What is Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition?
Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition (“FSX: Steam Edition”) is the re-release of Microsoft Flight Simulator X Gold Edition (“FSX”) on the Steam digital platform.
What is Steam?
Steam is a digital delivery service for PC software. Provided by Valve, the developer of the Half-life series of games, Steam has over 100 million users and thousands of games and pieces of software available. Steam also offers a huge range of features such as multiplayer matchmaking, chat, messaging, video sharing etc. You can find out more about Steam at [http://steampowered.com]. The Steam platform itself is entirely free to install and use.
Since Steam is a digital platform will FSX: Steam Edition require a persistent internet connection?
At present FSX: Steam Edition will require a digital “handshake” with Steam at the start of a session. After that point you may go offline and continue your session without interruption. We recognise that many simulation fans prefer to be disconnected while they play and as such we are working towards making FSX: Steam Edition playable while operating Steam in offline mode. Please note that multiplayer will always require you to be in online mode. For further information on offline mode please visit https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=3160-agcb-2555
What languages does FSX: Steam Edition include?
The initial release of FSX: Steam Edition will include English only.
If I already own FSX should I buy FSX: Steam Edition?
That decision is up to you. Your existing boxed version of FSX will continue to work after the release of FSX: Steam Edition, however future updates will only support the Steam Edition of the simulator. We have made some functional changes to FSX in the development of FSX: Steam Edition, but in terms of content nothing new has been added at this time.
What changes have you made in FSX: Steam Edition from the Microsoft-supplied boxed version of FSX?
This is a re-release of FSX Gold Edition so you should not expect dramatic differences. However, we have updated it to include all standard Steam functionality, we’ve removed CD checking and combined the components of Gold Edition into a single installation. The major change we’ve made is in replacing the now-defunct GameSpy multiplayer systems with Steam features, enabling multiplayer to work seamlessly once again. Our aim in this first instance has been to ensure that the software will run for as many people as possible rather than radically improving or updating it.
Will there be new content with the initial release?
No, the initial release will only contain the content that was provided with the original FSX GOLD pack which includes Flight Simulator X Deluxe and Acceleration pack, both official Service Packs, with the addition of Steamworks multiplayer.
What advantage, if any, is there for existing customers to purchasing FSX: Steam Edition?
First of all, although we know that some people are resistant to digitally distributed software we see many benefits of it, not least of all ease of reinstallation and not having to find keys etc. Secondly we have restored the multiplayer features using Steam capabilities and we have sorted out a number of software problems. However, we do appreciate the current benefits for existing users are modest.
Will FSX: Steam Edition have Steam Workshop support?
There are currently no plans for Steam Workshop support.
What is the minimum specification?
- Operating System: Windows® XP Service Pack 2 or later
- Processor: 2.0 Ghz or higher (single core)
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Graphics: DirectX®9 compliant video card or greater, 256 MB video RAM or higher, Shader Model 1.1 or higher (Laptop versions of these chipsets may work but are not supported. Updates to your video and sound card drivers may be required)
- Hard Drive: 30 GB
- Sound: DirectX® 9c compatible
- Other: Broadband internet connection required for multiplayer features
Is DirectX 10 or 11 supported?
FSX: Steam Edition will work on DirectX 10 and 11 although it remains primarily DirectX 9. As with the original FSX release some limited DirectX 10 functionality has been added however this should not be enabled for users playing on Windows XP.
What outstanding issues have been addressed?
The full change list will be published as soon as FSX: Steam Edition is available.
Does FSX: Steam Edition support 64 bit operating systems?
During testing we have ensured that FSX: Steam Edition runs on 64-bit operating systems, however the software remains 32-bit only.
Which version of FSX will FSX: Steam Edition represent: Standard, Deluxe, Service Pack 1, Service Pack 2 or FSX: Acceleration?
It is the FSX Gold Edition which includes Deluxe, Acceleration and the both Service Packs.
If I already own FSX will I receive an FSX: Steam Edition key automatically?
Unfortunately not. Regardless of whether you own FSX already, FSX: Steam Edition will require purchasing separately.
What will be the download size and retail price of FSX: Steam Edition?
As you may know, the original boxed version of FSX Deluxe came on 2 DVDs – so the download will be around 11Gb. We will be announcing the price in the near future.
Which operating system will FSX: Steam Edition fully support without having issues?
We have tested FSX: Steam Edition on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 – both 32 bit and 64 bit (please note that FSX is only a 32 bit app) and can confirm running the software under all of these operating systems without need for workarounds. However, due to the fact that operating systems and hardware can be configured in multiple ways we cannot guarantee that every configuration will work immediately, but it is our intention to ensure that as many people as possible are able to use FSX: Steam Edition without problems.
Will I be able to continue using my hardware (eg. Yokes, switch panels etc) with FSX: Steam Edition?
Nothing in the simulator has been changed to interfere with the use of flight peripherals however due to the numerous different ways hardware can be implemented it is possible there may be issues in some set-ups.
Will there be Oculus Rift support?
There are currently no plans for Oculus Rift support.
Will my existing collection of non-Steam add-ons work with FSX: Steam Edition?
There are so many add-ons currently available for FSX that we cannot promise that all of them will work with no issues. FSX: Steam Edition is installed in a different way to the boxed version and occupies a different location so it is possible that some add-ons may not work, but rest assured that we have made every effort to ensure that as many of them as possible work. Where add-ons do not immediately function with FSX: Steam Edition we will try to work with the community, developer or publisher of the add-on to find the solutions as needed. Again, we cannot promise that 100% of all add-ons released over the history of FSX will work with FSX: Steam Edition, but we are committed to trying.
Will I be able to continue using freeware add-ons with FSX: Steam Edition?
