PC friends - considering overall augmentation of experience, what does your blueprint look like for Xbox users migrating to PC?

Do me the favor of remaining super cool and chill and civil and friendly in this thread please!

At the risk of starting out this post with an overly adversarial tone (NOT the way I feel, not whatsoever) - there’s a pretty well-represented cross section of PC users who are quick to remind those who sim on Xbox of the concessions they’re making. I believe there’s an even better-represented cross section of simmers who are excited to share the ins and outs of what makes their experience great. This post is aimed at the middle part of that little Venn diagram.

Let’s say you had everyone’s full attention, and you had a chance to lay out a blueprint, a roadmap, a game plan as to the doors that open up for players if they make the move to buying or building a PC and moving their sim world over to that platform - what would that look like?

“I’m an Xbox simmer; do I lose my add-ons?”
“I bought Premium Deluxe from the MS Store - do I need to buy it again?”
“Convince me that VR is better.”

These could be arguments towards PC-only hardware enhancements that have changed the way you sim - I’d like to hear why. Are you just a beast on the comms and you love your little Logitech radio panel? I sure look at that thing with envy every now and again.

These could be bits of PC build advice for those who are already happy with their peripheral/sim hardware - I’d like to know how much I’m looking at. Some of that high-FPS, 4k content I’m seeing on IntoTheBlue’s YouTube channel catches my eye every time.

This could be a love letter to head tracking. Who knows if this’ll ever make it to Xbox (I sure hope it does, in some fashion), but whenever I see streams of someone darting their head around the cockpit during startup procedures I get super envious.

It could be a short list of “here’s what you need, right now, to fire up the sim on PC and never look back” - let’s go!

VR, VATSIM, eye tracking, A2A Comanche, SimLink, community folders, freeware, Flightsim.to, Fenix A320, liveries, modifying flight model config files…every time I find myself romanticizing the idea of buckling down and dedicating a PC to this hobby, I’m lost in build threads of what you need, what’s actually important, all of the alchemy involved in dialing in your GeForce and Nvidia settings, what in the world is DX12, how much does eye tracking cost, etc etc…and then I’ll just launch MSFS on Xbox with no fuss and have an outstanding, fiddle-free, immersive and satisfying experience nearly every time.

This thread is for those who are willing to acknowledge that the console experience is excellent right now for those who sim on Xbox - “but here’s how it could be better, and here’s what you need.”

Thanks in advance to anyone who cares enough to doodle something out and open up some of these doors for us.

edit: at the cringe-y risk of making this all about me (I’d MUCH rather have this be an aggregation of shared information towards all Xbox simmers), I’m Xbox Series X, 4k, Honeycomb yoke and throttle, Turtle Beach rudders and flight stick, and a metric boat-ton of add-ons - pretty much anything sweet that’s ever darkened the doorstep of the Marketplace.

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This is what kept me from the switch (well, and the “am I really going to get several X thousands of dollars worth of more out of MSFS if I switch?”). I had sort of convinced myself it would be a fiddle-fest.

I can absolutely say, it isn’t. I turn on my PC, launch MSFS and get to it — same as I did on Xbox.

As I have mentioned elsewhere on this forum, once I got away from the Xbox I became aware of the Xbox-specific annoyances that I’d just not realized how annoying they were until I was free of them (Loss of mouse control? I’m looking at you, bub.)

I made the switch from TrackIR to Tobii and, while Tobii is sort of dumb expensive, not having to wear a reflective device is very freeing.

I love how everything I had from the Xbox, the sim, the Premium Deluxe upgrade, the Marketplace purchases, the Thrustmaster Boeing TCA yoke, throttle quadrants, Thrustmaster TPR pedals, even the Razer keyboard and mouse all just installed/plugged into the PC and were ready to go.

I went big and built a powerful system, which I only use for MSFS. I’ve got nothing else installed on it other than what I need for flight simulator.

There are a number of PC-specific MSFS perks I’ve not even tapped into yet, such as VATSIM or aircraft that require external applications or VR.

I’ve just been enjoying everything I had in the sim on Xbox plus a few PC-specific extras (Navigraph, for example) and I smile every time I reach for the mouse knowing the pointer will still be there.

I’ve said it before, I’m thankful for the Xbox experience, it brought me back to flight simulation after a many year hiatus. I’m glad, too, I had the 1.5 years with the Xbox before I made the switch. In so doing, I was able to really appreciate the Xbox userbase and what it felt like to be up against an, often, hostile PC userbase. I also feel it gave me ample time to really determine if flight simming would be a passing phase or something I would stick with for the long haul.

The investment wasn’t a light one, but I don’t even think about the money I spent, other than positively in terms of how much I really like the PC I built and the enjoyment I’ve gotten from the step-up in performance and the freedom to expand upon MSFS itself.


What Nixon said for sure. As I’ve posted on these forums before, 18 months on Xbox X and now about 5 months on PC bought only for MSFS, I’m so much happier, it’s been transformative for me.

