15 million unique pilots have taken to the sky in Microsoft Flight Simulator

Flight Simulator 40th Anniversary Edition promotional screenshot
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Flight Simulator celebrates a new player milestone as more than 15 million players take the virtual skies.
  • Jorg Neumann, head of Microsoft Flight Studio, shared the announcement on Instagram over the weekend.
  • Players have logged more than one billion flights in Microsoft Flight Simulator since the game's launch in 2020.

Microsoft is not keen on releasing player counts even for its most successful games, but at times the powers-that-be see fit to lift back the curtain to celebrate major player milestones. Over the weekend, head of Microsoft Flight Simulator Jorg Neumann did just that with a post on Instagram announcing the game had crossed the mark with more than 15 million players across Xbox and PC. 

The milestone was hit by players just two months shy of the 4-year anniversary for Microsoft Flight Simulator, originally released on Windows PCs in August 2020 with the Xbox Series X|S version debuting at a later date.  The game was previously unveiled during an E3 event in 2019 and was a technical marvel due to its use of cloud technology, which powered the impressive 1:1 recreation of the globe.  

Microsoft has also shared that players across PC and Xbox alike have taken to the unbelievably realistic skies of Flight Simulator for more than one billion flights. Later this year, those same pilots will have the opportunity to see the game in even more detail when the next-gen update, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024, launches in November. The update was revealed during the 2024 Xbox Summer Showcase in a two-minute clip showing the power of Microsoft Azure servers and satellite data, which significantly improved Flight Simulator's visual fidelity. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 – Xbox Games Showcase 2024 - YouTube Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 – Xbox Games Showcase 2024 - YouTube
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Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 isn't just expected to look good, it will also be packed with various new piloting jobs. Flight careers across agriculture industries, search and rescue operations, and more with their corresponding aircraft are expected to join the already lengthy list of planes available for Flight Simulator.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is available now on Xbox Series X|S consoles and Windows PCs via the Microsoft Store. The game is available as part of the Xbox Game Pass catalog on both PC and console, in addition to being playable via Xbox Cloud Gaming. Despite its reliance on cloud streaming power, the game was still quite taxing on modern PCs. You may want to check your own rig against the required PC specifications for Microsoft Flight Simulator before installing it. You can also consider upgrading to one of the best pre-built PCs for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Cole Martin

Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.