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How to Get Started in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

by Brittany Vincent 29 Jul 2021

Prepare for takeoff with our beginner tips for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.

Soaring the friendly skies can be incredibly relaxing. But getting there can be a bit daunting, especially if you've never played a flight sim. The first one you should start with is undoubtedly Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, especially since it's now on consoles in addition to PC.

You can fly anywhere you wish across the globe once you've gotten your pilot's license. Find a destination, and fly there. It may sound difficult, but with a little bit of patience and dogged determination, you will, just like the birds in the sky, fly. Read on for some valuable tips that will help you become the pilot you've always wanted to be.

Be sure to complete the tutorials

It might seem like a no-brainer, but you should make it a point to finish the tutorials in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. There are plenty of different ones to get you started, including how to take off, remain airborne, and land. They can help you quickly get up to speed even if you're a complete newbie, as that's what they're designed to do. But unlike many tutorials out in the world of simulations, these are extremely detailed and helpful. You'll have a lot of fun learning at the same time.

Increase your simulation rate

Real-time flight can be frustrating. It certainly isn't for everyone. If you think the game is going a bit too slow for your tastes, you might want to increase the simulation rate. To do this, you'll want to press the "R" key on your keyboard, combined with "+" and "-" to increase or decrease the speed. For console players, you'll want to head into the menus and change the speed there. If you still find that things are going too slowly, you can skip entire parts of your fight or even time travel. It's all up to you.

Lean on Assistance for help

It can be a bit of a drag to both learn how to fly a plane as well as how to navigate the airports and runways. That's why the Assistance feature is a good idea to use at first. Go to the Welcome screen, and choose Options. Choose Assistance, and then look for the Navigation Aids option. You can tweak and customize the assistance the game will offer you right here, up to receiving clearance to taxi, requesting permission for take-off, and tower acknowledgment when you do get clearance for what you've requested. Take a break and let the game handle it all. You don't need to learn everything at once.

Give AI mode a try

If you don't want to be flooded with different instruments and actions to learn at first, you might want to turn on AI mode. This will allow you to turn on autopilot on all planes, which will help you keep your flight righted, and flying smoothly. It lets you use your copilot to handle any sort of interactions with the control tower, pre-flight checklists, and other granular settings that you might otherwise need to worry about. It's always there as a safety net if you need it, but it won't overstep its boundaries and won't kick in unless you activate it, so you can still learn.

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