When it comes to games and hobbies, there are few that you can get fully lost in quite like Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. That because the attention to the finest details in this game gives it a level of immersion and depth that is impressive, even by 2021 standards.
Every last aspect of the flight experience from boarding, to taxi, to takeoff to landing is replicated in near-perfect fidelity, making you feel like a true pilot. But given that the whole appeal of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is its emphasis on realism, the best way to really amplify that experience is to get some hardware accessories that replicate the gear found in many airplane cockpits.
But first things first. If you haven’t already, you’re going to need a copy of the game (which you can buy here if you haven’t already). You’re also going to need a half-decent gaming PC to ensure this game is not only playable but enjoyable. And for a recommendation for a decent gaming laptop, check out our primer on Microsoft Flight Simulator.
For those of you that have already dipped your toes in the water and want to fully dive in, it’s time to take a look at the best accessories for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.
1. Honeycomb Alpha Flight Controls Yoke and Switch Panel
If you were to pick a single core piece of hardware to build your Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 experience around, we can’t think of a better accessory than the Honeycomb Alpha Flight Controls Yoke and Switch Panel. Developed by actual pilots and aerospace engineers, there was no detail too fine when it comes to the design. The yoke features a solid steel shaft and can rotate 180 degrees. Furthermore, there are 13 programmable switches and buttons on the left and right handles, which include rocker switches, hat switches and a push-to-talk button. There is also an incorporated switch panel with master, alternator, avionics, and light switches as well as a five-position ignition switch.
While it may cost a little more than comparable flight yokes, it’s worth noting that many other yokes don’t include a flight switch panel, and aren’t as highly revered by flight simulator connoisseurs quite like the Honeycomb Alpha is.
2. Honeycomb Bravo Throttle Quadrant
You have a way to steer your plane in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, but what about controlling power output of the engine itself? What about autopilot? What about the wing flaps? For that, you will need a Throttle Quadrant and what better companion piece than the Honeycomb Bravo Throttle Quadrant. Featuring six throttle levers, a gear lever, a flap lever, autopilot controls and an annunciator panel with seven programmable two-way switches and 14 warning lights, you’ll be ready for any conditions that come your way during your flight.
3. Logitech G Pro Flight Yoke System
While the Honeycomb Alpha and Bravo controllers are the best way to experience Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, those also require a considerable financial commitment. If you want a quality experience that is a bit easier on the wallet, the Logitech G Pro Flight Yoke System will still have you feeling like an experienced pilot. With a yoke and a throttle quadrant included in this package, you will not only have five-axis control, but also 25 fully programmable buttons and switch positions to tailor this kit to the plane you’re flying. But because there are three memory banks for those buttons and switches, you can have up to 75 programmed controls to access on the fly.
4. Logitech G Pro Flight Multi Panel
As you continue to build out your custom Microsoft Flight Simulator cockpit, you’ll start to discover how the right hardware accessories can significantly improve your in-game experience. One of those accessories is the Logitech G Pro Flight Multi Panel. This box will let you activate your autopilot and deliver realtime readouts on your altitude, vertical speed and GPS coordinates without having to waste time zoom in to your in-game cockpit. Furthermore, you have control to your landing gear, as well as your auto throttle. While this may be a bit excessive for beginners, this represents an amazing quality of life upgrade for experiences Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 pilots.
5. 3DRudder Foot Controller
While a pair of rudder pedals might look the part as far as authenticity goes with your Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 setup, they’re not always the most comfortable or flexible for gamers of different sizes different gamers. And if you’re undertaking an eight-hour flight, that can be a problem. But the 3D rudder accessory is an ergonomically friendly solution that adjusts the controls around you and not the other way around. Resembling a balance board that you would use in a gym while working out, 3D rudder is compatible with a number of games and platforms. But for Microsoft Flight Simulator, this accessory allows you to turn the plane and even make it brake.
6. Thrustmaster TCA Officer Pack Airbus Edition
While some Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 die hards will insist that a flight yoke offers the most realistic flight experience, there are others who maintain that opting for a joystick is more comfortable and enjoyable. And considering that the Thrustmaster TCA Officer Pack Airbus Edition is modeled after the Airbus Sidestick and throttle control that is used in the cockpits of real A320 planes, this is still a very realistic way to play Microsoft Flight Simulator. With six-axis control and 25 programmable buttons between the stick and throttle, you will have no shortage of options whether you’re flying this stick’s namesake or any other civilian aircraft.
7. Logitech G Flight Rudder Pedals
While advanced flight enthusiasts may be aware that planes have pedals, this may be new information for those just getting into Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. While braking is one thing you can control, plane pedals aren’t used for acceleration. Rather, you use plane pedals to control the rudder, which in turn controls a plane’s yaw, or rotation around the vertical axis. And if you want a set of flight pedals that deftly combine comfort, responsiveness, build quality and value, then Logitech’s G Flight Rudder Pedals are the best you can buy. With the ability to adjust the position of the pedals and customize the tension, you can have an unmatched level of control over the movement of your virtual plane.
8. LG 38GL950G-B 38-Inch Ultrawide Monitor
If you really want to immerse yourself in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, a basic 24-inch or 27-inch monitor won’t do. One solution would be to buy a few of the best gaming monitors, but if your computer can’t drive that many screens or you simply want a more streamlined solution, LG’s 38GL950G-B ultrawide monitor is a great option. With a 21:9 aspect ratio, this 144Hz display measures 38-inches diagonally and has a resolution of 3840×1600. Even better, this is a curved display, so when it’s combined with your flight yoke, throttle control quadrant, instrument panels, and switches, it will really feel like you’re looking out the windshield of a plane.
9. Logitech G Flight Instrument Panel
We all know that pilots rely on a number of instruments and gauges in order to safely fly a plane. And if you want to replicate that experience IRL while playing Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, the Logitech G Flight Instrument Panel is the best place to start. Able to display 15 different readouts while your plane is in flight, you can quickly navigate through them using the physical hot keys on the face of the screen. But if you really want to take the experience to the next level, buy a handful of them and mount them on top of your yoke so that you can quickly monitor the state of your flight sensors and instruments.
10. Oculus Quest 2 VR Headset
One very recent and very new addition to Microsoft Flight Simulator is the fact that it can now support VR headsets, like the Oculus Quest 2. This means instead of going for a tri-monitor setup or splurging on a curved ultrawide display, just slap on your Quest and experience Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 like never before. While this game will work with a number of VR headsets, we like the Quest 2 because it has the highest resolution display and, when you’re not connecting it to your PC to run Microsoft Flight Simulator, it can function as a completely wireless headset with a full ecosystem of apps and games.
11. Logitech G Flight Switch Panel
There’s more to flying a plane than opening up the throttle and steering it. As such, you need a way to control the other aspects of the plane. This includes activating the landing gear, turning on a plane’s various lights, opening up the cowl flaps and defrosting the plane’s navigation instruments. And while you can certainly set up some keyboard shortcuts to replicate this functionality, the Logitech G Flight Switch Panel gives you an easily accessible tactile solution that is fully programmable to your liking.
12. Thrustmaster T.Flight U.S. Air Force Edition Gaming Headset
Microsoft Flight Simulator might not have in-game chat for its multiplayer mode, but if you have any plans to stream your flights on Twitch, or simply want to hop in voice chat with your friends, you’ll need a good headset. And if you really want to play the part, Thrustmaster’s T.Flight U.S. Air Force Edition gaming headset is the only choice. Adopting the look and feel of actual headsets worn by Air Force pilots, the memory foam earpads and in-line microphone controls will ensure you are comfortable and connected for your hours-long flight.