I agree with everything Nixon said except I don’t have eye tracking. I’m still sitting on my sofa in the living room flying on my 65" TV and using the Thrustmaster HOTAS One and pedals exactly the same as I did on xbox. The only thing that has changed is the black box with the power switch.

For sure in the early days I sank a lot of time into setting everything up and maybe momentarily wondered if I’d done the right thing but now I just turn it on, click the flightsim icon, and everything all just runs. I spend a lot less time screwing around with it than on the xbox because I never get black screens or CTD. (Maybe 2 or 3 sim hangs in hundreds of hours of use over 5 months, compared to black screens and CTD often daily on xbox.)

Mostly I used to love and hate MSFS on the xbox with equal measure, now I don’t hate it any more (well I do hate the ATC quite often but I’m sure Beyond ATC will fix that for me.)

I built a 7800X3D with 64GB RAM, 2TB Samsung SSD, X670E motherboard, AIO cooler, 1000W 80plus gold PSU, and 3060 12GB gfx. I saved a LOT of money by buying a second hand gfx card off ebay from a reputable seller, while everything else was new. The total cost with a store bought Win11 was almost exactly 4 times the price of the xbox series X, which is a lot but worth it to me. If I’d gone for a 4090 it would have cost double that. One day I’ll upgrade the gfx and get VR for a lot more money, but for the time being I can’t afford that.

As to the extra capabilities the sim has on PC to me that’s been huge, and a primary reason I will never go back.


I have three good arguments:
On PC I can choose my own graphics settings (instead of getting one pre-defined setting for all games which is mostly medium, getting visual quality sacrificed for more and even more FPS, having pop-ins that break the immersion, and shadows ending in a straight line three meters ahead with no (or only static) shadows beyond and other disgusting “FPS-optimizations”.
PC is ultra maxed-out only! Plus custom configs with render distances that go far beyond ultra.

On PC I can not only mod my games (which enhances a game in many cases far superior than the original developers did in their games) but I can also remove graphics bugs and texture glitches on my own :slight_smile:

I build my PC myself.
For this task I can choose the most massive, beautyful, black glass and steel cases and create a piece of art.

These are my arguments for PC.
When owning a gaming laptop which I had for several years the “I made this!” proudness aspect of course is not existent, a laptop is never customizable and most of the time not even more RAM or more than one harddrive can be installed.
This is the negative aspect of a laptop. The positiv aspect is, you hold your fully own multimedia entertainment system with all the games and movies and series in your own hands - including the TV screen. This comes in handy when living abroad or when living with a friend, and not wanting to buy furniture or a TV and other stuff.

Ehm… I sim on PC since 1997. Nothing has changed :smiley:

Try to convince the blind man how cool and also very practical the sense of seeing is :wink: might be difficult…

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What I did…

Decide on an approximate budget for your PC. You will exceed it. I targeted $3,400 and ended up spending about $3,800 once I changed my mind and added a closed-loop liquid cooling setup. I decided on AMD and got a 5800X. Then I read about the benefits of the X3D cache (it’s all true) and upgraded to a 5800X3D.

Go to PC Parts Picker and pick your components. IMO you should budget prioritize GPU, CPU/Motherboard, Power Supply, Chassis/Fans, RAM, System drives. I’m convinced that many CTD’s are caused by ‘cheaping out’ on the power supply and chassis/fans. Parts Picker will calculate the power needed by your components. I recommend a power supply that is about 1.4X that number. My system draws max 730W, and I have a 1000W P/S. You want headroom.

If you’re moving from an Xbox to a PC, you might have monitor(s), a yoke/throttle quadrant, joystick, etc. and those will usually work fine with the PC. If not, watch a bunch of YT reviews, search this forum for advice, and of course…budget. You don’t need 4K to enjoy the sim, but it’s better than 2K. HD is dead, dead, dead…

The bigger the monitor(s) the more it will improve the experience. And definitely go for an HDR-capable monitor. I started out with a 2K DisplayHDR 400 monitor, and recently added a bigger 4K DisplayHDR 1000 monitor. HUGE difference…

You’ll get a lot of opinions about HDR. That’s mine.

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Definitely get a quality rated PSU to cover likely burst power usage, but don’t be too afraid of the power consumption costs as at least with a 30x0 series it’s not much different from xbox. I’d love to see some accurate wall measurements for a 4090 system!

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One thing I forgot. It’s not exclusive to PC’s. Every computer system should be connected to a UPS.

DEFINITELY invest in a UPS with AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulation)
Mine is an APC BackUPS 1500, and it’s been working great for two years.
You will have to replace the battery eventually, so be prepared for that.

That added about $220 to my expense. That’s cheap insurance.

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That debate could go on for a while and would be better in another topic, suffice to say that except in places where the mains electricity supply is quite poor then a UPS really is an optional nice to have and probably not worth the expense.

I’ve been the UPS route before, batteries need to be replaced quite regularly and I found it not cost effective, and this was for my work computers that cost me money when they are down. For most people a UPS is far from important to run a gaming computer.

