Which Microsoft Flight Simulator to Buy? Cost & Where to Buy

Which Microsoft Flight Simulator to Buy? Cost & Where to Buy

With the release of the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, the number of Flight Simulators by Microsoft will reach fifteen. With so many versions to choose from, which one is tailored for you?

It would be a no brainer to snatch the latest version, Flight Simulator 2020, as it brings not only massive overhauls but also a gigantic open world to the table.

But what exactly are the improvements over past releases and, how are the controls more refined? Is it worth grabbing the latest version? Let’s take a look at the details.

1. Game Features: New Changes

Microsoft had announced that they would be revamping the Flight Simulator series using a new game engine and real-time satellite data from Bing in their latest release. This created massive interest in die-hard fans who’ve owned every version since the pilot release and in new fans who have never tried the simulator experience but are excited about the next-gen release.

Flight Simulator 2020 includes over 37 thousand airports, 2 million cities, 1.5 billion buildings, terrains, roads, and much more to make your flying experience more surreal.

Not to mention the endless list of aircraft you can utilize to hone your piloting experience, bundled with instruments and controls that scale according to your level.

Dreamliner! (Boeing 787) - Microsoft Flight Simulator

What sets Flight Simulator 2020 apart from other sims is the ability to fly to almost anywhere in the world and be greeted with realistic graphics, reconstructed from high-definition satellite-generated images.

Be ready to perform some aileron rolls over your own house!

2. 3D Environmental Scans for the Ultimate Immersion

The first thing pilots will notice when they fire up Flight Simulator 2020 for the first time is how beautiful it looks. Everything from the town, to the airports to the plane interior, looks drop-dead gorgeous and very realistic.

All thanks to the satellite generated imagery and Microsoft’s partner blackshark.ai, who transformed the 2D mapped data.

The towns and cities don’t feel static as they tend to feel like in big open-world games and they feel alive, busy with traffic and people going about their lives.

Almost everyone was in awe of the weather model; the clouds in the simulator are nothing fans have seen before. Thunderstorms in the distance feel like a threat; winds affect your plane, fly in the snow too long and see crystals form on your wings. Wow! All these are controlled from the settings page.

Which Microsoft Flight Simulator to buy?
Microsoft Flight Simulator | Source: Xbox

3. Specs and Platforms: Will you be able to run Sim 2020?

Currently, Flight Simulator 2020 has been released for Microsoft Windows, and releases for the consoles would be coming later. Microsoft released the minimum and recommended specifications required to run the simulator.

Minimum SpecificationsRecommended Specifications
CPUi. AMD Ryzen 3
ii. 1200 Intel i5-4460
i. AMD Ryzen 5 1500x
ii. Intel i5-8400
RAMi.8GBi. 16GB
GPUi.(2 GB VRAM)
ii. Radeon RX 570
iii. Nvidia GTX 700
i. (4 GB VRAM)
ii. Radeon RX 590
iii. Nvidia GTX 970
Storagei. 150 GBi. 150GB
Minimum OS Versioni. Windows 10 Nov 2019 update (1909)i. Windows 10 Nov 2019 update (1909)

One thing to keep in mind is that Flight Simulator 2020 requires a solid internet connection for streaming the massive virtual world.

The studio had mapped two petabytes of real-time satellite data that will surely not fit onto your home grade 512 GB SSDs.

Thus the game streams data from Microsoft cloud servers. Microsoft recommends 20 Mbps with 5 Mbps being posted as minimum requirements.

4. Different Editions, Different Perks

I. Standard Edition

For those of you looking for just the base game, this is the edition to get. You will be able to access and fly out of all the airports, but the difference between the pricier editions is that you will get handcrafted renditions of these airports.

Which Microsoft Flight Simulator to buy?
Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Edition | Source: Microsoft

II. Deluxe Edition

The deluxe edition contains everything in the base edition plus five handcrafted airports and five extra planes.

Enhanced Airports in Deluxe Edition

  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Netherlands)
  • Cairo International Airport (Egypt)
  • Cape Town International Airport (South Africa)
  • O’Hare International Airport (USA)
  • Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport (Spain)

Additional Planes in Deluxe Edition

  • Diamond Aircraft DA40-TDI
  • Diamond Aircraft DV20
  • Textron Aviation Inc. Beechcraft Baron G58
  • Textron Aviation Inc. Cessna 152 Aerobat
  • Textron Aviation Inc. Cessna 172 Skyhawk

III. Premium Deluxe Edition

The premium deluxe contains everything offered in the base edition and deluxe edition plus five handcrafted airports and planes, taking the total to 10 enhanced airports and 10 new planes over the base model.

Which Microsoft Flight Simulator to buy?
Microsoft Flight Simulator Premium Deluxe Edition | Source: Microsoft

Enhanced Premium Deluxe Edition Airports

  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Netherlands)
  • Cairo International Airport (Egypt)
  • Cape Town International Airport (South Africa)
  • O’Hare International Airport (USA)
  • Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport (Spain)
  • Denver International Airport (USA)
  • Dubai International Airport (UAE)
  • Frankfurt Airport (Germany)
  • Heathrow Airport (UK)
  • San Francisco International Airport (USA)

Additional Premium Deluxe Edition Planes

  • Diamond Aircraft DA40-TDI
  • Diamond Aircraft DV20
  • Textron Aviation Inc. Beechcraft Baron G58
  • Textron Aviation Inc. Cessna 152 Aerobat
  • Textron Aviation Inc. Cessna 172 Skyhawk
  • The Boeing Company 787-10 Dreamliner
  • Cirrus Aircraft SR22
  • Pipistrel Virus SW 121
  • Textron Aviation Inc. Cessna Citation Longitude
  • Zlin Aviation Shock Ultra

IV. Retail Edition

Microsoft partnered with retailer Aerosoft for a physical edition of the Microsoft Flight Simulator, which includes 10 double-sided discs. It features all the content included in the digital version of the game and will be available in Europe.

5. Microsoft Flight Simulator Prices and Where to Buy?

First of all, Microsoft Flight Simulator is available on Xbox Game Pass for PC, a subscription-based service starting from $4.99/ month. So, you don’t have to shell out the full price.

For those of you looking to get the game, it is available on both the Microsoft store and steam alike, with different editions ranging from 60$ to 130$.

  • Standard Edition – 59.99$
  • Deluxe Edition – 89.99$
  • Premium Edition – 119.99$
  • Retail Edition (EU Only)
    • Standard Edition – $70
    • Premium Deluxe Edition – $130

6. Buy Flight Simulator 2020

7. Will Game Pass owners get Day 0 Release?

Flight Simulator 2020 Standard Edition is available to Game Pass owners from day 0, and you will be able to play on the release day with the rest of the world.

Which Microsoft Flight Simulator to buy?
Microsoft Flight Simulator | Source: Microsoft

But the serious simmers out there will not shy away from paying full price after seeing the breathtaking imagery and graphics, not to mention those rain clouds in the distance.