'Microsoft Flight Simulator' shrinks initial install size from 170GB to 83GB

'Flight Simulator' is becoming easier to live with as the Xbox port gets closer to release.

Asobo Studio

If you're thinking about diving into the latest ultrarealistic version of Microsoft Flight Simulator, then Kotaku points out that it will be easier now for one simple reason: the game's initial install is a lot smaller. At launch, installing the game could take up 170GB on a hard drive, but notes on the most recent patch mention that optimizations have cut it down to merely 83GB.

That's probably welcome news for anyone with a bandwidth cap they're trying not to exceed or people who want to squeeze the game onto an SSD for better performance. It's unclear what Microsoft did to save space, but we have to assume that deleting that 212-story tower in Australia was worth a few hundred megabytes.

It's also a good sign for the upcoming Xbox Series X/S port, assuming you'd like to install it on your console without uninstalling every other game you're playing. Even if you've snagged Seagate's 1TB expansion drive, space is at a premium after loading Call of Duty, Halo: Master Chief Collection, Gears 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2, plus a few other Game Pass titles you might want to play sometimes.

Speaking of the Xbox port, the notes not-so-coincidentally also mention newly added documentation that relates to the console version. The SDK now includes some best practices to help developers adapt their add-ons for use on Xbox, plus some samples to illustrate model optimization for use on Xbox. In a developer Q&A this week, Microsoft Flight Sim head Jorg Neumann declined to give a release date for the Xbox version, joking that Phil Spencer would kill him, but he did mention that a decision on a beta will likely come in the next few weeks. What he could say now, is that along with the Xbox version, there will be a new PC build released with additional optimizations included and system rewrites.