Microsoft Flight Simulator has wrapped a lengthy absence with its ambitious next endeavor, and now the premier playground for virtual aviators. This cloud-powered entry maps every inch of the globe with striking accuracy while injecting real-world data to spring its backdrop to life.
The result delivers unmatched scope and authenticity, with real potential to disrupt the simulation scene for years to come. It’s a technical marvel – but more than just a pretty face. Microsoft Flight Simulator is an incredibly dense piece of software. I hesitate to even call it a game, because it really does require that players know their way around an airplane. But there are a few ways to make the experience easier for yourself, especially if you’re just starting out.
In this Microsoft Flight Simulator guide, we’ve assembled 12 tips and hidden features that will help you get the most out of your first hours with the game.
1. Start In Midair
My initial instinct with Flight Simulator was to start my first play session already on the runway, staring down the centerline and ready for takeoff. But getting a plane into the air can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know how it handles. So I recommend starting your first few flights already in the air.
To start midair, click anywhere on the World Map besides an airport and select click “set as departure.” That will begin your journey about 1,500 feet high, already at a safe cruising speed.
Once you get a handle for how your controls operate — including pitch, yaw, roll, and throttle — it’s time to dive into the Flight Training tutorial. Feel free to do the first five modules at your own pace, but stop short of lesson six — your first solo flight. It’s a bit hinky and requires more precision than you’re probably capable of right now.