Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS) is still an infant, but the amount of amazing and free addons is already overwhelming. This is our monthly updated selection of the best free addons and mods for MSFS, ranging from aircraft to airports, utilities, liveries, and more, so that you can quickly find what are our best recommendations in each category.
Keep coming back for updates, we will continuously review and add new awesome free addons (current version is from April 2021). And if you think there’s something missing, feel free to let us know in the comments below!
The London photogrammetry scenery was relegated, made redundant by the official UK update.
Arguably the most impressive endeavor from the flight sim community so far, the A32NX brings the default A320neo to as close to reality as possible by improving the systems depth and overall functionality.
It has been constantly updated at every level, counting with the close support of over 30 real A320 pilots, and is now a payware-level aircraft in its depth and realism. If you care about airliners, this is the one to get!
The H135 is a project by the Hype Performance Group, a team of talented developers who set out to create something that was tragically missing from Microsoft Flight Simulator: a helicopter. Their work has paid off immensely: it has since become one of the most popular freeware addons for MSFS.
Taking off in the H135 and flying over the beautiful MSFS scenery seems like the thing this sim was built for. There’s no better way to enjoy the best landscapes MSFS has to offer than peeking down from this helicopter!
The freeware Airbus A330 for Flight Simulator, by Project Mega Pack, has an accurate external model and functional cockpit. While still a work in progress, it already features some interesting characteristics, such as custom sounds and animations.
A comprehensive remake of the default Bonanza G36, the Bonanza Turbo recreates the turbo-normalized aircraft with improved climb and cruise performance, and is an absolute joy to fly in MSFS.
V2 brought improved lights, engine performance and flight dynamics, while also giving you some new liveries to try on. Currently one of the best GA aircraft for MSFS.
Salty’s 747-8 Mod is one of the most impressive community mods for Microsoft Flight Simulator, with the goal of improving the default 747 into a more realistic and functional aircraft. It’s a similar goal to FlyByWire’s A320NX, but this time for the Queen of the Skies.
There are several improvements over the default 747, like a funcional IRS knobs, several functional EICAS pages, and more. There’s even improved wingflex.
Another mod for one of the default aircraft, this time for the Cessna Citation CJ4. Working Title is a new dev team dedicated to the improvement of the CJ4 avionics and flight model. Currently already with much improved systems and visual changes in the FMS, PFD and MFD, but also in lights and sounds.
It’s even possible to import flight plans from Simbrief into the FMS, a specially cool feature.
This mod for the stock Savage Cub turns it into a “more powerful, stronger and meaner” aircraft, a true bush machine capable of the most astounding short takeoffs and landings. It’s (appropriately) called Savage Carbon, and it’s available for free, courtesy of GotGravel.
This is a custom-built aircraft that is both versatile and very powerful, which makes it loads of fun to use while hopping between the most challenging bush strips. Seriously, you should try this on our recommended Idaho and Oregon strips and see how cool it is!
There’s also a nice collection of liveries (19 in total), so you’re likely to find a look that suits your style.
The Discus-2b is a project by Aerosoar, and is made possible thanks to the the help of a little external tool that is necessary to both launch it and create the thermals that will keep it in the air. Touching Cloud’s Kinetic Assistant, available here, makes glider operations possible in MSFS.
It’s all very easy, and in no time you’ll be soaring over the amazing scenery that MSFS is capable to generate. Obviously, you have a variometer and its sound, necessary to know when you’re flying across rising or sinking air. When you find that thermal, it’s great fun to track it and go up and beyond!
Closed since 1998, Kai Tak Airport remains as a memory of one of the most famous and difficult landings in the world. The airport no longer exists in Flight Simulator, replaced by the much bigger, more modern and safer Chek Lap Kok International Airport. And that’s a shame, because everyone loves a great challenge!
