Budding pilots have been waiting for this since its announcement. The launch of Flight Simulator (2020) is approaching and it has received authorization to land on our PCs first. Awesome ! No doubt you have seen the demonstration videos which are multiplying on the Web since some of our colleagues from the specialized video game press were able to get their hands on the game for a few hours. It is breathtaking. Even the less keen on aviation and flight simulation agree that there is plenty to be left with … baba.
The game is very beautiful, the realism of the cockpits and the behavior of the aircraft is cutting edge. Not to mention the modeling of planes. But these are just a few of its strengths.
All topography, cartography, road traffic and weather conditions are developed in real time or extrapolated, failing this, using maps stored in the servers as well as drawing on Microsoft’s Azure information and services, including the mesh covers the globe.
In addition to your aging PC, your Internet connection may spoil your gaming experience. Notwithstanding the 47 GB (minimum) of data that will have to be downloaded to then install the game (150 GB), the experience Flight Sim is going to be very dependent on your throughput.
A gaming PC yes, above all a good Internet connection
As we said, a lot of information is calculated and / or generated in real time from Microsoft’s Azure servers. Also there must be enough bandwidth to pass them between the network infrastructures and your PC as you go about your actions and your flight plan.
As you will see below, the speeds recommended by the French studio Asobo and MS are quite high, while the hardware configurations are almost reasonable.
Ideally and at worst, your Internet speed should be at least 625 KB / s. In the city, it is quite reachable but in the countryside, it is less obvious.
To fully enjoy the game, Asobo and MS recommend 50 Mbps second or … 6.25 Mb / s fixed downstream speed. A speed that is easily obtained with FttH and FttB fiber and very good ADSL2 + lines.
If your line is a little weak or you are really at the end of the cable, in the provinces, it may get stuck. Your salvation may come from 4G. If you are lucky enough to be well covered by the mobile network if you do not have a good terrestrial connection, go through a 4G modem provided by your Internet operator. And fingers crossed that the deployment of network infrastructure accelerates near you.
Finally, opt – if possible – for the wired connection at home. Old gamers that we are are clear: nothing beats a good Ethernet cable of category 5, 6 or 7 between the box / router and the PC.
The right PC for good flying
According to the information provided by Asobo, many machines must be able to run Flight Sim. However, like all the licenses, this FS seems to rely – above all – on a lot of pure and hard computing power of the CPU.
Here is our reading of the table of recommendations:
- Min Spec = gameplay on a Full HD screen, with details on Low / Medium
- Recommended Spec = game on Full HD screen with details on Medium / High OR game on a 1440p screen with details on Way maximum.
- Ideal Spec = game on Full HD or 1440p screen with details on High or Very high OR on a 4K screen with details on Way the best.
You are playing on a desktop PC:
Did you treat yourself to a gaming desktop PC that cost between $ 1,500 and $ 2,500 less than three years ago? You are quiet. And if you’ve improved it in the meantime, that’s even better. It is more than three years old and / or does not have at least 80% of the components recommended or equivalent by the smallest configuration? Some graphic turbulence cannot be ruled out during your travels.
From experience, Flight Simulator have always been demanding and resource-intensive games so if your PC is really dated, don’t expect to steal “laid back” looks.
If you’ve recently invested in a PC that’s in the same price bracket as above, that’s all good too.
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In both cases, you will have at least one CPU with four to six hyperthreaded cores or not (Intel or AMD regardless), a GTX Serie 1070/1080 graphics card, a Radeon RX 5700 XT, or an RTX 2060 Super minimum, between 16 and 32 GB of memory and a 256 or 512 GB SSD. The only additions you will need to make to fly more relaxed would be:
- One more SSD
- Upgrading to 16 GB will give you peace of mind for a while.
The 32 GB recommended by Asobo and MS are matched with the characteristics of the recommended Intel processor (quad channel), much less with the AMD processor (double channel) from our point of view. Such a large amount of RAM is not used for playing in Full HD or 1440p, however it can be more justified if you are having fun in 4K.
You are playing on a laptop PC:
With a Robust Core i5 (an H model) penultimate generation (8xxxH) it should pass. If it’s from a previous family, we have some reservations, especially if it’s a Core i3 or an i5. The i7s usually still have enough in the circuit, even if they are not new.
On the memory side, there is 16 GB required. Then again, upgrading to 32 GB is more of a luxury than an absolute necessity, but it can be of some use if your graphics card is tight.
Read also : The Top 5 Best Laptops Today
For the 3D part, it will get complicated. If you have a GTX or an RTX Max-Q, you may be a little short unless it is a GeForce GTX 1070/1080 or a 2070/2080 (Great or not). Your best bet is to have a classic RTX or Super under the keyboard.
No question of playing with one of the Radeon RX available at the moment or in conditions that may not dazzle you.
Build or complete your cockpit
If you want to discover the world of simulation with Flight Simulator 2020, here are the few essential peripherals that you will be able to buy yourself to make the most of them. Because if you fly a plane the remote or with the keyboard / mouse is quite possible … it is not really immersive. Nor very practical. Believe us. Make a check-in with the mouse when you are on board a 777, it is tedious.
With a slightly elaborate joystick, supported by a control panel with throttle levers, it’s already much more practical. And if, in addition, you have your feet on a floor spreader, it is because you are already experienced enough not to get your brushes tangled. With just the first two accessories, you will be able to take yourself for Tom Cruise in Top Gun. Or Denzel Washington in Flight.
