Best laptops for Microsoft Flight Simulator in 2022

Microsoft Flight Simulator

In 2020, Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS) became a thing. Overnight, it grabbed the attention of millions of aspiring pilots, turning a niche flight sim title into a mainstream phenomenon. And despite its notorious hardware requirements, the title still drives gaming laptops off the shelves. So, if you're looking to get in on the action, you'll need the right machine for the job.

That's why I'm here – to help you pick the best laptop for Microsoft Flight Simulator and get you flying in no time. I'll break down every spec and tell you what matters and what doesn't in the laptop's makeup. As a bonus, I also picked out several premium options to suit any budget and gaming style.

I'm sure you're ready to fly so let's go!

Choosing the right processor for Microsoft Flight Simulator

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We're talking about the second most important component in your gaming rig. Second only to your graphics card, but often overlooked by gamers looking for an excellent performance. To put it bluntly, if you want to take full advantage of your computer's capabilities, the processor is what you need to pay attention to.

Requirements

Microsoft Flight Simulator can be quite CPU-intensive – so I recommend at least a Intel i3-1005G1 or an Intel Core i5-10300H. The game will not work well on low-end processors. I'd also suggest upgrading to Intel i5-10500H for smoother gameplay and higher FPS in multiplayer mode.

Recommendations

That's not enough information! I hear you, reader. Let me list my suggestions for choosing the best laptop processors for playing Microsoft Flight Simulator:

  • Intel i3-1005G1 – minimum required CPU
  • i5-10300H – perfect mid-range CPU for gaming; reasonably priced; no additional considerations needed;
  • Intel i5-10500H – high-end CPU

The right graphics card

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Choosing the best graphics card for playing Microsoft Flight Simulator is an easy task. That's because all you need is a decent integrated graphics chip, or better yet, a dedicated GPU in the form of GTX 1660 Ti. It doesn't matter what the price bracket is.

Minimum graphics (under $1000)

I can't think of any sensible scenario in which integrated graphics would be good enough for playing Microsoft Flight Simulator. Maybe that's just me? If you're working with $1000 or less, I advise you to go for a GTX 1650 and pray for the best.

Recommended graphics ($1600 – $2500)

If you're in this price range, my suggestion is to go for GTX 1660 Ti or RX 5600M. Both cards should be able to provide enough horsepower to handle Microsoft Flight Simulator on high settings without breaking a sweat. Just keep in mind that if your budget goes over $2000, there are better alternatives out there like RTX 2070 Super.

Best graphics ($2500 and up)

To get the best possible experience with Microsoft Flight Simulator, I recommend RTX 2070 Super or one of its slightly more expensive brothers – RTX 3070 and RTX 3080. You'll have no problem reaching 50 FPS on high settings.

TL;DR
  • integrated graphics are not good enough for playing Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • GTX 1650 is the minimum for $1000 or less
  • GTX 1660 Ti or RX 5600M are the recommended GPUs for $1600 – $2500
  • RTX 2070 Super or one of its slightly more expensive brothers are the best GPUs for $2500 and up

Choosing the right memory for Microsoft Flight Simulator

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For Flight Simulator, there are two specific scenarios in which the minimum amount of RAM will suffice. One is if you are using it as a supplement to an offline simulator and have no intention of connecting to the Internet. The other is if you want to use Flight Simulator solely for its photo-realistic scenery, since the game itself is not demanding on the system.

Minimum (8 GB)

If you are just looking for an offline simulator, then 8GB should be enough. There are two situations in which this will be enough. One is if you only plan on using it for its scenery, which doesn't demand much of your system. The other is if you plan on using it as a supplement to another offline simulator and don't intend to connect to the Internet. If you plan on doing anything else with it, or plan on playing online multiplayer, then 16GB should be your bare minimum.

Recommended (16 GB)

I would recommend 16GB RAM for all games that require more than just scenery, like Microsoft Flight Simulator. These games will not only demand more from your system, but also use more RAM for their own purposes. You can also play these games online with other people, so they'll need even more RAM than single player games do. I would recommend at least 16GB so that you don't have any issues with getting stuttering or other lagging during gameplay sessions or multiplayer sessions with friends.

Best (32 GB)

You might also want to consider 32GB RAM for your computer if you're looking for something that will last through multiple generations of Flight Simulator updates and will still be able to handle modern demands for graphics cards and CPUs by 2020 or 2030. The more memory your computer has available now, the less likely it will need upgrades in the future.

TL;DR
  • Flight Simulator is not demanding on system resources
  • you can play it offline with 8 GB RAM
  • you can play it online with 16 GB RAM
  • you can play it online with 32 GB RAM

The best storage for Microsoft Flight Simulator in 2021

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Playing Microsoft Flight Simulator? It's not like we're playing, like, anything else. But you know, this ain't easy and we can't be messing around with storage space – we need plenty of it. We don't want to make the wrong decision and regret it later. I'm here to help.

Is HDD an option?

I'll be frank with you – HDDs are out of the question. You might want to consider buying a laptop with an HDD if you're on a tight budget, but that's just about it. We can do without HDDs in our high-end gaming laptops – SSDs are a lot more expensive but a much better choice in terms of performance and longevity. That's why I recommend you to stay away from them if you have a higher budget, and only buy one as a backup measure for less pricey laptops where other specs are crucial.

