Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 - Modern Airliners

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

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It has been a long time between drinks, but now within days, we will see the release of the latest iteration of Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, MS Flight Simulator 2020. On 18 August 2020, we will see the first all-new version of MS Flight Simulator since 2006. That is a hugely long time in technology and for that reason, we expect to see some pretty cool stuff.

Flight Simulator 2020, a Piper Cub flys over a valley at dawn.
You can feel the crispness in the air as this Piper Cub flys over a valley at dawn. You feel you are there.

Considering that Flight Simulator 1.0 was released back in 1982, this has been a really solid product for Microsoft and popular with flight enthusiasts worldwide for many years. The previous version, Flight Simulator X, released in 2006 taken over by Steam in 2014 is still a great product and used by many still to this day including myself. FS 2020, however, takes things to the next level. As you would expect with newer technology, the level of realism is out of this world. Well, more precisely, it brings you out into this world.

So, what if you are not a budding pilot? No problem, the level of realism enables you to go and travel the world as if Covid19 didn’t exist. Let’s face it, most of us are not able to travel to the places we would like to go anymore and maybe not for quite a bit of time to come still. FS 2020 is all about the graphics. Asobo Studios who developed the program for Microsoft have used the AI technology in MS Azure to generate a lot of the scenery using Microsoft Bing Maps data. As a result the ground scenery is richer than it has ever been before and makes for a very realistic view of the world.

FS 2020 over NYC
Flying over New York City with changing weather. Beautiful!

There are three different versions of the FS 2020 release and the difference between these is around the amount of aircraft provided as well more detail or crafting around a selection of airports.

MS Flight Simulator 2020 Aircraft inclusions by version.

AircraftStandardDeluxePremium Deluxe
Airbus A320neoXXX
Aviat Pitts Special S2SXXX
Boeing 747-8 IntercontinentalXXX
CubCrafters XCubXXX
Daher TBM 930XXX
Diamond DA62XXX
Diamond DA40 NGXXX
Extra 330LTXXX
Flight Design CTLSXXX
Icon A5XXX
JMB VL-3XXX
Robin CAP10XXX
Robin DR400-100 CadetXXX
Beechcraft Bonanza G36XXX
Beechcraft King Air 350iXXX
Cessna 152XXX
Cessna 172 Skyhawk (G1000)XXX
Cessna 208 B Grand Caravan EXXXX
Cessna Citation CJ4XXX
Zlin Savage CubXXX
Diamond DA40-TDIXX
Diamond DV20XX
Beechcraft Baron G58XX
Cessna 152 AerobatXX
Cessna 172 SkyhawkXX
Boeing 787-10 DreamlinerX
Cirrus SR22X
Pipistrel Virus SW 121X
Cessna Citation LongitudeX
Zlin Shock UltraX

Of course as time goes on, private entities will start building their own versions of FS 2020 aircraft.

Flight Simulator 2020 at beautiful Queenstown Airport New Zealand
This looks just as i remember it from my visit in 2019. Flight Simulator 2020 really makes you feel as if you are there.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 airports by version.

Microsoft advises that there are 37,000 airports worldwide to which you can fly in FS 2020. Depending on which of the three versions you have, up to 40 of those airports have been handcrafted to show a lot more detail. They haven’t been clear on what the handcrafting actually entails, however, below is the list of inclusions by version.

AirportStandardDeluxePremium Deluxe
Aspen/Pikin County (USA)XXX
Bugalaga Airstrip (Indonesia)XXX
Chagual Airport (Peru)XXX
Courchevel Altiport (France)XXX
Donegal Airport (Ireland)XXX
Entebbe Int’l Airport (Uganda)XXX
Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira Int’l Airport (Portugal)XXX
Gibraltar Int’l Airport (UK)XXX
Innsbruck Airport (Austria)XXX
Los Angeles Int’l Airport (USA)XXX
Tenzing-Hillary Airport (Nepal)XXX
Nanwalek Airport (USA)XXX
John F. Kennedy Int’l Airport (USA)XXX
Orlando Int’l Airport (USA)XXX
Paris Charles de Gaulle Int’l Airport (France)XXX
Paro Int’l Airport (Bhutan)XXX
Queenstown Airport (New Zealand)XXX
Mariscal Sucre Int’l Airport (Ecuador)XXX
Rio de Janeiro-Antonio Carlos Jobim Int’l Airport (Brazil)XXX
Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (Dutch Saba)XXX
Gustaf III Airport (France)XXX
Seattle-Tacoma Int’l Airport (USA)XXX
Sedona Airport (USA)XXX
Sirena Aerodrome (Costa Rica)XXX
Stewart Airport (Canada)XXX
Sydney Airport (Australia)XXX
Telluride Regional Airport (USA)XXX
Haneda Airport (Japan)XXX
Toncontin Int’l Airport (Honduras)XXX
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (Canada)XXX
Schiphol Airport (Netherlands)XX
Cairo Int’l Airport (Egypt)XX
Cape Town Int’l Airport (South Africa)XX
O’Hare Int’l Airport (USA)XX
Adolfo Suarez Madrid Barajas (Spain)XX
Denver Int’l Airport (USA)X
Frankfurt Airport (Germany)X
Heathrow Airport (UK)X
San Francisco Int’l Airport (USA)X
Flight Simulator 2020 life like wildlife, elephants.
We were surprised at the level of detail given to examples of wildlife that are to be found in FS 2020. Even up close, if you dare fly that low, the movement and look is very realistic.

