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MSFS Setup and Fundamentals Course

Master the settings used to configure your simulator, learn how to set up flights, understand camera configurations, and grasp other essential simulator skills.


Microsoft Flight Simulator: Set Up Your Sim and Master the Basics Quickly.

Getting started in flight simulation can be overwhelming. This course changes that.

If you're like many of our students, you recently purchased MSFS but you're unsure how to set up and optimize the simulator.

We understand. You're an aspiring pilot, but perhaps not much of a computer enthusiast or gamer.

Maybe you've installed Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 (MSFS), but you're overwhelmed by basic things like how to interact with cockpit controls and set your views. Or perhaps you've also wondered how to optimize your simulator’s performance by tweaking graphics settings.

If so, this course is perfect for you!

Join flight instructor Jesse Ekkerd for this detailed introduction to MSFS. This video-based course, with exceptional production quality, can be watched on-demand. Jesse's friendly, step-by-step approach will help you master the basics of MSFS in no time.

What this course is: A detailed look into MSFS settings and how to navigate the user interface. It will allow you to understand what the different options do and how to optimize your setup. It's a systematic way to understand this powerful software, especially if you're new to flight simulation.

What it's not: This course will not cover how to fly the aircraft, or content specific to particular aircraft types. It does not cover specific hardware components or add-ons.

What do prior students have to say about it?

  • "Instructor is extremely well informed and knowledgeable about the software, and is very articulate and clearly spoken couldn’t think of a better instructor." — Gus K.
  • "The MSFS Setup course by Jesse is GREAT !! He has done an excellent job of walking through all the options you have and how to tailor them to your specific goals. I have almost 700 hours in MSFS 2020 and I learned much about the sometimes challenging menus within the 'game'. Choices abound! Just the section on tailoring your flight control hardware was worth the entire cost of the course."— Robert H.
  • "I am an old timer with Microsoft's Flight Simulator software and I learned a great deal about MSFS 2020 from this course." — Bob M.
  • "Very useful course for those who want to familiarize with msfs. I learnt a few useful tips." — Jamil
  • "I viewed the MSFS Setup and Fundamentals course today. I’m a retired airline pilot and have been using MSFS since it was released, so I was reasonably familiar with it. However your course was a great refresher and I picked up a lot of new information. I’ve been through a LOT of aviation training, US Air Force and Airlines, and I think the trainer and content organization of your course are excellent. Thanks for producing such a good product. I will be recommending it to four of my flight sim friends today." — John Shriner



Meet your instructor and get tips for how to use this course

Meet your instructor, Jesse
How to use the course
Sample Video
Tips for how to get the most out of the experience

Setting Up MSFS

The first part of the course will help you understand the various settings of your simulator to optimize your experience.

General Options
21 min
Sample Video
An overview of the general MSFS user interface and suggested settings for sound, traffic, data, flight model, accessibility, and miscellaneous options
Assistance Options
10 min
Controls Settings
26 min
Sample Video
Profiles, sensitives, dead zones, neutral settings, and reactivity; binding control assignments; filters; action types
The World Map
20 min
Configuring aircraft selections, liveries, weight and balance, failures, and customization options; multiplayer and ATC settings; weather and time options; selecting airports; map options; routing types; navigation logs
Graphics Settings
30 min
Sample Video
Optimizing graphics settings; frame rate output; global rendering settings and detailed optimization options
Camera Settings
26 min
Learn how to control your views in the simulator - including in the cockpit, external, and drone views

Your First Flight

Let's go fly!

Setting up the flight
2 mins
Using the default views
3 mins
How to pause the simulator
4 mins
Three types of pause and when/how to use them
The basics: Verifying control assignments
5 min
Ensuring you're ready for your first flight by checking all flight controls, including flap and trim control bindings

Apply your skills

10 Things to Do in Microsoft Flight Simulator
7 mins
An encouraging look at ways to use your simulator and stay engaged


Jesse Ekkerd

Jesse Ekkerd

SACAA Instructor Grade 2, SACAA CPL(A)
I'm a commercial pilot and flight instructor with over 1,000 hours of real-life flight instruction and over 350 hours of remote flight simulator coaching provided.
The instructor for this course is Jesse Ekkerd. Jesse is an experienced flight instructor who has been using MSFS since its inception. He has also spent nearly a thousand hours working one-on-one with our students to help them master MSFS. This course is the result of everything he has learned over his years as a pilot and remote flight sim instructor.