Are there two Separate Worlds in MSFS?

I think because most of you here are new folks or just get into this hobby from Xbox, never went through that “funny” period where phones has many buttons and an actual physical phone book is a thing.

Computer graphics… well…

Most IFR-exclusive people are typically older or more senior users of MSFS. Let me share you what you get when you fly “VFR” back then without buying $100 plus “mesh & ortho textures”. Behold:

Ground texture that is just as sharp as your, wait, blurrier than the most awful military camouflage pattern. Even at surface level.

This is why older folks in this hobby mostly grow up to be “tubeliners”. So we can get as far high as possible from this awful world. At least up in the sky, the cloud textures looked nice.

Some of us get into this ‘properly’ - meaning we do in-sim flight school, fly Cessnas, Pipers, the Baron 58, and what nots. But then again, how long do you think famous GA developers like Carenado has been there for? Yes, some of you might have not been born yet… the year 2000.

Today though, VFR/GA scene is on massive resurgence, easily because of how MSFS is able to create one of the best looking “world” in any video game ever. Some even wanted to turn it into FPS or driving simulator or train simulator due to how awesome it still looks at 0 AGL.

I used to never consider paying for GA aircraft, but today though, they easily outnumber and outpace any tubeliner developers, and for obvious reason. There is plenty to look at in MSFS, the changing sceneries, the “sense of travel” - the level of immersion is just enough for me to get into Diamond DA-62 and then sit through 3 hours of scouring half of Java island. Every roof tops, every streets, alleyways, creeks, canals, highways, powerlines, smokestacks, small hills - are all there. You get “sense of place” - you know where you are in this game. You don’t get that in FSX, X-Plane, let alone FS9 or FS2002… even with 1.5 GB “mesh & satellite photo” overlays - an entire village could be just a smudge of reddish brown - the typical colour of Indonesian house roof tops.


I don’t think it is two worlds, anymore. But it used to be a fairly sharp divide.
There have been some detailed personal descriptions on the reasons why one would choose one side or the other.
I personally simply don’t have the time and brain power anymore after a full day at work, to concentrate on a long distance flight in a jet. Very rarely I make time for a long distance run, and then I might even dust off the PMD 737 POH. Or I might free up a little more time and use the DC6 which is much more my cup of tea, or my favorite the Connie.

Most of the time I only have time for one or two shorter hops using GA airplanes and staying in the Canary Island region.
Or I go back to SoCal where I did most of my real world flying in various types of singles and twins.
And that is where MSFS is really making you drool, when you can literally recognize the streets, shops and almost read the sign on your favorite watering hole.

Because that is now possible even in the default sim, even the hard core Tubeliner fans occasionally venture into a low and slow aircraft and simply look out the window.


Not all of us “senior” virtual pilots are IFR-only. I spent many hours enjoying low and slow in FS9 with mostly stock scenery, though I did have a decent amount of freeware mesh. I did enjoy some tube time too, but that was because they systems modeling was such that “kick the tires and light the fires” was easy back then.

Because of wonky ATC and the fact that large airliners now require 30 to program and FMC prior to even moving, I don’t bother with them anymore.


Helis or GA only here. Wouldn’t fly Big Iron if you paid me, it’s just incredibly boring (for me)

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When I do fly the larger jets, what I enjoy most is performing the checklists and startup procedures.

Although that tends to be one of my favorite aspects of any flight. Checklists and understanding the why behind them. There is a ton of engineering level knowledge that can be gained. Although it usually takes a good 3rd party airplane for that.

shouldn’t it be ‘big composite’ by now? Big iron reminds me of old planes.

Anyways, I find long haul flights incredibly boring myself as well. Short hop IFR can be fun though. about 15-20 minutes of cruise, just enough to brief your approach.

I mostly fly GA/gliders in VFR though, and loads of bush flying. MSFS has finally made proper VFR possible, so I’m not surprised to see that side of the simming hobby get more attention now. Could do IFR just fine in xplane/P3D.

Although VFR and AI traffic are not great.

Some is there in the base sim. If I’m at a small airport, I find I need to turn FSLTL off in favor of native handling since the FSLTS just deflects traffic away on base or final legs.

Build the entire airframe from carbon fiber, use hydrogen fuel cells for power - if it has the word “Heavy” appended to the callsign, it’s still “Big Iron!”

My Big Iron flies VFR… :wink:

(Actually it’s kind of fun to fly some of the modern airliners VFR just to compare to the “big ol’ clunkers” of old which, while smaller in absolute terms, were still bears to fly!)

This is why I mostly fly with the analogue King Air. For me it sits right in the intersection between these two worlds.

It’s GA enough to just start it up and fly without the FMS hassle, and fast/high enough to get up there with the jets. Together with radio navigation it provides constant entertainment during the flight.

Every tube or private jet I park on autopilot and autothrottle after takeoff and most of time fell asleep in cruise.

Less powerful piston GA on the other hand, again bored to death in 800 fmp climb rates at 120 knots.

Turboprops are the best of both worlds, can’t wait for the TBM 850.

That TBM 850 is going to be amazing.

The Citation also fills that middle ground. It’s fairly familiar if you are used to turboprops.

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The 2 camps certainly exist but there are a lot more than that. BTW, as a long-term AVSIM participant I can definitely say the forum is not dominated by tube-liners. There is a great appreciation for all modes of aviation.

I personally prefer IFR flying with everything from 172’s to the Longitude. Occasionally, I will fly an airliner/transport aircraft but spend more time with smaller aircraft.

No more these two camps are divided because I have combined both worlds.
Bushflights with my off-road Fenix A320 Airtruck on gritty dirty small airports are now the natural habitat of the Fenix!
Of course starting on a grass field would be a little too extreme and unrealistic :wink: so these kind of air strips need to be avoided until the Airbus comes equipped with a bush flight kit and big tires like the old 737 had.
(Flying some kind of flying hotel filled with 200 drunken loud-mouthed Mallorca passengers not only bores me to death but literally disgusts me, that´s why every airplane get´s converted into a sturdy cargo plane ready for the most harsh Outback and Hinterland Alaskan and Canadian cargo supply adventures as soon as the installer is finished downloading it *ggg)

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I have a cousin that flew cargo jets for kind of that reason. :smiley:

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