Below are my favorite adjustments to the default sim that either add realism or improve the user interface (UI).

A community called FlyByWire, which was created just before the release of the simulator, has a fantastic modification for the A320neo, bringing it as close to life as they can. Over twenty systems have been modified and brought up to a functional state from the stock version. They keep three versions of the aircraft available: a stable release, a developmental version and an experimental version.

Meanwhile, Leon Koth has developed a modification for the 787 Dreamliner here.

Working Title has a number of modifications to the Garmin avionics systems, including the G1000 NXi (if installed, it will be implemented in the Cirrus SR22, Diamond DA-40NG, Diamond DA-62, Baron G58, Bonanza G36, Cessna 172 (G1000), Pilatus PC-6 and Grand Caravan 208B), G3000 (Daher TBM 930 and Citation Longitude) and G3X Touch (King Air 350i, Cub Crafters XCub and NX, Extra 330LT, JMB VL-3, Pipistrel Virus SW 121 and the ICON A5). They also made a dedicated improvement in performance and avionics in the Cessna Citation CJ4. Asobo took Working Title under its wing in early 2021, likely realising their talents are not to be competed with. “I feel very blessed about things like Working Title and FlyByWire, because they’re so knowledgeable,” said Jorg Neumann in July 2021. “In many ways, they’re more knowledgeable than we are. Working Title has a special place in my heart because they literally all quit their jobs. They all had really good jobs in all kinds of tech companies and whatnot. I talked to them, and they were so genuinely enthusiastic about making this flight simulator the best it could be that they literally all quit their jobs to launch a company. I’ve never seen anything like this before, and I think it’s stunning. Instead of us sort of doing what we can, at some point, I think empowering the Working Title people is the right thing. It’s the right thing for the community. If can get their work somehow into the base sim, I think that’s the best for everybody. They did every page, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

“And then the FlyByWire people. What they have done on their own is just great. We didn’t expect this energy. I certainly didn’t expect it.”

There is a plan in place to give third-party developers early access to pending updates “to make sure their planes don’t break, because that’s an unacceptable situation,” said Neumann. “And the people adjusting airports clearly need to get data as early as they can, or we’ll end up changing things underneath them.”

Regarding Garmin specifically, in February 2021, Jorg Neumann said: “We were in a similar state of mind [with regards to third-party planes]: there are some good add-ons, so we didn’t want to do something damaging to their business. [Sim Update 3] has a bunch of Garmin improvements, but the Working Title team has also done awesome improvements.”

Elsewhere in the GPS world, PMS50 has a mod that adds a close copy of Garmin’s GTN750. It has been directly integrated into the following cockpits:

  • Carenado Arrow III, Ovation, Seminole, Seneca V, PC12, Cessna 337 Skymaster and PA28 Archer II
  • Just Flight Arrow III, Turbo Arrow III/IV and Warrior II
  • Got Friends Gee Bee R3 Special, Edgley Optica and Wilga 35/80
  • Next Gen EMB-110 Bandeirante
  • Flysimware Cessna 414
  • SimWorksStudios Van’s RV-14
  • Milviz Cessna 310R
  • FSReborn Sting S4
  • AzurPoly Socata TB30
  • Hangar 713 Camair 480
  • BRSIM Designs Bonanza H35 and Debonair 35
  • Erasam Tecnam P92 81 HP and 100 HP
  • Black Square Analog Caravan and King Air
  • Project Stratosphere Kitfox Speedster Series 7
  • Redwing Sim Super Constellation
  • JPLogistics C152

The below aircraft have the GTN750 in the cockpit with a bezel to accommodate the Working Title mod:

  • Carenado PA44 Seminole, Cessna 337 Skymaster, M20R Ovation, PA34T Seneca V, Piper Arrow III, PC12 and PA28 Archer II
  • Got Friends Edgley Optica
  • Next Gen EMB-110 Bandeirante
  • Milviz Cessna 310R
  • AzurPoly Socata TB30
  • Hangar 713 Camair 480
  • BRSIM Designs Bonanza H35 and Debonair 35
  • Flysimware Cessna 414
  • Erasam Tecnam P92 81 HP and 100 HP
  • Black Square Analog Caravan and King Air
  • JPLogistics C152

It can replace the G1000 MFD in the following ten aircraft, with a specific file download, but it isn’t compatible with Working Title’s G1000 NXi mod:

  • Asobo Cessna 172 G1000, DA-40NG, DA-62, Baron G58, Bonanza G36, Grand Caravan 208B, Cirrus SR22 and Pilatus PC-6 Porter
  • Carenado C182T
  • SimWorksStudios Kodiak 100

The free version contains the below features:

  • Audio panel
  • Transponder
  • Map
  • Flight plan editing and legs
  • Procedures with preview
  • Direct-to
  • Omni Bearing Selectors (OBS)
  • Nearest airport pages
  • Waypoint pages
  • Messaging
  • In-game toolbar panel

