Microsoft Flight Simulator closed beta is taking off in July

Microsoft Flight Simulator
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Microsoft Flight Simulator is poised to leave alpha behind and fly over to closed beta soon. Microsoft and Asobo snuck the roadmap update into a development post last week (cheers, ResetEra) but didn't include a specific date. It's due to appear in mid-July. 

The first technical alpha kicked off in October, but since then it's moved onto a regular, ongoing alpha that recently had its third update. There are just two more to go in early and late June, and then it's on to the closed beta. How it will differ from the alpha hasn't been announced, but you'll still probably need to sign up to the Insider programme.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

If you've not had a chance to play yet, you can still live vicariously through the official and community screenshots posted alongside the development updates. To see it in motion, check out this recent footage of planes flying through its impressive volumetric clouds.

Before you plan your aviation adventure, make sure to take a look at the Microsoft Flight Simulator system requirements. The minimum specs seem pretty attainable, but you're probably going to have to make a lot of sacrifices. The ideal specs are a much bigger ask, recommending a RTX 2080 or equivalent. I'm sufficiently close to the ideal specs, but if I was ever going to upgrade for just one game, it would probably be Flight Sim.

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.