Microsoft Flight Simulator's 40th Anniversary Edition is full of hardware improvements

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Microsoft is celebrating the release of the Microsoft Flight Simulator 40th Anniversary Edition, and with it the game is getting a huge update. Not only is there tonnes of new and improved content which includes new vehicles like a true-to-life Airbus A310 liner, but there's also some interesting fixes in the list. Sure, we could get excited about the inclusion of the Spruce Goose or the 24 new classic missions, but what we're really looking for is an even smoother flight sim experience.

Yes, using thermal pressure to ride around in gliders in the new 40th edition of Microsoft Flight simulator does sound fun, but did you know you can do it better in DX12 now? A new memory defragmentation system has been implemented, which should limit your maxed out VRAM. This should help with potential crashes from overloaded VRAM issues. The graphical artefacts on the cockpit screens that could sometimes occur in DX12 have also been fixed. A smoother ride from inside to out.

But it doesn't stop there, this plane full of upgrades has barely even taken off. While you're checking out those 4 new airports, you can get a look at the newly integrated AMD FSR2 for improved upscaling technology on supported machines. For those on NVIDIA hardware, DLSS3 is now supported. You should get a decent FPS boost with these implementations.

The hardware support keeps on going, with plenty of love for peripherals. Turtlebeach's VelocityOne FlightStick, Honeycomb Alpha Flight Controls, and the Thrustmaster TCA Sidestick X have all been given the green tick on both PC and Xbox as officially supported devices. Honeycomb Charlie pedals will also officially work with PC. The Pro Flight Trainer Puma X and Thrustmaster MFD Cougar were also included in the list of supported controls.

Virtual reality

(Image credit: Valve)

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Peripherals can be a huge part of the flight simulator experience, allowing people to really customise the feel of their experience. Some folks go for the super official options like the Thrustmaster TCA Yoke Pack Boeing edition (opens in new tab), while others prefer a more general experience. More compatible products means we might see a bit more competition in our best PC joysticks list (opens in new tab)

VR is one of the next big steps for immersive flight sims, and has also seen a few tweaks. Most of them seem like UI improvements like fixes to toolbars and other open panels and windows. It also fixed some rendering issues on canted displays used in wide angled VR. Flight Simming in VR can be pretty daunting to set up, but thankfully the Flight Simulator Association has put together a handy video (opens in new tab) for those looking to get into the fun. 

Whether you're into the new hardware tweaks, or the content it looks like there's plenty to explore in the new 40th edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator. You can get a look at the full list of updates on the official Flight Simulator release notes webpage (opens in new tab).

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Vooks.net. Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast (opens in new tab) right here.

No, she’s not kidding.