Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 PC Specs Revealed

By | 24/04/2020



The official Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 PC system specifications have been released as the surprise title nears its release date.

Microsoft Flight Simulator has gone down as a classic simulation title for many years now.

NOTE: Specs at bottom of article.

The first MSFS was released a whopping 37 years ago in 1982 and carried on a steady stream of releases.

However, everyone thought development was over, since the title hadn’t had a real new version since Flight Simulator X in 2006.

Microsoft Flight Simulator Cockpit
Microsoft Flight Simulator Original

Flight Simulator X was re-released in 2010 and made available on Steam.

Studio closures after the 2008 global market crash and partnership contracts with aircraft manufacturers have been partly to blame.

READ MORE – Next Microsoft Flight Simulator Coming Soon

Since the closure of the simulator’s main development studio, Aces, Microsoft licensed the software development platform to Lockheed Martin who use the software for training purposes.

MSFS is respected the world over for its extremely accurate simulation and compatibility with PC-based replica peripherals from real aircraft.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 Aircraft External
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000

Included in MSFS are true-to-life models of commercial aircraft from manufacturers such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Lear.

The program is also highly customizable in areas such as AI traffic, scenery and airports from all over the world.

In addition, it is possible to connect to flight networks like Virtual Skies and VATSIM as well as getting real-time weather data during your flight.

Even the original 1982 version was cited as being “extraordinarily realistic” by PC Magazine and the simulator has grown from there.

At last year’s E3, Microsoft made the surprise announcement with a jaw dropping trailer for the new version, simply named “Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020“.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 – Official E3 Trailer

Boasting 4K visuals and Azure AI satellite data, the trailer demonstrated the most technically advanced flight simulator the world had ever seen.

As well as the instantly obvious graphics upgrade, the trailer shows extremely high detail airports and cities from all over the planet.

In fact, Microsoft has stated that the simulator will contain 2 million cities and 40,000 airports over Earth’s 197 million square miles that have been mapped.

On the face of it, this sounds impossible, however Bing Maps and Azure AI has been used to combine satellite data and 3D photgrammetry to accurately render the globe as it is today.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Landscape
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 – Palm Islands (Dubai)

As a result of the massive amount of data, MSFS 2020 has to be streamed as a technical requirement rather than a commercial choice.

This is because the data would require 20,000 Blu-Ray discs.

Reportedly, even though the simulator will have to be streamed, it will still require a 150GB hard disk install as well, with SSD a reccomendation.

Microsoft has released three PC specification brackets ranging from Minimum, Recommended and Ideal.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Aircraft Internal
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 – Internal Screenshot

Ideal being a relatively powerful machine in terms of CPU and graphics rendering capabilities.

That being said, mid-market machines should get a good experience from the title, as Ideal is the best setup for for 4K capable PCs, where 1080p HD should suffice for most.

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The only gripe with the specs is the huge amount of RAM required, with 16GB being the recommended in a world where most PC owners still have 4GB installed.

To be fair though, a title like this has a very specific demographic who will most likely already own a machine capable of running 2020, or will happily upgrade.

Click to enlarge…

It has been noted however, that Flight Simulator 2020 will be released for Xbox One which should be able to handle the title at a high level, especially Xbox One X.

While there is no official word on whether flight control systems will work on Xbox One, I would expect more from Microsoft before the game hits stores.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 release date is scheduled for 2020 with no specific date, however with the Covid-19 pandemic ongoing I would expect a release date of early 2021.

Microsoft Flight Simulator minimum specs

CPU: Ryzen 3 1200 / Intel i5-4460
GPU: Radeon RX 570 / NVIDIA GTX 770
HDD: 150GB
Bandwidth: 5 Mbps

CPU: Ryzen 5 1500X / Intel i5-8400
GPU: Radeon RX 590 / Nvidia GTX 970
HDD: 150GB
Bandwidth: 20 Mbps

Microsoft Flight Simulator ideal specs

CPU: Ryzen 7 Pro 2700X / Intel i7-9800X
GPU: Radeon VII / Nvidia RTX 2080
HDD: 150GB (SSD recommended)
Bandwidth: 50 Mbps

Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

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2 thoughts on “Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 PC Specs Revealed

  1. Richard

    I was looking around for some information about the MFS X that i enjoyed spending numerous hours playing, albeit I haven’t played it for some years now. I just happened to come across my controllers stored away in the original boxes and it triggered me to see what every became of my favorite game MFS. Boy did you every get me excited when your article popped up in front of me. I always hoped Microsoft would do a better job with the graphics and use something like google maps used and now it’s here. I am ready to get back into flying with the newest and greatest MFS 2020. Thanks for the review needless to say I loved it. Keep us informed.

    1. Michael Gore Post author

      Hi Richard.

      Always good to put a smile on someone’s face.

      The graphics are insane in MSFS 2020, however, you will need a hefty machine to get the full experience.

      I am just hoping it will be VR compatible, making that little bit more real, especially for someone like me who will never get to fly a plane for health reasons.

      I expect that it will be fully compatible with all the available flight yokes and pedals, so for anyone who already has a simulator setup, this should be a nice upgrade.



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