Microsoft Flight Simulator makes its return for a new generation, embracing the power of the cloud on a truly global scale. The title sets out to create a digital double of the planet Earth through satellite data and artificial intelligence (AI), faithfully replicating every country down the kilometer. Packaged up with significant advancements in its aerodynamic and simulation models, the latest Flight Simulator could be your closest experience to flying in the bleak backdrop of 2020.
With the next Microsoft Flight Simulator gearing up for its global release, we have now received additional details around how the title will roll out across the globe. That includes a staggered release depending on where you bought the title, with exact release times also available on a per-region basis. We’ve wrapped up everything you need to know, ahead of launch day.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 release time
Microsoft has now detailed when the new Flight Simulator will be playable, which varies based on where you buy it. The Microsoft Store version of Microsoft Flight Simulator endures a rolling release, staggered across 24 time zones depending on your location. The title is scheduled to release at midnight in your region, meaning you will be able to play the moment the clock ticks past midnight.
Microsoft’s handling of its Steam release vastly differs, seeing one global release regardless of location. The title eyes up a 4 a.m. UTC (12 a.m. ET / 9 p.m. PT / 5 a.m. UK) release, at which point the title will unlock for all. For some, that’s an early release, while also behind schedule for many eastern regions.
Microsoft Flight Simulator Microsoft Store release time
With the Microsoft Store embracing a rolling release, most regions eye up midnight availability.
- U.S. Eastern: 12 a.m. EDT / 4:00 a.m. UTC
- U.S Central: 12 a.m. CDT / 5:00 a.m. UTC
- U.S Central: 12 a.m. CDT / 7:00 a.m. UTC
- United Kingdom: 12 a.m. BST / 11:00 p.m. UTC
- Central Europe: 12:00 a.m. CET / 10:00 p.m. UTC
- Australia: 12:00 a.m. AEST / 11:30 p.m. ACST / 10:00 p.m. AWST / 14:00 p.m. UTC
- India: 12:30 a.m. IST / 6:30 p.m. UTC
Microsoft Flight Simulator Steam release time
The Steam release sees universal 4:00 a.m. UTC availability, which while equal for all, results in some hugely varied launch times based on your location.
- U.S. Eastern: 12 a.m. EDT / 4:00 a.m. UTC
- U.S Central: 11 p.m. CDT / 4:00 a.m. UTC
- U.S Central: 9 p.m. CDT / 4:00 a.m. UTC
- United Kingdom: 5 a.m. BST / 4:00 a.m. UTC
- Central Europe: 6 a.m. CET / 4:00 a.m. UTC
- Australia: 14:00 p.m. AEST / 13:30 p.m. ACST / 12:00 p.m. AWST / 4:00 a.m. UTC
- India: 9:30 a.m. IST / 4:30 p.m. UTC
When Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 releases in your region, expect a hefty in-game update to get your PC ready to fly.
Microsoft Flight Simulator Xbox One release date
While Microsoft Flight Simulator celebrates its PC debut on August 18, the Xbox One version remains a while out. The studio states the title will launch “at a later date” for Xbox One, with an Xbox Series X version also assumed. While the console spin-off remains in development, the team has discussed how catering to consoles also benefited optimizations on the PC release. While it’s far from official, current schedules make a 2021 debut increasingly likely.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Update 6: Microsoft wants all of TikTok, but Trump’s order may interfere
The Financial Times reports that as part of negotiations, Microsoft is now inquiring whether it can buy all of TikTok, instead of just the business in the US., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This new plan would include India and Europe (and excluding China).
Here’s everything we know about World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
The next big expansion for World of Warcraft takes us back into the grip of the undead, following the revival of the Lich King.
Everything we know about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Ubisoft has unveiled Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Check out everything we know so far from its gameplay, story, release date, and more.
Buy one of these gaming PCs to play Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is a demanding game and it needs quite the PC to run it comfortably. If you don’t have a PC yet dedicated to gaming, you’ll want to pick from one of these to really bring the cockpit to life.