Add a 'Learning Center' or other official documentation

MSFS is introducing tons of new people to flight simming.

There is a huge glaring hole in what is being provided - no manual, or any official documentation.

FSX had an excellent HTML-based Learning Center with 100s of pages of useful information on the simulator in general, aircraft, and avionics.

We have been provided with NOTHING for MSFS.

We are left to scrub multiple forums and get to watch youtube videos (which may contain wrong information) to try to figure out how things work.

I hopped in the CJ4 last night to try a jet for the first time. The airliner-style PFD and FMS were a mystery to me after only flying steam gauge and Garmin equipped aircraft. There is nothing anywhere to tell me how to fly this aircraft. So I closed it and gave up. I have a limited amount of free time in the evenings and don’t have time to watch a bunch of Youtubers try to muddle through figuring this out, finally watching 5 videos to get all of the information. I just need a clearly written summary I can read through and get going.

Also, without a manual there is no way for users to tell what is implemented, what is not implemented, and what might be broken and require a bug report. This is painfully obvious in repeat questions about things like Active Pause or how to find ILS frequencies in this and other forums.

The Learning Centre was an incredible resource and a staple of the Flight Simulator franchise for several years. I really hope they’ll bring it back at some point.

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[Please, insert a friendly tone here, I do not want to insult your intelligence, nor I want to be disrespectful, really friendly as we are drinking a beer and fishing a weekend]

Sadly, it is extremely difficult to do that. Before flying a Jet, you need to learn a lot of more basic stuff. I understand your concerns, many people new to the genre are coming to the game. There are jets you can startup with 10 buttons, youtube is the best for that. Some others, line a 737 would take one hour+ to teach you how to do that. And you still need to learn VFR, IFR, Weather, Aviation terminology.
There are plenty of PDFs on google teaching the basics. the FAA website has a lot of useful information, and you can find any plane’s manual writing POH filetype:pdf. It would be difficult mate. Cheers

An alternative would be videos or even interactive tutorials inside the simulator. Flight Simulator 2002/2004 had some of those to help you set up your controls and get started. Flight Simulator X had a full suite of flight lessons and tutorial missions that were fun and quite sufficient. What we have now is an unfortunate regression.

I can imagine a new player with an unsupported joystick would be feeling completely lost trying to think of how to proceed for a proper flight. Turning to YouTube will work, but it never feels good to have to do so. Proper documentation is needed for such a complex game.

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If you need to put a “please take this with a friendly tone” disclaimer on your message, maybe the entire message should be rethought. This is the typical gatekeeping BS, making excuses for incomplete.products and being super condescending while doing it.

I know all the “basics” you speak of. I have some prior flight sim experience. I have flown over 20h in the TBM930 on IFR flight plans, as well as most of one of the bush trips in the Cub. I’ve also spent over 12h flight testing most of the piston and prop aircraft in the sim on shorter flights to measure their in-sim cruise fuel flow and speed for a future around the world flight. In addition, I have a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, which while I will admit does not translate directly to actual knowledge of flying a plane - means I am quite familiar with the math behind aircraft static and dynamic stability and control, and propulsion system performance.

I just need documentation for the specific aircraft.

FSX had this.

In fact, despite your insistence that “it is extremely difficult to do that” - the documentation in FSX covered virtually everything in your post. All of the basics as well as the specific unique details for each aircraft.

The first version of Flight Simulator I ever used, MSFS 2.1 from 1984, had a complete manual that explained the basics of flying, all the details of the sim, and had all the airport information in the back.

As far as the suggestion to refer to real world documents - the POH for the C4J is not readily available, and this game is not accurate enough in many respects to use real world documentation.

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I believe they put that disclaimer in all their posts, not just this one. Since emotions and a message’s intended tone can be lost in written communication, it doesn’t seem like a bad practice to me.

I put that in every single reply I write. Not only for this reply. The forum is a bit overflooded with toxicity, I have found good results so far, people reply to me a lot more kindly and I can talk with them a lot better, in a grown manner. It helps, at least for me.

I know all the “basics” you speak of

great!

I have a degree in Aeronautical Engineering

Great! I have a degree too, no degrees needed to play.

FSX had this.

Nice! I play FSX from time to time. So probably it still has it

The first version of Flight Simulator I ever used, MSFS 2.1 from 1984, had a complete manual that explained the basics of flying, all the details of the sim, and had all the airport information in the back.

