Microsoft Flight Simulator is landing on Xbox Game Pass for Xbox Series X|S next month, and if you've been following the game on PC, it may appear a bit daunting. But don't worry, the game is getting an array of new features to ensure console players are eased into the experience, rather than being thrown in at the deep end.
As explained during the 'Xbox Games Showcase Extended' event by head of Microsoft Flight Simulator, Jorg Neumann, five new features are being added. Each of these are said to work on slowly teaching players the ropes, giving them ample time to manage the cockpit before being sent on long distance hauls.
It all kicks off with something known as a Discovery Flight. Here players will be with a co-pilot and "get to steer the plane and feel really good about yourself". Realistically, the co-pilot is doing all the work, but it gives you a sense of what flying a plane may be like. You'll get to choose from 10 locations and have a lovely, photogenic flight.
The other features add some very nice quality-of-life improvements, each designed to make for a more streamlined experience for the player. You can turn on labels showing points of interest on the map; the tutorials have been expanded from 8 lengthy lessons to 22 bite-sized ones; and an option to land anywhere, such as snow or water.
Perhaps the most intriguing new element is the Flight Assistant, which will allow the game to take over at certain moments if you want it to. Neumann gave an example of how this will work, and it sounds really cool.
“Imagine you fly over New York and you want to actually just look at the landscape but you know eventually you want to go to the Brooklyn Bridge. So on the Flight Assistant you can now click on ‘Go to Brooklyn Bridge’ and the AI, almost like a co-pilot next to you will fly you to the Brooklyn Bridge and you can just look around and have an interesting time.”
Obviously, if you're a veteran of the series you'll probably want to avoid using these, but they sound excellent for new pilots. With the game entering Xbox Game Pass for console day one on July 27, no doubt many new players will be diving in, and these quality of life improvements will be a fantastic inclusion for many.
What do you think of the changes made to Microsoft Flight Simulator? Let us know in the comments below.