Microsoft Flight Simulator is flying high with over a million pilots

Microsoft Flight Simulator
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Flight Simulator was released just a couple of weeks ago, but already more than a million virtual pilots are playing the game – making this the biggest launch ever in Xbox Game Pass for PC history.

Of course, the fact that Flight Simulator (Standard Edition) is part of the Game Pass for PC subscription service has certainly helped encourage players to take to the skies, although the mammoth download may be enough to put off the merely vaguely curious.

It would seem that a fair few folks have the same idea though – having heard how accurate the simulation is in regards to terrain mapping, with data for the whole world pulled straight from Bing Maps, they’ve left the runway with the intention of flying over their own house and local area to see what it looks like from above (and how accurate said mapping is, no doubt).

No yoke

Yes, apparently going by Microsoft stats, the most popular destination in Flight Simulator is ‘your house’ and the most popular airport is JFK in New York. The three most-used planes are the Daher TBM 930, Cessna Citation CJ4, and the Airbus A330 Neo.

Microsoft further notes that players have flown 26 million flights and over a billion air miles in total since launch. And on Twitch, Flight Simulator has clocked up over 6.5 million hours of streams watched.

Of course, aside from Game Pass for PC players, there are also folks who bought the game over on Steam, as PC GamesN points out – so the million plus pilots could be considerably bolstered on that front (Steam has seen a high of almost 62,000 simultaneous players thus far).

Flight Simulator has also just received its first patch which implements some stability fixes, along with performance tweaks, and it cures some installation problems to boot. There are no major changes made, though.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).