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Home Flight and Space Simulation Setups

14 Aug 2020

With the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 right around the corner, lets take a look at the flight simulation ecosystem and how to get your very own virtual cockpit up and running!

Microsoft Flight Simulator and DCS (Digital Combat Simulator)

Take to the skies with Microsoft Flight Simulator! The latest installment in the MFS series, the 2020 release of this popular flight sim brings a host of gameplay features to the table. Explore a vast and detailed world, complete with highly accurate aircraft and hand-crafted airports. Microsoft flight simulator hones your skills as a pilot with instrument guidance and checklists alongside the scaling difficulty.

Another popular flight simulator in the community is DCS (Digital Combat Simulator) World, a realistic digital battlefield which also boasts a highly detailed environment and a range of aircraft available. For those who like to get their blood pumping, this may be the game for you! Engage in realistic airborne combat and develop your skill as a sophisticated weapons operator and pilot!

Flight and Space Simulator Gear

Here at Computer Lounge we stock a wide range of flight simulator gear from popular brands such as Logitech, Thrustmaster and Next Level Racing so you can get set up with your own virtual cockpit! Enthusiasts looking for the most premium flight and space simulation peripherals might want to take a look at Thrustmaster's range of gear, as they are well regarded in the community as being the highest quality, with Logitech offering more value oriented gear. Now, let's choose a flight stick, throttle, and pedals for your cockpit.

For those who may be unfamiliar with some of the terminology used in flight sim gear naming schemes, H.O.T.A.S. stands for hands on throttle-and-stick. This basically means that the buttons and switches that the pilot uses to control different functions on the aircraft are built into the throttle lever and flight control stick without having to remove their hands from the controls. Generally speaking, this is useful in airborne combat to control weapons and other mechanisms while maintaining flight control, so it's great for games like DCS World.

 For control of mainstream aircraft, the Logitech Pro Flight Yoke System with Simulation Yoke and Throttle Quadrant deliver a fantastic and realistic experience, while the X52 and X56 H.O.T.A.S. controllers or the Extreme 3D Joystick allow better control in simulated airborne combat. Thrustmaster T16000M Flight Pack is also another fantastic value option, otherwise the Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog paired with the Thrustmaster TPR pedals is the king of the high-end.

Adding flight panels gives a great upgrade your flight sim experience. Thanks to the modular nature of Logitech's system, the Logitech flight panels can be installed in a variety of ways for countless interchangeable configurations.

Next, find a mounting solution. If you are looking at an easy way to mount all your hardware, The Next Level Flight Pack converts your Next Level Racing GTultimate V2 into a Flight Simulator Cockpit would be your best choice. If you are interested in a VR based based setup, the X56 H.O.T.A.S. from Logitech is VR compatible for truly immersive simulation. 

Ultrawide VS Triple Monitors

To enjoy flight simulators to their fullest, you want to look for the widest display size, highest resolution and a high refresh rate if possible. To achieve maximum immersion, this typically involves a triple monitor or ultrawide setup. In the past, triple monitor setups were more common, as ultrawide monitors were very costly and didn't feature very high resolutions, but these days ultrawide monitors are getting more affordable while also having higher resolutions and refresh rates. Because of this, we recommend going for an ultrawide monitor setup over triple monitors if possible, but if you don't mind the bezels then 3 27" or 32" gaming monitors also work well.

As far as ultrawide monitors go, the ASUS TUF VG35VQis a great value starting point thanks to a 34" display size, 144hz refresh rate and 3440 x 1440 resolution. Stepping up to 38", the LG 38GL950G is a nice upgrade over the 34" monitor in most areas including refresh rate, resolution and response time. To take your flight sim immersion to the maximum, the Samsung LC49RG90SSEXXY pushes everything to the limit. Featuring a super ultrawide 49" panel size, 5120 x 1440 resolution and 120hz refresh rate, this is pretty much as good as it gets.

Simulator Gaming Rigs

For the smoothest and most enjoyable gameplay in a flight simulator, you want to be pushing for a high framerate, as well as good frametime performance. To achieve this, we recommend going with a current generation 8-core processor from Intel such as the Core i7-10700K, or the Ryzen 7 3700X from AMD. To match the CPU with an appropriate graphics card that is able drive games at 1440p and higher resolutions, we recommend a GeForce RTX 2070 Super or better.

To push all the pixels on a high resolution and high refresh rate ultrawide monitor with a respectable framerate, your system needs to be quite powerful. We recommend taking a look at our Benchmark Series of gaming systems at stage 2 and above, as they are configured with an RTX 2080 Super as a baseline for enough graphics horsepower to drive flight sim games at high resolutions and framerates. Our Benchmark Series gaming systems are also suitable for flight sim gaming in VR for maximum immersion in simulators using popular VR headsets. If you were interested in running your flight sim setup with a resolution greater than 3440 x 1440, we recommend the Stage 3 Benchmark systems, as they bump up the graphics card to an RTX 2080 Ti for better performance at the higher resolution.

We also have a range of prebuilt PCs suitable for powering a flight simulator setup if you want to jump straight into your cockpit as soon as possible!

For more information about the right gaming PC for you, have a chat to one of our team members in-store or online today!


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