Microsoft Flight Simulator fans have been waiting since 2006 for a brand new version of the game.
It’s finally here.
Here’s what I’ve learned from a couple of days of amateur flying.
Here’s the key thing.
Flight Simulator players don’t really think of themselves as gamers.
They’re flight sim people.
They know a ton about flight simulators, maybe they’ve got a flight stick or a yoke of the pedals and everything, but they wouldn’t know Master Chief from cubert.
They’re not really interested in other types of gaming for the most part.
And everybody’s talking about flight simulator right now because there is finally a brand new version of the future.
Blank tape game from Microsoft.
The last brand new version was way back in 2006.
And it’s been updated many, many, many times since then.
But this is the first ground up new version in a long time.
It’s just called Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Everyone calls it Flight Simulator 2020.
So you know what they’re talking about.
And let me tell you it is an intense game to play and it’s an intense game for your computer hardware to handle.
Now I will admit I’m not the biggest flight sim guide.
The first flight simulator game I played was Chuck jaegers advanced flight trainer way back my Tandy 1000, the late 80s and I haven’t really kept up on the genre since then.
But with all the hype about flight simulator, all the excitement I figured I’d better strap myself in especially because I’m not flying anywhere in real life anytime soon.
See if I could figure out how to kind of sorta fly a plane.
Now I think I can fly a plane.
And if we’re on a plane somewhere and they come over the loudspeaker and say a pilot needs some help, can somebody help fly this plane?
I’m gonna start standing up.
You better stop me because I think my impression of my skills far outweighs my actual skill.
For the first fun thing I did in flight simulator and the first thing you’re going to do is buy your house.
There’s a huge a mapping system in the game.
It draws data from the cloud from Bing Maps because it’s Microsoft, of course.
And as you’re traversing the globe or putting in your your takeoff airport in your landing airport, it’s going to stream in very detailed information about that area you’re in.
It doesn’t keep it all on your computer all the time.
I think Microsoft says it’s only like two petabytes of data.
That said the game is pretty hefty.
It takes up at least 130 gigabytes of space on your local hard drive.
So make sure you have space there.
I had to delete a couple of old games just to make room for it So of course I took off from JFK and I flew around Brooklyn and I found my found my neighborhood and I found the water tower and top of my building and the elevated subway tracks was able to zoom in on where I live and that was fun and it looked really realistic.
It’s a little bit like Google Maps, where you get that 3-D view, where it takes the satellite imagery and maps it over 3-D shapes.
Especially if you’re several hundred feet in the air on a plane, it really looks very, very realistic.
And as far as I can tell.
It seems very up to date.
Now, the second thing I learned is this is not really a keyboard and mouse game.
I thought that was the best way to go as somebody who’s not a super advanced flightsim guy don’t have a flight second, don’t be yocan pedals and the no keyboard and mouse great.
Don’t give me all the controls I need.
But one of the very first things that happened in the tutorial session of the game is, it said Take control of your yoke use the number pad six key, I’ve got a laptop I don’t have a separate number pad or a number pad six key what was the alternative they’ve offered no alternative I could go in and tweak the individual controls and remap them, but I’m sure I break more things that I fixed by doing that.
If you don’t have a separate number pad things are going to get real hard real fast, so I switched to just your traditional Microsoft gamepad and Xbox game controller that works great with PC games.
And I found that to be a lot easier to steal a few things you have to do on the keyboard.
But that’s certainly a lot better than going laptop keyboard only which was completely impossible to To do.>> Now of course I am playing on a laptop but it’s a pretty hefty high powered gaming laptop.
And that’s what you need.
There were some minimum specs about a core i five and 770 GeForce graphics, forget all that.
throw that out the window.
You really need a super high end PC to play this.
It’s a very intense, very detailed game.
I’m reading a fairly high end Core i seven and a NVIDIA GeForce 20 at the laptop version of that graphics card.
And even then I had the knock the resolution down to 1920 by 1080 even though I’ve got a 4k display and the game said, yeah try 4k that’ll be that should work fine.
did not work fine.
So make sure that you have a high end machine or you’re going to have to turn all the detail levels and everything else way, way, way down low.
And of course the game is always streaming in new data about where you’re at.
So you’re going to need a very stable internet connection as well.
Now I just reviewed the brand new really fantastic 2017 iMac fantastic screen, fantastic hardware.
This would be something great to play flight simulator on.
Can I play it on a Mac?
No, you can’t.
And calling it Microsoft Flight Simulator is probably your first clue about that.
Of course there are some Microsoft apps that you can get on your back.
You get office, you can get Skype.
You can’t get Microsoft Flight Simulator.
There’s another one called x plane that works on Macs.
It’s well regarded by some people out there saying it’s not as good definitely not as flashy as Microsoft Flight Simulator and not the hot sim game at the moment everybody’s talking about right now.
Sorry Mac gamers.
That’s the way it goes.
But I did discover one unexpected benefit about Microsoft Flight Simulator if you are an Xbox game pass member Either game pass for PC or the game pass ultimate that includes the Xbox games and the PC games.
Well guess what?
flight simulator is included with that you don’t have to buy it separately.
Everybody really thinks game pass is like the secret weapon of gamers because there are so many really good, even a lot of brand new games on there, both for the Xbox and for PCs.
Getting flight simulator on the PC version of that which is I think five bucks a month right now there’s a special going on on the PC only version of game pass or $15 a month for the Xbox NPC and Xbox Live Gold combo version of that.
The fact that you have a brand new fairly hot game like flight simulator in there.
I think it’s pretty cool and says a lot of good things about Microsoft Xbox game pass.
Microsoft Flight Simulator may not be the game for everybody but since we’re all stuck at home and very few people are doing real flying right now.
I found it very relaxing people to go up in the sky travel the world.
See some sights See what’s happening around the world and practice my flying skills just in case I’m ever on that plane and they come over the loudspeaker and say, does anybody here know how to fly a plane?