Xbox Game Studios

How many copies did Microsoft Flight Simulator sell? — 2024 statistics

Taking flight into the realms of statistical wonders in Microsoft's virtual skies.

First Released
November 1982
Asobo Studio
Xbox Game Studios

This is one of the oldest video game series around, as it was started by Bruce Artwick in 1976 through a series of articles that was expanded and developed into a simple program meant to help pilots train themselves to fly virtually, and for the everyman to enjoy in their free time. This is the longest-running video game series of all time, but what does it exactly take to achieve such success? Well, that’s why we’re here! We’re going to delve into some Microsoft Flight Simulator statistics and facts. To get a grasp of its enduring success, we have to explore Microsoft Flight Simulator sales. If you want to learn more about video game industry revenue, look no further! (actually, look backward, at those blue letters)

Microsoft Flight Simulator key stats

We all know that this series has been around for a very long time, and we’re going to try to condense everything we have about the series in this single section, from total money generated to MSFS sales, as well as anything else we might be able to find on the topic.

The Microsoft Flight Simulator sales total over 22.2 million units for the entire series.

(Source: VG Chartz)

  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0 sold over 800,000 units.
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) sold over 1 million units.

We understand that the numbers for all of the versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator are a bit… sparse, but that is how it is today. Information about very old games is not documented that well as new releases take the stage and are bound to be talked about more. However, just because we don’t know all the numbers doesn’t mean that the games are bad in any way, just… older.

Microsoft Flight Simulator and Microsoft Flight Simulator X grossed over $65.1 million on Steam.

(Source: VG Insights)

  • Microsoft Flight Simulator grossed $65.1 million.
  • The game sold 1.4 million units on the platform.
  • 78.2% of the game’s reviews are positive.
  • The average playtime is 247.7 hours.
  • The median playtime is 109.1 hours.
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition grossed over $13.5 million.
  • The game sold 825,000 units on the platform.
  • The average playtime is 411.8 hours.
  • The median playtime is 85.5 hours.

Some financial statistics for the newest edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator and Microsoft Flight Simulator X, its predecessor, tell us that the two games are actually contrastive on two fronts — the average time that players spend in the game, and the total money earned. When it comes to earnings, it is perfectly clear that the newest edition has many more players, but players seem to spend more time playing the game’s predecessor.

The launch period noted 1 million new players.

(Source: Essentially Esports, Polygon)

  • The 2020 version of the game was the biggest launch in the franchise’s nearly 40-year lifespan.
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator broke launch records on release.
  • It was also the biggest launch in the Xbox Game Pass’ history.

A game’s launch period is often the most crucial time for the game to establish itself on the market and Microsoft Flight Simulator did just that. A revolutionary game that came out at just the right time, it took the gaming world by storm and attracted millions of players in a very short time.

Microsoft Flight Simulator players flew over 3.5 billion miles in four months of the game’s release.

(Source: Guide Stash)

  • The game had a 91 Metacritic rating at that time.
  • There were over 2 million pilots in the game.
  • There were over 50 million total flights.
  • The total miles flown by the players equates to 19 round trips from the Earth to the Sun.
  • Players explored 72% of the Earth.
  • 7000 pilots visited Asobo’s office.
  • 4300 pilots visited Microsoft’s office.
  • New York City was the most popular destination.

As you can see, a game that’s primarily about flying around can have some mind-numbing achievements that come with it! With 3.5 billion miles flown in the game’s first four months, we can only imagine what those numbers soared to as time went on. From 2020 to 2023, we can expect hundreds of billions of miles flown by players and many more achievements aside from that.

Microsoft Flight Simulator had 10.1 million hours watched on Twitch in 2020.

(Source: SullyGnome)

  • The game had 327,074 broadcasting hours.
  • There were 1,149 viewers watching the game on average.
  • There were 37 channels streaming the game on average.
  • It had a viewer ratio of 30.9.
  • Its max viewer count was 216,593.
  • There were 25,534 broadcasters that streamed the game.

Okay, so from the other side of the screen, on Twitch, where we can see that the game’s peak popularity was in 2020, after which the total number of hours watched dipped by some 2.7 million in 2021, and stayed around 7.5 million onward. These numbers tell us that the game is still quite healthy and will most likely remain that way and even increase as Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 gets closer and closer.

To sum up

Okay, passengers, this is where our flight ends! As you can see, the history of this game spans generations and has made a notable impact on the gaming industry, something that few other games are going to be able to do. We tried to stick to the cold numbers in the case of the series, not paying The 2020 version of the game is the newest one and we are expecting a tremendous amount of content to come out when the new game comes out in 2024. Until then, we’re going to be scouting the skies to check for anything new to add to what we’ve presented here today. We sincerely hope that you have learned something new!


  • “Microsoft Flight Simulator”. VGChartz, 2023,
  • “Xbox: Microsoft Flight Simulator Breaks Game Launch Record”. Essentially Esports, 2020,
  • “Microsoft Flight Simulator: 1 million pilots so far, flying 1 billion miles”. Polygon, 2020,
  • “Microsoft Flight Simulator Achieves Multiple Post-Launch Milestones”. Guide Stash, 2020,
  • “Microsoft Flight Simulator”. SullyGnome, 2020,
  • “Microsoft Flight Simulator – Steam Stats”. VG Insights, 2023,
  • “Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition – Steam Stats”. VG Insights, 2023,