Which flight simulator is best in 2024?

Choosing Your Virtual Skies: X-Plane 12, Prepar3D, or MSFS 2020 – Navigating the Best Flight Simulator for Your Skyward Adventures in 2024.

Embarking on the thrilling journey of virtual flight? Discovering the perfect flight simulator can elevate your experience to new heights. X-Plane 12, Prepar3D, and MSFS 2020 stand as titans in the virtual aviation realm, each with its unique offerings.

X-Plane 12 boasts cutting-edge realism, placing you in a dynamic, ever-changing environment. Prepar3D, developed by Lockheed Martin, excels in professional training scenarios, providing a realistic cockpit experience. Meanwhile, MSFS 2020, with its breathtaking graphics and expansive global scenery, turns every flight into a visual masterpiece. The SimulConn connection enhances their control, making every flight an immersive adventure, using either MobiFlight or SimVim.

Your choice depends on the experience you seek. Are you after realism, professional training, or visually stunning landscapes? Dive into the details of each simulator to find the perfect wingman for your virtual journeys. The skies are yours to conquer – choose your cockpit wisely!

X-Plane 12

X-Plane 12, the latest iteration in the renowned flight simulation software, brings a plethora of advancements to the table. One significant benefit lies in its enhanced graphical capabilities, featuring cutting-edge rendering techniques that elevate the realism of virtual flight environments. The incorporation of advanced physics algorithms contributes to more accurate flight dynamics, providing a nuanced and immersive experience for aviation enthusiasts.

Improved aircraft systems modeling is another standout feature. X-Plane 12 refines the simulation of various aircraft systems, from avionics to engine behavior, catering to both novice users and seasoned pilots seeking a high-fidelity training environment. This meticulous attention to detail fosters a more realistic and educational simulation.

Furthermore, X-Plane 12 introduces a revamped weather engine, delivering dynamic and realistic weather effects. From turbulence and wind shear to realistic cloud formations, the new weather system enhances the overall realism of in-flight conditions. Pilots can now experience the challenges of flying through diverse weather scenarios, improving their skills in adverse conditions.

One noteworthy drawback, however, is the increased system requirements. The enhanced graphics and sophisticated physics algorithms demand more computing power, potentially limiting the accessibility for users with older hardware. This could pose a challenge for those looking to upgrade to X-Plane 12 without investing in new, high-performance systems.

Additionally, the learning curve may be steep for newcomers. While the advanced features cater to aviation enthusiasts and professionals, beginners might find the extensive options and detailed systems overwhelming. A more user-friendly interface or guided tutorials could mitigate this challenge, making X-Plane 12 more accessible to a broader audience.

On the positive side, X-Plane 12 continues to support a vibrant modding community. The software’s open architecture allows users to create and share custom aircraft, scenery, and plugins, fostering a dynamic ecosystem. This extensibility is a major draw for users who appreciate the ability to tailor their simulation experience according to their preferences and interests.

X-Plane 12 also emphasizes compatibility with virtual reality (VR) technology, providing an immersive experience for users equipped with VR headsets. This integration enhances the sense of presence and realism, allowing pilots to feel more connected to their virtual aircraft. However, the drawback here is that VR hardware is an additional investment, and not all users may have access to or be interested in this technology.

In terms of multiplayer features, X-Plane 12 introduces improvements in shared cockpit functionality. Pilots can now seamlessly share control of an aircraft, facilitating collaborative training sessions and enhancing the multiplayer experience. This feature is particularly beneficial for flight schools and training programs.

Despite these advancements, users report occasional bugs and glitches in the initial release of X-Plane 12. While updates and patches are expected to address these issues over time, early adopters may encounter some frustration. It’s crucial for developers to maintain a responsive support system to promptly address user concerns and ensure a smoother experience.

In conclusion, X-Plane 12 brings significant benefits to the world of flight simulation, with enhanced graphics, realistic physics, and improved systems modeling. However, the higher system requirements, learning curve for beginners, and occasional bugs are drawbacks that should be considered. As the software evolves with updates and community contributions, X-Plane 12 is poised to remain a staple for aviation enthusiasts seeking an authentic and feature-rich simulation experience.

