X plane 11 vs. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 – Which One is Better?

X plane 11 vs. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 – Which One is Better?

Presented below is a comparison between X-Plane 11 and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.

X plane 11:

X Plane 11

Better plane (according to me) X-plane 11 is a Windows-based flight simulation program with full functionality. Since it is a Windows-based game (available also on macOS, Linux), it supports most aircraft models with in-game compatibility.

It is not only a development of X-plane but also has taken many of its design features. In addition to various aircraft models, it supports a long list of geographical, time, weather and atmospheric conditions, including all our standard radar types. X-plane 11 also includes a large library of ground and airfields from a variety of geographical regions.

Airport vehicles:

There are airport dynamic ground vehicles that perform services for an aircraft, for example, vehicles pushing the plane backward from the terminal, adding fuel to the aircraft, putting luggage in the aircraft and more. It is like actual airport vehicles. Still, the vehicles that come with X plane 11 should be enough because in X plane 11 version, you should have the option of setting the vehicle density to any level like Flight Simulator program. You can also download additional vehicles packages add ons for free or extra dollars to make it more realistic.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020:

FS 2020

It took a while for Microsoft to release the highly anticipated Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. It is said to be the largest flight simulation ever made and offers the largest flight simulation terrain ever created. The games industry’s view of the tech leading years could be wrong because this one looks fantastic. There’s also live-sensing HVCS wing tips, real-time weather and miles of real scenery to go with it. There’s no substitute for the experience of looking down from the cockpit as you fly a plane for some people. As anyone who has flown in the real sky will know, there’s nothing like seeing the landscapes below.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 has attempted to recreate that by scaling down the entire landscape of the United States down to a couple of kilometres.

Airport vehicles:

In contrast to the prior Flight Simulator version, the airport vehicles featured in the current iteration are notably more precise in their movement. This enhancement is comparable to the X-Plane 11 Simulator version. To modify the density of airport vehicles, proceed to the settings option.

What are the differences between X plane 11 and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020?

X plane 11 vs Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

The biggest difference between the two versions is the display on the console. The X plane 11 game uses the LCD screens found on any recent iPad, with the exact resolution as they appear in the iPad version. This gives the game a more vibrant view than the more precise resolution offered by Microsoft’s simulator. The latter uses a more complex and detailed plasma display screen but provides a sharper image in return.

My big personal gripe with the Microsoft Flight Simulator series is its size and weight. Despite the use of the latest rendering and graphics technologies, it still feels plasticky and chunky. Compared to the X plane 11, the Flight Simulator takes up more space in your bag, and it’s hard to see why you would pay more for a simulator that weighs over kilo.

Why should you choose X plane 11 over Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020?

Start with what’s new from a first person perspective. The cockpit view is a bit squashed in X plane 11, but it’s nothing a few well-placed levers and knobs can’t solve. In X plane 11, the view is pretty basic, the pilot is in the front left seat, and the instruments are on a computer monitor to your right.

You control the pitch and throttle with the triggers, and you can choose to go into FPV mode, which gives you an image of your cockpit through the in-cockpit camera. There’s a controller here too, but that’s for your own safety.

While it’s not a modern cockpit yet, it’s still easier on your neck than in last X plane 10, which was one of the first editions released.

Why should you choose Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 over X plane 11?

Microsoft’s Flight Simulator 2020 is a reasonably straightforward flight sim. For experienced sim pilot wannabes, it’s easy to pick up and play with, but you might be paying a little more than you need to. So if you’re a casual or never experienced flight sim pilot, maybe Microsoft isn’t the best choice? Well, that’s simply not true! Some might even argue that Microsoft merely has knocked out a run of the mill Flight Simulator without trying too hard.

Flight sim buyers often have a particular experience they’re looking for, whether that’s flying the cleanest, most stable flight or trading blows with a dashing L2 US fighter pilot. Microsoft’s Flight Simulator 2020 has spent plenty of time and effort figuring out what those experiences are and then devising a flight sim tailored explicitly to them.