Thanks to the dedicated work of an independent creator, ali501, you can install today a free version of the beloved Kai Tak airport, and fly there in Microsoft Flight Simulator. You can finally recreate that unsettling experience of landing in Kai Tak, and prove your worth among the most capable pilots from that golden era of aviation.
Flight Simulator, in its current state, is the perfect sandbox for general aviation and bush flying, more so than for airliners. Thanks to the amazing virtual world, flying low and slow and landing in precarious circumstances has never been so fun! Some of the best places in the world for this kind of experiences are Idaho and Oregon, with their countless bush strips scattered across the vast, empty wilderness of the two states.
Unfortunately, many of these strips are missing from MSFS, but thankfully someone saw the opportunity to create something truly special, and that’s what Kronzky did, with the release of many of these strips, including the famous (and very tiny) Mile Hi and Dewey Moore strips. There’s many more in the pack, which should be enough for hours of adventure landing and taking off from these perilous strips.
One of the very first airports to come out for MSFS was this high quality release by Aerosoft. It’s a showcase of the technologies made available with MSFS for airport creation, with custom runway and taxiways, realistic night lighting, and more.
Notre Dame de la Salette (LF3826) – LFPS is a very sloped strip in France, just at the southernmost arm of the French Alps. Its very demanding approach and steep slope will surely test your skills as a bush pilot. As a bonus, the views are breathtaking!
It’s not just the landings that are a challenge. Takeoffs are non-standard, meaning you have to decide wether to roll down the mountain to the West our the South. Pick your poison! Either way, you must gain enough speed for takeoff, or crash into the unknown.
We’ve already selected 5 great free airports (Paderborn is one of them), so check this link to know more about them and choose which may be more interesting. They range from bush strips to nostalgic airfields that no longer exist, so there’s a little to everyone!
MSFS is rich in real-world landmarks that allows for seamless VFR flights around the world, but many are surely missing, most notably communication towers, antenas, etc. PuffinFlight saw the opportunity here to create something that enriches this experience for everyone, and started the ‘We Love VFR’ project, which aims to improve the MSFS object library with thousands of accurately placed new objects. This first version, ‘Region 1’, covers the whole Europe and also Northern Africa, with over 40.000 objects and 21 different mast variantes, with many more planned.
Global AI Ship Traffic includes countless ships of all types, from small fishing boats to large aircraft carriers, and everything in between. They are realistically placed all over the world, based on real-world routes and on the most common ship types that can be found in specific regions of the world.
The idea here is to populate the seas with real-world ships that go about their lives across the vastness of the oceans. Some are small sailing boats that you will only notice when flying low and slow, others are large container ships that will still be visible from 40.000 feet. There’s a lot of variety: cruise ships, tankers, fishing boats, military vessels, and more.
Michael Bonocore’s Idaho’s Bush Trips for Microsoft Flight Simulator is a set of two adventures, one in Central Idaho and the second in North Idaho, that will take you on a series of adventures across the state. With thousands of miles of rivers, countless mountain peaks and thick forests, it’s an absolute bush pilot dreamland. This follow-along experience is available in a paid premium package as well, perfectly integrated within MSFS bush challenges, but the free version works just as well – provided you can alt-tab to your browser and follow the guide.
There’s not much to say about the Liveries Mega Pack, an incredible community effort to build the most complete package of high quality liveries for most of the default MSFS aircraft. It’s constantly updated and always getting better. A must-have if you care about customizing your aircraft. You can download the entire pack or use the Liveries Mega Pack Manager to just download and install the liveries you want.
Felipe Pantone wowed us with his incredible livery design for the Cub Crafters XCub. Entitled INTR3P1D, this livery adopted Pantone’s signature design identity, a mix between feelings of an analog past and a digitized future. The result was a dashing look that we immediately wished could be replicated in Flight Simulator’s XCub in the future.
Well, it didn’t take long. Thanks to the excellent work from SmearyGrain, you can now download this Pantone XCub livery for free and enjoy it in MSFS. While not an exact replica (the original design is more complex and detailed), it completely feels like a faithfully reproduction of the designer’s work, with the overall colors, gradients and shapes all there.
