Microsoft announces release times for Flight Simulator, varies by region

Last month, Microsoft announced that the new Flight Simulator will finally become available on PC for users starting August 18. The latest iteration of the simulator was announced during E3 last year, and pre-orders began on July 13, 2020. Now, the Redmond giant has provided the release times for various regions, providing users more information on when they will be able to begin downloading and playing the game.

Those that pre-ordered the game from the Microsoft Store will be able to start downloading it on a rolling release schedule, meaning that the availability will differ depending on the region and time zone. The game is going live at midnight across 25 time zones around the globe, with users in countries like New Zealand already beginning to be eligible for the download.

Here is the complete list of time zones and the associated countries for those that purchased the game from the Store:

Time Countries
17 August

10:00 UTC


11:00 UTC

American Samoa, The Marshall Islands, Mauru, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, The United States Minor Outlying Islands, Wallis and Futuna

12:00 UTC

Antarctica, Fiji, New Zealand

13:00 UTC

New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu

14:00 UTC

Australia, Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, The Northern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea

15:00 UTC

Japan, The Republic of Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Palau, Timor-Leste

16:00 UTC

Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan

17:00 UTC

Cambodia, Christmas Island, Indonesia, The Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Thailand, Viet Nam

17:30 UTC

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Myanmar

18:00 UTC

Bangladesh, Bhutan, The British Indian Ocean Territory, Kyrgyzstan

18:15 UTC


18:30 UTC

India, Sri Lanka

19:00 UTC

The French Southern Territories, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

19:30 UTC


20:00 UTC

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Mauritius, Oman, Qatar, Réunion, Saint Barthélemy, Seychelles, The United Arab Emirates, Yemen

21:00 UTC

Åland Islands, Belarus, The Comoros, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Madagascar, Mayotte, The Republic of Moldova, Palestine, Romania, The Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, United Republic of Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine

22:00 UTC

Albania, Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Eswatini, France, Germany, Gibraltar, The Holy See, Hungary, Italy, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of North Macedonia, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Zambia, Zimbabwe

23:00 UTC

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, The Central African Republic, Chad, The Democratic Republic of the Kongo, The Congo, Equatorial Guinea, The Faroe Islands, Gabon, Isle of Man, Ireland, Morocco, The Niger, Nigeria, Portugal, Saint Helena, Ascension, and the Tristan da Cunha, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island
18 August

00:00 UTC

Bouvet Island, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Greenland, Guernsey, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, Jersey, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo

01:00 UTC

Cabo Verde, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

03:00 UTC

Anguilla, Anguilla and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Dominica, Brazil (BRT), The Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Virgin Islands (U.S.)

04:00 UTC

The Bahamas, Brazil (AMT), Plurinational State of Bolivia, Canada, The Cayman Islands, Chile, Curaçao, The Falkland Islands, Georgia, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, The Turks and Caicos Islands, The United States of America (Eastern), Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

05:00 UTC

Belize, Brazil (ACT), Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, The United States of America (Central)

07:00 UTC

Pitcairn, The United States of America (Western)

10:00 UTC

The Cook Islands French Polynesia

Those that opted to purchase the game from Steam will be able to access the complete download at 4AM UTC (4AM GMT, 12AM EST, 11PM CST (17 August), 9PM PST (17 August), 5AM BST). This means that some regions will be able to download the simulator before midnight.

While the announcement does not explicitly mention the timelines for users of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or Xbox Game Pass for PC subscribers, it is safe to assume that the timelines for the Store purchases also apply to the subscription holders, since the Standard version is included in the subscription. Additionally, there is no information on when the company aims to launch the simulator on consoles.

The game is offered in three versions: Standard ($59.99), Deluxe ($89.99), and Premium Deluxe ($119.99). The difference between the versions includes a greater number of airports and airplanes in the higher tiers. The latest offering from Microsoft leverages technologies from DirectX 12 and offers real-time weather and dynamic scenery.

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