Which is the best for you?

Honestly, X plane 11 is probably your best bet. It’s huge, about three times the size of the Microsoft Flight Simulator, and you can upgrade it too. It’s far from perfect though, there are problems with the hand-drawn images that it can’t fix, but the graphics look great, and the game is fun. Microsoft Flight Simulator series is for die-hard enthusiasts. Although X plane 11 isn’t for everyone, I recommend you go with X plane 11 and try it at least once.

I do have one more recommendation, though: a test drive both and choose the one you prefer. Don’t just pick the one you think the company advertised the best. It will make your setup appear far superior! Oh, and one last thing; turn the resolution up to 100.

At the end of the day, it’s you who decides what kind of experience you want to try. 😉


Being able to choose between playing a more realistic flight sim or a more arcade one is something every gamer should experience. A few are better than others, but hey, the important thing is to try as many as you can to find the one that suits you and your taste.

For the first time, learning to fly is going to be more fun than it’s ever been and while some of us will be found one day picking up a massive eagle from its perch (aka Tupac Shakur), or piloting our wide-bodied Futuristic bus on an epic escapade through a cyberpunk post-apocalyptic future, for the majority of us VR (virtual reality) is here to stay.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you liked this article. Do not forget to share your opinion and thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

14 thoughts on “X plane 11 vs. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 – Which One is Better?

  1. Hey there Mohamed,

    Another great article. It’s incredible how realistic these programs are and how much 3D technology has improved the quality of making things look like the real deal. I can see the drastic improvements and the upgrades and how it creates a more realistic experience for the user. I appreciate your great review.

    L, Sammy

  2. Cool article. It is also good to know that the weather in Flight Simulator 2020 is more realistic than the X plane 11 and previous versions and that the scenery is very beautiful and there is improvement in 3D buildings, roads, and vehicles. Something I would share with my son who is into serious 3d Gaming. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I have to admit that before reading your article I had never considered using a simulator to fly but now that I have tried it I have found it amazing. I actually have a fear of flying and this simulator is really helping me to gain control over my fear. It is incredible how realistic the scenery, plane, and live weather are and it makes this game all come alive. I now spend several hours a week flying around and really enjoy this experience.

  4. Hello there! This is an informative post! I never knew there were so many flight simulation games out there. That’s cool that this version can be downloaded on the iOS devices. I haven’t played any flight simulation game before but this sounds affordable and worth trying. Phones these days are so high tech now and I am curious how realistic it feels to play flight simulation games on that. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Which one is better between the two? Especially for beginners? I want to go and have a debate with my brother as he knows a lot about aircraft but I want to sound really smart when I do. I will be sure to wait for your feedback. Hopefully you are able to help me haha. 

  6. Thank you very much for your review. I will give X plane 11 a try first. I was almost convinced about going the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 route because it is the most popular. But I am glad I did not rush into it and did my research. I know X plane 11 may not be for everybody but based on your description, it is for me.

  7. Thanks for your comparison of the X plane 11 and the Microsoft flight simulators.  I am really curious to try out one of these products and this article really helped me decide which is best for me.  

    I think it is important to have the most current, up-to-date (technology-wise) screen, so 4k Ultra HD is a must for a flight simulator.  LCD seems a bit like going backward in time.  

    Quick question for ya, if I was to play either of these simulators with a VR headset, is there a specific one you recommend that also has a great screen for taking advantage of the graphics offered in these flight simulators?

    I think it is so neat that they have made the simulation so realistic, down to airport vehicles included in the game.  

    Who knows, maybe we will start seeing some NFT based flight simulators soon.   You should write an article on this if you find any!  

    Thanks for the info!

    1. I would recommend HP Reverb virtual headset, Valve index VR full Kit or Oculus Quest 2. Check which one works best for you.

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