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Microsoft Flight Simulator guide: How to change the weather

Make it rain — or not!

A yellow plane flies over the cloudy skies over New York City Image: Asobo Studio/Microsoft Corporation via Polygon

While many pilots dream of clear blue skies every time they take off, perhaps you’d like to try a difficult landing during a thunderstorm or soar through fluffy clouds over your favorite city.

Beyond the many options you have about where to fly, you can also change how the weather looks when you fly. Changing the weather in Microsoft Flight Simulator is quite easy. In fact, you have the option to set the weather before you hop into your plane or even mid-flight.

In this Microsoft Flight Simulator guide, we’ll show you how to adjust the weather any time you’d like.

How to change the weather

If you already know how you’d like to weather to look before you even settle into your aircraft, you can set up your flight conditions while setting your destination.

The weather and time options in Microsoft Flight Simulator
Before you press Fly, here’s where you change your weather
Image: Asobo Studio/Microsoft Corporation via Polygon

On the world map screen, select Flight Conditions at the top right of your screen. Once you do, several options appear to adjust settings like weather and time. For weather options, you can choose between:

  • Live weather based on location
  • Preset weather conditions such as clear skies and storms
  • Custom options to dial in the exact weather you want

Once you’ve decided, click the Flight Conditions button on the top right again to close this menu and set your weather for your flight. After you press the Fly button and the game loads, you’ll appear at your destination with the flight conditions you set.

How to change weather mid-flight

You can also change your weather while you’ve already loaded into the simulator.

At any time, highlight the toolbar at the top of your screen, select the cloud icon, and a weather panel will appear.

The flight conditions options mid-flight in Microsoft Flight Simulator
You can change your weather on the fly
Image: Asobo Studio/Microsoft Corporation via Polygon

Just like the flight conditions panel on the world map screen, you can control a range of weather settings during flight.

The most interesting thing about changing the weather while already in flight is that all of the changes you make will happen instantly, allowing you to turn a perfect sky into a chaotic storm with a click of your mouse.

Changing the weather is a great feature to experiment with if you truly want to simulate different conditions that pilots face every day. It presents a different level of challenge when attempting to do so under difficult weather conditions. If you’ve already mastered the basics and some advanced techniques, try setting a flight path along some new territory under some bad weather.