Microsoft Flight Simulator System Requirements
Microsoft Flight Simulator System Requirements (2021) - full specs, system checker and the gaming PC setup you need: Can I Run Microsoft Flight Simulator?
Microsoft Flight Simulator system requirements
- Memory: 16 GB
- Graphics Card: AMD Radeon RX 590
- CPU: Intel Core i5-8400
- File Size: 150 GB
- OS: Windows 10
Microsoft Flight Simulator minimum requirements
- Memory: 8 GB
- Graphics Card: AMD Radeon RX 570
- CPU: Intel Core i5-4460
- File Size: 150 GB
- OS: Windows 10
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Can I Run Microsoft Flight Simulator?
Flight sim system requirements: An Intel Core i5-4460 CPU is required at a minimum to run Microsoft Flight Simulator. However, the developers recommend a CPU greater or equal to an Intel Core i5-8400 to play the game. The cheapest graphics card you can play it on is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770. But, according to the developers the recommended graphics card is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970. In terms of game file size, you will need at least 150 GB available. By contrast, the game developers recommend somewhere around Microsoft Flight Simulator on your system drive. Microsoft Flight Simulator system requirements state that you will need at least 8 GB. If possible, make sure your have 16 GB in order to run Microsoft Flight Simulator to its full potential.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is the latest generation of the long-running Flight Simulator series. A highly demanding but stunning game which also streams satellite images to further improve the graphics.
Flight Simulator 2020 Specs
The minimum requirements for MSFS are still quite demanding. They recommend a minimum GPU equivalent to a GTX 770, and a minimum CPU equivalent to an i5-4460 and 8GB of RAM. The recommended requirements are 16GB RAM, a GTX 970 and an i5-8400.
The game only runs Windows 10. The game can be bought digitally through the Microsoft store or Steam. For those with a slow internet connection the game can be bought physically, coming on 10 discs. There are very few Flight Sim G2A keys for example.
150GB of spare storage space is required for Flight Simulator 2020, relatively large, so you’ll want to make sure you have sufficient storage.
You’ll want a decent internet connection to make use of the satellite streaming feature - users with slow connections may notice stuttering or texture pop-in.
Even with the highest end setup, you will not be hitting 60fps at 4K on ultra settings - 30FPS has been reported on an RTX 2080ti in 4k. The next generation RTX 3000 and AMD Navi GPUs may change this.
Why are Flight Simulator 2020 specs so high?
- Over 37 thousand airports
- 1.5 billion buildings
- 2 trillion trees
- mountains, roads, rivers and more.
- live traffic
- real-time weather
- A Day & Night Engine
- Aerodynamic Modeling with over 1000 control surfaces per plane
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 loading times
Users have reported long loading times in the game - up to a few minutes, as we have here at PCGameBenchmark with the game installed on a standard hard drive. By installing the game onto an SSD, users have reported loading times halving. If you are looking to get an SSD to install Flight Sim on, make sure you get one with a large enough capacity (over 150GB)
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Best Settings
There are a large range of Microsoft Flight Simulator graphical options to help you fine tune the game to your PC.
If your PC is similar to the minimum requirements, we recommend setting graphics presets to low first. PCs that have specs similar to the recommended requirements should find optimal performance around the medium-high preset, depending on your resolution. Users with the recommended GPU, a GTX 970, are seeing an average of 30FPS on High Presets at 1080p. For 4K you may want to bring these down to Medium.
If your PC is struggling to run the game at the native resolution, try adjusting the render scaling rather than simply lowering the screen resolution of the game - this will avoid excessively blurry looking menus and gameplay.
Turning off ‘Bing Data World Graphics’ and ‘Photogrammetry’ has also been reported by users as a way to boost FPS, at the expense of graphical fidelity.
The most demanding graphical option on Flight Simulator is ‘Terrain level of detail’ - turn this slider down first if you are experiencing low FPS
Top tip - try your graphical settings out over a range of areas. In the countryside you may find the game runs smoothly but going into a large detailed city like New York will take a large FPS hit.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 online connection
The game streams satellite data and live weather in real time. Microsoft says you should have a 5MB/s download speed at minimum, but ideally 50MB/s. The game also uses a connection to generate AI planes based on the location of real world aircraft, and there is also the option to fly with other players in the world.
Users have reported that Flight Sim uses around 1GB of data per hour - If you have a bandwidth cap or slow internet speeds, you can manually cache regions of the game so they do not have to be repeatedly streamed in each time you play. Just go to options, general and then click ‘manual cache’.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Controls
We would not recommend playing Flight Simulator with a keyboard and mouse, as it does not give the precision for flying a plane. You’ll enjoy the game a lot more using a flight stick - these can be picked up for a range of prices, but even the cheapest will improve your experience. If you don’t want to splash out on a flight stick, a controller is a good compromise and the game is still enjoyable.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 VR
VR support will be coming to flight sim later this year, but at first exclusively supporting the HP Reverb G2 VR headset.
Flight Simulator console
Although there have been rumours and promises, there is still no firm Flight Simulator 2020 Xbox release date. We’ll update this page when we know. There is very unlikely to be a Flight Sim Playstation release.
Microsoft Flight Simulator will run on PC system with Windows 10 and upwards.
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