Microsoft Flight Simulator is a 2020 simulation title developed by Asobo Studio and published by Xbox Game Studios. The series is a massive exclusive for Microsoft, so it was only released on PC and Xbox Series X/S. Its massive scale meant it never could have worked on a previous generation console such as the Xbox One.
Microsoft Flight Simulator received rave reviews from critics. On Metacritic, the game currently holds a score of 91, indicating universal acclaim, and updates ever since its release have only improved the experience. To this day, it’s unrivalled in its genre. Because of the work required to create something of this scale, it’s likely that only a new game in the series could even come close.
Microsoft Flight Simulator Premise
If you described Microsoft Flight Simulator in basic terms, it would sound deceptively simple. You get into an aircraft, and fly anywhere in the world at a whim. However, it’s the depth of the game that really sets it apart from its peers.
Using map data from Bing Maps, the game renders the entirety of Earth in staggering detail. AI is used to simulate height maps from the data, which allows every single street on the planet to be brought to life. Certain major cities and landmarks around the world have been given extra attention to ensure perfect accuracy, with more being added in every update. In some parts of the world, you can even find fully rendered wildlife, a first for the series. It’s a remarkable achievement, with a world database that will surely be used as a base for the series for decades to come.
The world in Microsoft Flight Simulator is undoubtedly the star, but the true depth comes from the gameplay. It isn’t a game that holds your hand in this regard. There are tutorials that help you get to grips with the controls, but you’re still learning to fly a plane in a simulation that does its best to emulate the real thing. Not only do you deal with complex controls, but you’ll also be dealing with difficult weather patterns, which are built to challenge players with the real conditions. Another huge innovation is the use of real-world air traffic through Azure AI. When you’re trying to avoid other planes, you’re dealing with the real aircraft in the sky at that moment.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is made for hardcore fans of the genre and that’s okay. It’s all the better for it, even if it does make the barrier to entry higher initially.
Microsoft Flight Simulator Main Characters
It should come as no surprise to learn that in Microsoft Flight Simulator, pure simulation comes before everything else. Because of this, there aren’t any characters to meet or play as. It’s all flight, all of the time.
However, the game does feature 62 types of aircraft that you can use to traverse the planet. You choose which one you want to use, so in a way, the aircraft are the main characters of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Because of this, we’ve put together a full list of every single aircraft available in the game, so you know exactly what options are available to you.
Microsoft Flight Simulator Aircraft
|Aviat Pitts Special S-1S
|Aviat Pitts Special S-2S
|Bell Model 407
|Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental
|Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
|Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet
|CubCrafters XCub (floats)
|CubCrafters XCub (skis)
|CubCrafters Xcub Red Bull
|Curtiss JN-4 Jenny (1915)
|Daher TBM 930
|Diamond DA40 TDI
|Diamond DA40 NG
|Douglas DC-3 (1935)
|Flight Design CTSL
|Grumman G-21 Goose (1937)
|Guimbal Cabri G2
|Hughes H-4 Hercules (1947)
|Pilatus PC-6/B2-H4 Turbo Porter
|Pilatus PC-6/B2-H4 Turbo Porter G950
|Pilatus PC-6/B2-H4 Turbo Porter G950 Floats
|Pilatus PC-6/B2-H4 Turbo Porter Skis
|Pipistrel Virus SW 121
|Robin CAP 10
|Robin DR400-100 Cadet
|Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis (1927)
|Beechcraft Baron G58
|Beechcraft Bonanza G36
|Beechcraft King Air 350i
|Cessna 152 Aerobat
|Cessna 172 Skyhawk
|Cessna 172 Skyhawk (G1000)
|Cessna 172 Skyhawk (G1000) (floats)
|Cessna 172 Skyhawk (G1000) (skis)
|Cessna 172 Skyhawk (floats)
|Cessna 172 Skyhawk (skis)
|Cessna 208 B Grand Caravan EX
|Cessna Citation CJ4
|Cessna Citation Longitude
|Havilland DHC-2 Beaver (1947)
|DHC-2 Beaver Amphibious Floatplane
|Wright Flyer (1903)
|Zlin Savage Cub
|Zlin Shock Ultra
|Zlin Shock Ultra (floats)
|Zlin Shock Ultra (skis)
Microsoft Flight Simulator Titles in the Series
It might come as a surprise to many that Microsoft Flight Simulator is one of the longest-running franchises in all of gaming, with the first iteration coming all the way back in 1982 for the IBM PC. Over the course of its run, Microsoft Flight Simulator has established itself as the ultimate simulator for accurate flight gameplay, with arguably the most realistic depiction of Earth’s landscape ever put into a video game.
Until 2006’s Microsoft Flight Simulator X, the series was relatively frequent with its releases. Updates were made every few years, as the technology came along quickly. However, it would be 14 years before another iteration was released, with 2020’s Microsoft Flight Simulator. It was by far the biggest technological leap in the series’ history, with over two petabytes of map data taken to produce a near-perfect replica of our planet.
With another release planned for 2024, Microsoft Flight Simulator isn’t going anywhere any time soon. And alongside the constant leaps in technology, we’re excited to see how far the series can go.
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0 (1982)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 2.0 (1984)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 3.0 (1988)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 4.0 (1989)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 5.0 (1993)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 5.1 (1995)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator for Windows 95 (1996)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 98 (1997)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 (1999)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 (2001)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight (2003)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator X (2006)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 (2024)
Microsoft Flight Simulator Cheat Codes
Unfortunately, Microsoft Flight Simulator cheats are hard to come by. Impossible, in fact. They just don’t exist, as Microsoft strangely never put them into the game.
