(Freeware developer) Do people want more air race courses?

Hi I was just looking for feedback/suggestions regarding air racing.

Do people like air racing?
what sort of racecourses you prefer more realistic courses, fantasy courses, themed racecourses, reno style or redbull air racing style.

Easy or hard or mixture of both.

I was the creator of the Orbx Fun with Friends race add-on in case people don’t know as I decided to go it alone.

I may just make some courses anyway for my own enjoyment but thought I’d see what people like.

Feedback and input welcome.



When we released the Reno Air Races expansion, one of the biggest pieces of feedback we received from the community was that players wanted more race courses other than the three tracks used at the real-life Reno event. In particular, several players mentioned they’d like to see slalom courses along rivers in famous cities similar to the now-defunct Red Bull Air Race World Championship (and what you yourself personally created with the Orbx Fun with Friends addon).

In one of the Dev Q&A Livestreams, Jorg addressed a question from the community asking if we had any plans to release more air race courses. His response was that we have no immediate plans to add more racing modes beyond what was included in the Reno expansion, but we have given third-party devs tools in the SDK to make more race courses should there be interest from the community.

Speaking only for myself as a flight sim fan, I would love to see a third-party dev run with the tools we have provided and bring some more air racing courses to MSFS. I love the Reno mode and would definitely play more air races! If you decide to pursue this, I wish you the most success. :slight_smile:



Hi thanks for that info.

I wasn’t sure if there was much want for them as haven’t seen many YouTube vids using the race courses in recent months outside of the reno races.

I was wondering if any things had been added to SDK for racing will have to look can’t say I’ve seen such info myself. Will take a look.
I know there was mention of adding a timer which is what I think takes something away from it.

So had a look.

Think adding a timer and other race elements is possible with tools provided but it’s rather complicated to a relative newbie to add-on development.
So far haven’t found much info about how to use the tools provided not sure if that is available anywhere.

Not sure if its possible but Red Bull Air race style timed “gated” races would be epic. Used to fly some add-on in X-Plane 11 for that. I used to play it in VR (I have a robust stomach it seems). Flying the actual Red Bull courses would be a fantastic addition.

Video Example of air race plugin from XP11


Definitely interested here!! x1000!

Anything with right AND left turns lol. Reno got super boring for me after a few runs. Left, left, left, left…. Yaaawwn.

Racing is something I’ve thought a lot about actually.

I think there could be a mixture of events:

  • easy short laps with gentle curves for fast flying. Not too restrictive on exact path to take but if you find a good line you can slice bits of time off your lap and improve.
  • more complex layout but still mainly easy to see/remember circuit. Perhaps 1 or 2 tighter “hairpins” in a lap, so you can approach the critical turn in various ways and get an advantage either fast in or fast out (like F1 overtaking strategy).
  • longer and more intricate with narrower gates, closer corners, tighter turns and chicanes/slalom sections all in a single lap. Has to have a nice flow to it. Kind of like a rally stage in the air. Could be A to B but longer rather than laps for some variety (or both).
  • Red Bull Air Race type low and specific gates you need to pass on knife edge, inverted etc but not sure that can be enforced in tools? Probably not! Still the idea of a very technical “stunt” course is good but shouldn’t be the only thing as it is super hard especially without head tracking / VR.

Variety is the spice of life. I think the important thing is the pacing and distribution of turns. Needs to be well connected, flowing, no “boring” stretches and easy to navigate without getting lost.

All this can be placed in beautiful World locations using the terrain to your advantage in designing the route and having it signposted to players without too much props/marking up so it still looks realistic / believable. I’d advise against doing it in dense scenery areas (or photogrammetry cities) so that the frame-rate remains high even on slightly lower end system (like mine!).

I did buy your Fun With Friends pack and explored it but I think I have no friends that want to race, so didn’t have the fun either lol. If there was some league / lobby system you can use from the tools to wrap it all up I can see great potential!

The sim definitely needs more activities and focussed action instead of solo activities and sandbox (nothing wrong with that of course we all love it, but I’ve had a lot of fun with the HPG helicopter Action Pack content just because it’s giving you some structure to tasks).

There is some great RB style freeware done by MechanicalMad on fs.to (for example one track around Silverstone circuit, but it’s very hard!).

I’d love to help you out in test-flights and/or more suggestions if you need a helping hand! Wish I knew how to do this stuff myself as I have some other ideas I’d written down ages ago of how it could be presented… as I say I’ve been thinking about it a lot but that is as far as I got!


I can make courses like the red bull air races, but I will probably stay away from trying to replicate them as I believe there are some freeware add-ons already with some courses. just without timers.

Having looked at the tools in sdk for missions to create a race unfortunately can’t see any info on how to set things up and being a relatively new self-taught developer who is still learning it’s a bit over my head right now.

