X Plane 11 vs Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

Microsoft Flight Simulator stands as one of the best and most realistic home flight simulator programs present in the market. One of the reasons why it was so in demand was due to its significant difference from Microsoft’s other software. It stands as the one of the most comprehensive PC games for years now. All the pro gamers must have heard about the extremely realistic scenery offered by the Microsoft Flight Simulator which is processed from satellite imagery. Many users of the flight simulator believe that the sim is able to portray quite real-time weather conditions on the go, which is copied and transferred from the live climatic data feeds. Real world pilots also presume that the scenery of the sim is super realistic like the real aeroplane feels and it’s hard to distinguish between the original and the sim.

X-Plane 11  comes with a complete package that comprises commercial as well as military aircraft, and a world scenery that displays most of the world. X-Plane 11 has a feature of plugin architecture that helps the X-Plane 11  users to customize modules and design the earth in a way which enhances the uses and functions of the software. Not only this but the software is further boosted by allowing the users to share their aircraft, scenery, plugins as well as airports with different users and friends. These features of the X-Plane 11 increase its constant demand and attract buyers.

The increase in demand for both the stimulators then turned out to be directly proportional to the increase in features and specifications of the product. This eventually led to mere confusion among the users to decide which one to purchase and which one to not. Well to help you analyze which one to prefer, we have drawn a brief comparison for you. Let’s dive into it and help you understand it better.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 vs X-Plane 11: Optimization

When we talk about the difference between the optimization of both the simulators it is important to know that while using X-Plane 11, all the data is located inside your computer whereas in the MSFS2020 a little bit of data is running. This way it becomes easy for you to optimize MSFS on your system in the best way and enhance your gaming experience. X-Plane 11 gives tough competition to its counterpart when it comes to the optimization of your system. X-Plane 11 settles to third party aspects whereas Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 requires users’ pre-knowledge about the system to have an enhanced experience. This can turn out to be a huge problem for MSFS users that have extended multi-players and need continuous re-optimization of graphics and data to run smoothly.

X-Plane 11 does not have this issue as a true multiplayer system is not included even with private servers for multiplayer. On X-Plane 11 there won’t be much need to optimize your graphics and data settings as you need to do on MSFS2020. Thus, Flight Simulator 2020 users can expect new releases to run into optimization problems, especially with World Updates.

On the other hand, X-Plane 11 users do not have to face this issue as the multiplayer system is not part of the sim. Not only this but when private servers are concerned you don’t need to go through a different optimization process for your data settings and graphics as you have to do on MSFS2020.

X-Plane 11 vs Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020: Graphics

If you are an individual who solely focuses on the graphics of the sim then Microsoft Flight Simulator is the right choice for you. Despite several updates on X-Plane 11, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is way ahead in graphics as compared to X-Plane 11. This sim has better performance graphics that portray an extremely realistic scenery. Adding to it the sim comes with features that can be self-modified alongside high power aircraft. Gamers enjoy the sunlight glare, clouds, trees and the other effects added to make the sim more realistic. However, if you talk about other factors, the grip and size of the MSFS 2020 are not very preferable to gamers. Most users believe that despite the latest high performance graphics, the sim feels chunky and difficult to carry in a bag.

X Plane 11 vs Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020: Features

When it comes to the features of X-Plane 11 and Microsoft Flight Simulator, there is no competition for X-Plane 11. X-Plane 11 features the least resistive path to fly your plane. You have to face minimum to no hurdles while controlling your plane. Within just three clicks you will reach a flying aeroplane from your home menu. FS2020 also comes with an enhanced user interface that prepares the user to fly beforehand. There is minimal to learn before you can easily get going.

Users also highly prefer the weight and balancing feature of the X-Plane  11. This feature of X-Plane  11 provides an estimated page that consists of an internal fuel slider, an endurance result progression circle, a payload slider as well as the total weight. On the other hand, when it comes to the personalization of Microsoft Flight Simulator, the sim gets gritty. The simulator does constantly prompt the user with visual cues if the fuel load or cargo load of the plane is increased or crosses the maximum CG.

Failure is another feature in which X-Plane 11 stands unmatchable. When it comes to MSFS2020, there are several default failures provided which contain a series of minutes in which the failure can take place. In opposition X-Plane 11 serves its users with 240 different failure options. When you are experiencing a more compound aircraft that includes multiple engines, the number of failures skyrockets. Not only this but X-Plane 11 has the ability to collect a number of failures and assign their probability to the whole batch of features. 

X Plane vs Microsoft Flight Simulator: Rendering

When talking about the rendering of the Microsoft Flight Simulator, it will not be an exaggeration to say that it is completely photo-realistic. The little details like the sunlight passing through the spinning propellers, the moving clouds, and the bright sky add up to the beauty of the sim. Users really enjoy the unmatched details of the MSFS 2020 but many complain about the textures of the cockpit. They complain about how plasticky the exterior is and they would rather prefer some weathering over it.

Also Read: Best Graphics Cards for Microsoft Flight Simulator

On the other hand, you can adjust the rendering of your X-Plane 11 within a number of clicks. After choosing the type of flights you usually take, you can adjust your rendering accordingly. The rendering options in X-Plane 11 allow the user to adjust texture resolution and quality, simplify shadows, lower the water reflection, and change the resolution as well. To further enhance your gaming experience you will be needing to make changes in your rendering options by adjusting the number of objects, the number of cars and the number of roads you want to see while gaming. This way the user can take his favourable flight without any possible hindrance.

Why choose X-Plane 11 over Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020?

The high performance features, specifications, controls and rendering of this simulator are enough to grab the entire attention of a gamer. There is not a single problem that X-Plane 11 can not solve related to your flight. The user interface is super easy and you can easily reach your flight level within a number of clicks. According to the reviews of users, once you shift from Microsoft Flight Simulator to X-Plane 11, there is no going back. You can customize your flight by adding and removing things from the scenery just as you want through the rendering option.

Why choose Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 over X-Plane 11?

Gamers who mainly focus on graphics usually fall for the Flight Simulator 2020. They believe that despite the bulkiness of the product, they would love to enjoy the sim’s unmatched graphics as well as stability. Alongside this many users also prefer Microsoft over X-Plane 11 due to its centre of gravity component. In Microsoft, the plane can move along its axis but in X-Plane 11 the plane will only move inches away and near from its location but won’t move based on the aeroplane loading. These are some of the key points that change the user’s preference from X-Plane 11 to the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.


Being able to choose what’s the best sim for your gaming experience can definitely become a difficult choice to make. In my personal opinion, a gamer should definitely experience different sims with more realistic scenery and high performance graphics to see which one suits them the best. Flying experience can become more fun when you get to know what types of flight you prefer and get a sim accordingly. Gamers who shift from Microsoft Flight Simulator to X- Plane 11 or vice versa never blame the old sims for not letting them enjoy their flying experience, instead, they describe their choice of flight and that they want to explore more. Potential gamers have a close look at both the simulators and see where they are heading. This way they can easily shift from one simulator to another to see what suits them the best and what makes their flying experience unmatched.