Being new to a simulator can be an overwhelming experience when it comes to acquiring addons. Therefore, each month we’ll poll the community for their favorite addons in flight simulation. Lasts month poll focused on the Top 5 plugins for Prepar3D. This time we asked the community to pick their favorite plugins for X-Plane 11 and these are the top 5 choices.
Before getting into the main top 5 we want to do some honorable mentions from the poll. The first two will be the runner ups from the 10 main categories and the last one is the most popular from our “Other” category. This option was put in place so the community could still vote if their favorite was not in our original list.
Ground Handling Deluxe – 162 Votes
First runner up is Ground handling deluxe by JarDesign with 162 votes. This plugin is basically the GSX of X-Plane 11. It provides animated cargo loading, fuel trucks, and many other vehicles to your aircraft. Everything is easily controlled through a simple menu that allows for these vehicles to be quickly added or removed.
xEnviro – 151 Votes
Next is X-Enviro with 151 votes. This plugin enhances many weather aspects in the sim including lighting effects, physics, cloud rendering and so much more. Check out the full list of features on the Xenviro website here.
xVison – 25 Votes
Lastly, selected from our “other” category is X-Vison with 25 votes. X-Vison allows you to control shaders for water, clouds, lighting, atmosphere and terrain. With this plugin you can customize the lighting to look just the way you want. You can come up with your own presets or use the ones provided with X-Vison. Either way this will have your sim looking fantastic!
#5 X-Camera – 206 Votes
Number 5 coming in at 206 votes is X-Camera by Stick and Rudder Studios. As a flight sim video producer this is one of my favorite plugins. X-Camera is what makes the cinematic filming possible. It also allows you to save as many views as you want inside and outside of the aircraft. You can then easily come back to these views at any time. If you don’t feel like making your own views, there are plenty of sets shared for each aircraft.
X-Camera is free to download and try. However, in order for your settings and views to save you will need to purchase a license for $15 USD. It’s a tool that’s well worth the price and something you’ll find yourself using for each and every flight.
#4 Airport Environment HD – 374 Votes
Next at number 4 we have Airport Environment HD, created by scenery developer MisterX6. This is not what you would traditionally call a plugin because it’s not a piece of software. Airport Environment HD is more of a manual fix to the sim. It’s used to improve airport taxiways, runways and sign textures throughout all the airports in X-Plane 11. This gives the textures an excellent makeover that is far better than the default textures. The texture pack is free to download and very easy to install. Simply paste the folder contents in their appropriate places and enjoy!
#3 Active Sky XP – 392 Votes
With 392 votes Active Sky by HiFi Technologies lands in the number 3 spot. Active Sky has long been the most popular weather engine for Prepar3D. But at the very end of 2018 it was released for X-Plane 11. This plugin injects real world weather into the simulator. But not only does it inject the weather parameters, It changes the overall wind dynamics and allows you to adjust the effects to your liking. The software comes with new cloud textures and promises changes to the cloud rendering tech at the end of 2019.
It also allows you to fly in weather conditions from the past or apply your own METARs. You can also add your route and view the weather data at each waypoint. This really helps when programming your a flight management computer because you are receiving the actual weather data for your route. If you want to know the weather your departure or arrival airport simply type in the airport code and you can see all the data in great detail. Active Sky will cost you $39.99 and is regularly updated free of charge.
#2 FlyWithLua – 471 Votes
Our second to last plugin is called FlyWithLua. This is free to download and has been around since X-Plane 9. FlyWithLua allows you to run and manipulate scripts deep within the core of X-Plane. But don’t worry if you don’t know how to manipulate or build scripts. One of the great things about this plugin is that once a script is created it can be shared with the rest of the community. Since this plugin has been around for some time there are plenty of scripts out there and you should be able to find one that suites your needs.
FlyWithLua is deemed by the community as one of the most important tools for managing your frames per second. It can be used to manipulate just about anything from, view distance, removing jagged shadows, improving textures, and configuring setups for cockpit builders. If you have the time and know how there is a lot that can be done with this plugin.
#1 Better Pushback – 692 Votes
The number one and most popular plugin among the community is Better Pushback. This is arguably the best tug pushback plugin across all of flight sim. Not only is it free to download but it’s full of detail and extremely easy to use. You simply rotate the aircraft in the direction you want it to go and the tug operator will move your aircraft precisely to the selected position.
This plugin also features multiple voices that change depending on where you are flying in the world. The tug itself is also complete with engine sounds and alarms as it approaches your aircraft.
This concludes our top 5 video for this month. Thank you to everyone for voting! As a new or seasoned veteran we hope this helps you when deciding what to download next for X-Plane 11. Remember each month is a new poll and you get to decide what the Top 5 are!