'Flight Simulator 2020' closed beta starts on July 30th

New invitations will arrive in the coming weeks.


Microsoft’s Flight Simulator 2020, which blew our minds with hyper-detailed graphics and real-life weather and traffic conditions, is about to take a big step. The development team has announced (via Windows Central) that the closed beta is set to arrive on July 30th, meaning it’ll move from bug-smashing to a refinement operation ahead of the big release.

Microsoft will also expand the pool of participants, giving you a chance to try out the beta if you’ve been shut out of the alpha program so far. “As a reminder, if you are currently an Alpha tester, you will be automatically granted access to the closed beta,” the team wrote. “If you are not currently an alpha tester, we will be sending out new invitations for the closed beta participation.”

If you’ve applied for the alpha program, you could still get in before the beta, as Microsoft also unveiled the alpha 5 update with a new wave of invitations. The release itself focused on killing more glitches, with fixes to flight dynamics, individual aircraft, multiplayer characteristics, peripherals, weather and more. It’s still paying attention to detail, apparently, as one of the bugs was “snow does not last on the ground surfaces as expected.”

If you decide to jump in, remember that to get the most out of the game (particularly those gorgeous graphics), you’ll need to have a reasonably powerful PC and lots of extra storage — the game reportedly requires about 150GB of space.