FS2020: Feature Discovery Series Episode 7 - Multiplayer Released

Thursday, March 26, 2020

French-based development team Asobo Studios have released the seventh installment of the Feature Discovery Series for the upcoming Microsoft Flight Simulator. Additionally, we've got more news on alpha feedback and a selection of user screenshots.

This time, the episode highlights the multiplayer aspects of FS2020, something that has been lacking information from the developers since the software's announcement back in June 2019.

Asobo's CEO Sebastian Wloch runs us through the various multiplayer modes in the new flight simulator, focusing in on a single "shared world" that simmers can take part in.

He outlined the team's vision as being "to provide users with a new experience that would bring all the pilots on the planet together on one shared world."

Wloch says the multiplayer experience is seamlessly integrated into the simulator, and that no complicated setup is required to configure a session. This ties in with FS2020's live traffic capabilities, allowing for users to interface not only with multiplayer traffic, but also augmented real world aircraft.

Speaking of the live traffic system, Wloch says that every aircraft in the world will be represented - even if connection to their ADS-B signal is lost, where AI would take over until a connection can be re-established.

The video then moves on to the different multiplayer "methods" - the first being 'Live Players'. This is for more of a strict aviation experience, with live weather and flying in real time. The reasoning behind this is for the most accurate experience, all player must be in the same situation, otherwise discrepancies between two simulator clients can occur.

The next "method" is called 'All Players', where you can customise the scenario to your heart's content. Weather, time, online traffic toggle are all unlocked, and is recommended for trying out a new aircraft, or just a less hands-off experience of aviation.

The last way of experiencing multipayer is through "Groups" - the classic, more closed off method. All variables are controlled by the group leader and all subsequent members will follow them, for example, weather, time and AI traffic settings.

On the technical side of things, Wloch explains that the team has numerous server clusters located around the world. Your client will automatically connect to the nearest cluster, however, you can choose if you'd rather join a friend's group flight on a different server.

Real world and multiplayer traffic will be managed actively while in-simulator, meaning only traffic relevant to your flight (within 200km) will be shown, though further limits can be imposed to assist with performance (the default is 50). This is summed up by Wloch as "you only see the planes you need to see".

The last thing touched on is the movement of multiplayer aircraft. According to Wloch, the team have developed a complex smoothing system, the goal being to remove unexpected jutters or sudden teleportations.

You can see the latest episode on YouTube here:

Also in today's update, we see another Alpha feedback snapshot, detailing the top questions, issues and wants from testers. The top requests this week include 3rd party content, air traffic control and the almost permanent fixture of "helicopters".

Alpha testers should see another update to their builds later this week, as the team is preparing to roll it out this post goes live.

Lastly for this update, a selection of user screenshots. These are attached below.

Check out the Microsoft Flight Simulator website for the source post for this article.

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