X-Plane vs. MS FS2004

Sam Intel Guest

I was wondering what the differences are between X-Plane and FS2004? Do more people use MS FS2004, or X-Plane? Which one is better? I have FS2004 and I am very pleased with it, but I hear alot of really good things about X-Plane too.

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Pro Member Captain
David (The-GPS-Kid) Captain

I think it's fair to say that more people use FS2004 than X-Plane but they each have different strengths and good and not so good things about them.

I would say that any serious flight sim junkie (like myself), should try both.

It really comes down to personal preference - I much prefer FS2004 but thats because it gives me more of what I wasnt from a Flight Sim..... lot's of Airliner stuff, a HUGE selection of fantastic commercial add-ons, great freeware scenery, etc, etc....

Here are some basic observations that myself and others have noted about the differences:


- A more 'polished' visual experiance.... better graphics and scenery depiction.

- Coverage of the whole globe - you can fly ANYWHERE.

- 1,000s of add-ons and utilities available to make the experiance even better. Not just planes and scenery, Flight Planners, ATC add-ons, Scenarios, etc, etc.

- Good default selection of standard sensible aircraft .

- Flight dynamics and handling feel great but are not 100% replication of true flight dynamics.


- Not as polished in terms of scenery and graphics.

- Default pack does NOT cover the whole globe

- Flight Dynamics absolutely spot on "as real as you CAN get" in this area.

- A more imaginitive (sci-fi!) selection of planes, including Space Shuttle, missions to mars, etc.

- a PLANE BUILDER function to design and fly your own planes.

- Few commercial add-on products available.

......the above doesn't cover even a fraction of all of the features of each - it's just highlighting the main differences.

X-Plane is well worth a try in my view, but it doesn't have the permanent staying power that I get from FS2004 !


Another note, i was just trying out X-plane and one feature that REALLY stood out to me, was that once i was above all the clouds, when i looked down all i could see was clouds, which was pretty cool(more realistic that is) where in FS(hopeuflly not just me) once you get above the clouds this just dissapear and you can see the ground. If its not just me i think FS2006 should really work on their cloud covering

Sam Intel Guest

Thanks guys for all your help. 😀

Disappointed Guest

I bought x plane just because I was in the store and thought it looked like a good flight sim according to the box. I've been flying sims a very long time and my favorite is FS 2004. Definatly more realistic as far as senery and ATC. X plane 8 is lacking big time when it comes to airport realisim and ATC. The first thing I noticed with X plane that I didn't like was the airplane models. They have very litlle in the way of dynamic movement and detail. X plane 8 feels a little better when flying, as far as turbulence and wind resistance but other then that not impressed at all.

Just my opinon....

Pro Member First Officer
horrgakx First Officer

I saw this thread posted my thoughts on here (I'm the last post on there at the moment).

narcboss Guest

Just a quick thought, I own both xplane v8 and msfs2004. I have a Mac and a Dell. I am a police pilot and former fighter pilot and I perfer the xplanes realism as far as aircraft handling and performance. it is real as it gets folks. That said, I do like the FS too when I just wanna mess around and don't feel like waiting on the xplane to load or want more scenery. But if you really wanna know what it feels like to fly a plane, xplane has it hands down.

Pro Member Chief Captain
pilotwannabe Chief Captain

I think MSFS is designed for the serious flight simmer/enthusiast whereas X-Plane is better for people who don't know a lot about about aviation but just wanna fly 😀

Ryan F. Guest

I have X-plane, but never reinstalled it when i got my new computer.

although the dynamics in x-plane are better, I personally cannot note the difference between FS and x-plane. the one thing i miss doing, however, is flying the space shuttle, that was a lot of fun.

my opinion: FS2004 is the way to go.

Pro Member First Officer
horrgakx First Officer

> I personally cannot note the difference between FS and x-plane.

I think the differences in the flight dynamics smacks you in the face. For example, try extreme manouvers using the 747 in both FS2004 and XPlane, they are a world apart.

Pro Member Site Admin
Fly Away Simulation (Flyaway) Site Admin

You may be interested in our XP11 vs FSX article here:

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