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Best Flight Simulator?


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Hi guys,

I recently got a joystick for playing KSP and was wondering what people thought the best flight simulator is. So far I have seen Microsoft Flight, Microsoft FSX, and X-Plane 10.

MF seems very limited. FSX, from what I can tell of the demo, is a good simulator but the graphics are dated. X-Plane 10 boasts better graphics but I am not sure if the sim is as good as FSX.

Can anyone tell me what their favorite flight sim is and why? I am a poor student so I only want to buy one game :P

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Depends what you look for in a flight sim. I personally love mil sims, and DCS has produced very high quality games (see DCS A-10 and DCS Blackshark), and IL-2 Sturmovik is also a great WWII game.

As a side note, DCS A-10 is on for 60% off on steam right now (only $16)!

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FSX while dated has a huge number of addons and has a really good tutorial system.

I\'d suggest it for beginners. For your combat sims you can\'t go wrong with Il-2, it\'s on gog for less than $10. Flanker, LO-MAC and the rest of the DCS stuff is really good but more complex than 50 tangled slinkeys. Be prepared for a world of hurt with those ones.

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My favourite is FSX, because it has a good control base and the destinations in the full game are extremely accurate! I rememeber I was flying somewhere for a holiday, so I played the game a few days before and the airports were nigh on identical!

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I\'d suggest Rise of Flight, it\'s a mil sim about the WW1, the graphics are neat and it runs quite well.

You can\'t go wrong with this one as it is free to play with 3 or 4 basic planes. Then if you like it you can buy a lot of new planes and accessories (hand gun! scarf! and a lot of other really essential things ;D lol )

The flight physics and the engine management are quite realistic. You\'ll feel your biplane crushing under the Gs the wind flowing, nothing like FSX on-rails feeling !

FSX will give you some more \'\'living world around me\'\' immersion though if you get a few add ons.

If you don\'t mind somewhat aged graphics, Il2 is the reference in the WW2 category. And it goes beyond this, with add ons you have from spanish civil war (1936) to Korea (1951) and even beyond.

If you are looking for a REALLY close to reality simulation of how to make a plane work, I cannot not ( =P) advice you to get FSX and one of the A2A add ons.

And then, the last concurrent, DCS, have a nice modelisation of modern electromagnetic environment during a war. And a few planes well detailed (A10, the Ka50 chopper and the P51. A MiG21 is coming soon). It can get really complicated, as all the weapons and HUD modes are like the real ones (or close enough). So you need to eat all the doc before even taking of :o

I think I\'ve made all of them.

I\'m personally a huge fan of Il2, and hope the dev team will cope with their current challenges. If they do alright, a successor to Il2 will arise ! :D (the supposed successor, Cliffs of Dover, is actually in a \'\'we released an alpha product, but nobody must know, shhh ;) ::) \'\'

One last i just remembered, there is a nice glider simulation called Condor that has really realistic thermal effects.

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I used Flight Simulator 2004 and later X while learning to fly. It\'s an absolutely amazing tool for learning IFR, cross country flying and using the instruments in general. I used to fly a trip on the simulator before doing it for real. The big difference was you can\'t use ground references in the simulator. There\'s no real substitute for VFR though. That takes a real plane.

One of my instructors told me, 'Using a flight simulator will save you a LOT of money when learning to fly.' I think he was absolutely correct.

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Like the others were saying, it depends on what you are looking and what aspects of flying you are looking for.

I started flying in simulators with FS95. To me, that was amazing! Moved to FS98, then 2002, 2004, then X. All of the simulators kept getting better. When I was using 2002/2004 I actually took an aeronautics class in high school. After that I took plenty of flight instruction and solo\'d for ten hours. However, after 9/11, fuel prices and insurance costs forced the cost of flying to go beyond

Anyways, Microsoft\'s games really helped me with flying planes in the real world. Mostly with instrumentation and location of gauges, but also some basic flight dynamics.

The new MS Flight Simulator, well, im unsure. I refuse to buy it as they are using DLC with all of the stuff.

For combat games, I started with Janes Fighters Anthology. Wow, what a fun game. However, I won\'t give any history stories here.

I think the DCS games are amazing. It took me a while to master even starting up the A-10 (about a night of flipping switches as I didn\'t play the tutorial).

IL2 is a fun as well, and so are the mods!

An older game called B-17 something was stunning for aircraft details. Being able to fly with the skin of the B17 mostly missing was really challenging. If you hit the ground landing and a wing dipped it would actually curl up. As would a prop if it hit the ground. Too bad it was never multiplayer.

