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0 votes
asked by (12 points)
Hello, everyone!

I'm new to the flight simulator, and I decided to dive into the world of Xplane.

Q1. So do you think flight simulator is very helpful, like is it going to help you in real life flight?

Q2. I only have around 950USD, then what PC can I get for X plane 11 and I need a yoke and peddle right?

Q3. What're the differences between steam version and online official website one?

Q4. If I buy one digital version from X plane website then can I play it on multiple computers? Like if I buy one on steam, then in the future if I change a PC then I can still log in my account and play it. Or if I go to my friends' houses then I can still log in my account and download it and enjoy with them. But is this benefit only on the Steam version?

Q5. Can I add free add ons on steam version one? Or I can only do this on online version?

Q6. So when I buy X plane 11 I only have 11 or 12 planes? How can I fly the planes I wanna fly, like B787, B777 or any airline companies' airplane with their unique painting? Should I pay for it? Can I get all of these for free?

Q7. Do I have any airports in the world when I just buy it? Because I found the DLC on steam about JFK airport and it's not free.....OMG then I need to pay for every airport I wanna fly???

Q8. Is this game an online game? Can I fly and communicate with others?

I'm sorry, I have so many questions, and I hope that I can get the answers from you cool guys!

Thank you, very much.

3 Answers

+2 votes
answered by (3.5k points)
Hi, first of all, welcome to X-plane!

Feel free to use the website search engine to look for keywords, because many of your questions have already been answered on this forum.

I will still take the time to answer as many questioons as possible, even though some of the answers will just reflect my point of view and it's always possible to see things differently.

Using a flight simulator is always helpful for real life, but it can also make you take bad habits. It all depends on how you use it. As good as it can be, a simulator will never be able to reproduce everything single sensation you can get in real life. It can be seen as an asset (you can focus of specific aspects of the flight and have more mental ressource available to learn) but also as a drawback (the real experience will always be different and most of the time more complex and stressfull). It is a very complicated question, but overall, I would say that having an instructor involved in your simulation experience will always be a good thing.

It is not very clear.. is you budget for everything? Computer+screen+yoke+rudder peddals?!? Would you rather choose a laptop? Would you consider buying second hand equipement?
If I had to buy a computer for X-plane today, I would probably spend at least 1000$ in the PC tower only to have a GTX1070, I5 or I7 processor, 8 or 18Gb of RAM, 480Gb SSD for the sim.
You could consider a cheap second hand joystick to start with, if you are short on budget... so there are many many options and it all depends on your priorities.
These links might be helpful :

Steam is a only a reseller, so they do not know the product, it adds another layer when you want to solve a problem (and you will have some problems, especially if you want to tweak your simulator).
Updates are available later on Steam (sometimes several weeks)
You will directly support Laminar Research (I am not part of the team) if you buy the digital or DVD version from
You can look for Steam in the searchbox to read the different threads about it.

If you buy the licence from Laminar Research, 1 product key = 1 instance running at a time. That's the only restriction.

You can install the same things on Steam version and on "Laminar Research" version.

THE website for third party products :
Not everything is there, but almost.
Sometimes it's payware, sometimes it's free. In general, payware is of a good/better quality, but not always.
When it comes to aircraft, if you want to go deep into system simulation, you will almost always have to choose payware aircraft, except for the B737. The choice is now quite vast and things are improving. Please don't ask me for links, everything in on (search engines, forums...) and many interesting videos (tutoriels, top10...) are on YouTube too..
60$ is a normal price for a very good airliner and there are sales sometimes.

You never need to pay for an airport in X-plane. Not all airports are accurately modelled in X-plane default, but things are improving quite fast thanks to many volunteer artists. Everybody can create an airport with a free software provided by Laminar Research , WED.
Everything is centralised here :
And more visually here : (updated every couple of weeks)
Every 6 months or so, Laminar Research publishes an update with all the new airport submissions included. Today, 1 airport out of 7, in the world, is very accurately modelled, with standardised 3D buildings in the default version of X-plane.

In addition to that, you can manually install freeware airports from, with customized 3D objects, or you can also buy some.

I think it's possible even though I have never tried.
But you can definitely fly on Vatsim or IVAO if you spend some time installing the appropriate plugins and addons :
Vatsim and IVAO are independent, but both connect pilots flying from different platforms (Flight simulator, P3D, X-plane)

Pilotedge is the equivalent, but payware (much more realistic) :

Many videos on YouTube...

Well, that's all :)
0 votes
answered by (19.3k points)

Wow, that IS a long list of questions! :)

For the full info on what comes with X-Plane and some tips on how to expand it (both free and pay add ons are available) I'd recommend checking out the manual. You can search for specific topics or for now you might just want to start with the overview section here.

Whether you want to go with Steam or purchase direct from in the end, you can get the free demo now to see how it runs on your current computer and check out how to add custom scenery, aircraft, etc. Add on scenery or aircraft are compatible either way too.

For Q4, if you think you'll want to play X-Plane on other computers that aren't your own, I would probably recommend buying through Steam to use your account for security. You can use the DVD or digital download product key on more than one computer, but it's harder to keep secure in that case. 

Q8--multiplayer is an area we're looking to improve for the future. Right now you can really only fly with others if you use a service such as VATSIM, or IVAO.

0 votes
answered by (5.3k points)

Hi dav951753,

Welcome to the world of X-Plane.

In answering one particular question be clear that I have no connection with Laminar Research.

When purchasing a computer go for a windows based unit.  There are computers that are produced by a company that has a "fruit" name.  You will pay a lot more for what you get for the same configuration.  As you indicated you are on a limited budget it will be much easier to progressively upgrade components in due course if you choose the way I have suggested.

When purchasing your system you will get better performance from a Nvidia graphics card than from an AMD card.

In response to Question 3 don't waste your money on steam.  The steam developers have no connection with Laminar Research.  They are a third party company taking a commercial advantage of the work carried out by Laminar Research in producing X-Plane 11.  Support the original and official product.  Every time you start the original/official version of X-Plane you will be advised of any upgrades.  I understand, and stated in one of the responses to your original questions, there will be a long time lag for any steam upgrade.

Earlier this year steam released a disc version of X-plane.  The only official version at that time was a digital download from Laminar Research.  It was some time later that Laminar released a disc version.   

Search the  site for additional aircraft.  There is a lot of other good information on this site as well dedicated just for and by X-Plane users. 

Good flying


commented by (570 points)
About AMD vs Nvidia I'd say right now it's true. But may change one Vulkan is implemented. Still is a BIG "maybe".