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Flight Simulator 2020 System Requirements: Fly with these recommended PC specs

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is finally here, but it might be one of the biggest games ever released. If you want to take off with the game the way it’s meant to be played, then keep reading on for the official recommended system requirements.

It’s been a long old wait – 14 years to be precise – for the latest main entry in the Microsoft Flight Simulator series, but as you can guess from Trusted Reviews’ 4.5/5 review, it’s all been worth it.

The sheer scope of Flight Simulator 2020 has attracted the attention of potential new fans (myself included), but unless you’re going to opt for the upcoming console version, you might want to double check your PC rig before investing in the game.

After all, being able to traverse the world’s skies in-game is no easy feat, and to get the best experience you’ll need a decent computer to tackle it. To give you a hand, we’ve rounded up the official minimum specs, recommended specs and ideal specs.

Related: Best Graphics Card

Microsoft Flight Simulator system requirements – Minimum specs

Minimum Flight Simulator specs
CPU Intel i5-4460 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200
Storage 150GB available space
GPU NVIDIA GTX 770 or AMD Radeon RX 570
DirectX Version 11
Sound card DirectX compatible
Operating System Windows 10

There’s no point beating around the bush – taking up 150GB of storage space, Flight Simulator 2020 is one of the largest games ever made. Of course, all that storage capacity is precisely why the game is able to pull off its incredibly life-like detail. For that reason, you might want to consider bagging a high capacity SSD to store the game on.

Beyond that however, the minimum processor and graphics card specs are very reasonable, and shouldn’t set you back more than £150. To save you the hassle of finding them however, we’ve included links directly to these products in the table above.

Microsoft Flight Simulator system requirements – Recommended specs

Recommended Flight Simulator specs
CPU Intel i5-8400 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
Storage 150GB available space
GPU NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX 590
DirectX Version 11
Sound card DirectX compatible
Operating System Windows 10

The new Microsoft Flight Simulator is a demanding game, and that’s reflected here in the recommended specs sheet. In addition to the 150GB of required storage, you’ll need at least 16GB RAM to give the game what it needs to soar.

The processor and graphics cards aren’t demanding, with the old components available at very low prices if you don’t mind going with some second-hand kit.

Related: Best PC Games 2020

Microsoft Flight Simulator system requirements – Ideal specs

Ideal Flight Simulator specs
CPU Intel i7-9800X or AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 2700X
Storage 150GB available space
GPU Nvidia RTX 2080 or AMD Radeon VII
DirectX Version 12
Sound card DirectX compatible
Operating System Windows 10

As well as offering ‘minimum’ and ‘recommended’ specs, Microsoft has also provided the ‘Ideal Specs’ to play Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. These aren’t system requirements as per say, as the majority of gaming PCs and laptops should be able to run this game without issue, but since one of Flight Simulator’s greatest strengths is its astonishing level of visual fidelity, you’ll need very beefy specs to get the best out of this game.

Microsoft recommends the use of Nvidia RTX 2080 or AMD Radeon VII, which are two of the most powerful graphics cards available. The 9th Generation i7 Intel Core processor is pretty pricey too, costing over £300 alone. What’s more, Microsoft suggests you use a whopping 32GB of RAM which is far more than what’s conventionally suggested.

Buy all the components listed above, and you’ll have one of the most powerful (and expensive) gaming PCs currently available. Don’t worry though, as Microsoft Flight Simulator offers superb scalability.

It all depends on how much you’re willing to spend and how much you care about hyper-realistic visuals. If you simply want it to run on your ageing laptop, you’ll be fine. If you’re happy with a Full HD performance, you should also be absolutely fine going for a cheaper GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, paired with a more affordable processor and 16GB RAM. And if you want the best graphics quality possible, then be prepared to spend a lot of cash.

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