To complete your pilot’s outfit, you can also fall for a curved slab screen, taking the shape of the cockpit canopy. What about a headset with microphone to communicate with the tower and your friends when you go on training trips? And a seat? Sunglasses, we leave that to your discretion.
Here are the few equipment that we have handpicked, not too specialized however. The most fanatical will not find the latest instruments in vogue (Opencockpits, RealSimGear, VRInsight, GoFlight etc.), sorry, it is way too sharp for the apprentice pilots that we are!
Since the announcement of the release of Flight Sim‘, it has become quite difficult to find a joystick worthy of the name in the trade. As of this writing, most good SKUs are out of stock everywhere, with replenishments trickling down.
Thrustmaster TCA Officer Pack Airbus Edition
This set will only be available in September 2020, the joystick is already available. This handle and this quadrant part are inspired by the iconic Airbus airliners and are officially licensed. With this duo, you can take yourself for a real airline pilot.
Joystick price: around 70 euros
Quadrant price: around 100 euros
Price of the set: 160 euros approximately
Thrustmaster HOTAS WARTHOG
For those who want plenty of buttons under their fingers and a military-grade handle, this is the set for you. Be careful, it costs its price but it is unanimous among simulation specialists. And if the base handle does not suit you, several are available as accessories since it is possible to unscrew them from the base.
Price of the joystick alone: around 270 euros
Price of the unit with double throttle: approximately 270 euros
Price of the set: from around 470 euros
Logitech (and the old Saitek products under the Logitech banner) is also in the game with some references including the X52, the X56 or the Flight Yoke System. But it is clear that the handle market is very small at the moment.
These are not the screens we would recommend for video games in general. Or even office automation. It is above all a question of taste and habit because some of our colleagues swear by them.
But for the simulation, the fact of being able to find the curvature of the canopy of the cockpit contributes to the immersion, it is undeniable. Especially if you don’t have the space and / or the means to build up a multi-screen setup at home.
In Full HD, choose 24 or 27 inches, we recommend the Asus VG27VQ (300 euros) whose curvature of the 27 ” panel is 1500R and which incorporates a whole range of display technos very appreciable for simulation and other games.
Still in 27 inches, the Aorus CV27F is also a good reference (350 euros), with the same panel curvature as the Asus and a color calibration touted at the tip.
In 1440p, opt for 27 inches, it’s exactly the right diagonal, otherwise go for a good 32 inches. We can recommend you enough to opt for a model whose foot is adjustable in height, and equipped with a slab that tilts correctly, from top to bottom.
You can bet the Samsung Odyssey C27G75TQSU (650 euros), a small QLED panel bomb, all curved (1000R) and packed with technologies. More affordable, the AOC CQ27G2U / BK (320 euros) offers very good value for money and has made a name for itself in the world of traditional gaming. It should therefore be quite suitable for the simulation.
Curved screens displaying more than 1440p are not legion and opt for quite exotic definitions because they are generally in 21 or 32: 9 format. And their diagonal varies from 32 to 49 inches. It is therefore necessary to have a lot of space on the desk.
TheAcer Predator Z35P (800 euros) is doing well here, just like the MSI Optix MPG341CQR (900 euros). You can also wait and wait for Samsung’s monster, theOdyssey G9 (C49G95TSSU) 49 inches (1500 euros) only lose a few euros on the tag to get their hands on it. Because, on paper, it really has everything to please and will display your cockpit in 5120 by 1440 pixels, in 1000R, as long as you have a very good graphics card in your PC.
There is no shortage of choice here. Especially since the wave of gaming chairs hit the market, multiplying brands, shapes and colors.
At its simplest, you bet on gaming chairs from reputable and serious brands such as Secret Labs, REKT, DXR among the best known (count between 180 and more than 1000 euros).
You can go to a used auto parts dealer to get your hands on a car chair – that’s what a lot of auto racing enthusiasts do – and then you fit it into the desk by raising it. for example. There are a lot of tutorials on the web to help you out.
Or, you fall for a product from a brand dedicated to this type of installation like PlaySeat which usually includes a seat and various brackets screwed to the frame.
The best is still to contact the communities of simulation enthusiasts that can be found all over the Internet, they will know how to direct you and guide you in your choices if by chance they are very specific and sharp.
In absolute terms, any gaming headset can do the trick. Simple, right? If LEDs and warlike designs aren’t your thing, then turn to products Sennheiser / EPOS, Beyer Dynamics or Logitech’s Pro X range. Generally, most of the models in these ranges / brands look like … traditional headphones, no frills, with stereo mode first and 5.1 spatialization simulation, DTS et al afterwards.
It would also not be surprising if equipment manufacturers (Corsair, Razer, Poly / Nacon (ex-Plantronic)) draw products in the colors of the flight simulator at the end of August, or in the weeks to come. Stay tuned!
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the Captain …
Here we are, we have come to the end of this guide – summary – which, we hope, will have helped you to identify whether or not your Internet connection and your PC are ready for August 18th. And if this is the case, that our few proposals for accessories to start equipping you to spend hours in Flight Simulator 2020 will help you in your choices. As is customary, all we have to do is tell you: “Flight safe”.