The Best Free Flight Simulators

Person playing a flight simulator game on computer

Lifewire / Miguel Co

Today's flight simulators are all business. No, not the business of running an airline, rather they are about the experience of flying a plane. You have pitch, yaw, roll, and acceleration to take into account. You have to be at speed at takeoff, gear to raise and lower and you have to be level to land safely.

The learning curve is steep and if you don't have (or can't learn) a lot of patience then, free or not, these flight simulators might not be for you.

To be clear, the first example is free and the second one is free for two weeks.


Flightgear screenshot

sukiweb / CC BY-SA 2.0 

Flightgear is interesting because not only is a very capable simulator, it's also an open-source project. Not only is this game free, but you could also even find yourself contributing to the project (if you wanted to, of course). The program is available for Windows, OS X and Linux operating systems.

"Aces High"

Aces High screenshot

Aces High

A World War II flight sim that offers free offline and 8-person head-to-head play. You have a choice of 50 aircraft from 6 different countries. Man tanks, carriers, cruisers, and many more. There is a subscription fee for online play; the download comes with 2 weeks free.