Microsoft Flight Simulator Now Even Harder To Tell Apart From Reality

[Updated 07/01/21 to include the video’s original source]

Anyone that’s sampled Microsoft Flight Simulator already knows that it’s a crazy good simulation of air travel, but one side-by-side comparison showcases just how realistic the game can be. From the moment the game made a surprise appearance at E3 2019, fans and newcomers alike knew that it would be something special. A state-of-the-art entry in one of Microsoft’s most enduring gaming franchises was long overdue, and the final game that players got their hands on in 2020 lived up to that promise. Xbox players still have to wait until Summer 2021 to give it a shot, but those with beefy PCs are already getting the full Microsoft Flight Simulator experience on Game Pass.


Something that many fans have tried since the game initially released is mapping out real-life air routes and seeing how accurate they were in the game. A few brave souls have even done the comparison in real-time, playing MSF2020 on a capable laptop on a wifi-enabled jetliner. The results have been astoundingly accurate thanks to the game’s reliance on satellite mapping to chart the entire Earth and most of its important landmarks. The developers aren’t afraid to get a bit silly on special occasions and include easter eggs in MSF’s world, but Flight Sim is less of a full-fledged game and more of a tool that’s as fun as a new toy.

For those who want to see the comparison between a real flight and Microsoft Flight Simulator in real-time, YouTube account Tropical Tech 2 shared just such a video that shows just how close the simulation is to the real deal. Matching up both the airplane and the location, viewers can see satellite-mapped countryside on the left sticking relatively close to the real world photography on the right. The only real tell as to which one is actually a video is the human tendency to move the camera and an airplane’s tendency to jostle around in the air rather than stick to a perfectly smooth flight path.

Of course, portraying takeoffs and landings with minute detail is only one of the ways that Microsoft Flight Simulator is engaging simulation fans. In the last Miscrosoft Flight Simulator update of 2020, the developers at Asobo Studio added a virtual reality component to the game, putting the realistic renders of airplanes and landscapes to the test. Those who have the right setup has seen what the developers call a new level of immersion.

In many ways, a game like Microsoft Flight Simulator is a massive throwback to another era of experiences. There’s no expectation of a campaign, no excessive microtransactions, and no addicting gameplay loop. Microsoft’s flight sim is simply doing its job as a fascinating piece of technology that also happens to be a video game. The fact that the publisher is willing to put their weight behind a release like that bodes well for the rest of Microsoft’s first-party lineup for the Xbox Series X, especially in terms of variety. Microsoft is building out a varied lineup for its ever-expanding Game Pass service, and that can only be a good thing for fans of underrepresented genres and games off the beaten path.

Source: Tropical Tech 2/YouTube

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Alex Santa Maria (867 Articles Published)

Alex Santa Maria is a writer, editor, and critic based out of the Sunshine State. Raised on a healthy diet of gaming mags at an Xbox LAN center, Alex is an enthusiast who loves shooters, roguelikes, and arcade-style games. He has an unhealthy obsession with bad movies, a love of the 1980s, and the skills to rack up a high score on your local pinball table. When not covering the latest news on Screen Rant, you may find his byline on a growing number of webzones, including GameRevolution, TechRaptor, Mandatory, and WrestleZone.

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