X-Plane 12 is supported by Mobiflight and SimVim.


Prepar3D (P3D), a renowned flight simulator, boasts several advantages. Firstly, its realistic aircraft and environment simulations offer an immersive training experience for pilots and aviation enthusiasts. The platform supports a wide array of aircraft models, ranging from single-engine planes to complex commercial airliners, enabling diverse training scenarios. Advanced weather modeling and dynamic lighting enhance realism, crucial for pilot training.

Another strength lies in P3D’s extensive third-party add-on support. The platform allows users to integrate high-quality aircraft, sceneries, and utilities developed by a robust community of third-party developers. This flexibility ensures a constantly evolving and expanding simulator ecosystem.

Moreover, P3D’s professional license caters to institutions and organizations for training and research purposes. This version provides additional features and capabilities tailored to the needs of professionals in the aviation industry, making it a preferred choice for educational and training institutions.

However, P3D does face certain drawbacks. The platform has a steeper learning curve compared to some entry-level simulators, making it less beginner-friendly. New users may find the interface and controls complex, requiring time and dedication to master. Additionally, the cost of entry, including the base simulator and high-quality add-ons, can be a significant investment.

Another limitation is the proprietary nature of P3D. Unlike some open-source simulators, P3D’s code is not available for modification, limiting customization options for users with specific requirements or preferences. This lack of openness may be a drawback for those who value extensive customization and community-driven development.

Furthermore, while P3D offers impressive visuals, it demands robust hardware specifications for optimal performance. High-end graphics cards and processors are often necessary to run the simulator smoothly with detailed settings. This can pose a challenge for users with budget constraints or less powerful systems.

In terms of updates, P3D’s development cycle might be perceived as slower compared to some competitors. The release of major updates may take time, potentially causing delays in implementing the latest technologies and features. Users who prioritize having the latest advancements immediately might find this aspect less appealing.

In conclusion, Prepar3D stands out as a powerful and versatile flight simulator with numerous benefits, including realistic simulations, third-party support, and professional applications. However, its complexity, cost, and hardware requirements may be considered drawbacks for certain users. Ultimately, the choice of using P3D depends on individual preferences, goals, and the intended use of the simulator.

Prepar3D is supported by MobiFlight.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 (MSFS 2020) stands as a pinnacle in the realm of flight simulation, offering a myriad of benefits for aviation enthusiasts and virtual pilots. One key advantage lies in its unparalleled realism, with cutting-edge graphics and satellite imagery providing an immersive experience. The dynamic weather system further enhances realism, presenting challenges akin to real-world flying. MSFS 2020’s expansive aircraft roster, featuring detailed cockpits and realistic physics, caters to diverse aviation tastes.

The integration of Azure AI brings live air traffic, creating a dynamic virtual sky. This not only adds realism but also enhances the learning experience for aspiring pilots. The simulator’s global terrain data ensures accurate landscapes, making it a visual marvel.

However, the impressive features come with drawbacks. The system requirements for optimal performance are demanding, requiring high-end hardware. This may pose a barrier for users with less powerful setups. Additionally, the initial download size is substantial, potentially straining internet connections and storage capacities.

MSFS 2020’s complex controls and realistic flight dynamics may overwhelm beginners. The learning curve is steep, necessitating time and dedication for mastery. Some users might find the vast array of options and settings daunting, leading to a potentially frustrating experience.

While the simulator aims for realism, occasional glitches and bugs persist. These can range from minor graphical anomalies to critical issues affecting flight dynamics. Updates and patches are regularly released to address these issues, but users may encounter challenges until these are resolved.

One notable drawback is the limited availability of certain aircraft compared to previous flight simulators. Although the base selection is extensive, enthusiasts desiring specific models may find their preferences unmet.

Despite these drawbacks, the benefits of MSFS 2020 make it a groundbreaking simulation platform. It’s ongoing updates and dedicated community contribute to an evolving and enriching experience for virtual aviators. Whether you seek realistic flight training or simply wish to explore the skies from the comfort of your home, MSFS 2020 stands as a remarkable achievement in the world of flight simulation.

MSFS2020 is supported by MobiFlight.