'''''Microsoft Flight Simulator''''' is a flight simulator series produced for Windows. The game is renowned for its detailed flight models, sophisticated aircraft systems and large gameplay area (i.e. the entire earth). The games also have a large online community involved in such activities as multiplayer flying and virtual airlines. The games also have enormous third-party add-on potential to the (relative) ease of creating and/or editing many game files, including thousands of both commercial and freeware custom aircraft and scenery.
The level of detail put into the games means that they are quite an efficient training tool, and various situations that are not safe or practical to perform in real life (i.e. engine failures) can be flown as a training aid to supplement real world training. The series was later succeeded by the [[AllegedlyFreeGame free-to-play]] ''VideoGame/MicrosoftFlight''.
'''NOTE''': The article includes tropes from both the series and also from Lockheed Martin [=Prepar3D=], since the program is [[SpiritualSuccessor almost exactly the same as FS and shares the same tropes]].
!!This VideoGame contains examples of:
* AwesomeButImpractical: Just like in RealLife, some jets are really cool, but trying to flying them is '''another thing''':
** The Concorde is maybe a good example of this, both in RealLife and in-game: Flying the jet itself requires ''lots of dextery'', consumes more fuel than your regular jet, doing turns is too difficult and they're only efficient in straight lines. This also applies in a meta-example: The sole ''fact'' to even install the plane in the simulator is quite a challenge, since the Concorde flies too different from regular airliners and requires specific drivers in specific places of the game's directory, not to mention some versions of the Concorde can ''slow down'' the simulator.
** There are tons of CoolPlanes (both examples from RealLife and from creators' imaginations) that are little more than flying toys.
* TheBackwardsR: Happens a lot with some freeware Russian planes's gauges, but in this case it's not for parody purposes, but as a mix of reality issues (since being Russian planes, they cannot use English gauges) and the fact many programmers doesn't speak Russian.
* CoolPlane: Many of them, and you can buy or download more if you need them.
* CrashCourseLanding: When trying to learn to fly a plane in the game, you will surely end in this situation.
* GameMod: Many of them.
* LandingGearShot: One of the camera views in many planes allows this.
* NintendoHard: Zig-zagged: The stock planes are normally easier to fly, but some add-on planes are notorious for being a pain to fly them, since they mimic the original behaviour of the RealLife ones.
* OptionalTrafficLaws: Depends of the rules you're using and the game mode:
** Using VFR (Visual Flight Rules) means you're only restricted what the ATC (the traffic controller) says about taxing or landing in the airport and also regarding entering the airport's air space or another ATC zone, other than that you're free to do whatever you like with the plane. On the other hand, using IFR (Instrumental Flight Rules) means you have to obey the ATC regarding your route of your flight plan and your altitude, but skips the part regarding entering other airport's air space, as the local ATC does it for you. In any case, the worst thing can happen by not obeying those rules is the ATC cancels your flight plan and you have to fill your flight plan again.
** Averted with a ''revenge'' in multiplayer and for a [[RealityEnsues good reason]]: Failure to obey the ATC is normally grounds for getting kicked and/or banned from the server, since playing in MP in FS means you have to follow the same rules you should follow in RealLife regarding flying a real plane.
* SceneryPorn: Some versions of the game feature an interesting set of trees, barns and buildings on the ground.
* SeriousBusiness: This is mostly the default attitude on many multiplayer venues of the game, and unlike other games, this is for (most of the time) good reasons:
** Unlike other (military/mainstream) simulators, the game is mostly used as a tool for learning to fly a plane, and rarely (if ever) used as a game, since trying to do whatever you like in a real plane will get you killed, shot down, arrested or fined, especially if you live in a country having a tight control over their skies.
** One of the biggest [[BerserkButton berserk buttons]] in any multiplayer server is taking off ''without a flightplan''. Justified, since in RealLife, you cannot legally take off without one and some servers can kick/ban you if you do so.
** Some servers only covers some countries and taking off from another one can get you kicked/banned.
** Taking off with non-stock (using freeware/payware ones) jets is discouraged in some servers and taking off using a ''fighter jet'' in a civilian airport will get you kicked for the reasons already explained.
** Some servers doesn't even let you use fighter jets, '''Period'''. (Due to RealLife reasons: A fighter jet cannot land in a civilian airport, except in the case of an extreme emergency, like an engine failure or another catrastophic situation. A military pilot trying to do that in RealLife without a good reason could be arrested/court-martialed for doing that)
** In conclusion: Most multiplayer servers will try to force you to fly just like a real pilot will do in real life, meaning that, if you want to go to, let's say from New York to London in game, you '''MUST''' be in the game during the remaining of the flight, [[BladderOfSteel so be sure to have enough free time to fly and also an empty bladder, just in case]].
** Outside multiplayer, this trope reachs its logical conclusion with [=Prepar3D=] (FSX's SpiritualSuccessor): The EULA explicitely forbids the use of the simulator for entertaiment purposes and only can be used for professional use. Justified, since Lockheed Martin's (the owners of the FSX engine, who also hired most of the Microsoft FSX's programming team) main job is designing ''fighter jets'' for the U.S. Air Force.
* SpacePlane: Many of them.
* TakeThat: In one of the the freeware versions of the Concorde, you can choose the Air India livery, despise no non-European airliners used that plane and the fact the Indian government forbade the use of the Concorde on supersonic speeds on India's airspace.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: You could ram the aircraft into a building if you wish...
** GoryDiscretionShot: ...but don't expect to see the aftermath of the crash, and for a very good reason.
* VideoGameLongRunners: The series has 12 entries. The first one was released in 1979.
* ViolationOfCommonSense: When your aircraft loses enough speed that the lift drops and the aircraft loses response and plummets, your taught to point the nose down and open the throttle. This will speed you back up, get more air flowing under your wings again so you can pull up out of said stall.
* WideOpenSandbox: You can go (and land) anywhere, even in places when in RealLife you could be fined, arrested or even killed/shot down for doing so (like landing a civilian jet in a military base, or a military aircraft in a civilian airport, flying on no-fly zones, landing on water if you have a hydroplane, etc). The only place you cannot land or go is (until FSX, partially) the poles: if you go to the poles in any game prior FSX, you will crash against an invisible wall and even in FSX, you can go only to the South Pole, and if you go beyond the South Pole station, you will also crash against that invisible wall, too.
** You can even land a ''very heavy jet'' (like a Boeing 747, or an Airbus A380) or a very noisy one (like fighter jets, a Concorde or a Tupolev Tu-142) on any kind of airport, regardless if that airport in RealLife can is able to sustain such a plane or not.