Launching Microsoft Flight Simulator on PC last year was only the beginning of our journey to make the best simulation possible. As we continue adding to the experience with free World Updates (Japan, US, France, Benelux, UK & Ireland and the Nordics so far with many more to come), themed DLC bundles, and true-to-life aircraft, Xbox Series X|S simmers will enjoy these updates on console as well.
The latest Microsoft Flight Simulator update comes with a variety of features to make the experience more accessible for new simmers, including Discovery Flights, location labels to aid with orientation, Anti-stall & Auto-trim assists, a Flight Assistant toolbar panel during flight allowing to quickly setup a flight plan to reach nearby airports and POIs, an updated cockpit interaction model supported by more informative tooltips, additional landing gear types to land anywhere, enhanced training flights, and cross-play/cross-save between PC and console.
For PC users: Please move your community package(s) to another folder before relaunching the title if you suffer from stability issues or long loading times. You will be on Version 18.104.22.168.
For Xbox users: There is an additional 27.6 GB update to install.
This update includes significant performance improvements to make the experience more seamless.
- Improved multi core support for CPU
- Better memory and GPU usage
- Faster loading times
- Stutters have been significantly reduced
Discovery Flights were originally inspired by those who wanted to fly in one of our trailers! Discovery Flights place you in the most scenic locations on the planet, including awesome locations like the Great Pyramids or Mount Everest, or vibrant cities like Naples or Rio de Janeiro, in optimal weather conditions for you to fly and sightsee at your leisure. You can quickly switch between locations using the Activity tab available from the pause menu. Two additional Discovery Flights are featured with all World Updates available for free within the in-game Marketplace.
World Exploration Improvements
The world map now also features satellite imagery, map labels, and main Point of Interest names to make exploring the world (and even finding your house) as easy as possible. We extended this capability into the flight experience itself and you can now activate the POI labels during a flight, meaning you can suddenly understand the spatial relationships between cities, mountains, and other landmarks. A new section is available in the Assistances menu, to display labels on all on-screen POIs or only the one you are pointing toward with the camera.
Landing Challenges are now graded. Remember to download World Updates in the marketplace, which contain additional landing challenges and bush trips.
We overhauled our training flights to make them more digestible. Each of the 22 flights focuses on a specific notion, starting with basic handling, to landing & take off, VFR navigation, all the way to learning how to fly an airliner like the Airbus 320neo. Training flights feature contextual voiceovers, a score, and a grade to provide feedback and advice to progress through your learning journey.
Flight assistant / new assistances
The Flight Assistant is a new UI panel available via the toolbar in Free Flight and Discovery Flights. It allows you to quickly get AI help during flight:
- You can select nearby POIs or airports and set them as your destination to get direction
- You can also give control to the AI to fly you to your chosen destination.
- If using an Xbox controller, you can choose to temporarily enable AI flight control whenever you toggle the on-screen “cursor mode” (see below) to interact with menus or cockpit instruments
- You can delegate radio communications to the AI to let them interact with Air Traffic Control
- You can quickly activate auto-trimming and anti-stall assists
Gamepad Navigation / Cursor
If using an Xbox controller, you can use the left stick to control an on-screen cursor to navigate menus, world map and cockpits. To access the cursor controls during flight, click the left stick button on the controller to switch from flight controls to “Cursor Mode”. An extended zone around the cursor is used to select interactive element closest to the cursor center dot, making it more permissive and easier to use. Right stick is used to scroll pages and quickly change options. Cursor parameters are available in the Options / General Options / Accessibility menu.
Added the new “Lock” interaction system:
- Set active by default but can be reverted to “Legacy” in Options / General Options / Accessibility.
- Tooltips are now displaying the instrument name, instrument values, and controls (dynamic depending of the device in use)
- Using the cursor or the camera center pointer, you can highlight any interactive cockpit instrument.
- Once highlighted, you can interact with the instrument:
- If the instrument is simple (buttons, 2 positions switches), tapping Xbox Controller A or Mouse left button will interact with it. If the instrument is complex (knobs, levers…), tapping Xbox Controller A or holding Mouse left button will lock on it.
- Once locked on an instrument, you can:
- Use primary (Xbox Controller A/ Mouse left button), secondary (Xbox Controller X/ Mouse right button) or tertiary (Xbox Controller Y/ Mouse middle button) interactions.
- Increase/ decrease the instrument (Xbox Controller LT/ RT or Mouse wheel)
- Use gestures (Xbox Controller left stick or Mouse movements)
- Unlock the instrument (Xbox Controller B or release Mouse left button)
Land anywhere / VFX
The following planes are now provided with skis and floats variants:
- Cessna C172 classic
- Cessna C172 G1000
- CubCrafters XCub
- Zlin Aviation Shock Ultra
These aircraft’s checklists have been adapted accordingly. Appropriated VFX are displayed depending on the surface type you are landing on.
Accessibility / Screen reader
We have added a text-to-speech narration feature to the Flight Simulator menus (English language only at first). This can be accessed during Onboarding for new users or enabled via Options / General Options / Accessibility for existing users. This feature is work-in-progress and does not yet cover every screen or option but should allow users to navigate to the most vital menu screens needed to begin a flight. We are actively working on making the narrator more comprehensive and aim to add more functionality in future updates. Learn more about our Accessibility efforts here.
Two new livery sets are available Aviator club Xbox and Livery 01.
For a full list of current known issues, click here.