The two primary ways to purchase MSFS are the Microsoft Store or Steam. Both are online digital stores for games and other software, and neither require a subscription. The advantage with the Microsoft Store is that it allows you to install the sim on both a Windows PC as well as an Xbox Series X or S console. Many people already had Steam accounts, so it was easy to buy one more game or sim from it.
Microsoft does have a subscription option, Xbox Game Pass. This can be useful as you can sign up for the first month for only $1 and try any of the available games, including MSFS. After that you can either keep the subscription if access to the other games is worth it for you, or cancel and buy the sim outright.
MSFS is heavily dependent on the internet, so not having your PC connected is going to remove some of the major reasons for using the sim, such as the photogrammetry and streamed scenery data. Also, I've had trouble running the sim offline in the past as well whereby it forgets that it was authenticated and refuses to run.
First, you will need to upgrade to at least Windows 10, MSFS won't run under Windows 7. Second. you will need to add another SSD or M.2 drive. I suggest at least 1TB. Both the GPU and system memory are marginal, they will work, but not well (particularly if your monitor is 1440p or 4K, I doubt 4K fps would be sufficient).
I'm in the beginning stages of thinking about transitioning to MSFS 2020 from FSX and have some very basic questions. (Trying to get used to this new forum format as well.)
My system is this.: Rosewill Thor V2 Gaming ATX Full Tower Computer Case, ASUS Maximus VII Hero Socket LGA 1150 ATX Intel Motherboard, Intel Core i7-4790K Haswell Quad-Core 4.0GHz LGA 1150 Processor (Slightly over-clocked), G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240 Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 Memory Video Card, Thermaltake Toughpower 850W PowerSupply, Intel Solid-State Drive 335 Series 240GB, Corsair H-80 High-Performance Hydro CPU Cooler, 49" curved Samsung monitor and using Windows 7 64 bit Pro.
1. It looks like there are 3 prices for MSFS 2020 depending on which version you purchase. What else do I need to run the program? I don't know much about what Steam is and I don't use X-Box. Do I need to use Steam to run the program? Other options? What does Steam cost? I assume it is a monthly charge? I currently do not have my system connected to the internet as I did this to protect my system from malware. I am only interested in running the flight simulator and not other games.
2. I currently have a Saitek flight yoke, CH-Pedals, GFTQ6 throttle quadrant and lot's of buttons and switches programed to my FSX program. Will I be able to easily program these same items to the new MSFS 2020 program?
3. Is there a way of trying the new program out on my system before purchasing?
I currently have a really decent set-up with FSX using satellite imaging for all of the United States, some added scenery and plane additions. Using a pair of seats from a small Honda, interior canopy from a Pull-A-Part SUV. I'm retiring in May so I'll have more time on my hands but also a smaller wallet.
Any help would be appreciated. Mitch
You could get used to the new look over time, but the user interface is really confusing and awkward. The previous menu titles could have been used here, such as "Downloads", "Forum", etc.
The way a file is downloaded is also incomprehensible: Why can't you download a file directly via the "File" symbol on the right in the file description, which would be logical, but you have to click on the picture first? It couldn't be more complicated.
And in general, the search function is extremely cumbersome. Why not adopt the logic of the previous search function? Above all, the search result should also deliver results where the search term is only partially contained.
Another comment on the forum: When you go to the next page of a thread, the window stays at the bottom of the browser instead of automatically scrolling up to show the first post of the next page.
I still think the new website should have been thoroughly tested first before going online.
In speaking with a local DC-3 pilot he made the comment you can get the tail off the ground before you actually have rudder authority. There is a LOT to think about when flying the "default" DC-3 and as I've dug deeper most of it is correct. It's a two person airplane that you can't fly competently alone after a few hours. It's work, practice, time and knowledge to fly it well. And it's great fun. Reading the actual flight manuals in various forms has really helped my flying. If ATC doesn't ask me to contact ground on a landing roll it's a success for me at this stage.