FlightGear Flight Simulator

Accurately simulates flying commercial aircraft on a desktop computer

7.2

641 Votes

  • Category Flight Simulators
  • License Free (gpl)
  • Version 2016.1.1
  • Size 1.26 GB
  • Works under Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP
  • Language English
  • Program by Flightgear

Flight simulators are quite popular in terms of PC-based games. Offering the user hours of enjoyment while mirroring many of the very same technical aspects of modern air travel, these platforms have come a long way in recent years. One example of this advancement can be seen in FlightGear Flight Simulator. Before we look at the specific features of this game, it cannot be stressed enough that FlightGear is based off of open-source software. This is significant for two reasons. Firstly, the game is absolutely free to download. Just as importantly, its open-source nature allows various upgrades to take place from time to time. In many ways, this simulator is still evolving.

Impressive Graphics and More

Thankfully, FlightGear Flight Simulator does not suffer the normal graphical drawbacks that can often limit open-source software. Users will indeed be impressed with the amount of detail to be enjoyed as well as the lifelike backgrounds themselves. These graphics are then bolstered by the ability to select up to 20 planes and 30 different environments to fly in. Note that there are many more variations available which can be directly downloaded from the website of the developer.

Unique Control Methods

There are two main ways to control the planes. The first is through a standard command line prompt. This can be ideal for those who are just becoming involved in the world of flight simulators. However, another interesting option is known as a wizard known as "fgrun". Some feel that this option is a bit more streamlined than the command line but ultimately, it is up to the player to decide which one is the best.

For the Novice Flyer

Platforms such as X-Plane and Microsoft Flight Simulator tend to be geared towards those who already have a good amount of experience within this genre (or at least a knowledge of basic avionics). FlightGear Flight Simulator is rather intended to be used by those who are just now entering into this genre. The user interface is clearly laid out and the options (such as weather and time of day) can be customised based off the needs of the flyer. For those who are looking for an even more in-depth information base, there is a massive amount of information on the FlightGear Website itself. So, this game is perfect for anyone just starting out while it could actually be a bit boring for those who are accustomed to more complicated platforms.

Resources

If there is any one criticism which can be levelled against FlightGear Flight Simulator, it is the amount of memory that is required. Many believe that this platform is extremely heavy on available resources. Load times may be slow and graphics could freeze. This will mainly revolve around the operating system that is employed. While some say that it runs fine in Windows 7, others claim that many errors occur. As this is open-source software, one must only assume that any bug fixes will be provided sooner or later.

System Requirements

This game can run on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. A Pentium III processor supplies the minimum power required although a Pentium IV is recommended. At a size of 640 megabytes, any system should have an ample amount of RAM and VRAM to avoid sluggish or unresponsive playback.

Conclusion

Now that we have seen the various aspects of this game, let us look at the pros and cons observed.

Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • Impressive graphics
  • The choice of numerous planes

Cons

  • Extremely heavy on system memory
  • A lack of realism that would normally be experienced in more advanced simulators
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