Flight Sim Community Survey Results Released by Navigraph

See what the community said about 2023 and what they expect in 2024.

Posted: 23-Dec-2023 @ 13:26z
Flight Sim Community Survey Results Released by Navigraph

The annual Flight Sim Community survey results have been shared by Navigraph. Over 23,000 people took part in this year’s survey, giving us insight into trends and habits for those in the flight simulation community.

Each year, a number of questions are asked to better understand the current trends within the industry. Everything about consumer spending, the most-used sim, hardware usage, and even hobbies outside of the industry. The goal of the survey is to better understand the community, the trajectory of people’s interests, and the overall state of the industry. Developers, media outlets, publishers, and communities then all use this data to help shape future product development or align their priorities to match what the community is saying. It is good to note that over 50% of respondents said this is their first time completing this survey.

2023’s survey had a big focus on the purpose of flight simulation and future purchases. In particular, it was seen that nearly 74% of respondents said they were likely to buy Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024. The community’s expectation of the new sim was dominated by performance and frame rate optimization, improved weather, missions, and ATC. The results should come to no surprise, considering that 42.2% of those who took the survey said that have a curiosity/interest in aviation, which is why they use flight sims.

By far the most popular platform is PC, with Xbox only representing 2.6% of those who replied to the survey. This may be surprising considering the volume of people who use a console, but it’s worth considering the primary audience for this survey is very PC-based.

When it comes to hardware, the survey suggests that a lot of people have been upgrading their PC builds in recent years, with 14.5% of people using an nVidia RTX4090 graphics card. Over 80% of people are using a 30XX series card or higher to power their simulators. When it comes to RAM, nearly 50% of people have at least 32GB. By far the most popular hardware component to actually fly is a throttle quadrant, with pedals coming in second. VR headsets also grew in popularity with 17.7% of people saying they now own one.

Moving onto the simulators themselves. It should come as no surprise that the most popular simulator in the survey is Microsoft Flight Simulator, with 70.8% of the vote. Next is Laminar Research’s X-Plane 12, with 13.1% of people saying it is their primary simulator. After many years of being the most popular simulator, Prepar3D has sunk to third place with just 4.6%. In fourth, Infinite Flight is 4.4%.

Software within the simulator has also been given lots of attention this year. PMDG’s 737 was the community’s most favourite release of 2023, with 11.2% of the community saying so. Other popular products include the Fenix A320 (9.7%), A2A Comanche (8.8%), and Horizon Simulation 787-9 (3.7%). As for the future, the community’s most anticipated product is PMDG’s 777 for MSFS (29.2%). Airbus aircraft are still popular as Fenix’s A319/A320/A321 product line came second (12.3%) and FlyByWire Simulations’ A380 came third (11.3%).

As for community aspects (flying online), there hasn’t been much movement in the most popular online network. VATSIM remains as strong as ever, with over 88% of respondents saying they use it. As for why some people don’t use online networks, the vast majority of people (35%) said it was due to unhelpful or trolling behaviour. So next time you fly online, be kind and helpful and let’s see if we can populate the skies even further. Most people continue to fly online to help with their immersion and skills, whilst having fun.

The final element we’ll take a look at is media and content consumption. Over 85% of people use YouTube as their main source of social media consumption for flight sim content. As for media outlets, 44.9% of respondents said they choose FSElite as their primary source of flight sim news, reviews, and original content. This is the 6th consecutive year in a row you have chosen us to be the primary flight sim media outlet. Thank you to everyone who chooses to use us and we can’t wait to bring you even more content in 2024.

If you wish to look through the 102-page document that outlines the entire survey, you can do so on Navigraph’s page. The survey would not have been possible without them, or the many partners who shared links and encouraged their community to take part. We look forward to seeing what 2024 holds and how next year’s survey looks.

More From:   Navigraph
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Calum Martin
Calum has been an avid fan of Flight Sim since the release of FS2000 and has developed his love for aviation ever since.

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