However, if you still want an easy ride, there is one route you can take: autopilot. If you just to cruise around the world and see the sights, you can put your plane into autopilot and it will take care of the work for you. It’s not a direct cheat code, but it sure feels like one.
As with everything in Microsoft Flight Simulator, even the autopilot feature has a ton of depth. That’s why we’ve put together this list of shortcuts for autopilot controls, to make sure you have a smooth time with the feature. After all, what is autopilot for if not to make life easier?
|Autopilot NAV1 Hold
|Increase Autopilot N1 Reference
|Increase Autopilot Reference Airspeed
|Increase Autopilot Reference Altitude
|Decrease Autopilot Reference Altitude
|Increase Autopilot Reference Vs
|Decrease Autopilot Reference Vs
|Toggle Autopilot Approach Hold
|Toggle Autopilot Mach Hold
|Toggle Autopilot Attitude Hold
|Toggle Autopilot Localizer Hold
|Toggle Autopilot Master
|Toggle Autopilot Wind Leveller
|Autopilot Airspeed Hold
|Autopilot N1 Hold
|Decrease Autopilot N1 Reference
|Decrease Autopilot Reference Airspeed
Microsoft Flight Simulator Cheat Code FAQ
How Do You Get Unlimited Fuel in Microsoft Flight Simulator?
To get unlimited fuel in Microsoft Flight Simulator, it’s as simple as changing a single setting. Follow these steps:
- Head to the Options > Assistance > Piloting menu
- Ensure the Unlimited Fuel option is turned on
It’s as easy as that. Luckily, the game doesn’t particularly put any obstacles in your way in this regard.
Are There Any Achievements in Microsoft Flight Simulator?
Yes. It’s a Microsoft game, so it would be rather strange for it to forgo achievements. We’ve put together the full list, so you know what it takes to collect all of the gamerscore in Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Microsoft Flight Simulator Achievements
|How To Unlock
|Complete any activity.
|Fill ‘er up!
|Refuel at any ground fuel station.
|Use the Smart Cam to view a star landmark for 3 seconds, from a distance of 550 yards or less.
|Utilize pre-flight Pushback Service to move aircraft, for a total distance of 1 mile.
|Start Me Up
|Manually start the Airbus A320neo’s engines, without using Assistance.
|By the Book
|Request landing clearance from ATC at a towered airport, without using ATC assistance.
|In the Wild
|Use the Smart Cam to view animals for 3 seconds, from a distance of 550 yards or less.
|Service with a Smile
|Request each type of pre-flight Ground Service while at an appropriate airport gate.
|Utilitze pre-flight Pushback Service to move aircraft, for a total distance of 1 mile.
|Create a flight plan based on a Live Traffic aircraft, then fly the route without assistance.
|Wheels Up, Wheels Down
|Complete a non-stop flight of at least 300 miles from take-off to landing.
|Look Ma, No Hands!
|Utilise autopilot for a total of 600 miles.
|Land at an airport where windspeeds are in excess of 5 knots, without using any assistance.
|On the Green
|Land on a grass runway, without using any assistance.
|Stay on Target
|Use the Instrument Landing System (ILS) to complete a landing.
|Complete a non-stop 300+ mile flight from parking to parking spot, without assistance.
|After receiving landing clearance, switch off engines and successfully land on the runway.
|Working for the Weekend
|Complete a weekly activity.
|Frequent Flyer Miles
|Fly from LFBD airport near Asbo Studio to KSEA airport near Microsoft HQ.
|Taxi aircraft for a total distance of 10 miles.
|A Few Bumps
|Land at an airport where windspeeds are in excess of 15 knots, without using any assistance.
|Land on a runway shorter than 2,000 feet, without using any assistance or bypassing any travel.
|Land on a runway that has at least a 12 degree incline, without using any assistance.
|Fire and Ice
|Complete the Patagonia Bush Trip, without using any navigation assistance.
|Complete the Balkans Bush Trip, without using any navigation assistance.
|Complete the Nevada Bush Trip, without using any navigation assistance.
|Use the Smart Cam to view 25 star landmarks, from a distance of 550 yards or less.
|Accumulate 50 hours of flight time in a single pilot profile.
|Complete every Landing Challenge.
|Accumulate 50 hours of light in rainy weather.
|Flights of Fancy
|Complete flights of at least 300 miles using a prop, jet and airliner.
|Complete a flight of at least 8 hours with a propeller or turbo-prop aircraft.
|Accumulate 100 hours of flight time in a single pilot profile.
|Accumulate 50 hours of flight time at night.
|Accumulate 50 hours of IFR flight time, including at least one take-off and landing.
|Complete 10 weekly activities.
|Complete every activity.
|Sids and Stars
|Land at 25 different star airports shown on the World Map.
|Landmarks the Spot
|Use the Smart Cam to view 100 star landmarks, from a distance of 500 yards or less.
|Land successfully at 500 different airports.
|Jack of all Planes
|Complete a 300+ mile flight with every aircraft in the standard edition of Flight Simulator.
|Accumulate 500 hours of flight time in a single pilot profile.
|Accumulate 1,000 hours of flight time in a single pilot profile.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Xbox Game Studios.