In the recent May 6 Developer’s Update for Microsoft Flight Simulator, the team at Asobo announced that it’s calling for a “list of select users from diverse backgrounds and setups to help” test out the contents of the upcoming Sim Update 4 for the sim.
This community-driven test is going to specifically target areas of the sim that some players have been asking to be improved. This namely includes areas such as “performance, stability, ATC syntax accuracy, aircraft (engine performance, roll, stability, average yaw control, and aerodynamics.” Considering that Sim Updates for Microsoft Flight Simulator are focused on making significant changes to the core mechanics behind the sim, these areas of focus should not come as a surprise to any seasoned player.
So, who is eligible to join? Well, as Asobo stated, the volunteer pool is supposed to be “diverse.” As a result, the team is seeking out “active forum users, third-party developers, [and] subject matter experts”, along with other types of testers from specific backgrounds. In addition to these categories, there will also be “300 spots” that will be filled via a first-come, first-serve system starting from May 10 @ 11 AM ET. Thus, any regular player can try throwing their name in the hat in the hopes of being a part of this latter group. The only catch is that this opportunity is only available to those who own the Windows Store version of the sim, thus rendering Steam players locked out of this opportunity. Registration will be completed via the Xbox Insider Hub, hence the restriction.
The search is on
Sim Update 4 is scheduled to swoop in on May 25, so this testing process will last for roughly two weeks. This isn’t the first time that Asobo has used a player-test for a new update, either. Just a few weeks ago, a similar operation was performed in preparation for World Update 4. At the time, Asobo specified that future player tests were not promised. Of course, we see how everything has turned out.
Asobo has been raked through the coals in the months since the launch of Microsoft Flight Simulator due to serious bugs continuously popping up. While the sim certainly isn’t broken, its reputation, at least from the eyes of the more passionate members of the fanbase, is a bit tarnished.
Considering how big of a title this sim is, Asobo is pretty much admitting that the game is too big for just its team alone to test. By using the player test method, the studio is able to gather far more data and that in turn makes the search for bugs far easier. This will hopefully benefit the community by allowing for a big update to the sim without any sort of hiccups. While such a perfect rollout is unlikely, this Sim Update 4 operation should make the chances of running into a major bug in Microsoft Flight Simulator less likely.