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Microsoft Flight Simulator GOTY Edition Brings Early DX12 Support

Microsoft Flight Simulator
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Flight Simulator recently celebrated its first anniversary, and a new, extensive update is coming with the Game of the Year Edition. The free update lands on November 18th and brings some genuine improvements, including DirectX 12 support on PC, five new aircraft, and eight new airports.

However, the big news for PC users is the incoming support for DirectX 12. This long-awaited addition to the game engine should lead to across-the-board performance improvements, particularly regarding the thorny issue of CPU utilization. Microsoft Flight Simulator is notorious for its steep system requirements, and the resources necessary to enable such luscious and realistic graphics can bring even today’s flagship processors to their knees. You can check our testing on the CPU-limited nature of Microsoft Flight Simulator here.

However, we should mention that Microsoft says that gamers will only have “early access” to DirectX 12, meaning that this isn’t fully fleshed-out support at the moment. So, performance might initially be a bit dicey, but we’re eager to see any kind of improvements from this resource-intensive game.

Moving on, the Microsoft Flight Simulator: Game of the Year Edition sees the arrival of Windows 11 livery for the EXTRA 300LT and 11 landmarks around the globe will bask in a “Windows Blue” glow. Microsoft also indicates that the following aircraft are coming to the game:

  • Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet
  • Volovopter VoloCity eVTOL
  • Pilatus PC-6 Porter
  • CubCrafter NX Cub
  • Aviat Pitts Special S1S

If that wasn’t enough to satiate diehard flight sim fans, eight new airports have been handcrafted with additional detail. The first six are located in Germany, while the latter two are in the United States. Miramar, in particular, should be familiar to fans of the 1980’s smash hit Top Gun.

  • Leipzig/Halle Airport (EDDP)
  • Allgäu Airport Memmingen (EDJA)
  • Kassel Airport (EDVK)
  • Switzerland
  • Lugano Airport (LSZA)
  • Zurich Airport (LSZH)
  • Luzern-Beromunster Airport (LSZO)
  • Patrick Space Force Base (KCOF)
  • Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (KNKX)

“Throughout the past 14 months, we delivered major monthly updates: six World Updates and six Sim Updates that constantly improve the experience. And today, we are pleased to announce the Microsoft Flight Simulator Game of the Year (GOTY) Edition,” wrote the Microsoft Flight Simulator team. “This new edition celebrates all the positive feedback, reviews and awards garnered, but it is also a ‘Thank You’ to our fans – new and old – that have made Microsoft Flight Simulator such a phenomenon.”

Microsoft Flight Simulator: Game of the Year Edition lands on November 18th; it will be available for Windows 10/11 PCs, Xbox Games Pass (console and PC), and Xbox Series X/S.

Brandon Hill

Brandon Hill is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware. He has written about PC and Mac tech since the late 1990s with bylines at AnandTech, DailyTech, and Hot Hardware. When he is not consuming copious amounts of tech news, he can be found enjoying the NC mountains or the beach with his wife and two sons.

  • JWNoctis
    Remember how FSX had a DX10 preview mode, also patched in, that never really went anywhere?

    Gonna see how this one goes.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    This feature is almost a year and a half late. It seems like the developers decided against doing a Big Bang release, and went with releasing this in different sprints. But the problem here is that people tend to try out a game at launch. Over time, the demand for the game actually wanes. So this update is likely for those that are waiting for the game to be discounted, or are long term flight simulator players.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    watzupken said:
    This feature is almost a year and a half late. It seems like the developers decided against doing a Big Bang release, and went with releasing this in different sprints. But the problem here is that people tend to try out a game at launch. Over time, the demand for the game actually wanes. So this update is likely for those that are waiting for the game to be discounted, or are long term flight simulator players.
    Many people are still playing FSX today and it is pretty likely that this new one will have the same staying power, it's one of the best and most loved flight sim series.
    Reply
  • gaborbarla
    Dx 12 release date: July 29, 2015. Over 6 years ago...
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    watzupken said:
    This feature is almost a year and a half late. It seems like the developers decided against doing a Big Bang release, and went with releasing this in different sprints. But the problem here is that people tend to try out a game at launch. Over time, the demand for the game actually wanes. So this update is likely for those that are waiting for the game to be discounted, or are long term flight simulator players.
    It's likely that the player base would've waned in the same way regardless if FS2020 supported DX12 out of the box or not.

    gaborbarla said:
    Dx 12 release date: July 29, 2015. Over 6 years ago...
    And?
    Reply