Microsoft Flight Simulator System Requirements

Microsoft Flight Simulator System Requirements

Can I Run Microsoft Flight Simulator?

Your PC and its constituent parts are the deciding factors in whether you can run Microsoft Flight Simulator. Consequently, you’ll first need to determine exactly what components you are using, paying particular attention to the CPU, GPU, and RAM. If you are sketchy on the right way to go about doing this, you can refer to our step-by-step guide right here.

From here, simply cross-reference your specifications to the minimum and recommended system requirements for Microsoft Flight Simulator, which we’ve listed below for convenience. We also suggest aiming for the recommended requirements, if at all possible, to avoid any performance issues, otherwise you might want to consider a few targeted upgrades possibly to the GPU and RAM as these are generally the easiest to perform.

We’re well aware that checking system requirements isn’t what you’d call fun at the best of times. With that in mind, we are working on a bespoke utility designed to take the tedium out of the process. It’s still under wraps, but once ready, it will automatically scan any given PC for its components. We’ll be sure to publish an update as soon as it’s ready for our readers to use.

Microsoft Flight Simulator Game Details

  • Release Date: 2020
  • System Requirements: Low to high depending on requirement tier.
  • Genre: Flight simulator
  • Developer: Asobo Studio
  • Publisher: Xbox Game Studios

Microsoft Flight Simulator is the latest iteration of Microsoft's long-standing and famed simulator franchise, which is due for release in 2020 exclusively on Xbox consoles and Microsoft PC. 

Taking much of what defined the franchise in the past, Microsoft Flight Simulator brings it firmly into next-gen territory by simulating the earth in its entirety thanks to topographical data pulled straight from Microsoft’s own Bing Maps. We're talking impressive detail from trees to buildings, by way of water, blades of grass, and almost photorealistic 3D rendering of clouds and rain.

The game achieves this by having access to a staggering 2 petabytes of data extracted straight from Microsoft network of Azure data centers across the world. Microsoft’s Azure AI then uses this data to create photorealistic 3D models of the world and skies. For added realism, the game also taps into real-world weather data to mimic conditions in any location on earth at any given time.

The act of flying also benefits from that same goal of reaching realistic simulation thanks to a new flight model engine that mimics real-world flight with a direct impact on aircraft performance from wind direction, clouds, storms, and the like.

As for what players can expect to see on the ground, Microsoft Flight Simulator will model no less 40,000 real-world airports from across the globe as well as over 2 million cities and villages.

Microsoft Flight Simulator Minimum System Requirements

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 1200 / Intel Core i5-4460
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • HDD: 150 GB of storage space
  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 570 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770
  • VRAM: 2 GB
  • OS: 64-bit Windows 10 Nov 2019 update (1909)
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Screen Resolution: 720p
  • Network: Broadband Internet Connection - 5 Mbps bandwidth

Microsoft Flight Simulator Recommended System Requirements

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1500X / Intel Core i5-8400
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • HDD: 150 GB of storage space
  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 590 / Nvidia GeForce GTX 970
  • VRAM: 4 GB
  • OS: 64-bit Windows 10 Nov 2019 update (1909)
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Screen Resolution: 1080p
  • Network: Broadband Internet Connection - 20 Mbps bandwidth

Microsoft Flight Simulator Ideal Requirements

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 2700X / Intel Core i7-9800X
  • RAM: 32 GB
  • HDD: 150 GB of storage space
  • GPU: AMD Radeon VII / Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
  • VRAM: 8 GB
  • OS: 64-bit Windows 10 Nov 2019 update (1909)
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Screen Resolution: 1080p or higher
  • Network: Broadband Internet Connection - 50 Mbps bandwidth

Optimal Hardware Suggestions

With early screenshots showcasing one stunning looking game, it comes as no surprise that the latest iteration of Microsoft Flight Simulator will require considerable power for those hoping to experience the game in all its visual glory. But, rather surprisingly, Asobo Studios appears to have optimized the game to run on a broad spectrum of builds from modest gaming rigs to beefy powerhouse rigs.

The minimum system requirements should net you around 30 FPS with the resolution at 720p. We tentatively presume the graphical settings will need to be toned down to low in this case, but we should know for certain once the game releases later this year. The CPU and GPU requirements remain modest by modern standards, but a sizable 8 GB of RAM is required as well as an eye-watering 150 GB of storage space to install Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Moving up to the recommended settings, players can expect to play with 60 FPS at 1080p, with the settings presumably tuned somewhere between medium and high. As with the minimum requirements, 150 GB of storage space is required, coupled with 16 GB of RAM.

Finally, Asobo has produced system requirements for those wanting to really push Microsoft Flight Simulator to the extreme, and the hardware demands are suitably high to match. You’ll need an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 or equivalent, as well as a whopping 32 GB of RAM. These components should net you above 60 fps with the settings maxed out at resolutions above 1080p.

What Gaming PC Do We Recommend?

Recommending a PC for Microsoft Flight Simulator all depends on what graphical fidelity you’re looking to achieve and what budget you have at your disposal. In the spirit of striking a happy middle ground between price and performance, we’re honing in on the recommended system requirements. With that in mind, we recommend our $700 build as a good starting point to play Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Inside this particular build, you’ll find an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 six-core CPU, Radeon RX 590 GPU with 8G of VRAM, 16 GB of 3200 MHz DDR4 RAM, a 500 GB SSD, and 550 W 80 PLUS Bronze certified PSU. With this build sitting under your desk, expect to hit 60 fps or above at 1080p with the settings on high.