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Thread: "user friendly" flying and navigation?

  1. #1

    Question "user friendly" flying and navigation?

    Hi all,

    I've now and then played quite some FSX over the years, and have recently switched to MSFS2020.
    Let's start positive by saying that the game looks truely amazing!

    What somehow bothers me, though, is that for some reason the sim feels more unfriendly to the "leisure pilot". I'll just define leisure pilot as somehow who just wants to quickly get into the air and doesn't want to all the configuration, navigational planning, using the FMCU, etc.

    In FSX I could easily get into the air with an airliner, especially using autopilot and the built-in GPS device (also in the 737, for example). It was easy to give a Direct-To command and also activate an ILS approach. Direct GPS would take you to the start of the approach. Also the built-in map was easy to open during a flight and look up where you wanted to go. Camera's were easy to use also via the right mouse-button menu.

    For some reason this all feels more inconvenient in FS2020. The flying and sensitive controls, the cameras/views, "easy" navigation. Autopilot doesn't really do what I want.
    Maybe I'm doing something wrong or I haven't found out all of the neat tricks.

    Is this a feeling that is mine alone or is this more widely experienced?
    Does someone have tips or tricks to make flying more pleasant for a "leisure pilot" in FS2020?

    Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK
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    The GPS and Autopilot in FSX were very simplified versions of the real thing. In MSFS, they're much more realistic and require more input from the pilot. This is generally seen as a huge improvement because the MSFS flight planner on the World Map page is far more sophisticated than the FSX flight planner. If you choose an IFR route, you can select the gate or ramp start position at your departure airport, your SID from that airport, and your STAR and ILS approach at your arrival airport. When you start your flight the complete flight plan is automatically imported into the GPS or FMC.
    Tim Wright "The older I get, the better I was..."
    Gigabyte Aorus GA-Z270X-Gaming 7, Intel i5-7600k 3.80GHz OC'd 4.28GHz, NZXT X62 Kraken, 16Gb 3500MHz Ram, 2x 2TB Samsung Hybrid SSD's, LG DVDRW, NVidia GTX1050Ti 4Gb, Phanteks Enthoo Pro M case, CH Yoke & Pedals, Dell P2815Q 28" 4k Monitor, Windows 10 Pro x64

  3. #3

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    My two cents.

    I love this new sim, as I can travel so many places and see more accurate scenery.

    However, it's got a steeper learning curve, and I find the UI a bit frustrating. Navigation, finding maps, understanding the GPS of a particular aircraft takes time. I haven't used the payware manual yet, but creating a flight plan, and picking waypoints and such seems far less user friendly than in the past. I'll have to keep working on this.

    In flight, having access to a map that shows me all the frequencies or nav aids like in FS9 or in FSX doesn't seem to be here in MS2020. That said, the more I play with it, the more I understand, but I miss the simplicity of menu's past.
    - James

    Intel i7-10700F 2.9 gigahertz - 16GB Memory DDR4 3000 megahertz - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB - 480GB SSD + 1TB HDD - Windows 10

  4. #4
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    James, I use the Quick ILS app to find ILS frequencies, you can download it from here: https://flightsim.to/file/1629/quick...20frequencies.
    Tim Wright "The older I get, the better I was..."
    Gigabyte Aorus GA-Z270X-Gaming 7, Intel i5-7600k 3.80GHz OC'd 4.28GHz, NZXT X62 Kraken, 16Gb 3500MHz Ram, 2x 2TB Samsung Hybrid SSD's, LG DVDRW, NVidia GTX1050Ti 4Gb, Phanteks Enthoo Pro M case, CH Yoke & Pedals, Dell P2815Q 28" 4k Monitor, Windows 10 Pro x64

