There is no universal method to connect to a multiplayer community. Instead, the way that you connect depends on the simulator platform you use. Some communities are specific to a certain platform, while others are able to offer compatibility across several different platforms.
This page provides information about the different multiplayer options available for the major flight simulation platforms: FSX, FSX: Steam Edition, and Prepar3D. It also provides an overview of 3rd party connection utilities and FSHost.
We are not aware of any established communities using FSX: Steam Edition or Prepar3D. Administrators from any established are encouraged to Contact Us so that we may list and describe their communities on this page.
Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) provides a built-in multiplayer platform that was originally based on GameSpy. While the GameSpy aspect of the platform is no longer available, many communities continue to rely on the overall networking capability of FSX to provide connectivity.
Rather than logging in to GameSpy, users can enter the IP address of a server and connect directly to that server’s network, all from within Flight Simulator and without downloading any additional software. This represents the simplest way to get connected, and doesn’t require the installation of any additional software.
For general instructions on connecting to a multiplayer session in FSX, see our Multiplayer Server Connection Guide.
In December 2014, Dovetail Games launched the boxed version of Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition (Acceleration) on Steam. The release features small updates to improve compatibility with Windows 8.1 as well as a standalone multiplayer functionality integrated with Steam.
The multiplayer environment in FSX: Steam Edition works similarly to the GameSpy-based FSX multiplayer in that users connect to their Steam profile and join a session that is hosted by another Steam user. All of the familiar features of FSX’s multiplayer, such as player-to-player private chat, are available on FSX: Steam Edition.
Despite being based on the same platform, multiplayer functionality in FSX: Steam Edition is not backwards compatible with the boxed edition of FSX.
Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D® simulation software (P3D) is an updated version of the original FSX code that offers many of the software's same basic features with improved graphics and functionality. Prepar3D is available for training, instruction, learning, simulation, and software development, but is not licensed for personal consumer entertainment.
P3D includes a built-in multiplayer environment that, despite being based on the same platform, is not backwards compatible with FSX.
In addition to the built-in multiplayer options in FSX, FSX: Steam Edition, and Prepar3D, some communities have developed their own third-party connection utilities to allow users from multiple flight simulation programs to fly in the same environment.
Boston Virtual ARTCC, IVAO, PilotEdge, and VATSIM all use custom-created connection utilities that are external to the simulation platform.
FSHost is a free server program for hosting multiplayer sessions with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002, 2004, and FSX, as well as Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D. Any user can run the program on a PC to host a session and players from all four simulator versions can connect to the same session and see each other inside the game.
Some of FSHost's features include unlimited players, a web interface, flight plans for ATC sessions, pilot logs, the ability to kick and ban players, chat commands, hop lists, custom weather, multiple language support, and lots more.
FSX and Prepar3D users need the FSHostClient program to connect FSX to FSHost servers, but FS2002 and FS2004 are able to connect to FSHost with their built-in multiplayer systems.
FSHostSpy shows a list of FSHost servers currently online, as well as each game's session details, player names, aircraft, altitude, heading, speed, flight plans, and all the other details you want to might know before joining a game.