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I wholeheartedly agree with IL-2. Try IL-2 1946, they have a lot of cool experimental planes to play with. Ahhh, B-17. That was a great game. I tried it on realisitic setting... I couldnt even get the engines started, I was just good at blowing them before even rolling 1m...

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I loved FSX, but it stopped working after a week. I think it was mix up, because I had downloaded the demo before buying, and I didn\'t delete it, so whenever I tried booting up the full game, it said 'please purchase the full game to continue playing'. That made me sad, especially because I liked the gliders.

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can you expand a bit more?

There is no 'Best Sim Evah', it\'s all relative to what you\'re searching for. :-* (endless debate in the sim community I reckon)

Warthog is really good if you like to think that you control a \'real\' modern jet (mostly learning the whole manual and then push the appropriate buttons in time).

I\'ve totally forgot about B17! It kinda looks old now, but I still really like the way they modelled the B17, even with 8bit textures you\'re feeling the rugginess and hugeness (yeah i just made up these words ;P) of the structure and you really feel like you are actually in it, poor vulnerable machinegunner :\'(

The part where you are bomber commander assigning missions to the squadron is quite fun too.

We forgot one of the oldies, BobII Wings of Victory. It simulates really well the environment of the Battle of Britain (radars, huge formations, etc).

One more serie of simulators is the new TK/Thirdwire (former dev of European Air War if I\'m right) baby, Strike Fighters ! You get to pilot a whole bunch of planes from Skyhawk to Phantom to Mig21 and so on... It has the advantage to run on not powerful computers. The flying models are a bit dated. A good bargain though, as it is really fun to fly!

Happy flying !

Cheers !

PS:Wasteland, anyway you\'d be related to the Wasteland in banana forum? (codename ;D , if you don\'t get it it\'s not you sorry :-[)

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I have seen Microsoft Flight

That\'s not a flight sim. It just isn\'t, some of the planes don\'t even have cockpit view. It doesn\'t support head tracking (at least I couldn\'t get it to work at all). And it comes preconfigured for use with a 360 pad and it\'s controllable perfectly well with that. That should really tell you everything you need to know about the physics and flight modeling. It\'s a decent F2P arcadey flying game. But a flight sim? No. No it isn\'t.

I\'d suggest Rise of Flight, it\'s a mil sim about the WW1, the graphics are neat and it runs quite well.

You can\'t go wrong with this one as it is free to play with 3 or 4 basic planes. Then if you like it you can buy a lot of new planes and accessories (hand gun! scarf! and a lot of other really essential things ;D lol )

Actually you only get 2 planes for free, one for each side, a Spad something and an Albatros something. The biggest problem with RoF is the business model. The sim itself is excellent and it has an incredible damage model (see it in action [noembed]

[/noembed]), but each plane is like ten bucks and there are dozens of them.
If you don\'t mind somewhat aged graphics, Il2 is the reference in the WW2 category. And it goes beyond this, with add ons you have from spanish civil war (1936) to Korea (1951) and even beyond.

I\'d recommend this one as well, it is truly the benchmark of mil sims. You can get it on gog.com for a pittance with no DRM.

I\'m personally a huge fan of Il2, and hope the dev team will cope with their current challenges. If they do alright, a successor to Il2 will arise ! :D (the supposed successor, Cliffs of Dover, is actually in a \'\'we released an alpha product, but nobody must know, shhh ;) ::) \'\'

I actually quite like Il-2 Cliffs of Dover. It\'s much more hardcore than even the original Il-2, but even after a year of patches it still has some bugs and performance problems. Then again, it took Il-2 Forgotten Battles almost ten years of patches, sequels, and expansion packs to get to the state that it\'s in now, so I have no doubt that CloD will get there too eventually.

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I\'ve only tried Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, and it\'s tons of fun. The tutorials are detailed and can get anybody to play. It\'s really quite a blast to play.

Looking at FSX, it doesn\'t seem a whole lot differant, so that\'s what I\'d recommend.

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KSP, because it\'s fun.

Ok, ok fine. Wait for Anteworld to have a more in-depth flight-sim experience, or for the OUTERRA engine it\'s being built on to be licenced off to a company who wants to make a good flight-sim. As it stands, just flying the one light aircraft in that game is pretty fun as it is, especially seeing as you can build airports in random places in the world.

*Just to point out, The entire planet is built into the game/engine at 1-1 scale.

