist with interactive and highlighted instrument guidance and checklists. Support for VR headsets deepens the flying immersion even more.

Real-time weather observations and forecast data to anywhere in the world by Meteoblue. Clouds are built from 32 volumetric layers, which makes them look far fluffier than the usual 2D pancakes we have seen on previous flight simulators. Rain showers and thunderstorm cells can be seen from distance before reaching. The weather engine uses 60 different layers of cloud data and 20 layers of other data such as temperature, wind, pressure, and humidity. Wind interacts with terrain heights, generating ridge lifts as well as up-and-downdrafts. Connecting to the built-in “One Shared World” adds your aircraft to a worldwide online space to fly with anyone, anywhere in the world. Human-ATC and real-life aviation procedure needs are supported by VATSIMIVAO, and PilotEdge networks.

Third-party aircraft and sceneries can be purchased and downloaded e.g. from Aerosoft or in-game Marketplace. Shared cockpit for multiplayer pilots, as well as gliders and helicopters, are officially expected to come not later than in 2022. If you bought the PC edition from Microsoft Store, then you already have access to the Xbox edition on July 27 as well. The PC and Xbox Series X|S editions will share the same experience, though the Xbox edition has its base framerate of 30 frames-per-second. Honeycomb Aeronautical and Turtle Beach are expected to release their flight control units for the Xbox later this year. In 2021, Microsoft plans to release 3 large Sim Updates, as well as up to 5 additional World Updates, and a Top Gun: Maverick expansion pack, for free.