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Which edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator should you buy?

Ready for takeoff on Aug. 18

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Multiple layers of clouds complex shadows over Manhattan as a single-engine turboprop flies through the frame from right to left. Image: Asobo Studio/Xbox Game Studios

The latest edition of Microsoft’s long-running flight simulator program is preparing for take-off. Simply titled Microsoft Flight Simulator, this is the first new entry in the series since Microsoft Flight Simulator X, which was released in 2006 and was updated for Steam in 2014.

Microsoft has stated that Microsoft Flight Simulator will be available on Xbox One, but no Xbox One release date has been announced. It’s landing on Windows PC on Aug. 18, with dynamic weather, highly detailed aircraft, and aerodynamic modeling. According to Microsoft, it’s “the most realistic and authentic flight simulator to date.”

Pre-orders for Microsoft Flight Simulator are available now. Below, we detail everything you need to know about the new program, from system requirements to a breakdown of the different editions (including the European-exclusive retail edition, which ships on 10 double-sided DVDs.)

Microsoft Flight Simulator system requirements

Before you pick up Microsoft Flight Simulator, you should ensure that your PC can run it. Minimum specs from Microsoft are below, as well as those recommended for the best experience.

Microsoft Flight Simulator System Requirements

Minimum Recommended
Minimum Recommended
OS: Windows 10 version 18362.0 or higher OS: Windows 10 version 18362.0 or higher
Architecture: x64 Architecture: x64
Keyboard: Integrated Keyboard Keyboard: Integrated Keyboard
Mouse: Integrated Mouse Mouse: Integrated Mouse
DirectX: Version 11 DirectX: Version 11
Memory: 8 GB Memory: 16 GB
Video Memory: 2 GB Video Memory: 4 GB
Processor: Intel i5-4460 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200 Processor: Intel i5-8400 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 770 or AMD Radeon RX 570 Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX 590
Minimum and recommended requirements for Microsoft Flight Simulator

If you want to dive into the world of flight sticks and and pedals, check out our guide to building the virtual cockpit of your dreams.

Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft Flight Simulator will be available on Xbox Game Pass for PC at launch. The popular Xbox game subscription service came to PC last year, and the app is currently available in beta at an introductory discount of $1 for the first month and $4.99 per month thereafter.

Subscribe to Xbox Game Pass for PC

A chart breaking down the differences between the Standard, Deluxe, and Premium Deluxe Editions of Microsoft Flight Simulator Image: Microsoft

Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Edition

Those who aren’t Xbox Game Pass subscribers can purchase the Standard Edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator for $59.99. That includes digital ownership through Microsoft, meaning you’ll be able to play the game on any Windows PC where you’re logged into your Microsoft account (as long as that PC meets the minimum requirements, of course).

Get it here: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop | Microsoft

Microsoft Flight Simulator Deluxe Edition

The Deluxe Edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator costs $89.99 and includes five extra plane models and five more airports, detailed below.

Additional Aircraft

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

Additional Enhanced Airports

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

Get it here: Best Buy | GameStop | Microsoft

A French-made DR400 over a winding river, its wandering path clearly visible from several thousand feet in the air. The sky is blue with few clouds. From an early pre-alpha of Microsoft Flight Simulator Asobo Studio/Microsoft

Microsoft Flight Simulator Premium Deluxe Edition

The Microsoft Flight Simulator Premium Deluxe Edition costs $119.99 and includes the extra airplanes and airports that come with the Deluxe Edition, plus five additional planes and five more airports. All of the bonus content is listed below.

Additional Aircraft

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

Additional Enhanced Airports

  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Netherlands)
  • Cairo International Airport (Egypt)
  • Cape Town International Airport (South Africa)
  • O’Hare International Airport (USA)
  • Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (Spain)
  • Denver International Airport (USA)
  • Dubai International Airport (United Arab Emirates)
  • Frankfurt Airport (Germany)
  • Heathrow Airport (United Kingdom)
  • San Francisco International Airport (USA)

Get it here: Best Buy | GameStop | Microsoft

The 10 discs included in the Microsoft Flight Simulator Premium Deluxe Retail Edition Photo: Aerosoft/Microsoft

Microsoft Flight Simulator Retail Edition

Microsoft partnered with flight simulation retailer Aerosoft on a physical edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator, which comes on 10 double-sided discs. It features all of the content included in the digital version of the game, and it will require a software update from Microsoft before the game launches.

The retail edition will only be available in Europe. Aerosoft is selling two versions of the game: the Standard Edition for €60.34 (about $70) and the Premium Deluxe Edition for €112.06 (about $130.)

Get the Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Retail Edition
Get the Microsoft Flight Simulator Premium Deluxe Retail Edition