T77 helicopter instructions on how to play

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Manual Guide

The Flight Simulator Tips is a compendium of knowledge about the latest version of the flight simulator for civil aircraft. Here you will find a description of the versions available, game modes, a list of planes, a list of airports and answers to the most important questions about the game.

It has basic game information and quick tips to help you get straight into the cockpit and air, even if you haven't played flight simulators before. We explain the options that simplify the gameplay and the features that allow you to customize the simulation to suit your preferences.

Beginners should pay attention to the flight school section, in which we have described step by step all phases of flight from take-off to landing in one of the most popular training aircraft. There we explain the basics of control and navigation as well as the quick planning of a flight.

For more experienced players and those who want to immerse themselves a little more when flying civil aircraft, we have prepared the Advanced Flying section. There we describe the secrets of operating an autopilot, the “glass” cockpit in modern machines and the automatic landing with ILS. We also explain the rules for taxiing on the asphalt and some aspects related to operation in a cockpit.

These sections also provide technical advice, particularly on slightly more complex key assignment options and a description of the levels of realism, assistance, and facilitation.

  • Quick guide for beginners
  • Flight simulator - controls, keyboard shortcuts
  • HDD - how much space does it take?
  • Flight simulator frozen on loading screen - what to do?
  • Active break - how does it work?
  • Landline connection - does Flight Simulator need one?
  • Joystick - is it required?
  • Difficulty level - is the flight simulator easy for beginners?
  • Career mode - are there any?
  • Helicopters - are there any?
  • Steam - is Flight Simulator 2020 available?
  • System requirements - Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • expenditure

Quick guide for beginners

Gamepad is one of the basic requirements

Do not try to control the aircraft with a keyboard. Flying civil aircraft requires slow and precise movements that require analog control. If you don't have a joystick, equip yourself with a standard gamepad.

Start with the flight school

In eight short lessons you will learn the basics of flying a civil avionette. You will learn the on-board instruments, how to take off, land, maintain a simple flight path, and find your route with a compass and landmark points in the field. Use the lessons to set up the basic control layout.

Assign basic control buttons

In order to fly a type of aircraft freely, you need to assign controls to more systems, not just to rudders and engine power. Familiarize yourself with the standard button layout or assign it to the signature buttons, especially if you are using some additional controllers. The bare minimum required to get started is:

  • Roll - The default buttons are 4 and 6 (numeric) or the left analog stick on a gamepad
  • Pitch - The default buttons are 8 and 2 (numeric) or the left analog stick on a gamepad
  • Yaw - The default buttons are 0 and Enter (numeric) or trigger on a gamepad
  • Throttle - The standard keys are F2 and F3, or A and B on a gamepad
  • Flaps - The standard keys are F6 and F7, or bumpers on a gamepad
  • Gear - default buttons are G or press the left analog stick on a gamepad
  • Trim Pitch: Nose Up, Down - Standard buttons are 7 and 1 (numeric) or Up / Down + Y on a gamepad
  • Parking Brake - The default keys are Ctrl + Del (numeric) or Y and B on a gamepad
  • Brakes - The default buttons are Del (numeric) or Y on a gamepad

Leave the remaining keys for later. You need to focus on these basic controls. In simulators, the control layout counts hundreds of elements - most of which are not needed anyway. Many functions are controlled with the mouse - you can click them in the cockpit.

Quickly reset the camera view

If the camera has wandered to the corners of the cockpit and you only see the luggage compartment or the radio buttons, press left Ctrl + Space to quickly reset the camera to its default position. Press the spacebar to raise the camera slightly and get a better view of the front of the aircraft.

Use checklists

You can find it in the toolbar. They guide you through all of the major tasks that should be performed during each phase of the flight. These will help you learn the secrets of flying and controlling an airplane.

Use all functions of the camera views

You can set the camera anywhere in the cockpit by using the arrow keys on the keyboard and mouse (scroll or move the mouse while holding down the right mouse button).

If you set up a particularly useful view, for example to check a particular instrument, you can save that view for future reference.

