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.
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.
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.
|Aviat Pitts Special S2S||X||X||X|
|Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental||X||X||X|
|Daher TBM 930||X||X||X|
|Diamond DA40 NG||X||X||X|
|Flight Design CTLS||X||X||X|
|Robin DR400-100 Cadet||X||X||X|
|Beechcraft Bonanza G36||X||X||X|
|Beechcraft King Air 350i||X||X||X|
|Cessna 172 Skyhawk (G1000)||X||X||X|
|Cessna 208 B Grand Caravan EX||X||X||X|
|Cessna Citation CJ4||X||X||X|
|Zlin Savage Cub||X||X||X|
|Beechcraft Baron G58||X||X|
|Cessna 152 Aerobat||X||X|
|Cessna 172 Skyhawk||X||X|
|Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner||X|
|Pipistrel Virus SW 121||X|
|Cessna Citation Longitude||X|
|Zlin Shock Ultra||X|
Of course as time goes on, private entities will start building their own versions of FS 2020 aircraft.
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.
|Aspen/Pikin County (USA)||X||X||X|
|Bugalaga Airstrip (Indonesia)||X||X||X|
|Chagual Airport (Peru)||X||X||X|
|Courchevel Altiport (France)||X||X||X|
|Donegal Airport (Ireland)||X||X||X|
|Entebbe Int’l Airport (Uganda)||X||X||X|
|Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira Int’l Airport (Portugal)||X||X||X|
|Gibraltar Int’l Airport (UK)||X||X||X|
|Innsbruck Airport (Austria)||X||X||X|
|Los Angeles Int’l Airport (USA)||X||X||X|
|Tenzing-Hillary Airport (Nepal)||X||X||X|
|Nanwalek Airport (USA)||X||X||X|
|John F. Kennedy Int’l Airport (USA)||X||X||X|
|Orlando Int’l Airport (USA)||X||X||X|
|Paris Charles de Gaulle Int’l Airport (France)||X||X||X|
|Paro Int’l Airport (Bhutan)||X||X||X|
|Queenstown Airport (New Zealand)||X||X||X|
|Mariscal Sucre Int’l Airport (Ecuador)||X||X||X|
|Rio de Janeiro-Antonio Carlos Jobim Int’l Airport (Brazil)||X||X||X|
|Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (Dutch Saba)||X||X||X|
|Gustaf III Airport (France)||X||X||X|
|Seattle-Tacoma Int’l Airport (USA)||X||X||X|
|Sedona Airport (USA)||X||X||X|
|Sirena Aerodrome (Costa Rica)||X||X||X|
|Stewart Airport (Canada)||X||X||X|
|Sydney Airport (Australia)||X||X||X|
|Telluride Regional Airport (USA)||X||X||X|
|Haneda Airport (Japan)||X||X||X|
|Toncontin Int’l Airport (Honduras)||X||X||X|
|Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (Canada)||X||X||X|
|Schiphol Airport (Netherlands)||X||X|
|Cairo Int’l Airport (Egypt)||X||X|
|Cape Town Int’l Airport (South Africa)||X||X|
|O’Hare Int’l Airport (USA)||X||X|
|Adolfo Suarez Madrid Barajas (Spain)||X||X|
|Denver Int’l Airport (USA)||X|
|Frankfurt Airport (Germany)||X|
|Heathrow Airport (UK)||X|
|San Francisco Int’l Airport (USA)||X|
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!