Microsoft Flight Simulator hasn't been out for very long, but new planes, liveries (skins), and other free mods are already beginning to appear. While there is an in-game marketplace for buying mods, there are also plenty of free ones you can use to spice up your game.
It's not just planes and paint jobs, either: there are a number of mods that enhance the world with new and improved scenery, too. Here are the best mods for Microsoft Flight Simulator, and below we'll also tell you how to install them.
Aircraft and livery mods
If you're bored with real planes, add some sci-fi spaceships to the mix. Modder EggMan 28 put together a sci-fi ships collection (opens in new tab) including X-Wings and TIE Fighters, the Millennium Falcon, the Enterprise from Star Trek, and more.
There aren't a lot of different liveries in the standard version of the game, but the massive Livery Megapack (opens in new tab)has just about every airplane skin you could ever want—it contains over 300 new liveries for 15 different aircraft. Awesome!
While it's not a perfectly simulated F/A-18 (the landing gear doesn't work, so you should start your flight in the air), it's still a fantastic addition to your hangar and the first modded fighter jet for MFS (opens in new tab).
While the King of Monsters doesn't stomp around, Godzilla still makes quite an impression. This world famous towering irradiated lizard will appear in San Francisco Bay. You can find it here at Nexus Mods (opens in new tab).
If you've flown over Stonehenge you probably noticed it's a bit flat, more like a decal stuck to the ground than the ancient monument it's meant to be. The Stonehenge scenery add-on (opens in new tab) fixes that nicely with a proper (and lovely) 3D model.
Star Wars Scenery
EggMan28 didn't just mod in flyable sci-fi ships but also Star Wars scenery (opens in new tab), like a hulking Star Destroyer you can park in the air over New York and Sydney, Australia, plus an AT-AT that will strike a pose in snowy Norway.
Alaska Water Fixes
It's not unusual to spot errors in the terrain when flying around in MFS, but Alaska truly got the short end of the stick. The water level in hundreds of rivers and lakes in Alaska was generated far too high, and this mod fixes some 400+ bodies of water (opens in new tab) so they look more realistic. There's a mod for a similar problem in Bergen, Normandy (opens in new tab).
How to install Microsoft Flight Simulator mods
Here's how to install free Microsoft Flight Simulator mods, like the Air Force One livery (opens in new tab) you see above, and take note—it'll be slightly different depending on how you installed the game.
Find the "Community" folder
You're looking for a folder named "Community," and you'll find it in one of two places. It depends on whether you installed Microsoft Flight Simulator in the default location suggested by the client, or if you specified a different installation location. There's also a slight difference depending on if you bought MSFS on Steam or the Windows Store.
If you used the default location, look for it here:
Windows Store install:
C:\Users\[Your User Name]\AppData\Local\Packages\ Microsoft.FlightSimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalCache\Packages\
C:\Users\[Your User Name]\AppData\Local\Packages\
Note: On Windows 10, the AppData folder is hidden by default. If you don't see it in Windows Explorer, go to View, and look for the checkbox that says Hidden Items, and click it.
If you used a custom destination for your install, head to that location. For example, the location I chose was E:/Msoft/. Inside the install folder you chose, you'll see two folders: Community and Official. Community is the one you're looking for.
If you can't remember where you installed MFS, there's a way to make the game tell you. With the game launched and showing your Welcome screen:
- Select Options
- Select General
- Select Developers (on the left, at the bottom)
- Turn Developer Mode on
- Look for the new menu in the top left (the text is very small)
- Select Tools
- Select Virtual File System
- Select Watched Bases
- At the bottom of the list, it'll show your Community folder location
Install the mod in the Community folder
Okay, you managed to find the folder you needed and it was only a giant pain in the butt. From here on it's thankfully simple. Download the mod you want, and extract it to that Community folder.
In addition to our list of mods above, you can check out MSFSaddons.org (opens in new tab) where you'll find planes, liveries, scenery, and other items—some you'll need to pay for but there are plenty of free ones, too. Nexus Mods (opens in new tab) is also collecting free mods for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Make sure you always read the page for each mod completely, in case there are any special instructions you need to follow to install them and get them running.
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