Best RC Flight Simulators 2017 – Buyer’s Guide with Reviews
So you're looking for the BEST rc flight simulator to practice flying, right? Well darn, you've come to the right place.
You've probably heard that a million times and then some, but I've put together this guide specifically for you. You and I both know flying remote control toys is pretty fun. You may or may not have experienced first hand, how much a big crash one of the "professional grade" toys can cost to repair.
I know, eagerness can get ahold of you and waiting to just "learn"... can be one of the most ignored words at first. But hear me out, if you learn how to fly using a flight simulator designed for planes, helicopters, drones, and other similar flying toys, you'll be better off in the long run.
What it comes down to now is, what is the best rc flight simulator to buy?
Luckily for you, I've put together a list of rc flight simulator reviews. These explain the main features, pros, con's and even specs (you know, those things you need to know before making a move).
Quick Navi -
- Best RC Flight Simulators 2017
- RC Flight Simulator for Windows
- 1. Great Planes Real Flight RF-8 - Best RC Flight Simulator for Planes, Helicopters, Drones and More
- 2. Great Planes RealFlight Drone Edition - Top Rated RC Flight Simulator Specifically for Drones
- 3. Phoenix RC Pro Simulator by RTG - Includes A Transmitter For Real-World Flying
- 4. Great Planes Real Flight G6 - Classic Yet Modern Plane Simulator
- 5. GoolRC RC Flight Simulator - Budget Friendly & For Older Operating Systems
- RC Flight Simulator for MAC's
- Final Words - Wrapping Up
Best RC Flight Simulators 2017
Keep in mind that all these radio controlled flight simulators are designed for use on Windows computers. After doing research and personally trying to buy one created for Mac's... I came up short. The only one worth mentioning is the Aerofly software... and it's quite dated to say the least.
Nonetheless, here's the best flight simulators for 2017.
RC Flight Simulator for Windows
1. Great Planes Real Flight RF-8 - Best RC Flight Simulator for Planes, Helicopters, Drones and More
When it comes to picking the best simulator for learning to fly rc helicopters, drones, planes, and similar crafts, using the latest and greatest software from Great Planes is the way to go.
This is the Great Planes ReadFlight RF-8 radio simulator software WITH, a Interlink-X Transmitter Mode 2. This is everything you need to start practicing on a Windows computer.
Unlike its predecessors, this software lets you take the “Real” into another level. Although the main features are covered below, I must mention that it Is compatible with virtual reality headsets.
In particular, it can even work with the high end models made by Oculas. Right below, I’ll cover this sim’s main features.
Real Flight has always been focusing on having really impressive graphics, as really the secondary way of giving you a very real experience flying. The version of this RealFlight rc simulator, is no exception. It requires some high-end computer power, so don’t expect a little laptop will handle this smoothly.
The software is rather easy to use if you’re just getting started. With the intuitive interface, there’s little to no learning curve.
- Minimum system requirements of 1.0GHz CPU or greater, 512MB of RAM or greater, 10 GB HD of space or more, DVD Drive, 32 MB Dedicated Video Memory or more.
- Optimal system requirements of 2.4GHz Dual Core or greater, 2 GB of RAM or greater, 10 GB HD of space or more, DVD Drive, 512 MB dedicated video memory or more.
2. Great Planes RealFlight Drone Edition - Top Rated RC Flight Simulator Specifically for Drones
Covering the top pick above, this one is slightly different. Instead of focusing on all types of flying aircrafts, you’ll only be flying drones. The Great Planes RealFlight Drone Edition is what I’d consider, the ideal simulator to star learning to fly, and save yourself a TON of money from pending crashing events.
Made by the same company, it makes sense as to why they would make a separate version, tailored towards only DRONE flying. Obviously the dynamics are different, so there’s a totally different feel from planes and drones.
For the price, you’re not just getting the software, but also the remote control transmitter. Lets dive into its mean features.
Graphics are quite good even with medium power graphics and CPU. All of this, is thanks to the RealPhysics 3D and TrueView realistic lighting.
