How to engage autopilot in Microsoft Flight Simulator

microsoft flight simulator 2020 autopilot
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Realising your dream of being a pilot is admirable, but sometimes you just want to turn on Microsoft Flight Simulator's autopilot mode. Looking after the lives of up to hundreds of passengers with reams of lights and buttons flickering for your attention is pretty stressful, and sometimes you just want to sit back and let the extremely detailed representation of the world go by.

So, for those moments when all you want to do is kick back and relax thousands of feet from the ground—with your choice of in-flight entertainment, naturally—I'm going to walk you through how to activate autopilot in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. So, with our choice of the best Flight Simulator locations plugged into your navigator, here's how to do just that.

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Microsoft Flight Simulator autopilot: How to activate it

Turning on autopilot is by no means complex, but it's not like there's an 'autopilot' button to press or anything. Instead, it's found under the 'AI Control' sub-menu under the main one that appears at the top of your screen when you're in your plane.

From there you have three options, so here's what they mean:

  • Checklist assist: Pre-flight checks carried out by the AI.
  • Manage radio comms: Air Traffic Control communications are automatically looked after.
  • Control aircraft: The AI takes absolute control of the plane.

From there, if you decide you want control back, use Ctrl + Alt + X to disable autopilot. From there, relaxed and refreshed, you can get back behind the whe... sorry, yoke, ready to deliver your passengers to their destinations. Or your house.

Harry Shepherd

UK — After collecting and devouring piles of print gaming guides in his younger days, Harry has been creating 21st century versions for the past five years as Guides Writer at PCGamesN and Guides Editor at PC Gamer. He has also produced features, reviews, and even more guides for Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and Top Ten Reviews. He's been playing and picking apart PC games for over two decades, from hazy memories of what was probably a Snake knock-off on his first rig when he was seven to producing informative guides on football simulators, open-world role-playing games, and shooters today. So many by now he steadfastly refuses to convey information unless it’s in clickable online form.