Microsoft Flight Simulator (unofficially known as FS2020) is set to take flight later this year. New info about the sim has been consistently trickled out by the dev team over at Asobo Studios as they stitch together the next-gen flight sim. The newest development update — 2.13.2020 — has been posted on the website and contains a few new details. But, what’s really the main takeaway is that another wave of alpha invitations for Flight Simulator will be sent out between today (2/13) and next Tuesday (2/18).
Prepare for takeoff
The alpha invitations will allow selected users to enjoy early access to Microsoft Flight Simulator in an effort to help the development gather data from player feedback. It’s a win-win; Asobo gets the data and alpha testers get to enjoy the game early. To sign up for this alpha, you must have a Microsoft account and then sign-up for the MSFS Insider Program. Once that’s complete, you then need to sign up yet again for the “Flighting” program (located on the official website), which directly relates to being selected for the alpha.
Alpha access for Flight Simulator is not guaranteed just by signing up. However, if you are fortunate enough to be picked, you will be sent an email on your selected Microsoft account.
All selected testers will be required to sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), which prevents players from publically discussing their experience with the game or showing any footage. One tester decided to go rogue last week and leaked a hefty amount of gameplay footage via YouTube. The videos were online for several hours before being copyright claimed by Microsoft. It’s unclear what the repercussions are for breaking this NDA, but one thing is for sure, that tester lost his gameplay privileges.
Going down the checklist
Beyond the new alpha invites, some more details from this week’s Flight Simulator update include the reveal that a new behind-the-scenes episode will be released next week that’s all about how the dev team is building airports. The episode after that will discuss the game’s Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) system. Asobo has also confirmed that the Software Development Kit (SDK) is still being rolled out to its partners. This SDK will be used by add-on and mod makers to create new content for the game outside of the official assets of the core development. As many flight-sim fans already know, custom content is a massive part of modern sims, so it’s no surprise that this will continue to be the case in FS2020.
Finally, a new development roadmap has also been released which details when the next updates will take place and what they will entail: