UPDATE: Flight Simulator 2020 has been released and it is compatible with most flight sticks. Check out more information here.
When it comes to accessories and add-ons, no game supports more than Microsoft´s flight simulator. Pedals, joysticks, yokes, radios, even external control panels. The only missing equipment from a real cockpit is the plane itself.
So, when Microsoft announced a new version of their flight simulator due to release in 2020, a question remained among virtual aviators: would all my old equipment still work in the new game?
Will Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 be compatible with today´s joysticks, pedals, and other accessories?
The answer is yes, probably. In a blog post from 20 of June 2019, the development team says: “Accessibility is important to us. Whatever your abilities are, if you want to fly, we are going to do whatever we can to make that happen. Yoke and pedals, mouse and keyboard, controller, etc…”
By their own admission, the game will be compatible with third-party accessories, so it´s safe to assume that your old joystick will continue working in 2020.
That said, they haven´t explicitly said which peripherals will be supported and which ones not. The main ones (HOTAS, pedals, yokes) will probably still work.
It is harder to predict what the fate of more niche equipment like the radio and control panel will be, but I would not hold my breath.
While the game is compatible with old gadgets, what about new technology? There is another way to deliver an immersive and realistic flying experience, a VR headset.
2020´s is detailed like never before. Microsoft used real satellite pictures to create a three-dimensional replica of our world, complete with weather systems. The countryside will not only look like the real thing, but it will be populated by cars and other planes as well. Looking at all this scenery with your own eyes would be the ultimate virtual flying experience, so…
Will the game be compatible with VR headsets?
No, at least not at first. Disappointingly, Microsoft wasn´t planning on adding VR support. However, after the overwhelming fan response on the latest E3, the team decided to add it to their to-do lists.
The game will have VR support eventually, but not at launch.
So there you have it. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 will probably still be compatible with the current generation joysticks at launch, but not so much with VR headsets.
If you want to buy a flying stick to get ready for the big launch, we recommend you try the Thrustmaster USB Joystick, which is a great entry-level joystick. Otherwise, we have a whole selection of flying sticks and accessories on this page for you to browse.
For those that want to play with a VR flying sim, but don´t want to wait, you can try Flyinside or Flying Aces: Navy Pilot Simulator.