Flight Recorder is an external app, a small window with just a few options, in a simple idea that is perfectly executed. When you want to start recording your flight (for instance, when on final approach, to record that landing), just press ‘Record’ in the app. When you’re done, stop the recording, and will then have the option to view the replay and change the views as you see fit.
NeoFly became an instant success, and for good reason. It’s one of those neat little programs that can just put a smile on your face. The idea is pretty simple: you are a bush pilot at the service of NeoFly, and your mission is to deliver some cargo. It can also be to drop some “pizza” in a specified drop-zone… or maybe even to carry a medic into the middle of nowhere because some old man fell out of a tree and you have to find somewhere to land nearby to deliver the doctor. See how this can put a smile on your face? An awesome utility that gives some purpose to your flights.
You know the drill: just put it in your Community folder. All these awesome addons that have been released for MSFS, many of which you (hopefully) discovered reading MSFS Addons, need to installed somewhere, and it’s almost always on that beloved drop-it-all-here “Community” folder, somewhere on your PC, depending on your installation setup.
Meet MSFS Addons Linker, a handy tool that works in a simple but very effective way: you get all your addons from your Community folder and place them somewhere else, organized in folders as you wish. Then you start this little program and tell it where you have all of your addons stored, and also where is your Community folder. The app will then create a list of all your addons, and to activate them you simply have to tick each corresponding checkbox. It’s the magic of symbolic links!
Do you find the default pushback system in MSFS somewhat cumbersome? Having to ask ATC everything you want to turn left or right, or even to start pushing back? Well wait no more! Pushback Helper is a free tool that aims to make that whole process easier. And there’s even no need to have a pushback vehicle present.
Through a simple interface, you can control when to start the pushback, which direction it should take you, and also when to connect or disconnect the jetway. It’s a very simple, straightforward and FREE way to improve a default system and it’s just about as useful as freeware mods can get.
LukeAirTool gives you the possibility of playing real airline announcements inside MSFS. Later versions included a Passenger Simulator, which allows you to board passengers, serve food and drinks, and more.
It’s very simple, really. You can select from a series of airlines (more are being added every time), and when in the aircraft select which ones you want to play. It does add to the immersion and realism of the whole experience, specially if you pair your favorite airline livery with the corresponding announcements.
FSPM VFR Map, created by scelt, is a perfectly integrated toolbar mod that gives you not only a moving map, but also some information about your aircraft (altitude, vertical speed, airspeed and heading). It even tells you wind speed and direction, useful if you can’t be bothered with the Garmin.
Besides the basic world layer, there’s also a second layer with some info about surrounding airspaces and airports, with some additional nav data. Finally, for those of you looking for a more realistic experience, there’s also the ability to instantly teleport your aircraft to anywhere in the world, and choose a preferred altitude and speed.
VFRMAP is a new utility that displays your current position over OpenStreetMap. Download and follow the development here.
It’s incredibly easy to use! Just unzip to wherever you want and run the .exe file after MSFS is already running. Then just open a browser window and go to http://localhost:9000, and behold, your aircraft location updated in real time in the map, with additional info above: airspeed, altitude, heading and so on. You can also use the map to teleport to another location anywhere in the world!
SkyVector is one of the most useful websites for flight simulation, with its aeronautical charts that help plotting your flightplans and navigate around the world.
This simple tool that does something SkyVector users will absolutely love. It puts a button in the upper toolbar inside MSFS that opens a window with SkyVector website loaded. Just like the inbuilt VFR map! It’s absolutely seamless and fully interactive!
And this is it folks, our selection of the best free addons and mods for MSFS (so far). This list will be updated whenever there’s a worthy new entry. We really want to know your feedback, so please let us know if you think there’s an awesome free addon that is missing from this list!
Don’t forget to check our Freeware section for the best free addons for Microsoft Flight Simulator!