  5. #5
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    MSFS is far more realistic in that respect and whilst I could fly IFR in FSX, I certainly have not mastered it yet in MSFS. A masterpiece for the die hards, but might put off the casual simmers who might be a big part of the market.
    Ryzen 5600X, AM4, Zen+ 6 Core 12 thread
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  6. #6
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    A fair point, but surely none of the new simmers will carry the baggage of expecting the same format as FSX or earlier sims, and accept it for what it is.
    Last edited by tiger1962; 01-17-2021 at 05:06 PM.
    Tim Wright "The older I get, the better I was..."
    Gigabyte Aorus GA-Z270X-Gaming 7, Intel i5-7600k 3.80GHz OC'd 4.28GHz, NZXT X62 Kraken, 16Gb 3500MHz Ram, 2x 2TB Samsung Hybrid SSD's, LG DVDRW, NVidia GTX1050Ti 4Gb, Phanteks Enthoo Pro M case, CH Yoke & Pedals, Dell P2815Q 28" 4k Monitor, Windows 10 Pro x64

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger1962 View Post
    James, I use the Quick ILS app to find ILS frequencies, you can download it from here: https://flightsim.to/file/1629/quick...20frequencies.
    Thanks for the tip, I'll check it out. I do use airnav, and it works well for the most part. Finding VOR and NDB's is a bit more challenging for me. Many of the larger international airports on the west coast I have memorized VOR freq's, but even I will forget certain #'s depending on the day.
    - James

    Intel i7-10700F 2.9 gigahertz - 16GB Memory DDR4 3000 megahertz - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB - 480GB SSD + 1TB HDD - Windows 10

  8. #8

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    I can offer a suggestion that will bring the camera(s) under control and more. I am a great fan of the idea of using a cheapo xbox game controller to manage the cameras. With a xbox controller set up right, you can control the position of the cockpit camera up, down left, right, forward and backward and also have a joystick to control which way the camera is pointed.

    But the best part of using an xbox controller is that you can have complete control of the drone, which gives you an extra airplane without wings that can move a few feet at a time or can go the equivalent of thousands of mph; it can go from ground level where you could inspect the tires on your real plane or it can go higher than any airliner.

    Without an xbox controller, I would feel like I was wearing handcuffs while using the sim.
    i7-10700K, ASUS Prime Z490-P motherboard, 32 gig, GTX 1080 Ti, 1TB M2 drive, Thrustmaster T16000M, Logitech Rudder Pedals , xbox controller.

  9. #9
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    An ex-PPL with various addon ratings, I came to MSFS after comimg across a demo version of FSX just before MSFS was released which re-kindled my love for flying. I spent all my Christmas present money for the next 10 years on buying and upgrading a new computer system just to run it - luckily the PC shop had a young guy in it who knew what was needed and guided me accordingly.

    Considering I last flew a plane over 20 years ago I don't think I did too badly getting airborne in the C172 and, more importantly, landing it again. But I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I promised myself to re-learn all I ever knew and further update it as I go along - which I believe this "game" is perfect for. Yes, there is a bit of a steep learning curve but, as you say, I learn something new every time I fly and hopefully I'll eventually get up to ATPL on Airbus 380 standard (if I live that long!!!)

    But I also love travelling too and as I'm now very unlikely to do much world travelling the sim helps me to visit and see those parts of the world that would be impossible in real life. The automated processes, which didn't exist on most GA aircraft of my era, mean if I want I can sit back and enjoy the scenery whilst the A/P gets on with it - all with me still monitoring it of course, all adds to the experience.

    So in my opinion MSFS2020 is a completely new animal, offering a wide breadth of "entertainment" to a very wide audience, which shouldn't be compared to previous offerings from MS. There are those who are even more perfectioinist than me who want every procedure to be true to life at one end of the scale and the fun-flyer who likes nothing more than beating up the local countryside and dropping into a random farmers field. And then everyone else in between who like nothing more than landing a jumbo jet in the sea! Yes, I've seen it happen!.

    It's not yet "perfect" and I don't think it ever will be, but the makers have promised it'll be around for at least 10 years and I firmly believe that promise.

  10. #10
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    I'm very impressed with MSFS and am a big fan, but I do find it frustrating at times. I seem to spend a lot of time trying to position the cursor "just so" in order just to do something simple like spin the heading bug. In some aircraft, the numbers on the speed tape are hard to see without leaning in and squinting and every night flight starts with me trying to find the click spots just to turn the floodlights on.
    This may have more to do with my aging eyesight, but I find I need more hand-eye coordination to perform tasks in the cockpit than I do to actually fly. In that sense, the user experience could be better, imho.
    But we've come a long way since my first experience with FS2002.

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