Flight Simulator specs, download size: Minimum, Recommended and Ideal requirements explained

Everything you need to know about getting ready to play Flight Simulator.

Flight Simulator is Microsoft's 2020 take on its long-running airborne sim series.

Available on Xbox Game Pass for PC owners, it's cheaper than ever to access - but you need to make sure your PC meets the minimum specs to run it.

Regardless of your set up, knowing the Flight Simulator download size ahead of time can help you clear out your hard drive in time, helping ensure it installs with as few issues as possible.

On this page:

If you're not a PC owner, then you'll have to wait until Flight Simulator's Xbox release.

Flight Simulator download size and specs at a glance

If you want to play Flight Simulator on your PC, then you must first ensure that you've met the required specs to run the game.

No matter your PC hardware, you need to make sure you have enough room on your hard drive to accommodate the recommended Flight Simulator download size of 150 GB.

In our experience with the final release of the game, we had an initial small download, before downloading an additional 95GB through an in-game installer.

First, if you were part of the Flight Simulator alpha or beta, the full release is a separate download and not an update to what you already have. There are some details on the official forums on how to make sure the old files are removed before you download fresh.

Second, sure you have enough hard drive space before downloading. Despite the installer stating how much room you have left, we didn't actually have enough - resulting it in crashing when it reached the limit as we left the PC running overnight. Just a cautionary tale for you!

flight_simulator_download_size

After installing, you can then toggle how much world data you stream as you play, changing how much (realistic) world detail is shown around you, which is useful if you are on limited bandwidth.

Finally - the specs. Here are Flight Simulator's Minimum, Recommended and Ideal at a glance:

flight_simulator_specs

Regardless of your specifications, you also need Windows 10 (Nov 2019 update '1909' minimum).

Here are the Minimum, Recommended and Ideal specs for Flight Simulator one-by-one for easier reading:

Minimum specs for Flight Simulator

Here are the minimum specs that your PC must meet to run Flight Simulator, copied verbatim from the official Flight Simulator website:

HardwareMin Spec AMDMin Spec NVIDIA
CPU Ryzen 3 1200 Intel i5-4460
GPU Radeon RX 570 NVIDIA GTX 770
VRAM 2 GB 2 GB
RAM 8 GB 8 GB
HDD 150 GB 150 GB
Bandwidth 5 Mbps 5 Mbps

Recommended specs for Flight Simulator

Here are the recommended specs that your PC must meet to run Flight Simulator, copied verbatim from the official Flight Simulator website:

HardwareRecommended Spec AMDRecommended Spec NVIDIA
CPURyzen 5 1500XIntel i5-8400
GPURadeon RX 590NVIDIA GTX 970
VRAM4 GB4 GB
RAM16 GB16 GB
HDD150 GB150 GB
Bandwidth20 Mbps20 Mbps

For those investigating their Flight Simulator options, we have a planes list and airport list for each launch edition, a list of Flight Simulator Achievements and what to expect from Flight Simulator's Xbox version. Then, when you start playing, we have explainers on weather and liveries, multiplayer, using autopilot and sim rate, and how to use the game's equivalent of photo mode with Active Pause.


Ideal specs for Flight Simulator

Here are the ideal specs that your PC must meet to run Flight Simulator, copied verbatim from the official Flight Simulator website:

HardwareIdeal Spec AMDIdeal Spec NVIDIA
CPU Ryzen 7 Pro 2700X Intel i7-9800X
GPU Radeon VII NVIDIA RTX 2080
VRAM 8GB 8GB
RAM 32 GB 32 GB
HDD 150 GB SSD 150 GB SSD
Bandwidth 50 Mbps 50 Mbps

If you're not a PC owner, then you'll have to wait until Flight Simulator's Xbox release.

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About the author

Matthew Reynolds

Matthew Reynolds

Guides Editor

Matthew edits guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer.net. When not doing that, he's out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.

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