Left Ctrl + Alt + 1, 2, 3… etc. - Save custom camera

Left Alt + 1,2,3… etc. - Load user-defined camera

Keyboard shortcuts can be changed in the control options.

Some instruments, gauges and indicators, such as B. Garmin panels can be enlarged in separate windows. Press the right Alt key and move the mouse pointer over the instrument. If you can enlarge it after the + icon appears on it.

Reduce the sensitivity of the gamepad controls

The default settings of the analog sticks can be too sensitive to control the aircraft. To improve this, you need to make the sensitivity more linear. Go to the Controls Settings in the Controls menu and find the Primary Controls option and reduce the sensitivity by about 50%. See the Controls section for more information.

Trim the plane in flight!

One of the most important things in airplane control is the trimmer! The trimmer sets the control column in a certain position and holds it upright. You have to use it often because the plane never flies straight. It always goes up or down. It would be exhausting to hold the control column in a certain direction for an extended period of time so that you have the trimmer to do it for you.

By making small adjustments to the trimmer, you can position the aircraft without continually descending or ascending. However, be prepared that this is not an isolated incident. Trimmer adjustments are made throughout the flight, although this is mostly true for machines with a simpler design. In more advanced aircraft, you only need to trim when you are not using autopilot.

Use the toolbar while in flight

When you position the mouse at the top of the screen, a toolbar appears with quick access to useful options. There you can view the map, a list of radio messages, a weather editor, and a few other things. See the Toolbar section for more information.

Start with smaller planes

If you are just starting out on a flying adventure, don't try to learn everything right away. The cockpit of a huge Boeing 747 can be daunting. First, focus on mastering small single engine aircraft.

Use the active pause and drone camera to explore the area

You don't have to fly dangerously close to attractions on earth to see them up close. The best way to do this is by using a drone camera. First turn on the active pause mode which freezes your aircraft in flight (PauseBreak), then switch to the drone camera by pressing Paste. Activate the camera via the toolbar and increase the speed of the drone to the maximum. Otherwise it moves at a snail's pace.

Turn off the HUD

If you want to take interesting screenshots of the aircraft from an external camera (end button), the on-screen clocks and displays can obstruct your view. There is currently no way to turn it off with a key. You can do this from the menu - Options-> Camera-> Track Camera-> Instrument Heads-Up Display-> Off.

Use the autorudder function

If you don't have separate pedals or a joystick, you can activate the Autorudder option in the menu. The rudder stays in the correct position as you take off faster on the runway as the force of the rotating propeller blades turns the aircraft further sideways.

Allocate memory for the cache files

If you are using the data cloud to receive photos of the area, it is worth setting up a special cache file of the chosen capacity, e.g. on another hard drive if you run out of space when viewing the current location. If you fly in an area frequently, such as a particular city, you can permanently download the data to a hard drive by selecting one of the three terrain detail options. Depending on the size of the area, the size of such a file varies from a few hundred megabytes to a few or ten gigabytes. Refer to the Rolling Cache section for detailed instructions on this topic.

Use geographic coordinates to find your home

In world map mode, you can select the exact location of the flight start by entering geographic coordinates in the search engine. Detailed information on how to find your home in Flight Simulator 2020 can be found in the FAQ section.

Flight simulator - controls, keyboard shortcuts

Standard control scheme of the keys needed to control the aircraft - one version for keyboard and controls, although the combination of the two devices (along with the mouse) works best. The controller setup can be found in the Controls section.

HDD - how much space does it take?

A little more than 100 GB in the standard version.

Microsoft Flight Simulator first downloads a launcher that weighs approximately 900 MB. On first launch, the game will download the rest of the content, which is 91GB for the standard version of the game.

In addition, the simulator uses a certain amount of storage space for an exchange file. The data is downloaded from the areas we are flying over in a given session. Depending on the time in the game, the level of detail, and the specific location, it will be a few to a dozen GB. You can also set the interchange file manually by specifying the exact location and size of the hard drive. See the Rolling Cache section for more information.

Flight simulator frozen on loading screen - what to do?

