Launch Date Set for ‘Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024’

‘MSFS2024’ is expected to introduce a new set of aviation career modes to pair with the new aircraft offerings.

The November release marks the most recent update to the massively popular Microsoft Flight Simulator since September 2020. [Courtesy: Microsoft Flight Simulator]

The much-anticipated Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 (MSFS2024) will launch by the end of the year, its development team has announced.

The news announced Sunday marks the most recent update to the massively popular Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS) that came out in September 2020. 

[Courtesy: Microsoft Flight Simulator]

The release, which is set for November 19, is a few months later than initial speculation that pointed toward a potential September launch. Given all of the improvements that are coming in the new title, there is a lot to look forward to. 

In 2020, MSFS captured the imagination and attention of real-world pilots, flight simulator enthusiasts, and aviation fans around the world during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic when many were still on lockdown and were drawn to the title's sophisticated graphics and renewed offerings. 

[Courtesy: Microsoft Flight Simulator]

Earlier this year, the Microsoft team reported that 12 million unique users have played MSFS since its launch nearly four years ago and that streaming game service Steam is reporting a consistent and strong monthly user base. 

In addition, the flight simulation community has developed hundreds of free or low-cost aircraft, airports, and components of the flight sim to further improve upon the basic or premium content packages and functionality offered in MSFS.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 is expected to build on the success of MSFS, improve upon some of the weaknesses, and grow the overall offerings within the sim:

New Aircraft 

Building on the wide range of aircraft in MSFS, pilots will be able to fly many commercial airliners and a variety of specialized mission-specific airplanes. Hot-air balloons were an eye-catching part of the new trailer. 

New Career Path Functionality

MSFS2024 will introduce a new set of aviation career modes to pair with the new aircraft offerings. These will include aerial firefighting, search and rescue, Red Bull air racing, air ambulance services, and cargo transport by fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. New career modes and objectives will more closely resemble real-world civil aviation activities.

[Courtesy: Microsoft Flight Simulator]

New Weather Conditions

The weather system in MSFS 2024 will receive a major overhaul and include additional  conditions for pilots to manage, including tornadoes, large storms, and dynamic seasons—a long-awaited feature not available in MSFS2020

Failure, Wear & Tear

In addition to new, more dynamic weather conditions, new aircraft failure modes and a wear-and-tear system in MSFS2024 will provide deeper immersion as sim pilots will need to properly manage these aircraft systems

Cloud-Based Data Storage, Shorter Load Times

Any current MSFS user has gotten used to the annoyance of the long wait required before the sim is ready for flight. Using cloud-based data storage and other technical performance improvements should shorten the title's load time.  

The MSFS2024 development team is expected to provide additional details during Flight Sim Expo 2024 in Las Vegas from June 21 to June 23.

Sean Siff
Sean SiffContributor
Sean Siff is a private pilot who has worked in marketing in the aviation industry.

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