Other times right? here a link of the manual, 161 pages, and the airport info you say occupies 3 pages, and covers 3 or 4 cities in US. SO I do not know what you mean with “complete” manual

this game is not accurate enough in many respects to use real world documentation.

Problem solved then. You don’t need a degree to fly non-accurate plane in this game. you just start up, take off, and then use the same knowledge you have on all those planes you flew.

In fact, despite your insistence that “it is extremely difficult to do that” - the documentation in FSX covered virtually everything in your post. All of the basics as well as the specific unique details for each aircraft.

As you said, it was 1984 you know, devs had a lot less to work on, less complexity and such. I love the Falcon 4.0 manual by the way. Other times. here a link so you can remember how it looked

I am quite familiar with the math behind aircraft static and dynamic stability and control, and propulsion system performance

Cmon mate, it is not that hard then. I still understand your point that having lots of real-life experience, having played flight sims since 1984 and having an aeronautical engineering degree is not enough to startup a barely finished Cj4 which has half of the buttons “inop”.

cheers

I for one was lost as a few of us. I just went by the seat of my pants. Did the usual point and shoot and hope I didnt really mess it up. One YT poster who goes by “Squirrel” has quite a few videos and lesson which have been a great help…even to this 65year old. I rolled over from 4 years of XPlane which has been fine but for me MSFS2020 is really the place for me. Cheers and be safe!

Whether starting or contemplating actual flight training, becoming a fantasy pilot, or already an actual or fantasy pilot, MSFS2020 is already a superb training aid. It stands to become even better, as early-release issues are resolved. Documentation on how to use MSFS would be useful, and there are already excellent comprehensive aviation learning systems out there. Hopefully, we’ll see some decent third-party AI software tied to an actual syllabus. That would truly enhance the learning process.

Yeah, as a complete aviation / flight sim noob, I would love something like this. I’m slowly working my way through The Pilot’s Manual: Flight School, and I’ve been tempted by Sporty’s Learn to Fly video training tools, but they’re a bit too expensive to justify for me. Both however feel a rather dated approach to learning, when we have such amazing technology in MSFS2020 available.

I very much enjoyed the training tasks in the sim and would love to see more of them from Asobo. However a real game-changer would be training content from third-parties in the marketplace. I would for sure be happy to pay for interactive training tasks for flying in general and for specific aircraft. Does any one know if Asobo have announced SDK support for such a thing?

The content required to understand and use the sim and aircraft came with FSX for free. I don’t see why we should have to pay for it

It would probably “pay for itself” in reduced Zendesk tickets and other support burden on MS/Asobo for things we all have to guess about because they just aren’t documented.

A learning center/documentation would be cool…, but please let’em focus on bug fixes first :dizzy_face:

If there is no documentation of how the avionics are supposed to work in each aircraft, how can the 40 QA testers at Asobo test them?

I think having the documentation would (a) mean that someone at Asobo sat and thought through how things are actually supposed to work in a logical way and (b) drastically improve the signal to noise ratio on these forums and allow us to file better Zendesk tickets for things that don’t work.

I have no idea how the jet aircraft FMS systems are supposed to work. I suspect that neither do the QA testers, which is why things are so broken. They should already have documentation those testers are working to.

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This is one reason why I kept FSX intact. The Learning Center notes alone tell me basic performance information such as pilot’s notes for major common platforms like the 172 and the Caravan. Before I tackle a new aircraft in the 2020 hangar, I read up on the FSX equivalent in Learning Center (if in common) and then fly a couple of circuits there to get a sense of handling, critical speeds, instrument scan etc. I find it translates really well even though FS2020 is operating the new Modern Flight Model.

Some payware versions in FSX let me get ready for the popular mounts in 2020, like the SR-22 and the TBM. Read up the Pilot’s Notes, procedures, do a few circuits and bumps.

There’s a lot of richness in FS2020, but as with many efforts, documentation often takes a back-seat, which is very unfortunate.

Honestly, for the 30 odd bucks FSX SE costs, I recommend it to any new flight simulator player, just for the Student Pilot and Private Pilots lessons. No add ons, no nothing. Just set it up and fly those lessons again and again until the numbers are burnt into your muscle memory.

