Civilian Flight Sim thread


Discuss your favorite non pew pew flight simulations here.

I used to fly Flight Simulator X quite a bit, using to give me something to do.
I don’t have it on my current system, and haven’t felt like going through the hassle of getting installed and
configured again. I had textures, meshes, weather and traffic sims, and a number of planes. Hopefully they are still on a disk somewhere.

Have there been any improvements made to the Steam version over what MS shipped?

What is the consensus on X-Plane?

Is Prepare3D worth the price? Has it improved over Flight Sim X?

Is there any hope for civilian flight sim lovers?

Recent air combat sim recommendations?

Also anyone ever jumped into ? At one point I thought of doing the atc stuff, but I never got around to it.


@DennyA may have something to say about your omission of Aerofly FS 2! It’s shaping up quite nicely, for a mobile port. ;)


I’ll go to bat for Aerofly FS2. It has VR support, modeled airports and skyscrapers, and satellite-imaged terrain, all out of the box. The downside is that it’s still probably a few years away from having a robust mod/payware selection. And it’s Early Access. That doesn’t bother me, but some people have a different tolerance for it.


I have a copy of FSX Steam Edition from a bundle a month or two ago, but I haven’t installed it yet. FSEconomy seems interesting; a bit like American Truck Simulator with flying.


I haven’t used it in a long time because it’s somewhat intimidating. But Vatsim is pretty much as good as it gets. Unless you want to pay for Pilot Edge.


Chem trails activated:


I’d love to know the answers to these questions. Minus the ATC part.

I got FSX-Steam and I haven’t installed all my old mods yet. It takes so much time!


Thanks for making this thread @vyshka.

I’ve played civi flight sims since Microsoft Flight Simulator on my C64 (I recorded my first landing on VHS for posterity!). My favorite flight sim of all time was Flight Unlimited III.

Looks horribly dated now, of course, but back in the day it was way ahead of it’s time.

Despite spending tons of hours in various sims over the years, I’ve mostly just puttered about. Never really got too serious about systems or procedures, and never graduated to airliners. I just find it mostly relaxing to jump into a Cessna and find my way via VOR’s to another airport. I would be interested in getting a private pilot’s license if I didn’t know I would be a horrible pilot, so the virtual version is an outlet.

Oh, man, installing FSX or Prepar3D is the worst. I’ve got so much crap, there’s so much tweaking to be done to try to get reasonable performance. Installing my Orbx scenery and various planes meansa lost weekend, essentially

The consensus for the Dovetail version of FSX is fairly positive, I think (I don’t own it). Some slight visual, stability and performance improvements over default FSX.

X-Plane folks swear by it. MSFS folks try the new versions, grumble about it, and then go back to MSFS. There’s a few reasonable folks in the middle who like both.

X-Plane is a perfectly reasonable sim. Personally, I don’t care for the scenery – unless you go crazy with satellite scenery add-ons it just looks a bit too surreal, and the lighting is always so muddy and dark. I also just don’t feel like it conveys the feeling of flight all that well, and the UI is obtuse in the extreme (some improvements with the new version on that front, though, I hear). It’s worth trying the demo for V11 for sure.

Prepar3D is pretty solid. It’s relatively expensive (or REALLY expensive if you want to be super-by-the-book and feel likke you don’t qualify for the student edition). It’s stable, has some nice lighting, and pretty much has the full support of developers. IT requires less fiddling than FSX to get decent performance. That said, it’s duct tape on creaky, ancient engine. There’s rumors of the 64-bit version coming out this year, which might prove to be a much better foundation, but will also face compatibility issues with existing/old add-ons. Double edged sword.

If you want to dive into FSX again, I would say Prepar3D is the way to go.

Surprisingly, I would say yes. There may be some major releases this year with P3D or Dovetail, and one of those might emerge as the new standard. Aerofly 2, mentioned upthread, is a promising dark horse. It performs great, looks great, and really conveys a feeling of flight. Plus, it offers a fantastic VR experience. Scenery areas are relatively limited, but I don’t fly long haul so that’s fine by me. It’s my sim of choice right now. Fingers crossed that the developer continues to improve the platform (still early access), and that third parties jump on board (Orbx supposedly releasing Chicago!).

So, yeah, a reasonably bright future for simming without the pew-pew.

To your other point, I really wish we had a Euro Truck Simulator level career mode for a civilian flight sim. Add-ons such as Air Hauler and FSEconomy exist, but aren’t particularly fleshed out. You hear me Aerofly developers? Come out with some Caribbean scenery for island-hopping, or Alaska scenery for bush flying, and wrap it up in a robust career mode. I would play the crap out of that.


It doesn’t even need to be particularly robust. Some randomly-generated flavor text like “World-famous Doctor needs flown from LA to Vegas to save the 10pm Celine Dion show” would go a long way with minimal effort.

Like, I don’t mind making my own fun, but sometimes it would be nice to have a little extra framework around the flying.


My first one was the Sublogic sim (Flight Simulator 2?) on C-64.


oh, yeah. That was it for me as well. Microsoft’s version was PC only.

Remember the goofy biplane combat game?


Wtf! They’re apparently so happy about my landing in Vegas that they arranged fireworks for me! I’ve never seen that before in hundreds of hours of Prepar3d. Ha!

Watch your step :D

These dudes won’t stop staring at me D:


I remember having to reserve one hour blocks of computer time at my local library weeks in advance so I could take in MS Flight Sim 2.0 on 5 1/4" floppy disks and load it up on their ancient computers. Fun times :) That and my uncle taking me up in his Cessna a few times when I was young are what I blame for my life long aviation fascination :P


Are you talking about Sopwith?

I ran that on my 286, but it was too fast so I had to flip off my “turbo” button to reduce the clock speed from 12Mhz to 8Mhz.

Fun times!

I also remember playing MS Flight Simulator 1.0 on my EVGA monitor. It was a ton of fun to play the Sopwith Camel in there, although I probably spent more time crop dusting, lol


No, there was a game mode in Flight Simulator 2 that was a WW1 dogfight (pic from MS Flight Sim version):

Flight sims in the 80s, good times.


yeah i member. you member how janky and weird the keyboard controls were?


Yep, I remember this :)

There were also the weird experimental planes that you could build. Which always quickly turned into how goofy could I make the plane look :P


Personally I have always longed for a civilian flight sim that had a mid-level of realism (ie not “arcade” flight but also not realistic) that would focus on the early biplane era and essentially exist in an open world of sorts where you take on a bunch of different missions as part of your newly formed airline company. Sometimes you transport passengers, sometimes cargo, but it would be more of a sandbox than anything else.

Kind of like the X series but with biplanes :D

I also remember the original MS Flight Simulator WWI mode…wasted many hours being terrible at that. :D


Man, I played the shit out of that WWI game in Flight Simulator. Good times.