Perfect post LilPika. That is my experience too.
This is what I often see about sim-only pilots. They look at numbers and complain the numbers don’t match a POH when pilots know that the age and version of the aircraft will make numbers deviate. So they criticize the flight model based on information they don’t properly understand or when doing something we try very hard not to do in a real aircraft. Of course, not all pilots are always right and not all simmers are always wrong. It, like many things we say, are generalities which is all we can talk about.
Most sim pilots also only practice the flying bit. They often don’t practice the complexities of flight planning, weather avoidance (many do IFR on auto-pilot only, so boring), the cross checks we do in the cockpit every 10 minutes or so (engine temps, expected fuel usage, landmark recognition to cross-check navigation, making sure we don’t deviate from their altitude by ±100 feet (scanned more often that 10 minutes!), respecting LSALTs, etc. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and that is not a criticism. Many people want different things from the sim but for me, treating it like a real aircraft is so much more satisfying then simply going from A to B on autopilot. Though I still do that too sometimes. After all, I’m not really allowed to fly IFR or jet.
Even some of the unfinished features I treat as a systems failure so I have to work around it or not do the flight at all, just like in real life. Weather isn’t accurate (weather it is a bug or just the forecast is not accurate)? No problem, now my flight plan headings are all wrong so now I have to work it out in the cockpit as I’m flying based on how well I’m tracking my waypoints.
I think there is so much more to flying that many miss out on because they focus on takeoffs and landings. Me too for a long time until I did my first flight in a real aircraft, it changed how I look at flight sims.
So yeah, MSFS has bugs and missing features like every 1.0 of software before it but as far as it’s core job as a “flight simulator” goes, it is a fantastic start and for VFR flying in GA aircraft 100% usable and way better than anything else ever. Except maybe X-Plane with the TBM 900 with Orbx’s True-Earth scenery. But I am thoroughly enjoying flying closer to home now and not having to fly in the UK all the time. And I got 800GB of SSD space back!
PS: In MSFS I fly VFR with dead-reckoning and pilotage only because that is the current sims strengths. When systems modeling is better I’ll move completely over from X-Plane.