Is Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 a good buy?

In 2020, after almost 10 years of long-standing silence, Microsoft, in partnership with Asobo, Xbox Game Studios, and Blackshark AI, brought to us AVgeeks and gamers, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, which swept us off our feet and our PCs off their rest. FS2020, is notorious for bringing top-end systems with RTX-level GPUs, Octa-core CPUs down to their knees whilst literally, touring the world in 4K, that is, if your PC can support it. 

Flight Simulator 2020 streams data in real-time from Bing Maps and produces 3D realistic buildings and modeled buildings for important monuments such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Taj Mahal, Leaning Tower of Pisa, etc. (link at the end). The source CAN be changed to Google Maps, however, the screenshots I’ve taken are from Bing Maps source data. There are tons of freeware available on websites such as FlightSim, FlyAway Sims, etc. such as highly detailed aircraft, scenery, liveries, airports, mods & more! Microsoft has its own ingame marketplace with paid items available as well!

Sites such as VATSIM allow for voice-based ATC which makes the whole experience far more realistic. 

It’s pretty clear that we have possibly the best Flight Simulator with us today.

Now the question comes down to, is it a good buy?

Depends on who you are. For an aviation geek/avgeek, it is a dream. Detailed cockpits, failure systems, checklists, live ATC, landing challenges, we love it all. For casual gamers and others, FS2020 can be a bit overwhelming due to the level of detail. You need to know the basics of an aircraft before starting in FS2020, so it’s not an easy game at all. If learning isn’t what you intend to do just for a game, steer clear of this one. 

Secondly, you need a pretty strong system for this. Don’t look at the recommended requirements, and definitely not the minimum ones. For starters, I’d recommend a newer GPU with 4GB VRAM such as the GTX 1650 or the 1050Ti. If you want stronger graphics, an RTX 2060 or 3060 is recommended. For CPUs, start with something like a Core i5-11400H or a Ryzen 5 5600H for stable performance. Please do get a fast, NVMe SSD for this game, which highly improves loading times. Recommending 16GB of RAM for the smooth operation of the game, but 8GB is fine too. If you have a system of this or more caliber, it’s good to go for running FS2020.

Last, but not least, buying the game and extra costs. 

The game itself costs 3,199 if you get the base version or up to 7,199 for the maxed-out one. The only difference between both is that the latter comes with a few more planes such as the 787-10 and some more General Aviation aircraft and several modeled airports as well, But over and above that to get a good experience, I’d recommend getting a joystick, it’s NOT easy to control using keyboard or mouse, it’s hard and inaccurate. A side stick would set you back 2,000-4,000 depending on what you go for. My recommendations will be at the end :). 

So, if you’re ready to make some investments and are serious about flying realistically and know a fair bit, or learn a bit about aviation, you can make the leap by purchasing Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 on the following platforms –

Note :-

FS2020 requires 200GB of free space and at minimum a 8MbPs internet connection for live data streaming. 


Screenshots –

Recommended Side Sticks 

Budget (1,893)

Wide budget (3,450)

HOTAS (Throttle + Side Stick)

Budget (6,621)

Wide Budget (14,099)

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About Abhilash Kar

Tech and Car geek . Debater and agathokakological . Join me on this beautiful tech and car journey at
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