Following today’s launch of the Xbox version of Flight Simulator, PC players have a good reason to be excited too, with the release of Sim Update V. Arriving at the same time as the Xbox version, this PC update brings feature parity across both platforms, allowing desktop players to enjoy great new features and, most importantly, a very welcome performance boost.
After some teasing earlier this month, everyone got excited about the incredible performance enhancements that are expected with Sim Update V. The Flight Simulator team showed scenarios where performance was more than 50% better with this new version, which is a very impressive feat by all accounts. Let’s see how this promise translates to the real world experience of thousands of different PC configurations and gameplay scenarios.
Besides the enhanced performance, Sim Update V also brings a variety of new features to MSFS. Many of these are designed to welcome Xbox players to the platform. It’s the first time that a flight simulator as realistic as MSFS is available on a console, so Asobo and Microsoft are looking to make things easier for this new audience, without dumbing down the experience. Most notably, there’s 5 new major additions that come with the Xbox release and are also being made available to PC players with Sim Update V.
The first new feature is the inclusion of 10 Discovery Flights, which are designed to get people familiar with an airplane, lightly touching the controls while a flight instructor takes most of the responsibility. These Discovery Flights take place in some of the world’s most famous places, such as Mount Everest, Rio de Janeiro, New York, or the Pyramids in Egypt. It’s a quick way to get into a plane in a stunning location of the world, a first look into the incredible world of Flight Simulator!
Secondly, another world-discovery feature: an option to enable labels on POI’s has been added. These labels are visible on the world map and also during flights. This way, people can learn more about the world around them. Famous places, rivers, mountains, and more are now easily identifiable, so you don’t miss a thing when trying to enjoy the world below.
A third new addition is the inclusion of new tutorials. The initial release of MSFS for PC had only 8 lessons, but now that number has gone up dramatically, to 22. They are now shorter, easier to get in and out, and include a scoring system so you can have a better idea of how you fared during these lessons. Similarly to the scoring system in the Landing Challenges, this is great motivation to keep improving your skills!
A fourth new feature is the introduction of a Flight Assistant, which enables you to relegate piloting tasks to him/her. An example is a situation where you are flying over New York and want to appreciate the scenery below while heading to Brooklyn Bridge. By asking the new Flight Assistant to go there, you can release the controls of the aircraft and appreciate the spectacular landscape below. The Flight Assistant is also able to land the plane or recover from emergencies.
Finally, there’s now also a Land Anywhere feature, which enables you to land wherever you wish. Some of the default planes have been upgraded with floats and skis, so you can easily touch down on water or snow. There are new particle effects too, making touching downs and rollouts much more visually pleasing!
Sim Update V is now available for Flight Simulator on the PC. As usual, just fire up the simulator to get the update and enjoy a much improved flight simulator experience! And remember, the freeware Top Gun: Maverick expansion is also coming later in the year!