Using MSFS 2020 for World Exploration without Flying

Nelson Machado Guest

Dear Sirs: Maybe this is the wrong place for this question, but I searched everywhere and could not find what I want:
At the moment, I am not interested in "piloting" a plane, but I would like to use MSFS as a sightseeing tool all over the world... Is this possible?
In other words, I would like an invisible plane, that can stay at any altitude and speed (including zero, i.e.: stationary) and could move anywhere in the
world, at any speed! Anyone can help? Thanks, Nelson.

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Pro Member Captain
Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

Hello Nelson,

Absolutely, I understand where you're coming from and it's a question that many newcomers to MSFS 2020 ponder upon. While Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is primarily designed for flight enthusiasts, its incredibly detailed world and graphics have made it an enticing tool for virtual sightseeing.

1. Drone Camera Mode:
First and foremost, you should look into the Drone Camera Mode. This allows you to freely move around in the environment, stationary or otherwise. In this mode, you are not confined to the cockpit or any aircraft, so it's pretty much the "invisible plane" you're describing.

How to Access and Use the Drone Camera Mode:

  • Start a flight anywhere you wish.
  • Once loaded, pause the simulation.
  • Access the camera settings and select the Drone Camera Mode.
  • You can now navigate anywhere using your keyboard, mouse, or joystick.

2. Adjusting the Speed and Altitude:
You can easily modify the speed at which the drone camera moves. Likewise, there's no altitude restriction so you can hover at any desired height, even ground level.

3. Teleporting to Different Locations:
You don't necessarily have to "fly" to another location. If you want to jump straight to a particular landmark or city, just go back to the main menu and start a new flight at the desired location, then switch to the drone mode to explore.

4. Tips for a Better Experience:

  • To get more realistic ground details, ensure that you have the Bing Data and Photogrammetry options turned on in the data settings.
  • Adjust time and weather conditions from the weather menu for different moods and experiences.

I hope this guide aids you in exploring the vast and beautifully detailed world of MSFS 2020. And remember, while flying is the simulator's primary objective, it offers so much in terms of exploration that it'd be a shame not to use it for sightseeing.

If you have any more questions or need further clarification on any topic, please let me know. From my knowledge, there are also a number of tutorials available online that might assist you, especially on platforms like YouTube.

Safe travels, even if they're virtual!

Nelson Machado Guest

Dear Captain Ian Stephens: Thank you SO MUCH for you kind and detailled answer... This does it: my wife will kill me, but I am upgrading my old PC to enable it to run MSFS, with a new CPU(5 5060) and a new GPU(RTX 3060)...

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