To bring this thread back on to MSFS and the difference between PC and xbox, for VFR flying I found the huge amount of freeware out there massively beneficial for VFR in particular.

Mamu designs multiple global world enhancements and Puffin’s We Love VFR together have a massive impact on the realism when flying VFR, they add a lot of missing detail.

In addition there is a massive assortment of smaller freeware airfields that it would not be realistic or possible to buy in the marketplace, and all they cost is a bit of time to download and unzip.

It’s not just the scenery, there’s many really good freeware planes, and default plane improvement mods which really make a difference.

There’s also some commercial PC only add-ons, and the A2A Comanche is an excellent example here. That may come to xbox eventually but has been on PC for months already.

Also for VFR on a high spec PC you can crank the graphics settings up to max and the world looks even better than it does on series X (which itself is capable of looking fantastic). You can get better LOD draw distances and especially better photogrammetry draw distances on PC than I saw on xbox.

The ability to link any plane to navigraph charts either inside or outside of the sim and use the proper VFR charts for flying is also a major bonus if your VFR is more structured than just having a fly about.

For me I’d say the benefits of VFR on PC are significant and worth the money, but I’d also say that VFR is where the Xbox series X performs the best, so it’s more of a competition between them.

I enjoy all forms of flying, VFR props and jets, helis, and airliners (gliders too if I was any good at them, which I am not). While on Xbox most of my hours were GA, in part due to the stability issues with larger airports and airliners.

Since switching to PC 90% of my flying is airliners, VFR is great on PC but for airliners it’s no contest, PC rules. I’ll write a post on that another time as there’s lots to cover.

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If Xbox users are happy with what they have, then why even attempt to persuade them to spend more money on the Sim just to play on PC?

Perhaps because the OP posed the question?


This is indeed true but sometimes you don’t know what you are missing until you’ve experienced it. There have been many similar discussions about sim flight controls. Plenty of folks are happy with their Logitech stuff but let’s face it there is a much better experience to be had beyond Logitech. I guess it comes down to budget and how willing you are to explore beyond what you already have. We are all different so there is no right answer.


Now this is a well thought out response. :+1:

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Can everyone just calm down and behave more maturely please?

Nobody here is trying to sell anything or persuade people to do things they don’t want to do. Surely that much is obvious.

An obvious question was posed and some of us are trying to help answer it based on our experience. Isn’t that the main purpose of this entire forum?

For me, the only regret I have about switching to PC is that I didn’t do it much earlier. If there are others that are considering the switch but are unsure, and we can help them make a good decision either one way or the other, then that is all we aim to do. Negative bickering is not useful for anyone.


Eh, we tried. Thanks to all the early commenters, lot of good info there. Mods, you can lock this if you want. It’s just gonna be this now I guess.

Personally I feel there is more value to add here, maybe mods can just delete posts with insults in them.

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Get a good pc, a decent VR headset, and you won’t need convincing anymore.

How deep you get after that, is TOTALLY up to you. :slight_smile:

And that is the big deal. Boundless opportunities to improve and enhance beyond the out-of-the-box experience. I just hope MSFS2024 does not inhibit that in any way.

There are several reasons why an Xbox user might consider switching to a PC for Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS).

While the Xbox version of MSFS provides a convenient and accessible platform, transitioning to a PC can offer additional benefits:

  • Performance and Graphics:

PCs typically offer more powerful hardware options compared to gaming consoles. Users on a high-end gaming PC can experience better graphics, higher frame rates, and overall improved performance.

  • Customization and Upgradability:

PC users have the flexibility to customize their hardware and upgrade components to stay current with the latest technology. This allows for a more tailored and adaptable gaming experience over time.

  • Modding and Add-Ons:

The PC version of MSFS often has broader support for community-created mods and add-ons. PC users can access a vast library of user-created content, ranging from aircraft liveries to detailed scenery enhancements.

  • Input Device Options:

PCs support a wide variety of input devices, including specialized flight simulation hardware such as yokes, pedals, and throttle quadrants. PC users have more options for choosing and configuring their preferred control setup.

  • Multiplayer and Online Features:

While MSFS on Xbox supports multiplayer, the PC version may have more advanced features, servers, and third-party tools that enhance the multiplayer experience.

  • Access to Beta Versions and Updates:

Developers often release beta versions and updates on PC first, allowing users to access new features, improvements, and bug fixes before they are rolled out to other platforms.

  • Community and Forums:

Flight simulation communities and forums are often more active on PC platforms. PC users can engage in discussions, share experiences, and seek help from a broader community of flight simulation enthusiasts.

  • Additional Simulation Software:

PC users have access to a broader range of simulation software beyond MSFS, including other flight simulators, aviation training tools, and professional-grade software used by real-world pilots.

  • Multitasking and Productivity:

PCs provide the ability to multitask, allowing users to run other applications alongside MSFS. This can be beneficial for tasks such as navigation planning, streaming, or using additional flight simulation tools.

  • VR Support:

PC users may have access to more advanced virtual reality (VR) support, allowing them to experience MSFS in a highly immersive VR environment.

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