FSX: Steam Edition and Boxed FSX: What Is The Difference?

Are you thinking of making the switch to FSX: Steam Edition? Do you want more information on the differences between FSX: Steam Edition and the boxed versions? If so, you are in the right place! The following article will go through the differences between boxed FSX and the Steam Edition, as well as the updates we have made since FSX: Steam Edition was initially released.

In December 2014, Dovetail Games released the latest incarnation of Microsoft Flight Simulator X on Valve’s popular PC Gaming platform, Steam. For those of you unfamiliar with the Steam PC gaming platform, click here for more information on what it is and how to use it.

The distribution of FSX on Steam has had many advantages, including easy installation of the sim itself as well as add-ons from the Steam store, Windows 8/8.1/10 compatibility, and the reinstatement of the multiplayer function via the Steam platform.

What is FSX: Steam Edition?

Essentially, FSX: Steam Edition is a re-release  of the FSX Gold Edition (including Service Packs 1 & 2) which in turn is comprised of FSX: Deluxe Edition and the Acceleration Expansion Pack.

For those of you who are new to FSX, the Deluxe Edition was the most recent incarnation of Microsoft’s acclaimed Flight Simulator series before Dovetail Games released the Steam Edition.

Additions from the Standard Edition include: the Garmin G1000 flight deck featured in three aircraft, the ability to act as Air Traffic Control (ATC) for other online users, and the following additional aircraft: Agusta Westland AW101, Boeing F/A-18 Hornet, the Grumman G-21A Goose and the P-51D Mustang. Additionally, the Maule Orion is flyable in the Deluxe Edition, as opposed to the Standard in which it was only available as an AI aircraft.

The Acceleration Pack is a multiplayer-based expansion for FSX which also included the F/A-18A Hornet, EH-101 helicopter and the P-51D Mustang. Multiplayer air racing was the highlight of the pack, as well as new missions and graphical improvements in selected areas such as Berlin, Istanbul, Cape Canaveral and the Edwards Air Force Base.

What Have We Changed?

 The complete change log from the initial December 2014 release of FSX: Steam Edition is as follows:


  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition is now built using the VS2013 compiler for better optimization and performance. (Still makes use of VS2005 libraries for backwards compatibility.)
  • Updated splash, launcher and mission preview images for FSX:SE versions.

Multiplayer, Networking and Communications

  • Gamespy networking now replaced by new Steam networking.
  • Game chat now integrated with Steam chat
  • Friends/Banned lists now integrated with Steam.
  • Game invites now use Steam.
  • Host networking defaults to a single port 6112.
  • Host networking uses 27016 for Steam Master Server Browser.
  • Host timeout (loss of connection to host) now 35 seconds by default (was 55).
  • “Disconnected” message dialog now retained on screen for 4 mins before automatic dismissal (was 30 secs).

Steam Support

  • Top Down Camera (camera view select 4) was previously bound to F12 by default which is normally used for Steam’s screenshot feature. Camera View Select 4 now uses Shift+F12 by default to avoid potential clash.

Compatibility with Boxed FSX

  • FSX and Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition co-Existence feature allows both versions to be installed on the same machine.

Default System-Setting Alterations

  • Increased TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD to 4096 up from 1024
  • Changed HIGHMEMFIX=1
  • Increased Vertex and Index Buffers and the number of buffers.

Bugs Fixed

  • Fix to particle emitter controllers which were not being updated properly.
  • Fix to flush all levels of detail in terrain cache.
  • Fix to Texture Composition preventing fail and crash.
  • Fixed issue where player is able to reserve more slots for friends than maximum players allowed in the game.
  • Fixed issue where invalid Briefing Room was presented to player when cancelling session creation.
  • Fixed issue where weather text in the multiplayer briefing room is partially cut off.
  • Fixed issue where no error message appears when attempting to host a session with the network adapter disabled.
  • Fixed issue where there is no error message when attempting to host a session with the network cable unplugged.
  • Fixed issue where host player is frozen after a collision occurs in multiplayer.
  • Fixed issue where client gets dropped from a multiplayer game after they crash into the host.
  • Fixed issue where the Host Options in multiplayer/ Free Flight allow a user to have a maximum of 99 player slots.
  • UIAutomationCore.dll work-a-round is now supplied by default with Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition. This fixes a number of crashes relating to UI interaction on 64-bit versions of Windows.
  • Fixed issue where the application’s taskbar preview window displays no content on Windows 8 and above
  • Prevent default color mode for Windows 7 and above (enable automatic display composition).
  • sserife.fon file now automatically supplied and loaded

Post-Release Optimization

Since the initial release of FSX: Steam Edition, Dovetail Games have released several updates consisting of stability improvements, bug fixes, and optimization for the Steam platform. The complete change logs for these can be found below:

Version 62615 (current)

Version 62613

Version 62608

Dovetail Games currently have no plans to release any further updates, but will continue to support FSX: Steam Edition and its community so if it becomes necessary to release any more updates, we will do so.

