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Microsoft Flight Simulator: The Closest You Get to Flying a Plane

Microsoft Flight Simulator comes with an in-game training mode. 

Published
Tech News
4 min read
Microsoft Flight Simulator: The Closest You Get to Flying a Plane
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Air travel has been scarce in the year 2020 due to obvious reasons. However, Microsoft’s new Flight Simulator game gets you close to real-world flying because we all know you’re missing the outside world.

The latest Microsoft Flight Simulator has been released for the PC and the Xbox version of the game will reportedly hit the stores in 2021.

We get you a glimpse of some of the top in-game features and what the reviews and first impressions have to say about the game.

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A Bit of History First

It was back in 1982 when the first iteration of Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS) was introduced and ever since then we have witnessed Microsoft dropping constant updates to the flight simulation game.

The development of the game began in 1977 and at 37 years it is one of the longest-running software product cum game in Microsoft’s lineup.

The last MSFS was launched in 2004, dubbed Microsoft Simulator X, which brought with it a lot of add-ons and mods that the flight sim community was longing for. Graphically, planes were more detailed but the environment needed some work.

Last year, Microsoft announced the latest MSFS at E3 and now the game has been made available for the PC platform.

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The new MSFS now comes loaded with all the bells and whistles you’d want in a flight sim game. The sheer expanse of the world and the graphics will blow your mind and the fact that you get to explore more than 37,000 airports from around the world tells you the level of detailing that’s gone into this game.

So, let’s break down the new MSFS into some of the key features you should look out for:

Realism

The realism and the world depth this game offers is as close to reality as it gets. So much has been done to recreate the details of an actual flight that you’d feel that you are inside the cockpit.

The new MSFS comes with real-time weather. 
(Photo: Microsoft Flight Simulator screenshot) 

Cockpit detailing has been specifically well taken care of. The gauges and the cockpit design have been replicated from real planes which accentuates the overall realism of the entire game.

The outside world too have been given a lot of detail to make it a visual treat. From massive landscapes to intricate city streets, the precision with which the game’s developer, Asobo, has made the entire world engine is truly commendable.

Even the in-game sound has been kept close to reality.

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Sheer Scale

Compressing the entire planet into a single game is a challenge in itself but Asobo has pulled it off.

The game is constantly streaming data which is why you have to keep an eye on the data cap.
(Photo: Microsoft Flight Simulator screenshot) 

Almost 2 petabytes of satellite-sourced high-altitude photos are available to stream throughout the game. It also includes real-world structures like the Taj Mahal, the Pyramids of Giza and much more. These structures have been recreated using Bing Maps data.

The standard version of the game gives you 20 planes and 30 airports to land on which doesn’t seem much. However, the premium version gives you access to more than 37,000 airports that you can land on including smaller airstrips.

New Real-Time Weather Engine

The new MSFS comes with real-time weather and live air traffic which you need to navigate.

The game’s developers worked with weather data company Meteoblue that provides intricate real-time weather updates and data that is constantly fed into the game’s engine.

So if in the game you’re flying over your house and you see rain clouds, don't be surprised if it starts raining in your area.

You can land across 37,000 airports in the game. 
(Photo: Microsoft Flight Simulator screenshot) 

Meteoblue also uses its data to predict weather changes and variants in wind speed, temperature, humidity and pressure.

The game does use live air traffic. However, there can be discrepancies in the actual departure time of the flight at a real airport and the game.

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Flight Training Mode

The reason that the new MSFS can be used for actual flight training is not only of the additional Flight Training mode it comes with but also the fact that the real-world graphics and weather make for a compelling case.

The game comes with a dedicated training mode.
(Photo: Microsoft Flight Simulator screenshot) 

It also allows the players to navigate using the flight computer and enter the bearings manually — as you would do on an actual plane.

From every control to the minutest details, MSFS offers you the chance to attend an actual training exercise in the game.

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What Do The Reviews Say?

Many have got their hands on the beta version of the new MSFS and the game has received some good reviews.

“The real-world mapping data, however, takes Microsoft Flight Simulator from being just an impressive game to the most awe-inspiring simulation I’ve ever experienced, in spite of its less than stellar load times.”
IGN
“Microsoft Flight Simulator is the kind of thing that can make an enthusiast of you, or rekindle a passion that’s been lying dormant.”
Eurogamer
“The opportunity to explore the world in as high fidelity as we’ve ever seen it in a game simply overrides my befuddlement at learning to fly without any teachers, and doing so at 27fps.”
PCGAMER

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