Microsoft Flight Simulator developers discuss the game's complicated flight systems

By Heidi Nicholas,
Microsoft Flight Simulator will go into a huge amount of detail regarding the game's navigation data, flight planning, and flight systems, according to the latest episode of Asobo Studios' Feature Discovery Series.

Lead designer Damien Cuzaco says you can choose to land without clearance, but it seems this will mess up scheduled flight patterns, causing "unexpected AI behaviour such as preventing traffic planes from taking off or landing at certain runways", while "air traffic might abort landing and do a go around" and "queued up planes may wait for the user to land or go away". You can also choose to turn off autopilot and "handfly the final moments".

Asobo Studios is implementing a huge amount of research into MFS2020, and this latest video explains how they partnered with Navblue, "a service company dedicated to Flight Operations and Air Traffic Management Solutions" for the game's ARINC 424 navigation system database. It seems that wherever possible, MFS2020 will simulate real life — their last video explained that the game would include every airport in the world — and so, as in real life, this data will be updated every 28 days, including such information as waypoints and comm frequencies. As for flight planning, Cuzaco says you can "start directly airborne from anywhere on Earth", ready for take-off "on the active or a forced runway", or waiting at a gate or parking spot. Once you've picked your arrival and departure spots, you can access flight planning, which will "determine your routing based on the type of flight you want to make". You can also edit the route yourself to add in waypoints, or else edit the cruising altitude, while your NavLog will show you how long the journey between waypoints should be.


The amount of detail the game will have is clear as Cuzaco goes discusses every aspect of flight planning and navigation data. From their last episode, we know the airports are also made as realistic as possible: from animated windsocks, which change with the direction of the wind, to ambient ground traffic, and vehicles in parking lots. Xbox Wire Editor Mike Nelson previously discussed how the game features such realistic environmental factors as clouds, fog, particles, pollution, humidity and rainbows, along with real-time weather, and the option to customise it. Cuzaco touches upon this in this latest video, saying there'll be a weather radar in-game to analyse live weather, and adding, "we can set precise weather conditions, including ceilings and runway visibility range".

There's still no word on a release date for Microsoft Flight Simulator, but when it does launch, it'll do so into Xbox Game Pass for PC and Xbox Game Pass.
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!