Microsoft Flight Simulator Adding Competitive Multiplayer Air Races

With the virtual Gamescom 2021 underway, Microsoft took the opportunity to announce the next update to the latest iteration of Microsoft Flight Simulator. The game’s next World Update adds spectacular new landmarks and locations in central Europe, as demonstrated in a trailer featured during the event. However, that’s not the only new content coming to the game.

Microsoft Flight Simulator is getting a brand new competitive multiplayer mode. This is thanks to the publisher’s recently announced partnership with the Reno Air Racing Association. Microsoft will soon bring the high-flying competition to the game in an upcoming DLC.

The upcoming Reno Air Races expansion lets players compete in the Stihl National Championship Air Races. The competition takes place up to 250ft above the Nevada desert, with planes dashing across the sky at 500 miles per hour. The 2020 version of Microsoft Flight Simulator already featured an online multiplayer component. However, the new expansion for the first time introduces competitive multiplayer to the long-running simulation series. Players will be able to race angst their friends or other players around the world.

Naturally, the update includes a range of high-performance racing planes for players to put through their paces, a few of which Microsoft showed off in the thirty-second teaser trailer accompanying the announcement. The teaser, unfortunately, didn’t show off much gameplay. It only offers a few seconds of one vs. one aerial action cut together with shots of planes looking dramatic on the tarmac. Still, the introduction of competitive multiplayer is a groundbreaking addition to Microsoft Flight Simulator. Not to mention it's great news for existing fans of air racing, who don’t usually get much attention from the mainstream games industry.

Microsoft Flight Simulator’s Reno Air Races expansion debuts this fall, though the developers haven’t announced a specific released date. In the meantime, Flight Simulator fans will have to make do with the upcoming World Update 6 releasing September 7th. The update focuses on the central European nations of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. It fleshes out major cities and includes a range of new landmarks mountain castles and the Alps’ famous Matterhorn. All of which were on display in another trailer featured during Microsoft’s Gamescom 2021 virtual showcase.

Previous World Updates focused on countries like Japan, the United States, United Kingdom, and Ireland. Scandinavia was the most recent region to receive attention, with the Nordic Update released in June. It fleshed out Iceland, Norway, Sweeden, and Finland with improved data for 100 airports and 78 points of interest. The Upcoming World Update and Reno Air Races expansions are just the latest steps in Microsoft and Asobo Studio’s effort to create a comprehensive virtual flight experience.

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