As with all other existing add-ons available for FSX we cannot give any guarantees that these will work without issue, however nothing has been intentionally changed with the simulator to block the use of free add-ons.
If I have both versions of FSX on my system, in which version of FSX will the non-Steam add-ons be automatically installed?
Most add-ons supplied include installers that are outside of our control and so we cannot definitively predict what their behaviour will be. We expect that most would default to whichever version of FSX was installed first. With some add-on installers, you may be able to direct the add-on installer to deploy into FSX: Steam Edition, but we cannot guarantee the add-on will function correctly in this environment.
Will there be any conflicts if FSX: Box and FSX: Steam Editions are installed on the same computer?
Great question. If you already have FSX Gold Edition and add-ons installed they will only be accessible through your existing installation. They will not be duplicated across the original edition and Steam Edition of the simulator. If you wish to access your add-ons via FSX: Steam Edition you will need to reinstall your add-ons, pointing them toward the Steam Edition of the simulator. We have worked to make sure the two versions of FSX can coexist, but we cannot guarantee that in all circumstances there will be no problems. If you have a very extensive add-on collection, you might want to consider installing FSX and FSX Steam Edition on separate PCs.
Dovetail Games offer a large range of add-ons via Steam for Train Simulator. Are you expecting to do the same for FSX: Steam Edition?
We do plan to offer a range of high-quality add-ons for FSX: Steam Edition. There are, of course, a huge number of FSX add-ons out there and we are certainly not going to try to offer everything – rather we will offer a range of options that we think will appeal to the typical user of the Steam system. There will be more information on this front, along with plenty of opportunity for FSX owners to request and suggest expansion options in the future.
Are you working with third parties to publish existing add-ons and to create new ones?
Yes, we are working with some great partners to help bring exciting new add-on content to FSX: Steam Edition.
Will all the 3rd party Scenery and Aircraft providers have to recreate their models and sceneries for this?
No, we expect most add-ons should just work as they are, though they may need installing again to the correct directory. Some add-ons which require specific functionality may not work at this stage and we’re working with as many providers as possible to create compatibility.
Will the FSX: Steam Edition be compatible with the boxed version for multiplayer users who use LAN?
Unfortunately, due to multiplayer differences between the two versions of FSX this is not possible.
Will there be support for existing FSX community initiatives such as VATSIM and IVAO?
It is our hope that virtual airlines and other FSX community developments continue to flourish and will do everything we can to ensure that is the case. At present we do not believe there will be any issues affecting these services, but as ever at present we cannot give a 100% guarantee.
What is the rationale for Dovetail Games doing this?
Dovetail Games plan on developing a new generation of aviation simulations and are working with Microsoft to utilise some of the key technology in FSX. Given our experience in delivering simulations to the Steam community, we saw a great opportunity to give Steam users the opportunity to experience the flight simulation genre by providing FSX: Steam Edition. We believe this will help reinvigorate the flight simulation community by making the software available to a generation of people who would not have encountered the simulator before.
We’re committed to take the world of flight simulation forward. It’s too early to discuss at this stage but we think that our actions with FSX and the add-ons demonstrate our commitment to the genre.
Who should I contact if I need technical support?
If you own the boxed edition Microsoft Flight Simulator X you should contact Microsoft with any support issues. Their primary support area for FSX is here http://support.microsoft.com/gp/games-for-windows#tab4. If you are having difficulty installing FSX: Steam Edition, or difficulty purchasing the software through Steam please contact Valve support here https://support.steampowered.com. If you are having an issue with an FSX add-on, please contact the publisher of that add-on. If you are having an issue other than installation specific to FSX: Steam Edition please contact Dovetail Games support email@example.com. As is indicated above there are multiple teams responsible for different areas of Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition, and should you encounter any kind of problem we will try to help you as quickly as possible. Due to the complexity of the FSX ecosystem however it may be that you are referred to multiple support teams to resolve some problems. For this we apologise in advance, but hope we can resolve any problems encountered rapidly.
What is Dovetail Games’ policy with using licensed brands in add-ons for FSX: Steam Edition?
We recognise that the inclusion of branded content is a very important aspect of the flight simulation experience. It is important for us that we can offer users a variety of aircraft, including many specifically requested by the community. We passionately believe in offering content that is authentic, approved and licensed by respective rights holders, and in order to deliver on this, we invest a great deal time and effort into establishing relationships and securing the permissions relating to such content. By securing permission from the respective rights holders, we can ensure anything we release to users is permitted and up to standard.
How does licensing work?
The licensing process requires a lot of lengthy discussions with aircraft manufacturers and airlines in order to obtain specific approval to use their intellectual property in FSX: Steam Edition add-ons. In each case, we first have to request permission from the relevant rights holder to recreate and use their intellectual property rights – including any design rights, names, logos and liveries – in add-ons we release for FSX: Steam Edition. Such permission usually takes the form of a legally-binding license agreement, which sets out the specific things we can and can’t do. Once we have an established a licensee/licensor relationship with a rights holder, we then seek approval from the respective licensor that they are 100% happy with the respective assets and finished end product. Once that is done, the product is officially approved by the licensor, and can be released.
Licensing is not always a straightforward process. There are no guarantees that a rights holder will grant us permission to represent their intellectual property, and there can be many reasons why they may choose not to grant permission.
What happens if a license can’t be obtained?
In the past we have occasionally had to release products without the specific branding, such as liveries and logos, but that is an option we are reluctant to take, and something that is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Our users want real-world content, and that’s what we are determined to deliver. Equally, it sometimes takes longer than expected to reach agreement with a rights holder and in such a scenario, products need to be held back from release until a license is in place.