I’ve mostly concentrated on small airports racecourses and some other scenery add-ons with my own models so far. Creating a mission where looks like tools are for the race start points and race gates is completely new to me.

Thanks for your detailed replies.

Sounds like your idea’s for types of courses lines up exactly with my own thoughts.

As you have used the fun with friends add-on you have seen the variety of race types like the Grand Canyon river run A to B course then other circuit races around famous locations.
I also tried to cater certain tracks for types of aircraft as making a track that’s fun in a jet can be too easy/boring if you’re flying some of the slower small race planes.

Totally agree with you with setting the course up so as to make it flow nicely and getting distance between gates correct to make it challenging but not too much.
In my experience getting a good flow and making it fun but not too easy or hard is the hardest part, making the models and placing objects is the easy part.

as for those red bull add-ons yeah have seen that some of them look extremely hard especially for an average or below sim pilot.

Regarding not seeing others to race online totally agree without setting up some sort of event and forum with set time and location its pure luck if you meet anyone to race with.

I definitely think there is huge potential to make some awesome race series or events.
You can almost make it a game inside the game.

Some of my ideas.

  • a race series/ season that runs every year on multiple courses.
    -live stream race commentary if someone was willing.
    -you can have timed A to B race events.
    -courses for different aircraft types.

I do have lots of other idea’s but don’t want to give it away.

Also do have a couple of courses I made a few months back but haven’t got round to finishing them off, as currently working on an airport which is almost finished.

Unfortunately, will probably have to put this on a backburner until a future date should I manage to learn how to set courses up with timers and such as think that’s what it really needs for it to keep interest.

I do think if it was given the right attention, it could bring in even more customers just for the racing alone with the right attention from the msfs devs. For example, more than one race location.

1 Like

Yes I think you’re right. Needs easily accessible way for a party or an individual to find and get to a race without wasting time. That’s the hard part I think.

Then it needs “rules” to be enforced in some way, to make an actual game of it. Good luck figuring it out!

Once you’ve done one, you can do hundreds based on that “template of knowledge” lol

I agree. Such a shame all that effort went into just that single activity. Not at all what I was expecting and frankly a big waste of money for me haha. Oh well! I uninstalled it ages ago to save disk space :frowning:

Great minds think alike :rofl:

Anyway good luck. I hope you can get your head around it and we see something funky soon :wink:

Sounds like there should be some documentation for those new features but I guess it’s still pretty complex!


I did find some documentation, but it involved scripts which is where I’m clueless to be honest not sure where or what i need to try to learn to pick it up and understand it completely. It seems alot harder to create a race with timers and such than i imagined it would be.

I imagined something like there being sim objects or place points for start, gate location and some sort of marker to mark the edge of the track boundaries and max altitude.

1 Like

I’m also interested in racing, and was underwhelmed both by Reno and by the SDK for it. I know Jorg or someone said at some point that getting SDK support for custom courses is on the wishlist, but there’s no indication that’s coming.

I threw this together using just static elements and it’s a ton of fun to run it, but it’s hell trying to time yourself: Pima Canyon Run » Microsoft Flight Simulator

At this point, I personally feel the best thing we could do for building a racing community is to get a good way to time whatever course people want to run, whenever they want to run it, and as more people get involved, events will be easier to set up.

I know I’d love to have a joystick-bindable stopwatch to use in VR in the sim, or something like this: RACE Tracker » Microsoft Flight Simulator but for any arbitrary set of gates. I looked at both ideas but the SDK doesn’t have much to say about toolbar add-ons and I was quickly beyond my depth, but I’d use the hell out of either if someone figured it out!


Hopefully, that gets addressed soon … a big hole in the SDK.

It does look like the tools are there to create a course with a timer and course boundaries and such through adding it as a mission to the project files. It’s just to complicated for myself who has little knowledge of how scripts work right now.
When it was being talked about adding tools I was hoping for placeable start finish line triggers which start and stop the clock and some sort of course boundary box that you could draw along the course layout. I’m guessing that is a whole lot more work for msfs devs to do that what is currently available.

Before this was even in sdk I did think of trying to set up an event and manually time it but I’m not sure how accurate timings would be in case of lag, would also need someone to follow racers to check for cheating.

I have some really good ideas for courses and events but just missing the required ability to add timers and such.
Maybe if someone works out how could work with them on courses and have them set up the mission/scripts side of things.
I don’t even want money for it and would even be willing to create courses if the MSFS devs were interested in more racing events and setting up the timing course boundaries and leader boards.

1 Like

Perhaps consider also things like the Mach Loop in race or time trial leaderboard format. I like the Grand Canyon run idea above too.

The thing I found with Reno, was that there was not often people wanting to race when I was available. Then again, being in Asia, I seem to be on the ‘wrong’ side of the world. Perhaps at least having a full board of computer controlled aircraft would have livened it up a little and drastically reduced waiting times. 9 times out of 10 I gave up waiting on another player to come along.

But what really turned me off, was the nature of the race itself. Starting in the air and ‘just’ doing the race was quite boring to me personally. I was hoping at least for more of the full experience, taxiing out past the cheering crowd (yeah they kind of had that as a cut scene at least), taxing off and doing qualifying and returning to land.
The lack of customisation with tuning and the progression that other race type games offer was the reason I left this game mode behind. I just found no point to playing it, really.

1 Like

Some good courses would be cool.

Not the weird ‘fly in a circle’ course of the Reno addon.

Create a course in the Grand Canyon or such…or though the Alps.
Or make the Mach Loop a course.

Something with terrain on the sides.
Something which does not resemble a NASCAR course but an old fashioned Formula One course so to speak, with turns and varying speeds needed and such and the risk of crashing into the terrain when you overshoot a corner.
and make it so that one cannot rise above the terrain on the sides or getting punished.

No idea if any of that is possible but I would race the heck out of such courses with my warbirds :+1:

1 Like

The best gliders in real life are specifically built for racing. Racing with gliders is way more challenging as you have to manage your energy and properly read weather - endless fun.

Please see: Glider races would be Awesome!
where I suggest creating out of building blocks of Maverick low alt challenge glide races.

I think for any commercial add on user definable and easily online shareable tracks with online scoring system is the way to go. Any limited amount of tracks is doomed to have vanishing interest.

In best case scenario it requires anticheating mechanisms to be built-in in MSFS.

TBH Asobo is sitting on a pile of gold just sadly doesn’t know it - commercial quality add ons/mini-games like helicopter rescue missions, crop dusting, fire fighting - when implemented at current commercial games level would bring them a lot more $$$, than yet another plane model.

1 Like

I know they don’t include a timer but the fun with friends add-on has a racecourse round the Mach loop and there is also 1 for the Grand Canyon an A to b course.

I have found locations which could be suitable for similar courses.

I did think about gliders but wonder how easy it would be to create.

Thanks for all the input so far even if I can’t implement certain idea’s at least it gives other or msfs devs an idea of what people want.

1 Like

Yes we want to race in the air, but plase give an interface that works.
The reno air races are great now after som updates, but it dosent work without any players.
And that is the big problem with reno, i can’t get any match players at all, so my money spend on this addon did go down tha drain.

I wont invest in something simular again, but would love to go racing again if a developrer makes something that actually works.


I put this together in the last few days after thinking about this topic some more. I wanted some way to race the Jenny, and I think this is definitely, well, one way to do that!: Aravaipa Canyon Run » Microsoft Flight Simulator

On the topic of timing, and verification of times, well, there’s actually a fantastic option built into MSFS that while buggy, hidden, and poorly documented, does everything you need to verify either solo or group races - the built-in replay tool.

If you go into settings → general → experimental you’ll find the options there (and then do this every time you launch the sim because it STILL resets, for some reason…). You can then record your runs or laps, watch other peoples runs, and time, verify, and watch even group events, since the tool records other traffic as well, or at least should - I haven’t tested that aspect much yet. The tool even records the camera track that’s used in the original flight, so you can prove that you never went external, for example, or if you’re in VR, prove you didn’t move outside the cockpit for a better view, it shows exactly what you saw the first time around.

Some notes for first time users - saving and loading takes an eternity, and it will look like the game is frozen - it usually isn’t. You can generally record from startup, but be sure to stop and save the recording before you shut down. Even if you have the option to display it turned off in the settings, the moment the logbook would have popped up, you lose the recording. Don’t crash (plane or sim) either, that wipes it too. Once you’ve saved a recording and loaded it back up, you’ll want to scrub through using the default camera track, and then use the record button under the camera track section, lower down, to free you up to move the camera around. And finally, loading and watching a replay seems to break the sim fundamentally for that session, so be sure to restart if you plan to go back to any actual flying, or you’ll find switches not working, throttles frozen, etc.

As an example, here’s a replay of me running Pima Canyon in the extra 330: PCR Extra 330.ReplayDesc - Google Drive

1 Like

Thanks for that info never thought of using the replay tool as i wasn’t sure how accurate it would be as with other replay tools they don’t always show the exact path taken.

Of course could sit by start line of the course and use a stop watch or even the timer in the aircraft or nav log timer. But I can imagine the annoyance if doing this and sim crashed for the timer or the person racing.
Even a simple trigger point to place at start and finish line which are connected so they are linked that would make would make A to B courses more fun for users.