Believe me, after passing Rod Machado’s solo, you will know the critical operating numbers, RPM settings, flap bumps and positioning for traffic circuit by heart. It was so automatic the first time I used the FS2020 Skyhawk, max performance ROC to 1000’ AGL, set RPMs for cruise, look left, etc.It all comes together. It was so satisfying to see the VSI cooperate all the way down to the threshold.

That’s what’s really missing from FS2020. Unfortunately, the Jess Molina avatar for the eight basic training lessons is a far cry from the Student Pilot lessons, but less Rod Machado jokes - which is a good thing. His material needed work. :slight_smile:

During the last Development Update stream, MS-Asobo did say they’re planning to work on enhancing the teaching portion of the simulator. Sounds good to me, but I don’t expect to get the kind of in-depth written and interactive lessons that FSX Learning Center has. If it does, I will be pleasantly surprised. Until then, FSX will live on my tertiary drive for when I need refreshers and to look up material I haven’t reviewed yet.

Upvoted; in the meantime there are some really good YT videos on MSFS like these ones from Squirrel:


(it’s a playlist, has 10 videos so far) :small_airplane: :smiley_cat:

Agree a learning center would be a good addition, for a couple reasons:

  1. It could provide a suitably “light weight” introductory documentation for new users.

  2. For some of the newer, more complex aircraft, real life documentation can be hard to come by. The internet is full of real life operating, training, and performance manuals for things like the 747-400 and the “legacy” A320, but for the 747-8 and A320neo not so much. For systems the legacy manuals might be close enough, but performance differs.

  3. Functionality not supported in the sim can be left out to avoid confusing new users.

For the light aircraft in the sim, and for aviation in general, real life documentation is readily available online so nobody should lack the documentation they need. Then it becomes the opposite problem: Too much material for the casual simmer.

Good places to start:
https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/
Especially the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, Airplane Flying Handbook, Instrument Flying Handbook, and Instrument Procedures Handbook

https://support.garmin.com/en-US/aviation/ql/manuals/
For everything G1000; e.g., search for cessna 172 or cessna 208 and select the G1000 NXi entries

Various light aircraft manuals (Cirrus, Baron, Bonanza, C172 and so on) can be found with an internet search, and links tend to get posted to the Aircraft: Propellers/Twin Props section on this forum. Some manufacturers, like Cirrus and Daher, make their manuals freely available on their websites. Others, like Textron, do not, so some more searching is necessary and “close enough” might have to suffice. E.g., if unable to find a Bonanza G36 manual, a Bonanza A36 manual together with the Bonanza G1000NXi manual from the Garmin site above will do the trick.

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It´s true…It is true; It seems that the “DIY” that the companies propose is similar to how telecommunications and utilities companies have saved money on printing invoices under the slogan of “let’s take care of the trees” where in the end, we end up printing the invoices, wasting ink and paper on our side … a very good deal for them!
In particular, I have been using simulators for a long time and still have the A.T.P. (Airline Transport Pilot) of the Sublogic company for their flight simulators and the POH (pilot’s manual) of Flight Simulator 2000, a real learning gem from John and Martha king (King Schools) with which I learned a lot of what today I apply. Real instructors who made learning fun. I am talking about a manual of more than 230 pages for Flight Simulator 2000 and as many for SubLogic that also included an appendix with a list of airports, with their runways, acronyms, dimensions, approaches, DME and frequencies in addition to more than 50 Jeppesen letter sheets.
However, a digital manual would not mean so much to a large company (although less comfortable to read during a flight or before going to sleep) and would help many people to get started correctly and not be a simple “push-button” trying to understand what each one does. and how to use them.
I consider this initiative perfectly valid and necessary. Many of those who use or come into contact with flight simulators for the first time would be benefited and also encouraged to enter the fascinating world of aviation.

This could be a feature on the forums, and the program could actually contain a link to that forum section.

Why not have a printable PDF Quick Reference manual, hosted on the forums. Paper is a part of flying planes, or learning to fly them. A printable “quick start” guide with checkboxes, is very “aviatior” way of doing things. Pre-flight checklists. Ground school videos.

I would love to have some ground school videos posted on a blog and visible inside the Flight Sim discovery section.

The last printed (and very good) information was with a Flight simulator 2000, a great handbook with lots and lots and lots of info. Use google to find a pdf