Community Feedback

Still undecided? Don’t take our word for it – Here are some YouTube videos put together by experienced flight simmers about their experiences with FSX: Steam Edition:

For more feedback from FSX-ers, click here to peruse our reviews!

Do you have any experiences with boxed FSX or the Steam Edition you would like to share with us? Tell us about your adventures in the virtual skies in the comments section below, or ask us any questions you may have.

Happy flying!

-FSX: Steam Edition Team

Profile photo of DTG Aimee

DTG Aimee

Aimee Sanjari is a flight simmer, aviation enthusiast, and aspiring pilot originally from Elkhart, Indiana. Now living in Kent, she fills the role of Flight Simulation Brand Manager for Dovetail Games. She has previously contributed to PC Pilot and continues to be an active member of the flight simulation community.


  • Profile photo of Jirka K.

    Nice summary for new commers.

    • Profile photo of DTG Aimee

      Hi Jirka,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Is there anything specific you would like to see in future articles?


      • Profile photo of Jirka K.

        Hi Aimee,

        I do not count myself as “new commer”, but sometimes people ask me what changed in FSX:SE. With this article I can easily forward them here.

        I welcome further technical information about the simulator, but this is rather on discussion with the developer than the article idea.


        • Profile photo of DTG Aimee

          Hi Jirka,

          Is there any specific information you need? I’d be happy to help.


          • Profile photo of Mark Gryphon

            A question I can’t seem to find an answer to if I could build a sim cockpit with yoke, gauges and instruments and other hardware peripherals will these work in the Steam Edition like the boxes version ? This issue/question I’ve never seen addressed in any public forum. To me this is a very important consideration and should be addressed. Thank you

          • Profile photo of FSX Admin

            Hi Mark,

            99% of the mainstream peripherals such as Saitek, Logitech, Thrustmaster, etc work perfectly fine on FSX: Steam Edition. In fact, we haven’t seen any currently in the market which haven’t. In the case of cockpit building, while the hardware should work the same, there are software considerations. We have gone to great lengths to ensure compatibility with most boxed FSX add-ons however we cannot guarantee compatibility with cockpit building software solutions for boxed FSX.

            I hope that helps!


      • Profile photo of Mark Gryphon

        A question I can’t seem to find an answer to if I could build a sim cockpit with yoke, gauges and instruments and other hardware peripherals will these work in the Steam Edition like the boxes version ? This issue/question I’ve never seen addressed in any public forum. To me this is a very important consideration and should be addressed. Thank you

  • Profile photo of richardhill

    You state that FSX Steam has Expansion pack SP1 and SP2 as well as Acceleration Package, the same package as FSX Gold. However on Steam it states The Acceleration Pack is NOT included. Why do you say this?

    • Profile photo of DTG Aimee

      Hi Richardhill,

      Could you please provide a link to the Steam page where it says that the Acceleration pack is not included as this is incorrect?

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention.


  • Profile photo of richardhill


    Microsoft Flifgt Simulator Steam Edition (Window)
    Reviews Mostly Positive

    1/3 down page About This Game

    I do know that BglComp.exe that should be in :
    SDk\\Enviorment Kit\BGL Compiler SDK\ is not tthere.
    I do know that Shp2Vec.exe should e in:
    SDK\Enviorment Kit\Terrain SDK\ is not there
    No problem, I found elsewhwer but they should be there.

  • Profile photo of DTG Aimee

    Hi Richardhill,

    You are correct, we did not include the SDK in this version, however the rest of the Acceleration Pack content (additional aircraft, missions, etc) is included in FSX: Steam Edition.


    • Profile photo of malcolm

      Does the boxed version SDK work with SE? Otherwise, how do you add real world navigation fixes that are missing from FSX?