Picking an SSD

I'll get straight to the point – get yourself a laptop with an NVMe PCI-e SSD over one with SATA connection. If you've got some cash left after that, get one with a lot of RAM for smoother gameplay and less stuttering when loading larger textures. That's pretty much it for choosing your laptop storage capacity for playing Microsoft Flight Simulator!

TL;DR
  • get an NVMe PCI-e SSD over a SATA connection
  • get a laptop with a lot of RAM for smoother gameplay and less stuttering when loading larger textures

What's the best display for playing Microsoft Flight Simulator?

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A gamer's display needs are as diverse as their interests. A few parameters that need to be addressed: resolution, refresh rate, and panel type. It's best to ask yourself what is most important to you.

Resolution

If you're not an avid player – 1080p should suffice. I would go with 1440p if you're looking for a richer color palette. And 4k if you want an immersive, gorgeous experience. For competitive gamers – 1080p or 1440p should do nicely, but for casual players or flight simmers – 4k is overkill.

Refresh rate

For flight simmers, I wouldn't worry about it too much. But I'll say this: IPS displays typically offer higher refresh rates than TN panels. And, of course, they come with many other benefits too. If you want the best experience in Microsoft Flight Simulator – IPS is your best bet for a display type.

Panel and image quality

As always, there are three panel types in modern laptops: TN, IPS, and OLED/AMOLED. TN panels are the cheapest option, but have lower quality displays with slower response times and poorer color accuracy than IPS panels. TN screens are primarily used in budget laptops because they cost less to manufacture – so while it might be tempting to go for a cheaper laptop – I'd recommend against it if your intention is to play flight sims on the highest setting possible without compromising the graphics' fidelity at all costs (e.g., low framerate). TN panels will do just fine if that's not your goal though; it's more about preference than performance in this case (TN panels provide lower input latency).

TL;DR
  • go with 1080p if you're not an avid gamer or flight simmer
  • 1440p is ideal for color fidelity and richness in flight sims
  • 4k is only necessary for competitive players and people who are really into flight sims
  • TN panels are fine for casual players and people who are not into flight sims

6 Best Laptops for Microsoft Flight Simulator

HP Victus 15

1
Plenty of features for the money
Price
$710
i5-12450H | GTX 1650 | 16 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS WA; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Superb display (15.6 IPS WA)
  • Thin (5.06 lbs)
Cons
  • Unremarkable processor (i5-12450H)
  • Run-of-the-mill graphics card (GTX 1650)
Alternatives
$790
GIGABYTE A5 K1
Pros
  • Splendid processor (Ryzen 5 5600H)
  • Great graphics card (RTX 3060)
Cons
  • Substandard memory amount (16GB)
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Acer Nitro 5

2
The best mid-range gaming laptop
Price
$830
Ryzen 5 5600H | RTX 3060 | 24 GB RAM | 1024 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Excellent processor (Ryzen 5 5600H)
  • Terrific graphics card (RTX 3060)
Cons
  • Unremarkable memory amount (24GB)
  • Underwhelming battery life (260min)
Alternatives
$880
Lenovo IdeaPad
Pros
  • Up to scratch graphics card (RTX 3050)
  • Solid display (15.6 IPS)
Cons
  • Ordinary processor (i5-11300H)
  • Bulky (4.95 lbs)
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ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

3
Forget about shortage of storage
Price
$1460
Ryzen 9 5900HS | RTX 3060 | 40 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 14″; 2560×1440
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Good processor (Ryzen 9 5900HS)
  • Competent graphics card (RTX 3060)
Cons
  • No IPS Panel (worse contrast)
Alternatives
$1,400
GIGABYTE AERO 17 XE5
Pros
  • Excellent processor (i7-12700H)
  • Solid graphics card (RTX 3070 Ti)
Cons
  • Unremarkable memory amount (16GB)
  • Average battery life (334min)
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GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4

4
Great value
Price
$1750
i7-12700H | RTX 3070 Ti | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS-level; 2560×1440
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Solid processor (i7-12700H)
  • Terrific graphics card (RTX 3070 Ti)
Cons
  • Average battery life (305min)
Alternatives
$2,670
ASUS ROG Strix Scar
Pros
  • Very good graphics card (RTX 3080)
  • Decent display (15.6 IPS-level G-Sync)
Cons
  • Middle-of-the-road processor (Ryzen 9 5900HX)
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Eluktronics MECH 15 G3R

5
High-end gaming laptop
Price
$4000
i9-12900H | RTX 3080 Ti | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS; 2560×1440
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Adequate processor (i9-12900H)
  • Good graphics card (RTX 3080 Ti)
Alternatives
$4,700
Lenovo ThinkPad P15
Pros
  • Awesome display (15.6 OLED Touch)
  • Splendid memory amount (128GB)
Cons
  • So-so processor (Xeon W-10855M)
  • Average graphics card (Quadro RTX 5000)
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ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo

6
The best gaming laptop
Price
$4410
i9-12900H | RTX 3060 | 32 GB RAM | 8000 GB SSD | 15.6″ OLED Touch; 3840×2160
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Decent processor (i9-12900H)
  • Great display (15.6 OLED Touch)
Cons
  • Run-of-the-mill graphics card (RTX 3060)
  • Middle-of-the-road memory amount (32GB)
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Table of the Best Laptops for Best laptops for Microsoft Flight Simulator in 2022

LaptopPrice (approx)
HP Victus 15$710
Acer Nitro 5$830
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14$1460
GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4$1750
Eluktronics MECH 15 G3R$4000
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo$4410

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