What do I need to run Flight Simulator 2020?

If you have ever run games or earlier versions of Flight Simulator on your PC, then you know that the power of your machine plays a large part in providing you with the ability to get the most out of these heavy graphic programs. MS flight Simulator 2020 is no different. It is acknowledged that this game is pretty heavy and so let’s have a look at what you need to be able to run the program and also what you need to run it well.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 system requirements: Minimum configuration to play the game.

This will allow you to run the game, but you may find you have to reduce density of certain items or that the smoothness is not perfect.

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • VIDEO CARD: Radeon RX 570 or GeForce GTX 770 
  • PIXEL SHADER: 5.0
  • VERTEX SHADER: 5.0
  • FREE DISK SPACE: 150 GB
  • DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 2048 MB

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 system requirements: Recommended configuration to play the game.

This configuration should ensure you get the necessary frame rate for smoothness and that you can enjoy the full benefits of the enhanced scenery.

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8400 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or better
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • VIDEO CARD: Radeon RX 590 or GeForce GTX 970
  • PIXEL SHADER: 5.1
  • VERTEX SHADER: 5.1
  • FREE DISK SPACE: 150 GB
  • DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 4096 MB

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the game once you start using it. Enjoy exploring the world!

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2 thoughts on “Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020”

  1. I still have used FS2004 with a lot of plug ins and additional programmes until End of August. The main reason was, that my hardware (i5 Notebook) isnt strong enough to support FSX or Prepar3D or Xplane 11. But FS2004 runs very smooth – and remember – in the 2000years even with the best hardware in that times you could not take all sliders to right until you have a dia-show…and framerates under 10 fps.
    So I have bought a new desktop Computer (i7 with best components, especially 32 Gb Ram, fast drive, 8 Gb Nvidea Graphic card, etc.) and the SteamEdition of the new so inofficially called “MSFS2020” – and I’m really satisfied!

    It definetely will be the future platform for flightsimulation and there is no step back to FS2004/FSX!!! Even I would miss all my expensive and useful addons. The only reason to reinstall FS2004 on my new Computer could be the complex addons like PMDG, PSS Airbus, B757 etc. until there are complex addons for FS2020.

    But there are to many reasons speaking for the new MSFS:

    – Default Scenery and airports are looking fantastic and like real live. VFR Navigation is no problem.
    – no addons are nessessary to have better clouds, airports, trees, real streets, mesh, etc, etc. The default already great enough, mesh and streets are like in real life.
    – landable runways – even on mountains like Lukla / Nepal
    – a lot of fantastic aircrafts, only 3D panels but I dont miss the 2D panels, which were often useful in FS2004.
    – with actual hardware (but i5/i7 and good RAM and graphic power) it runs smooth. For flighsimulation often 20-30 fps is enough)

    Something to improve (maybe by 3th party devellopers):

    – Flightplanner and moving map dont show frequencies of VOR or ILS and other Navaids. Its possible to create VFR and IFR flightplans, but you need external planners or have to look in the internet to explore the right ILS frequencies f.e.
    – some (but not all) aircrafts and autopilots have bad behaviour, but there are already improvements in the net.
    – not every function of the panels are supported but better than in FS2004.
    – some smaller bugs in scenery (like it also was in FS2004/FSX) but definitely beautiful and realistic at all
    – older complex FS2004/FSX airliners like from PSS, Flight1 or PMDG are not working in FS2020 and I doubt that they will ever work in FS2020 again.

    Reply
    • Hi,

      how cool that you can now explore the new world of FS 2020. It is a bit like starting again after you have spent many years adding your favourite addons and customising things to your preferences. I wish you many happy hours of flying. Let us know how you go.

      Cheers Peter

      Reply

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