The paid version ($29 for one year; $88 for a lifetime) contains the above, plus:

  • Map waypoint selection
  • Map waypoint elevation data
  • Navigraph charts (requires a Navigraph subscription)
  • Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS)
  • Terrain page
  • Weather radar
  • Flight plan preview
  • Flight plan import
  • Flight plan invert
  • Flightplan catalog (load and save)
  • Airways
  • Textual METAR
  • VCALC utility
  • Timers
  • Fuel planning
  • SAR patterns
  • Checklists
  • Visual approaches
  • Vectors to final
  • Holds
  • Road/satellite maps (with free Bing Maps key)

The simulator’s game kernel doesn’t currently simulate all the real functionality, so only the existing ones can be implemented in the instrument. This mod is meant to replace the existing GNS 430/530, which was Garmin’s first integrated GPS, COM, VOR, LOC and glideslope product; indeed, Just Flight have made it so that the Arrows’ 430/530 are disabled when the 750 is selected. Although the screen of the 530 is larger, you can get most of the same information on the 430. The 530 will auto-identify the tuned-in VOR and display distance, and you can also get distance-to-VORs via the NRST option on page 3. The other difference between the two is on the first NAV page: on the 530 it is an HSI-type arc view with a map, whereas on the 430 it is a CDI view without a map.

A competitor arrived in February 2022 in the shape of Garmin’s GTNXi from TDS Sim Software.

In November 2022, Working Title revealed they are working on a build of the GNS430/530 as well.

A conglomerate has released a mod that improves, amongst other things, the engine performance and flight model of the Caravan. user Bagolu has made five alternative versions of the Cessna 172: an amphibian, a tail dragger, a bush kit, a no-wheel-fairings version and an Angle of Attack.

GotGravel have made a “monster truck” modification to the Zlin Savage Cub, introducing a converted Ford Mustang 320-horsepower 2.5-litre V6 engine, a 4-blade, 6-foot Whirlwind short take-off and landing optimised propeller and 35-inch Alaskan Bushwheels. It also has two 27-gallon fuel tanks, which is partly why the plane is 50 lbs heavier than the standard Savage Carbon. Also included is a third, monster flap (which, at 60 degrees when flared, assists with slower approaches and allows for higher sink rates, resulting in 15-foot landing rates, if done correctly).

There is also a slightly downgraded version, but still an improvement on the stock Savage. It gives the aircraft 29-inch Alaskan Bushwheels, a 165-horsepower engine, an 82-inch Whirlwind GA-200L-STOL propeller, a wider wheelbase, King shock absorbers, upgraded suspension and powerful disc brakes (to which I can attest). There are also nineteen custom liveries for the aircraft. To increase range, two 10-gallon auxiliary fuel tanks have been added.

Next up from GotGravel was a Monster NXCub.

After the 40th Anniversary sim update, Got Friends released an expansion pack for planes included in the release: the DHC-2 Beaver was given a 35-inch Bushwheel variant, a water-spray effect on the amphibious variant, an option to hide/unhide the tablet and a start-up combustion smoke effect on all variants. For the Douglas DC-3, they added a new amphibious float version, including two liveries.

In February 2023, Got Friends announced they were pulling their freeware from due to the website’s changes in its terms and conditions, which removed the option for developers to delete its freeware from the website, in essence relinquishing the rights to They will be made available at instead. backed down somewhat shortly thereafter, given the feedback they had received.

Raimond from GotGravel joined FlyingIron Simulations’ MSFS team in September 2021, so it will be interesting to see what that partnership results in.

CarbonProp, in association with Bush League Legends, have created three different versions of the CubCrafter xCub: a Tundra, Tundra Cargo and Standard Cargo. Each of them includes a modification increasing the engine to 215 horsepower, while the Tundra and Tundra Cargo feature 35-inch bush wheels. The two Cargo versions, meanwhile, give you the option of carrying up to 200 lbs of cargo or use a 23-gallon fuel pod to increase your range.

TheFrett has modified the performance of the Beechcraft Bonanza G36 to feature an all-new engine start simulation, a working electric fuel pump, more activated and functional switches, updated flight dynamics and better lighting effects.

PaulFalke, meanwhile, has made changes to the Beechcraft King Air 350i. Details here.

MGouge425 has added more realism to the Cessna 152.

Davux3 has developed a modification for the Flight Design CTSL that upgrades the avionics to G3X Touch.

mrtommymxr has worked on the Diamond DA62 to include a modified checklist which takes into account missing features and a quick rundown of the added systems (G1000, FADEC and anti-ice). He has also modified the Diamond DA40-NG.

Mugz has undertaken a TBM 930 improvement project, including a throttle tweak, as well as changes in drag, fuel flow and torque.

In place of the sim’s default nameplate, I’m using Virtavia’s smaller and cleaner version.