This can sometimes happen, especially the first time you start a game. Just go to the desktop with the ALT + TAB or ALT + ENTER keys and force close the program. The next start should go without any problems.

Active break - how does it work?

An active pause under the PauseBreak button causes the aircraft to stop in the air. You can then use a drone camera to explore the area without fear of the machine crashing. The regular pause, which is activated with the ESC key, works differently - it opens the options menu.

Landline connection - does Flight Simulator need one?

No. You can play offline although you will not be able to use many of the game's features, such as: B .:

  • cities recreated with photogrammetry;
  • realistic location textures based on satellite imagery from Bing maps;
  • current weather in a particular location;
  • current air traffic.

In offline mode, we can only simulate these things using ready-made scripts and display the terrain using a set of standard textures for a given location.

Joystick - is it required?

Generally no, although a joystick certainly offers much smoother movements, especially when flying large passenger aircraft. A set with HOTAS gas allows smooth control of engine power and easy access to all important buttons.

However, starting your flying adventure with just a gamepad or a mouse and keyboard is no problem. In fact, every gamepad with analog sticks is essential here, as the mouse is used to operate the cursor in the cockpit and manipulate the camera. Keyboard control is theoretically possible, but you can forget about precision. The plane will fly very irregularly and it will be extremely difficult to control.

Difficulty level - is the flight simulator easy for beginners?

Yes. Despite the obvious complexity and technical vocabulary of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, the authors have come up with numerous options for quick and stress-free gameplay. Nothing prevents you from getting on a plane and flying over a beautiful city with just five clicks and a gamepad in hand.

Beginners can use the option to start the engines automatically, let a co-pilot communicate with the tower, simplify flight physics, deactivate crashes and collisions with the ground, unlimited fuel and markings for navigation points, points of interest and landing paths directly on the Runway. Those looking to improve their skills can attend a flight school and follow cabin checklists, which list all the activities and equipment required to start the aircraft prior to takeoff.

The level of relief is surprising.

Career mode - are there any?

No. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 was developed as a platform - it is a flight simulator, not a game in the traditional sense. The core game here revolves around flying airplanes, interacting with airplanes and air traffic. There is no career mode or progression system.

The only known element to the players is a series of short challenges - landings in very difficult conditions. You will receive points for precision and correct approximation, which in turn determines our position in the TOP 10 pilot ranking, which is displayed at the end of the challenge.

Helicopters - are there any?

No. They can appear in a paid DLC with a comprehensive flight model and landing sites.

Steam - is Flight Simulator 2020 available?

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is available on Steam in exactly the same editions as the Microsoft Store.

System requirements - Microsoft Flight Simulator

Here are the minimum system requirements for Flight Simulator 2020. Please refer to the System Requirements page for more information on this topic.

  • Processor: Intel i5-4460 / AMD Ryzen 3 1200
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Graphics card: Nvidia GTX 770 / AMD Radeon RX 570 with 2 GB
  • Storage space: 150 GB
  • Operating system: Windows 10 (Version 1909, Update November 2019)
  • Internet connection: 5 Mbit / s


Flight Simulator 2020 is available in three digital editions:

  • default
  • Deluxe
  • Premium Deluxe

In addition, the standard and premium deluxe versions are available in a box with 10 DVDs.

Different editions vary in the number of aircraft available and the airports reproduced. The rest of the 37,000 airports in the game are procedurally generated. The standard version includes 20 aircraft and 30 airports. Deluxe offers 25 planes and 35 airports, while Premium Deluxe offers 30 planes and 40 airports. Further information on airplanes and airports can be found in the relevant chapters.

Next Basics Beginner's Guide

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 manual information

Author: Dariusz "DM" Matusiak for spieleboom.com

Translator: Mateusz "Ictius" Sawka

last update: August 17th, 2020

Use the comments below to post your updates and corrections to this guide.

Microsoft Flight Simulator video game

  • Genre: simulation
  • Developer: Xbox Game Studios / Microsoft Studios
  • Publisher: Xbox Game Studios / Microsoft Studios
  • Platform: PC, XONE

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Category: Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, PC, Tips, Xbox, Xbox One