Microsoft Flight Simulator was first released on PC in August 2020 and has recently become a mainstream hit thanks to the Xbox Series X|S release and Game Pass launch. The game was extremely well received by critics, exemplified by the current matching 91 Metascores on Xbox Series X and PC.
The main attraction of the game is the incredible game world created based on the whole world Bing Maps. As a result, many new players have dived straight into the game to try flying over their homes or to key locations. However, like any simulator, Microsoft Flight Simulator can be tricky for new players, so it’s worth knowing some tips before boarding a plane for the first time.
USE THE TUTORIALS
Tutorials for a game may seem like obvious advice for a new player, but their importance in Microsoft Flight Simulator cannot be underestimated. Also, the tutorials are completely optional, many players will ignore them and jump straight to their first flight.
While the tutorials can be boring, it is worth the effort to fully understand the game mechanics as they will greatly improve the player’s experience. Microsoft Flight Simulator’s tutorials are very well structured and manage to explain in-depth mechanics in an easy to understand way.
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MAKE GENTLE GESTURES
One of the most common mistakes beginners make in Microsoft Flight Simulator is to treat it like an arcade-style flight combat game and start wiggling the analog sticks and waiting for the plane to respond with perfect flight movements.
This is a terrible idea in Microsoft Flight Simulator, as rapid movements will cause the plane to jerk all over the place, potentially causing a crash and definitely a pilot error. Instead, it is best to use smooth movements to ensure smooth control of the aircraft.
After the previous point, if players still have a sensitivity issue, it’s worth changing the game’s settings.
Sensitivity isn’t the only factor that can be adjusted, but Microsoft Flight Simulator offers numerous adjustable settings to ensure players have a tailor-made experience. During the player’s first few hours in the game, they have to tweak their options frequently until their game mechanics are just right.
CHOOSE AN AIRCRAFT THAT FITS YOUR PLAYSTYLE
Settings aren’t the only choices players have to make before they set off, as they also need to choose an aircraft that suits their playstyle. Microsoft Flight Simulator offers a wide variety of aircraft of different shapes and sizes, including planes, jets, and turboprops.
Not surprisingly, a large Boeing 747 passenger plane has a very different aircraft style than a small two-seater Cessna 152. Therefore, when playing Microsoft Flight Simulator for the first time, try out several different types of aircraft to see which suits you best.
LEARN ONE PLANE AT A TIME
Once players have chosen an aircraft that suits their playstyle, they should stick with it until they fully grasp its mechanics. It’s tempting to constantly switch planes between flights as it mixes the game’s gameplay and offers new experiences, but it’s best to be patient and learn one plane at a time.
Learning how to control each plane can be one of the most satisfying feelings in the game and avoid the frustration of ever-changing planes and ultimately not fully understanding any of them, which leads to bumpy rides.
STICK TO SHORT FLIGHTS FIRST
One of the best features of Microsoft Flight Simulator is the level of freedom it offers. Players can enjoy any flight path anywhere in the world that leads to unforgettable journeys, such as flying across Europe or passing by each of the wonders of the world.
However, these long flights are not the best idea when first starting out for a couple of reasons, the key is take off and landing are two of the most difficult aspects of the game so it’s worth practicing them as often as possible.
CHOOSE UNLIMITED FUEL ON THE FIRST FEW FLIGHTS
Not surprisingly, running out of fuel is a serious issue in Microsoft Flight Simulator; will immediately terminate the player’s flight, which can be extremely frustrating when aiming at a specific location.
Also, as mentioned earlier, landing a plane is one of the most challenging parts of Microsoft Flight Simulator, so it’s worth keeping plenty of gas in the tank to ensure there aren’t any extra time constraint hassles when trying to land.
USE THE TOOLBAR
Settings can not only be changed before and after flights, thanks to the in-game toolbar that allows players to make adjustments literally on the go. Lots of tabs can be a bit overwhelming at first, so it’s worth tinkering with them while you’re in a safe place.
Once the various options are learned, the overall gaming experience of Microsoft Flight Simulator will be greatly improved as players can make tweaks and changes without having to stop.
CHOOSE OUTDOOR CONDITIONS
Weather conditions are one of the many factors players must consider before stepping onto their plane for any flight. Dangerous conditions such as heavy rain, lightning and extreme clouds can of course cause many problems.
Flying in different conditions gives Microsoft Flight Simulator a big change of pace, but it’s best to stick to open skies when first starting out. It’s hard enough to learn the basic game mechanics in the first few flights, so it’s best not to add more challenges.
Like any game in the simulator genre, the realism of Microsoft Flight Simulator may offend some people. Undoubtedly, there will be many people who download Microsoft Flight Simulator on Game Pass, who know the game’s implementation around the world, but don’t expect it to take literally 20 hours to fly from the UK to Australia.