      • Profile photo of DTG Aimee

        Hi Malcolm,

        Thanks for getting in touch. The boxed version of the SDK is compatible with FSX: Steam Edition, however we do not currently provide support for these tools.

        I hope this helps!


  • Profile photo of Sleddog

    Your Shopping Cart


    Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition


    Is this a purchase for yourself or is it a gift? Select one to continue to checkout.
    Why can’t I log in to purchase FSX when I can log into this site?

    “Purchase as a gift

    Purchase for myself

    Tax: Sales tax will be calculated during checkout where applicable”

  • Profile photo of Sleddog

    Why can’t I log in to purchase FSX as above, but I am logged into this site?

    • Profile photo of DTG Aimee

      Hi Sleddog,

      Sorry to hear you are having trouble. Do you have an account on Steam?


  • Profile photo of David Bevan

    Hi Aimee, I just took off from AYPY Port Morsby in FSXSE and there’s a bug The tower Frequency and the ATIS are both the same. which means you can’t contact the tower to request take off or landing clearance. Not sure where I should report this to.

    • Profile photo of DTG Aimee

      Hi David,

      Thanks for letting us know 🙂

      We may not be able to change this as we are are not able to alter the core code of FSX Steam Edition, but I will make sure our development team are aware.



      • Profile photo of thelandcruzer

        Hi Aimee

        If it like FSX box? It is easy, just open the airport freq’s and change the freq’s.
        I have done it for airport with out a tower and/or changed them to real life freq’s.
        No real coding to be done.
        I have been moding MS Flight Sim’s (MSFS 50. MSFS98 MSFS2000 MSFS2004 & FSX)since 1997.
        It is not hard just check out on some of the flight sim web site’s.
        Some of us on these sites might be able to help you out.

  • Profile photo of shanahan

    This may be a stupid question but the only real appeal to me of the steam edition is the improved texture detail. Since I mostly use add-on aircraft and missions with the boxed edition currently, could someone please tell me if the steam edition will improve the texture details of these add-ons as well, or does it only apply to the main content and steam edition add-ons? Looking around I’m only seeing people say that legacy add-ons either work or don’t, without any mention of them benefiting from the upgrade.

    Thanks for your time.

  • Profile photo of rumble

    Having some trouble with Flyinside and FSX.
    The Flyinside program is asking for a file:

    simconnect 10.0.61259.0

    I have FSX boxed Deluxe edition installed with SP1 and SP2.
    How do I acquire the simconnect file that Flyinside is asking for…Or do I require the Steam edition of FSX/

    • Profile photo of FSX Admin

      Hi rumble,

      In theory, Simconnect should automatically install when you install FSX, however I don’t know the filepath you would need to follow for the disc version (we only officially provide support for FSX: Steam Edition). The good news is that the flight simulation community has many forums where you can find out. I would recommend asking the folks over at avsim.com 🙂

      I hope this helps!


  • Profile photo of rumble

    Thanks, Aimee,
    Daniel at FlyInside solved it for me.
    Just run the SDK setup from within the SDK folder in the install DVDs Disk1 DVD.
    Now all is fine.

  • Profile photo of FSX Admin

    Glad to hear it 🙂


  • Profile photo of Chris

    I bought this on Amazon.com. Will I be getting DVD’s or is this just a code? Hope I’m not getting ripped off. I don’t see anywhere on amazon.com order history where I can download the software or anything.



    Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition (Boxed Steam Code)
    by Microsoft
    Platform : Windows XP |Rated: Everyone
    3.4 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews
    Price: $14.99 Free Shipping for Prime Members
    In Stock.
    Want it tomorrow, Jan. 18? Order within 4 hrs 20 mins and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
    Sold by Savannah B Goods and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
    Downloadable product code; no disc required
    Steam Edition
    Take to the skies! 24,000 destinations
    7 new from $14.99

    • Profile photo of FSX Admin

      Hi Chris,

      You would get a code, however some retailers stock a boxed version with a code card inside. From the description, it looks like that is what you are getting 🙂


  • Profile photo of Michael Lavelle

    G’Day! Got a question. I own the FSX Gold Edition . Can I use the Add a Game/ Activate a Product on Steam or do I have to rebuy the Steam Edition?

    • Profile photo of FSX Admin

      Hi Michael,

      FSX: Steam Edition is a re-release, therefore you would need to rebuy it.


  • Profile photo of Michael Lavelle

    Fine! DCS World it is then!

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