When does Microsoft Flight Simulator release on Xbox?

The new Flight Simulator is out on PC now. You can order it right now from Microsoft, though the game is also included within Xbox Game Pass for PC.

The game is also going to release on Xbox, but there's no set release date yet. That makes it seem likely that the game will be launching not only on Xbox One, but also the upcoming Xbox Series X.

Which version of Flight Simulator should I buy?

There are several different versions to choose from:

  • The Standard Edition (£59.99/$59.99) includes 20 planes with unique flight models and 30 'hand-crafted' airports. This is the version that will be available on day one with Xbox Game Pass for PC.
  • The Deluxe Edition (£79.99/$89.99) includes everything from Microsoft Flight Simulator’s standard edition plus 5 additional planes and 5 additional airports.
  • The Premium Deluxe Edition (£109.99/$119.99) includes all of the above plus another 5 planes and 5 airports.

Note that each version of the game includes all the airports available - including thousands from around the world - but the Deluxe and Premium editions include extra "hand-crafted" versions of airports with more immersive and detailed experiences.

If your internet connection is too slow to download the 90GB+ game, you can also pick up a physical copy of the flight sim comprised of a whopping 10 discs. The discs contain the entire digital world Asobo has recreated, bar any updates between the manufacture date and release of the game, so it should save you a lot of time.

It's focused at European customers, and can be ordered from the Aerosoft website. It's available in the Standard (€69.99) and Premium Deluxe (€129.99) editions. 

Does Flight Simulator support VR?

Microsoft has announced that Flight Simulator will support VR, but not from launch. That's in part because the virtual reality support has been developed in partnership with HP specifically for its upcoming Reverb G2 headset, which offers a mad 4320 x 2160 resolution - more than double the pixel count of the Oculus Rift S.

Flight Simulator will be a launch title for the Reverb G2, but since the headset itself doesn't have a firm release date that means we don't know exactly when VR support itself will arrive - though you can still pre-order the Reverb G2 if you know you're sold on it.

The devs told Polygon that after the Reverb G2 launch they will begin working on VR support for other headsets, including HTC, Oculus, and Valve’s devices, so if you own another headset it should be supported eventually.

Watch the trailers

The most recent Flight Simulator trailer is this short teaser to reveal the launch date and pre-orders:

There's also the announcement trailer that premiered during Xbox’s press conference at E3 2019:

What is the gameplay like?

Gameplay is similar to previous titles, striking a balance between nostalgic moments that have defined the series and a modern gaming experience. The game offers unprecedented freedom, allowing players to create a flight plan and fly anywhere around the world.

Landscapes are rendered in remarkable detail, thanks to Microsoft combining satellite imagery with their own advanced artificial intelligence. The resulting effect on graphics is phenomenal, with famous sights such as San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and the Pyramids of Giza looking stunning from the air.

Players can choose to fly during the day or at night, with dynamic weather patterns closely mirroring the challenges faced by 21st century pilots.

The game offers the chance to fly a range of aircraft, from light planes to wide-body jets. The full lineup includes 30 planes at launch, but many are locked behind the Deluxe and Premium Editions:

Microsoft Flight Simulator plane list

Microsoft says that the game lets you fly from any of the 37,000 global airports listed on Bing Maps, but it has also created a limited list of "hand-crafted" airports that are more realistic and immersive, and access to some of these special versions is tied to the more expensive editions of the game - though owners of the base game can still access the regular versions of each.

Microsoft Flight Simulator airport list