12 Best Tips and Hidden Features to Make Microsoft Flight Simulator Much Easier

2. Create A Flight Plan

Some of Microsoft Flight Simulator’s best features don’t work unless you’ve first created a flight plan. So, now that you know how to take off and land, it’s time to pick a few airports and start doing laps. From the World Map, select both a Departure and an Arrival airport on the world map and get to work. Just make sure they’re relatively close together at first.

3. Taxi With Assistance and Air traffic Control

With a flight plan locked in, know that Flight Simulator defaults to placing you on a runway ready to take off. But, to get the full experience, think about starting at a gate or in a parking space. You can access that option via the drop-down menus directly below the Departure and Arrival airports on the World Map.

Beginning and ending a trip by taxiing on and off the runway can really add to the immersion of role-playing a pilot, but actually finding your way around the tarmac can be a pain. That’s why I lean on the built-in Assistance features to help me out. From the Welcome screen, hit the Options tab at the top. Then select the Assistance menu, select the drop down caret to the left of Navigation Aids, and turn the Taxi Ribbon option on. You can also get there from a similar Assistance menu on the Pause screen once you start flying.

For the taxi ribbon to appear — and actually guide you out to your assigned runway — you’ll need to communicate with air traffic control (ATC). To do that, open up the ATC interface (available on the quick-access menu at the top of the screen) and request pushback, clearance to taxi, permission to take off “straight-out,” or whatever combination of the previous gets you assigned to a runway. Just don’t forget to acknowledge the tower when you do finally get clearance.

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