Asobo has said there will eventually be a shared cockpit option in the sim, allowing flying duties to be shared by two people on different computers. For now, YourControls does the job. As of last check, the following aircraft are supported: all of Asobo’s stock offerings, the FlyByWire A320neo, N95JPL’s Cessna 152, Working Title’s CJ4, mrtommymxr’s DA62 and DA40NG, SaltySimulations’ 747, Just Flight’s Pipers, Aerosoft’s CRJ 500 and 700 and Carenado’s M20R.

In a project undertaken with his wife, PuffinFlight has made a file (called “We Love VFR”) that adds over 140,000 VFR objects (around Europe and part of Africa at present). These objects include TV and radio antennae, smoking chimneys and cooling towers, radar domes, construction cranes and satellite/radio telescope dishes. Version 2 is also now available, covering North and South America and parts of Oceania.

The same developer also created a fireworks mod. If you’re flying near, for example, Sydney at the precise moment a new year begins, you’ll see firework effects in the sky. He’s added fifteen dates to the calendar, including the daily ones at Disney World and Disney Land.

Another mod that works well in tandem with “We Love VFR” is “Powerlines and Solar Farms” by Mamudesign. The powerlines side of it bridges the gap that Asobo left when they included only the pylons themselves, not the actual lines. “Each ‘line’ (way) of the transmission grid has a specific ‘voltage’ and ‘number of cables’ in the Open Street Maps (OSM) data,” he writes. “I have assigned specific pylons and number of cables by using those values. If the number of cables is not indicated,  lines up to 140,000 volts get three wires, lines between 140,000 and 280,000 volts get four wires and lines above 280,000 volts will get a six-wire setup. OSM data also has the number-of-wires data, but it is quiet inconsistent, so this is the deal. To spice things up, and provide additional realism, I have crossed powerlines data with airports, major roads, rivers and digital elevation model (SRTM1). In this way, I can detect where to place white and red marker balls for the cables and red/white painted pylons.”

At last check, the countries covered were: Germany,  United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic (Czechia), Greece, Portugal, Sweden, Hungary, Belarus, Austria, Serbia, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Slovakia, Norway, Ireland, Croatia, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Slovenia, Latvia, Estonia, Montenegro and Australia.

A mod to change the taxi-ribbon from arrows to orbs to make the visual less garish.

Ither has implemented a tweak that removes the menu handle bar that appears when your mouse encroaches the top of the screen, which kills immersion somewhat.

Palwaukee has made a modification that changes the colour of the windsock in the sim from red-and-white to just red, which, I believe, is used in certain parts of the world. He has also changed the taxiway lines from yellow to a more real-world orange hue. The tweak has since been removed from the repository, but I have the files saved.

The biggest god-send of an app is MSFS Addons Linker, which allows you to choose which third-party you want included in the sim when it launches. For example, if you’re flying around the UK, you can select just the relevant airports and scenery, which is handy for speeding up load times. The best part is, instead of physically moving the folders in and out of your community folder, it creates shortcuts (known as dynamic links) to those folders. For maximum efficiency, it’s best to have your add-ons filed according to type (such as having airports in one folder, scenery in another, etc.), but it isn’t a necessity.

There are several companion apps designed to assist with navigation and flight control, ideally on a separate screen if you have that luxury. They all do a lot of different aspects very well, but none contain everything.

Little Navmap – an open-source flight planner, navigation tool, moving map, airport search and airport information system, created by Alex Barthel. I love it for the fact it syncs all of the airports in the sim, as well as highlighting which ones have been modified by Asobo or a third party. It also has the option to show current traffic of the popular online ATC clients, such as VATSIM and IVAO. It doesn’t show other users in MSFS, due to Asobo limitations, but it does show live (real-world) in your vicinity when you’re loaded into a flight. It also has a webserver, which allows you to view the map on a web browser from another source (this won’t show airports, however, since they’re in the host computer’s file system).

SimToolKitPro – fully integrated with SimBrief, mapping showing online ATC coverage and other network traffic. It also contains a complete airport database, with frequencies and real-world METAR and customisable METAR sources for accurate weather (which can be viewed as a map overlay). Another feature is the streaming tools, which provides an overlay for your broadcast containing all of the necessary information for viewers (except departure and arrival airports, for which you’ll need to have an active flight plan).

A simple alternative to the above two, and much less memory-intensive, is, a web-based map showing around 39,000 airports, with the option to have your live position displayed. Its best feature, however, is the ability to see runway orientations at-a-glance. There are also links to FlightAware, SkyVector, AirNav and Wikipedia.

Volanta – Orbx’s answer to STKP. Information on it is available here.

MSFS Mobile Companion – despite its name, I mostly use it on my secondary laptop. It contains tabs for GPS location, NAV, communications, autopilot, cockpit panel (for lights control, pitot heat and deicing) and miscellaneous (landing rates, simulation rate). You can now also import flight plans, which will show on the map.