Can someone please breakdown all the different market places and their pros and cons?

I’ve never been much into paid add-ons, but there are a few airports and aircraft that appeal to me.

I’m trying to get my head around why everything isn’t just in the in-game ‘Marketplace’ catalog? I had to go Orbx (who I trust) to get Southampton Airport. I worry though that non marketplace add-ons won’t support FS2020 upgrades, and could some ‘free’ ones end up messing up my installation or even contain malware?

I was looking for Buenos Aires airport and found this: Aeropuerto Internacional Ministro Pistarini (Ezeiza) - SAEZ - Buenos Aires - Argentina » Microsoft Flight Simulator, but how do I know it’s not going to cause me problems? Is google searching ’ FS2020’ and finding a download safe?

  • Microsoft is very convenient but very slow with updates and has no quality control.
  • Orbx, Aerosoft, Flightsim.com and JustFlight only have limited number of developers they sell from. Quality control is mostly good though. Orbx and Aerosoft also have apps that keep your products up to date.
  • Simmarket has by far the largest portfolio, but has absolutely no quality control and often is more expensive than others.

If you’re an xbox and pc user then unless you want to pay twice you can only buy using the MS Marketplace. I’ve yet to find a single software house that has found a way to allow you to install their product on both xbox and pc ouside of the MS Marketplace. As far as I can tell the solution rests with Microsoft so I’m not holding my breath…

It‘s rather the other way round, everything outside will be updated asap and therefore keeps working while they don‘t get their ingame store up to any standards and things wait to get updates for weeks although the developers have sent their files to Asobo or MS or whoever is in charge.

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There is no guarantee that add-ones sold in the Marketplace will work after sim updates. However, if they do break, you will be waiting forever for fixes. As an example, I’m still waiting for Flightbeam KDEN SU5 fixes to propagate to the Marketplace. Had I known about this ahead of time, I would have never bought from there. You also get no proof of purchase (since you buy “credits”) and some products are different if you buy in the Marketplace; i.e. Latin VFR AreaX can’t be configured, etc.

As far as Marketplace alternatives go, Contrail is another good option.

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Official “in game marketplace.”
No proof of purchase. (In case of a dispute this puts you at an immediate and unacceptable disadvantage)
Really slow to update. (Sometimes weeks later than external vendors)
Content is encrypted and DRM protected. - this means that certain external apps cannot access deeper functionality (Navigraph can’t interact with airports for example)
The DRM protection validates on sim launch. Sometimes it doesn’t validate because of network glitches and your purchase is “unavailable”
No real rating/review system.
(There is a lot of junk being sold that’s not being properly rated/reviewed.)

SimMarket
Lots of stuff.
(Which also means that you will find a lot of junk there too)
At least there is a review system with written reviews.
Proof of purchase.
You download and can backup the files.
Updates arrive fairly quickly.
They have give aways on occasion.

Orbx
It’s mostly scenery.
They have a lot of scenery though!
It’s mostly pretty good stuff.
Downside. You get tied into an installer/manager system.
Upside. The installer manager system makes update handling really easy.
They always seem to have free stuff! Yay!

Really slow to update. (Sometimes weeks later than external vendors)

It is more Months then weeks

Moved to #third-party-addon-discussion:tools-utilities

Thanks everyone, you all pretty much answered my question, steer clear of the in-game marketplace, and worst that an add-on can do is have problems with the next FS2020 update. No concern about an add-on actually corrupting my FS2020 installation and requiring a re-install of the whole thing.