Microsoft Flight Simulator – Which Edition to buy?

The new Microsoft Flight Simulator is perhaps the most ambitious flight simulator ever. I have been flight simming close to 2 decades now and never have I seen such excitement amongst not only hardcore flight simmers, but even casual gamers. Why? Because it really is just phenomenal with the best terrain quality and weather effects I have ever seen anywhere other than out my window.

Which Edition to buy?

Microsoft has given us three editions to choose from:

Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard - PC [Online Game Code]
Standard Edition with 20 planes and 30 hand-crafted airports
Microsoft Flight Simulator Deluxe Edition - PC [Online Game Code]
Deluxe Edition with 25 planes and 35 hand-crafted airports
Microsoft Flight Simulator Premium Deluxe Edition - PC [Online Game...
Premium Deluxe Edition with 30 planes and 40 hand-crafted airports

The only difference between these three are the extra planes and airports. The Deluxe edition gets 5 extra planes and 5 extra handcrafted airports. The Premium Deluxe gets 5 additional planes and hand-crafted airports in addition to the ones offered as part of the Deluxe edition.

Are the Deluxe edition planes worth it?

As a hardcore flight simmer, my answer would be yes. But if you are a casual simmer, I honestly don’t think you should get the Deluxe editions simply for the planes. Although I would still recommend the more expensive editions simply for the airports. The sim comes with 20 aircraft in the base edition, 25 in the Deluxe and 30 in the Premium Deluxe.

Most of the additional deluxe aircraft are of the smaller, tail-wheel type variety. These are actually more fun to fly because they are nimble and offer great views.

These are the 5 additional Deluxe Additional Aircraft

  • Diamond Aircraft DA40-TDI
  • Diamond Aircraft DV20
  • Textron Aviation Beechcraft Baron G58
  • Textron Aviation Cessna 152 Aerobat
  • Textron Aviation Cessna 172 Skyhawk

And these are the 5 Premium Deluxe Additional Aircraft (in addition to the Deluxe ones)

  • Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
  • Cirrus Aircraft SR22
  • Pipistrel Virus SW 121
  • Textron Aviation Cessna Citation Longitude
  • Zlin Aviation Shock Ultra

There is enough variety in the standard edition aircraft, but the premium extras are nice to have.  Just going to leave you with some images.


Are the hand-crafted airports worth it?

Microsoft Flight Simulator uses advanced AI to generate scenery, terrain and weather from satellite images and other data. There are tens of thousands of airports that have been thus generated. But they are not as detailed or accurate because it is still the AI making them. So Microsoft has handcrafted some airports based on very details specs to make them as close to reality as possible. These are obviously the biggest and busiest airports and I think they have done an amazing job with these.

Keep in mind that most civilian flight sims do charge for such handcrafted airports so it is not something new. Personally, I am very much interred in Amsterdam airport, O’Hare, Dubai, San Francisco, Heathrow so I went with the premium Deluxe buy you don’t have to. The difference is nice if you are a hardcore simmer but it’s not a deal breaker if you don’t get it.

These are the 5 Deluxe Additional Handcrafted Airports

  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Netherlands)
  • Cairo International Airport (Egypt)
  • Cape Town International Airport (South Africa)
  • O’Hare International Airport (USA)
  • Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (Spain)

And the 5 additional Premium Deluxe Additional Airports (in addition to the Deluxe ones)

  • Denver International Airport (USA)
  • Dubai International Airport (United Arab Emirates)
  • Frankfurt Airport (Germany)
  • Heathrow Airport (United Kingdom)
  • San Francisco International Airport (USA)

You can but the different editions here

Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard - PC [Online Game Code]
Standard Edition with 20 planes and 30 hand-crafted airports
Microsoft Flight Simulator Deluxe Edition - PC [Online Game Code]
Deluxe Edition with 25 planes and 35 hand-crafted airports
Microsoft Flight Simulator Premium Deluxe Edition - PC [Online Game...
Premium Deluxe Edition with 30 planes and 40 hand-crafted airports

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About the Author

Gary (Flanker)

Gary has been "hard landing" into runways and driving his Mitsubishi Evo off of cliffs since the early 2000s. These days, he spends most of his precious hobby time with his favorite flight, racing and space simulations in VR. He also has an Engineering Degree in Computer Science which helps a lot with his obsession with optimizing PC hardware like CPUs, Graphics Cards, VR Headsets, HOTAS, Racing Wheels etc. for high end sims.