Can you play Microsoft Flight Simulator with a controller?

Microsoft Flight Simulator is a wonderfully deep and addictive game, allowing you to fly all over the world in everything from a small prop plane to a massive airliner. While it is certainly a true simulator, it is packed with options that make it friendly for new players. While you can’t hop in and be an ace pilot, you certainly can learn how to be one, and the game will help you get there.

The most readily available controller that most people will have access to is the Xbox controller, so you may be wondering if you can play the game this way. The answer is yes, absolutely. Through a combination of keyboard controls and the Xbox controller, you can take to the skies, fly to your destination, and land safely.

MSFS team is already aware, potential workaround

The MSFS support team is already aware of the glitch. They also confirm that it happens when the player makes changes to the Xbox controller keybinds.


On first start-up, the game will offer some different settings including assistance settings. By default, the selected option is All Assists. These can also be accessed after this by heading to Options and then Assistance Options, where you can also select from three different global accessibility settings.

All Assists provides both assistance and instructions when in flight by an AI co-pilot. Middle Ground provides some guidance, but less so than All Assists. True to Life is designed to provide a more authentic experience with less help from the AI. All three of these global settings also allow you to customize individual assistance settings by clicking on each option. For example, if you wanted all of the assists on but wanted to switch off Unlimited Fuel, you can do this by going into Aircraft Systems and switching Unlimited Fuel off. This means that you have the benefits of the assists when controlling the game, but still have to consider fuel consumption and plan your flight around this, which some players might enjoy. To change back to default and have all of the assists switched on, press X.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator VR Controller Support Launched

Lack of VR controller support was one of our biggest issues with Flight Simulator when headset integration was released last year, though you can obviously still use dedicated flight sticks for an immersive experience. We also took issue with the heavy performance costs, which have been addressed somewhat in other updates, though not fixed.

Take note that only one controller is active at a time, and not every plane has been adapted to support the new controls.

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