Microsoft Flight Simulator ✈

It is still a way off – probably at least a year – but this month has seen a fair bit of movement on the Flight Simulator website, which has been pretty dormant since the announcement of the new version of the much loved simulator franchise during E3 2019 in early June. Reason enough to set up an Official Thread for the game. :airplane:

MS Flight Simulator has a 37-year long history stretching all the way back to 1982 when, after securing the license to port subLOGIC’s FS1 Flight Simulator for Apple II and TRS-80 to IBM compatible machines, Microsoft released Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0 in November of that year.

FS 1.0’s cockpit:

FS 1.0 featured an improved graphics engine, variable weather and time of day, and a new coordinate system. Advertisements claimed “If flying your IBM PC got any more realistic, you’d need a license”, and promised “a full-color, out-the-window flight display”. Early versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator were used as a test for PC compatibility. If a computer could run MSFS 1.0 and Lotus 1-2-3, it was a 100% IBM PC-compatible. If it couldn’t, it wasn’t.

Since FS 1.0 there have been 11 further franchise releases. 12 if you consider 2014s MS Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition as a separate version. The 5-year agreement that MS had with Dovetail Games that allowed them to manage and distribute the Steam Edition of MSFS X ended earlier this year which freed up Microsoft to bring the franchise back in-house and prompted the 2020 release announcement.

The Robin DR-400 Ecoflyer’s cockpit in the new game. Spot any differences?

The 2020 game will feature AI driven by Microsoft’s Azure and 4K ground satellite textures and aircraft. 2 petabytes of geodata will be used to generate the world and the skies above it. This will also be the first of the series to not be PC exclusive, as this installment is also launching on the Xbox One as a Play Anywhere title. Additionally, as the game is being developed by MS directly, MS FS will be available to both Console and PC Game Pass subscribers on launch.

This month has seen two major updates on the official Flight Simulator website: the release of a Development Roadmap; and the launch of the FS Insider Program.

The Roadmap:

The Insider Program:

What is the Microsoft Flight Simulator Insider Program?
The Insider program is the way Microsoft Flight Simulator fans and community members can collaborate with our development teams to improve the simulation, experience, and services. As an Insider, you will have the opportunity to provide feedback and insights that help shape and inform current franchise initiatives and the future of Microsoft Flight Simulator.

What are the benefits of joining the Insider Program?
Insiders will answer short surveys, have access to private forums and receive exclusive weekly newsletters. Moreover, Insiders will have exclusive opportunities to participate in Technical Alpha and Beta tests of in-progress Microsoft Flight Simulator releases and provide feedback to the development teams.

Sign-ups for the Insider Program are open now at:

And more details about the Program are here:

From what I can gather, the only expectation is that you are also signed up as a member of the Xbox Insider Program as it seems that they will be using the Xbox Insider Hub to distribute and manage feedback of the Technical Alpha and Beta tests.


A collection of the amazing looking screenshots and video clips released so far:


To think the last FS i played was FS-95. Those screenshots look amazing!



My biggest issue was always the generic low quality of Africa… I wanted to fly from Durban to JHB but it still looks about the same as the pic from @CrONus, even on FSX.


Haha yes very dissapointing. I remember EL airport was a tar runway in a field in FS 2012


Couldn’t agree more with both yourself and @oltman - used to bug the hell out of me that so little attention and detail was put into most of Africa and much of the Southern Hemisphere. Like, “if anyone is stupid enough to fly anywhere over here, they’ll be too high to notice that we’ve sort of not given a shit about modelling any of it.”

First thing I’m going to do if I get into the Insider Program (and I can) is head to Lanseria and see what it looks like between there and Grand Central. Hopefully they’ve put some of those 2 petabytes of geodata into the land mass south of the equator this time!


Dude, that screenshot gave me severe nostalgia. I played the crap out of FS 95. I remember actually planning a route to fly with an Atlas we had, drawing pencil lines between San Francisco and Los Angeles. I actually completed that flight after practicing landing with a 737 for many weeks. I even did a flight from Johannesburg to Durban and it was super fun.


A longish watch (~30 mins) but well worth it for your lunch break viewing:

A lot of excellent new video and lots of insight into the mechanics and technology being built into the game. Froogle was heavily skeptical about it initially, but after his visit to the Preview Event, has completely changed his opinion.


Yeah the preview event apparently blew a bunch of flight simmers minds. It’s good to see that Ms is putting in the live and respect that this game deserves. The more niche a market for a game, the more critical and demanding the player base is. And this is especially prevelant for flight sims.

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I have been a big FS fan for ages. But since my Saitek stick broke (physically, don’t ask) I have not really flown. Think I can fly with a steering wheel?

My business partner recently started on the flight sim trek. Het then went ahead and started his PPL. He’s done quite a lot of hours since then, most of his solo hours as well.

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More info and news updates, including possible VR support and talk of in-sim “missions” - fire-fighting, drug smuggling, cargo runs, etc.

Also a reminder that FS Insider applications for possible inclusion in early Alpha tests closes tomorrow.

So, this is happening:
Annotation 2020-01-18 132121-1

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NICE! How do you get in the alpha?

Bastard. My buddy also got the email firday evening. Nothing for me. I am so excited for this game. Have been playing a bit of x-plane and its just so goddamn awesome to be flying some planes.


Some really cool sounding multiplayer features, some of which can only really work in a relatively slow game like Flight Simulator, but cool nonetheless…


Looks cool. I was wondering how they would do things in today’s age of multiplayer gaming since the last game was so long ago.

Did I understand correct that they are going to have every real plane in the world that is actually flying put into the game so you can see them flying around, if you’re close enough. If that is how I understood it then that’s a really cool touch.

I wonder how they will stop trolling players from flying into you and causing mayhem.

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If it wasn’t for the how quiet that first video was I would have thought it was a real airport.

Ridiculously good looking!

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Start preparing for take-off. Xbox Game Studios and Asobo Studio are thrilled to announce that Microsoft Flight Simulator launches on August 18 , and you can pre-order on Windows 10* or pre-install with Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta) today.

Three Editions of Microsoft Flight Simulator

Explore all of this and more with any of the three editions of Microsoft Flight Simulator .

  • The Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Edition ($59.99 USD) includes 20 highly detailed planes with unique flight models and 30 hand-crafted airports. The Standard Edition will be available on day one with Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta).
  • The Deluxe Edition ($89.99 USD) includes everything from Microsoft Flight Simulator’s standard edition plus 5 additional highly accurate planes with unique flight models and 5 additional handcrafted international airports.
  • The Premium Deluxe Edition ($119.99 USD) includes everything from Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Edition plus 10 additional highly accurate planes with unique flight models and 10 additional handcrafted international airports.

:smiley:, but $120 for all the content :open_mouth: