Are there two Separate Worlds in MSFS?

I often feel like there are two camps.

The FAA non-scheuled, VFR/GA camp that is usually process focused, sees everything under 10,0000 feet without 02, and values stick and rudder skills.

And the FAA scheduled, IFR, that is usually process focused, sees everything from 35k feet, and values fms programming skills.

A little non-scheuled IFR or scheduled VFR (if company allows) can be fun.

Scheduled VFR can indeed be fun, that´s why I often look out for interesting locations and fascinating national parks with wild lakes in Google Earth or Google Maps.

To write down the coordinates, convert them…

…program them into the MCDU und don´t go over 7000 or 10.000 feet, while of course taking care of the 250 knots speed limit below 10.000ft and keep the landing lights on like it should be below 10.000ft.
You can fly an Airbus below 10.000ft if it is a private booked sight seeing tour :wink:

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There are very much two camps, and historically the IFR-only, Airbus or Boeing-only, jet airliner crowd has been the most vocal (by far) and likely the most dominate based on past Navigraph community surveys. It was tiring as there were even some (especially on Avsim) who were stating that developers making anything other than modern jetliners were wasting their time. With the introduction of MSFS, we seem to be seeing a resurgence of those appreciating “low and slow”. Two main camps, but the non-jetliner one seems to be gaining in prominence for once.

I fly a mix (anything from my Bell 206 or Cessna 182RG to the Antonov An-225), but I know of people who have never touched anything outside of a 737 or A320. People can use the sim as they wish…it’s a game after all…but I do encourage everyone to delve beyond their “comfort zone”. Try the Cessna 172, or try the Boeing 747 and see how you like it.

I think the only other frustration that I’ve seen is from the woefully and willfully ignorant - those that refuse to cross into other territory, or those that put aircraft in rigid bins - without understanding the terminology. The primary example is the phrase “General Aviation”. This phrase describes the type of FLIGHT, not the type of AIRCRAFT. Are you taking your PMDG 737 BBJ on a flight from Teterboro to Nassau in a corporate or private livery? Guess what? That’s a “General Aviation” flight! You are using a gasp general aviation aircraft in this case!

Did you fly an unscheduled private flight in your custom-liveried gigantic An-225 from O’Hare to Miami? Guess what…that’s General Aviation too!

Again, I enjoy doing both scheduled air carrier/cargo flights as well as “general aviation” using aircraft of all types and sizes. One type of flying is not better than the other. I just hope that fans of MSFS can at least develop an appreciation for both, and not push developers to only cater to one or the other. So far we’ve being doing well (again, thanks to MSFS focusing a lot more than the franchise historically has on “looking out the window”), and I hope that continues.

Spread your fixed or rotary wings, and delve into all types of flying.


I fly pretty much everything, from the smallest single prop to helicopters, dual props, jet liners, to jet fighters. Just flying one type of aircraft would be incredibly boring. I sim for fun and to learn about all kinds of aircraft, not to have a second job that I need to pay for instead of getting paid. :wink:


in my mind it’s not “GA flying” or “airliner flying” or “bush flying” or whatever.

It’s just flying. Because regardless of what you’re flying, they all require the same fundamentals. Just because you use your head mounted ocular viewpoints doesn’t mean you have no reason to use a flight computer. On the same token just because you let a computer fly your entire 900 mile flight doesn’t mean you need shouldn’t know how to get around purely from lay of the land and a sense of direction and adventure

If someone wanna only fly bush planes, let em! If they want to full send on realism in a tubeliner with a hardcore VA, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone go for it!

This is completely subjective. From where i stand, tubeliners are finally getting the the love they’ve been neglected to get for the last 3 years. Been here since release I’ve seen a lot more updates and fixes go to the bush planes and props than the jets.


I was speaking to the community divide as a whole based on the decades-long franchise, not necessarily to the state of “how many jets are available” in MSFS. This is backed up by the annual community surveys conducted by Navigraph and others.

With that said, even with the lack until recently of high-fidelity jet airliners, I’ve still (yes subjectively) seen a sharp divide in those who proclaim that they only fly “tubes”, and those that only “fly GA”, regardless of addon availability. Agreed that specifically in the MSFS realm the lighter fare seems to be more prominent, though I believe and suspect that the tubeliner crowd remains more harshly vocal and critical, and to be frank, more popular, than the lighter Cessna, Piper, warbird, etc fare.

Regardless, we can agree that, as an entertainment product, people can and should use what they want, but encouraging a departure from ignorance of either or any number of “worlds” is a good thing too.

Side note: I think we’re also seeing inherently more diversity in preferences in the Official Forums community compared to something like the Avsim forums, where 'tubes seem to me (subjectively) to remain much more preffered and prominent.

Heads might explode over at Avsim if they found out how I do things… I don’t do tubes because I hate dealing with an FMS - give me a Garmin unit and a -D> path and I’m happy. That said, I don’t limit myself to actual VFR ceilings. I’ll take the Honda up to FL400 to save fuel without a second thought and without ATC following. As for flight types, it depends on the plane. For passenger planes, it’s usually a few executive types heading to a retreat at some resort location, or maybe some kids spending daddy’s money to get to some party at the Sunset Bar and Grill on the south end of Maho Beach. Cargo may be taking a load of shrimp from Galveston to Lubbock or a box labeled “Clothing” from Havana that happens to smell like finely cured tobacco and the instructions are to fly 100’ off the water and drop it from the trap door of my Turbo Porter to a boat waiting about a mile off the coast of Key West. I don’t ask questions, I just fly and get paid…


I think it’s kinda like that “political compass” thing where there’s really at least two separate axes :smiley: – one for “VFR/GA <-----> IFR/private-jets-and-liners” and one for “careful flight planning <-----> yolo” :smiley: :smiley:

So the “IFR, careful planning” quadrant is popular with the folks who enjoy working out the flight plan and fiddling with the FMS; “VFR, careful planning” is popular with GA fliers who like to follow realistic airspace rules; “VFR, yolo” for folks who just like flying for the scenery and fun of it without worrying about the details.

That leaves “IFR, yolo” I guess for those who like the higher/faster jets but care more about the sense of the experience and scenery than getting every realism detail “right”.

All four quadrants are legit, but they are different experiences and those simmers have different needs out of the simulator and add-on developers :slight_smile:


Personal Comments and Observations

“A Pilot is a Pilot” - from MSFS Code of Conduct.

I never enjoyed flying VFR until MSFS 2020. My recollection of FS9 and FSX was chasing Orthos and Scenery so I could make sense of where I was in the first place. I’d been flying Sims since Sinclair ZX days so I’ve experienced the evolution of this genre first hand, and later on as an RL SP. I also fly IFR because Live WX makes it more relatable than any previous version.

There aren’t two separate worlds, there’s just more than one “Special Interest Group” for the older crowd like me who used this Meta in it’s heyday.

Fly it the way you want. But there will always be a vision statement of As Real As It Gets. That does mean Systems, Physics, Environment, among others. That benefits everyone but not satisfy all because we all have corner cases and niche wants that we’d like checked off.


Oh my god… Sinclair ZX Spectrum was it! Good ol’ Speccy. Also from those days on flight sims! And naturally, that Scuba game and Fairlight. :wink:

I find that actually MSFS and the other two main sims have both recently taken a big chunk out of what would be almost required scenery packages and visual enhancement packages. Nowadays? MSFS looks great in a lot of world regions (naturally, there are a few that are lacking), and so does XP 12 (no more need for sky and water enhancement there), and even P3D v6 made strides to look much better than before. Nowadays, even though I purchased a ton of scenery for MSFS, with the way the sim is evolving and MS keeps bringing out updates for regions and new handcrafted airports, I have put a lot of brakes on scenery purchases (especially with some stability and compatibility concerns as of late). There is also the question of whether scenery from 2020 will be appropriate for 2024. It’s a wild world out there and, to be honest, MS have been pushing the other two companies to “level up” as well.

In terms of well-roundedness, I don’t think anyone can doubt that As Real As It Gets is definitely getting there. It’s hard to believe how far MSFS has come since release and I am looking forward to the future.


I do both. My sim world allows me to be in no more than two places at once. (And I try to limit it to just one). I fly the Bell 407 around my local area. If something noteworthy or interesting occurs in another part of the world I fly there. For example, I need to get to Maui to review the forest fire damage (or the area that will very soon show massive fire damage). I’ll fly to the nearest international airport and pick up an available 747 (maybe switch back to xplane and fly the 737 IFR first to LA) and then IFR to Honolulu. There I’ll pick up another 407 in MSFS and check out the island. After that, I’ll fly the return leg IFR back to where I started (or someplace new). Mix and repeat.

Lately it’s MSFS for helicopter sightseeing and other low level activities. XPlane for long haul, planned IFR FMS flights. The world is huge and there is much to do and see…

I recommend trips to Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, Vegas, London, Paris, Tokyo, Toronto, Hawaii, Sydney, Beijing, Moscow. The list is endless.

That’s why I tried to phrase the original post the way I did. :grin:

I’m guilty of saying GA because everyone usually understands it. Although I used to work for an unscheduled airline and we used the GA sides of the airports.

I would point out that whether right or wrong, as you know “GA” is commonly used to draw a clear delineation between smaller and larger aircraft. For heaven’s sakes, it’s even used by airports by pointing smaller aircraft to “GA Parking”. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a 737 parked there, but then again I don’t play multiplayer so that might happen in MSFS2020. Seriously though, you shouldn’t tag someone as “ignorant” simply because they have made this determination.

One of the FBO’s at KGSO often serves planes normally associated scheduled airlines. I’ve even been to a troop send-off ceremony where a chartered Boeing was parked on their “GA” ramp.

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It gets unclear when people ask for “GA Aircraft” recommendations and answers recommend they look at Business Jet X or “not a tiny Piper Cub Y” are taken with “I mean GA, not Business Jets”. As someone who has worked at an FBO that saw everything from Cessna 150s to corporately owned 737s, the clarity does matter.

It is literally ignorance, per the definition. It may not be willful, but it exists, and is “fixable” through education / knowledge sharing.

I don’t believe that there are two binary camps of flight simmers at all.

In fact I don’t know a single flight simmer who flies just GA or just big iron. (well, I do know of one who only flies a Kodiak but he’s 90 years old)

Maybe I’m just out of touch.

It’s actually pretty common, even in the group I fly with, quite a few of them don’t touch big iron, just a personal preference.


Ok, then I’m out of touch.

Personally I don’t fly much that was built after 1960 - and nothing with a hole where the prop should be.
I prefer windmills to vacuum cleaners


I often avoid flying the big jets because it feels more like work or a job, as does IFR in general. Being in my 50s I’m not wanting to feel like I’m working. :rofl: Although I do enjoy the novelty of flying a jumbo on occasion.

I’m not sure what the avoidance of flying the smaller aircraft would be. If I were wealthy I’d probably want a Bonanza, Barron, Cessna 150, TBM 960, RV8, and a Cessna Citation to have a well rounded hangar.

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