One of the most fascinating aspects of Microsoft Flight Simulator is the ability to fly anywhere in the world from famous landmarks to natural wonders and even your home.
While we’re sure that most of you will be eager to take to the skies over some of the tallest buildings in the world or the origin points of conspiracy theories like Area 51, there’s a good chance that you’re like us, and the first thing you’ll want to do is find your house.
Unlike well-known landmarks, tourist attractions, or historical sites, you can’t easily find your neighborhood as a destination. To fly to your home in Microsoft Flight Simulator, you’ll need a little research and planning. In this guide, we’ll show you how to find the skies above your own head.
How to find your house
You can generally find your course in two ways:
- Searching for your home using its exact coordinates (the fastest way)
- Navigating from the closest airport
Both options will get you to the same destination. It just depends on how much effort you want to put in.
If you want to quickly appear in the skies above your home, you can use your house’s exact coordinates. By inputting the latitude and longitude of where you live, you’ll set a custom arrival or departure point right at your doorstep.
A service like Google Maps can give you your coordinates with a few clicks. To find the coordinates for your house:
- Input your address into Google Maps.
- Right click on the red pin that appears, select “What’s here?” from the menu that loads, and a small dialogue box will appear on the bottom of your screen showing coordinates.
- Click on the coordinates, and the menu to the left of your screen will be replaced with information about those exact coordinates.
- Copy the larger set of numbers in bold (the ones that have cardinal directions in them).
- Paste the coordinates into the search field in Microsoft Flight Simulator’s Map / Free Flight mode menu.
- Click on the two sets of numbers that appear with the pin icon next to them. Your map will zoom into those coordinates allowing you to set that location as an arrival or departure point.
Set your home as an arrival point, instead of where you’ll depart. If you choose your house as a departure point, you will spawn near your house, several thousand feet in the air, which makes it difficult to spot your doorstep. To make finding your house easier to locate, click on the map to set a departure point somewhere near your home, or locate the closest airport.
Flying from an airport
If you know the closest airport to your home, you can input that as your departure destination in the World Map / Free Flight mode.
If you don’t know which airport is closest to your home, here’s how to find it:
- Input your address in your map service.
- Search for airports within that area.
- If you can’t find something easily, try zooming out in your map software and search again.
You can fly from most airports from large international locations to smaller commuter spots.
Once you’ve found where you intend to take off from, use your map service to find driving directions from that airport to your destination.
The point of getting driving directions is to see the relative direction you’ll need to fly from the airport to your house. After you’ve figured that out, search for your airport in Free Flight mode, and set it as your departure location. From there, you’ll have to do some manual navigation to figure out how to locate where you live.
How to fly to your house
To confidently fly to your house from an airport or nearby destination, you’ll need to make use of two maps: a map loaded on your web browser or a mobile device plus Microsoft Flight Simulator’s in-game map, the Visual Flight Rules map (VFR). You can access this by hitting the V key on your keyboard on PC or highlighting the toolbar menu on the top of the screen and selecting it.
You’ll have to compare your real-life map and the VFR to look for identifiable landmarks. Your personal map likely shows you major highways, bodies of water, topographical information, and more. The VFR shows similar, but much less detailed information.
Once you have both loaded, compare how each represents major highways and bodies of water.
In the example above, we opened up Microsoft Flight Simulator’s VFR map and compared that to Google Maps on another screen. We used both to figure out the right way to fly to visit our childhood home. (Highways are yellow on Google Maps or Bing and gray in Microsoft Flight Simulator).
The VFR didn’t give us an identifiable information, but we could see that two highways flank the airport. On Google Maps, we figured out which highway was which and, since we grew up next to this airport, we just used the highways to navigate all the way back to where we grew up.
If you’re not familiar with the highways or bodies of water around the airports closest to your home, then you’ll have to do some manual navigation. Looking at your map in real life, you can see the general direction between the airport and your home, if you’ve already mapped the driving directions. Since your real-world map and the simulator’s VFR map are both orientated the same, you will know which direction you need to fly after you take off from the airport.
Unfortunately, the VFR will not identify regular streets or show you street names as you fly over, so it can be easy to get lost while flying. At the same time, Microsoft Flight Simulator’s recreation of lesser known areas isn’t completely accurate, so local landmarks that you might use to find your way around won’t necessarily look the same. When in doubt, refer to your real-life map to get your bearings and compare it to what the VFR shows you.