The Best Free Flight Simulators

Practice your piloting skills with free flying games for PC

Flight simulators have been a staple of PC gaming since the original Microsoft Flight Simulator launched way back in 1982. Here's a list of the best free flight simulators for testing your piloting skills.

These games are available for various operating systems. Check the system requirements to make sure they are compatible with your device.

Best Open-Source Flying Sim: FlightGear

The inside of a cockpit overlooking a city in FlightGear
What We Like
  • Frequent updates and new content.

  • Helpful wiki page.

  • Multilingual support.

What We Don't Like
  • Takes time to install and set up.

  • Consumes a lot of system resources while running.

FlightGear is an open-source flight simulator that has been in on-going development since 1997. Not only is this game free, but you can even contribute to the project. While the 3D environments that come built into the game are limited, there are thousands of regions and airports available for download from the FlightGear website. FlightGear is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

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Best WWII Sim: Aces High III

A plane with a shark design flies over water in Aces High

HiTech Creations

What We Like
  • Historically accurate replicas of real military vehicles.

  • Scenarios based on real-world battles.

  • Integration with Steam.

What We Don't Like
  • Only available for Windows.

  • Subscription required for online play.

Aces High III is a World War II flight simulator that offers free offline play and a competitive multiplayer mode that puts hundreds of players in simultaneous head-to-head combat. You have a choice of 50 aircraft as well as tanks, carriers, and cruisers from six different countries. There is a subscription fee for multiplayer, but the game comes with a two-week free trial. You can download the game from the official website or from Steam.

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Best Web-Based Flight Simulator: GeoFS

A plane flies over a desert in GeoFS for PC

 Xavier Tassin

What We Like
  • Works on any computer or mobile device.

  • Doesn't take up space on your device.

  • Dynamic weather conditions.

What We Don't Like
  • Mediocre graphics.

  • No PVP battles.

  • Must pay for upgrades.

GeoFS is a web application that runs in almost any browser. You can pick from a variety of flying vehicles including a multi-engine jet, a classic propeller plane, a helicopter, a hot air balloon, and even a paraglider. In addition to a helpful online instructions manual, GeoFS features a map that tracks all pilots currently playing the game, so you can arrange to meet up with your friends and explore the virtual world together.

Best Free Flight Simulator for Consoles: War Thunder

A silver plane flies through the clouds in War Thunder for PC

Gaijin Entertainment

What We Like
  • Free to play on PCs and consoles.

  • Online battles with up to 16 players.

  • All content can be unlocked for free.

What We Don't Like
  • Players can gain an unfair advantage by unlocking upgrades with real money.

  • Xbox One users can't play with PS4 users and vice versa.

War Thunder is a freemium game for Windows, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Another World War II-themed game, War Thunder features multiplayer combat as well as a casual mode for those who just want the experience of flying in a fighter jet. In addition to classic aircraft from the U.S.S.R. and other allied powers, battles also include anti-aircraft ground units. If you're playing on PC, you can interact with Xbox One and PS4 users.

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Tour the Globe: Google Earth Pro

The Earth from space in Google Earth


What We Like
  • Web, mobile, and desktop versions available.

  • Fly over anywhere in the world from your backyard to Mt. Everest.

  • Explore celestial bodies.

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't simulate the experience of piloting a real plane.

  • No combat, objectives, or interaction with other players.

Google Earth Pro gives you the ability to virtually fly over places you might never get to see in real life. Choose between an F16 jet fighter or a SR22 airplane and pick a real-world airport to take off from to explore the globe as seen from real satellite images. Bored with Earth? You can also fly around the Moon and Mars thanks to photorealistic maps supplied by NASA.

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