Flight Simulator's simulation speed is one of the lesser known features you can take advantage of in the 2020 simulation game.
It's possible to speed up time if you want to get through part of a flight faster with the sim rate feature - then slow it down again when you reach your desired location.
Not only that, it's possible to 'fast travel' to certain stages of a flight - useful if you want to get to cruise, descent or landing on a particularly long flight - using Travel To.
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For those prepared to fly the full distance of a flight, there are various time-based Flight Simulator Achievements for staying in your cockpit for extended periods.
Flight Simulator simulation speed: How to speed up and slow down time with sim rate explained
By default, Flight Simulator will run at real world speeds. However, there is a keyboard shortcut to speed it up and slow it down using sim rate.
- To speed up the time of Flight Simulator's simulation with sim rate, you need to press the R, then the CTRL and + key on the numpad.
- To slow down the time of Flight Simulator's simulation with sim rate, you need to press the R, then the CTRL and - key on the numpad.
Though this is listed as R and then one of the plus or minus keys in the default settings, for us, we needed to also press the CTRL key for it to work. Try using just the numpad keys first, as that along might work for you, then try adding CTRL to see what happens.
When it does work, the sim rate change will be very noticeable - so only do it when you are in a safe flying position.
Note the sim rate change will not work when using AI Control, as any button inputs will not be accepted by the game.
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.
How to 'fast travel' in Flight Simulator with Travel To
As well as the above sim rate change, you can also 'fast travel' to a certain point in your flight.
To do this, open the toolbar at the top of the screen, and select Travel To.
This will open a window with a visualisation of the various stages in your flight plan - from Take-Off, to Cruise, Descent, Approach, Final and then Taxi.
Select the stage you want, and it'll skip ahead. Note if you are playing in real weather conditions, you'll be asked whether to keep these in your new flight position.
Additionally, not every mode will support 'fast travel' - such as training and other activity-based challenges - and you also need to ensure you have enough fuel in your plane to progress to certain stages on longer flights.
Now you have worked out how to fast travel and change the sim rate, learn about changing weather and time of day.