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My copy of FSX is coming in the mail today :D. I decided on FSX because from what I have read it seems to have the most realistic experience (X-Plane is almost there but not yet?). I found an addon called Real Environment Xtreme which makes the graphics look hundreds of times better. I may be interested in actually flying in the future so I wanted as close to the real thing as it comes.

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Main dif with FSX and x-Plane is the way it simulates flight... FSX works on... if plane speed > variable defined in config = flight... x-Plane works on a simulation of the air flow over the wings.

If your getting FSX, no matter the PC spec you may want to look for optimization 3, done by some German dude so the installer is fun to use, though you can drop and drag the autogen textures into place, what it does is replace the tree and building textures to smaller ones.

FSX and FS9(2004) are almost identical except for missions!!! and in the models the virtual cockpit for X is another file, in FS9 its in the same as the plane, which means finding good VC planes can be a bugger (someone once mentioned it takes 2-3 weeks to build a FS9 plane, for FSX though its 2-3 months) Many older simmers wont upgrade to FSX BUT saying that I find it hard going back to FS9. Oh FSX supports TrackIR or the alternative which you have to make yourself lol.

Saying that there are allot of VFR scenery files and airports replacements out there which just pushes the envelope up.

Oh if its Helicopter\'s you want to play with... id suggest doing a good search for mods/files to optimize for it, in FSX helo\'s are an after thought, flyable but an afterthought non the less (granted missions with the EH-101 are pretty fun, Customs intercept and Mt St Helens evac.... two missions that have to be done though are the 'Secret Shuttle' bus services to Area 51 and the 'Amazon Trek' in a Grunman Goose).

Air Hauler is a good add on, though to me it felt half finished (so i thought I\'d code my own Courier type Virtual Airline... which is progressing!) You got some good Virtual Airlines and multiplayer networks like VATSIM. 100 Dollar Burger flights are fun if your into your GA but for Big Tin a VA is really the way to go, it gives purpose.

I could go on about this for ages, I\'ll stop now... I don\'t want to but I will!

(Apologies if the post is a little erratic... it\'s end of the working day and its friday the brain is fried!)

Enjoy! OH and make sure you bought FSX Gold or the Acceleration Pack separate.

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From what I understand, Xplane is a lot more accurate when it comes to aerodynamics... but I don\'t think that\'s very important for pilot simulations. FSX is accurate enough that except for the missing visual queues and forces on the yoke and rudder, flying a mushy, near stall simulated Cessna 172 feels very similar to flying a real Cessna 172 near a stall. I think FSX takes the prize for being a better pilot trainer.

I can\'t say the same for downloaded aircraft. I have a lot of time in Sundowners (musketeers) and Bonanzas. the downloaded Beech aircraft don\'t handle anything like the real things. The Beech aircraft were a dream to fly while the game versions felt a lot like Cessnas that just flew at different speeds. By the way, I don\'t like Cessnas, they are safe and stable aircraft, but they fly like dump trucks. haha!

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FSX is a great choice, and as mentioned make sure you get the Acceleration Pack if you didn\'t get the Gold edition. The flying physics feel great and the visuals are just fine, really nice IMHO. You\'ll love it, and it will help you save both time and money if you ever do pursue real world flying... which I can\'t recommend enough!!! I am a pilot and own a single engine Grumman, and nothing else compares to spending a nice crisp morning punching holes in the sky to both forget stresses and have a ball.

X-plane I REALLY want to like, and have owned all versions since 4, but the flight physics while 'suppose' to be better and modeled on the actual airflow, etc, just have always felt wonky to me... very bouncy and just very unsatisfying.... I do enjoy the failures it models, but Austin (the developer) has yet to get the 'feel' right. Not to mention I can\'t get version 10 to run worth a crap on my system, while every other sim runs great.

Microsoft Flight is dogged a whole lot, and in my opinion that\'s just not justified... I have finally taken the time to actually play with it, and it\'s basically FSX improved in about every way, just limited to currently Hawaii and Alaska scenery and nowhere near the aircraft choices. The warbirds without cockpits are an annoyance to sim fans, but the actual flight model and simulator itself is fantastic. The planes just feel proper and handle as expected, and the 'deluxe' planes that include virtual cockpits are quite frankly fantastic... the RV-6A and Maule especially. I really hope this does well and Microsoft continues to develop this sim.

All of the other mentioned military sims are awesome... the entire DCS series, B-17 2, and IL2-1946.... can\'t go wrong with any of those!

Have fun with your new sim! I\'m sure you\'ll have a ball!

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