- Compatible with Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10.
- Minimum system requirements are Intel Pentium 1.0GHz or equivalent. 512 MB RAM or greater, 3 GB of HD Space or more, 3D Accelerated Video with 32 MB of Dedicated Video Space with Full DirectX 9 compliance (Shader model 2.0 or better).
- Best results minimum requirements are Dual Core 2.4GHz CPU, 2GB RAM or more, 3D Accelerated Video with 512 MB dedicated video memory or more, and Pixel Shader 3.0 support.
3. Phoenix RC Pro Simulator by RTG - Includes A Transmitter For Real-World Flying
Now this is the #3 simulator on the list and for good reason. The Phoenix RC Pro Simulator Version 5.5 lets you practice your flying from the comfort of your own computer. Yes, just like all the other ones. But what’s different about it?
Well, this is a totally different sim than Real Flight. In-fact, Runtime Games isn’t nearly as popular as above mentioned company. But with that being said, they still manage to make a pretty good software to get your training down.
Unlike all the transmitters which come along, letting you ONLY use them with the simulator, the one included here can be used to fly an aircrafts in real life.
Alright, lets dive into this products main features. You need to know what makes It great.
- Compatible with most Windows platforms, such as 7, 8, and 10.
4. Great Planes Real Flight G6 - Classic Yet Modern Plane Simulator
This one is a classic, in-fact it has been around for over 5 years (writing this part as of 2017). The Great Planes Real Flight G6 with the Megapack Mode 2 is one for the record books in terms of popularity.
Let me clarify what that means.
This software came out back In 2012 and it managed to generate a lot of fans which stuck to Great Planes brand. This one focusing on airplanes and helicopters, lets you practice for as long as you want, and if something happens… (crash), simply click the reset button.
In fact, it’s the only simulator with a reset button, especially during the time it came out. To see what this radio control flight simulator is so great, we will cover the primary features below.
- Compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.
- Minimum system requirements are 1.0GHz or greater processor, 512 MB of RAM or greater, 5 GB HD space or more, 32 MB of Dedicated Video memory, DirectX 9 compliance, and DVD Drive.
- Ideal system requirements are 2.4GHz or greater, 2 GB of RAM or more, 3D Accelerated Video with 512 MB dedicated video memory, and Pixel Shader 3.0 support. *Note, these are requirements based on 2012. Today, it should be very easy to find computers to have these specs at a bare minimum.
5. GoolRC RC Flight Simulator - Budget Friendly & For Older Operating Systems
Coming down to the #5 on my list, its the GoolRC RC Flight Simulator with a USB powered transmitter. This is really as cheap as it gets.
Aside for buying some fidgety iPad application which lets you simulate rc planes using the tablet… this one lets you control 3D crafts from your computer… for less than $40!
That is an achievement in itself, but it’s cheap for a reason.
You see, this software is for older Windows versions, such as Windows ME, 2000, or XP. Anything more than it won’t work. With that being said, if you have any of those ancient operating systems, this is the way to go.
The primary way to use this setup is with an outside simulator, such as Phoenix, Clear View, Real Flight and others. But if on a budget, you can’t go wrong (just don’t have extreme expectations).
Let’s dive into the primary features that make this a worthy consideration.
- Software included is compatible on Windows ME/2000, XP and Vista.
- Minimum operating system requirements are: 100% Pentium III or AMD Athlon/64 compatible processor with at least 800Mhz, 128 MB of RAM, 1 GB of free hard disk space, CD-ROM drive, Open GL compatible graphics card with at least 64 mb of video space, 100% DirectX compatible sound card. *Talk about old school requirements.
RC Flight Simulator for MAC's
This is an area where rc flight simulators are weak. Why companies are not dedicating time and effort to create amazing programs to work on Mac pc’s… is beyond me. However, there is one program that works on Mac to some extent.
The program is called Aeroflot RC 7 - R/C Flight Simulator.
This is the best rc flight simulator for Mac computers, and the reason behind it is… because it’s really the only program we could find.
What makes this one unique, is the capability of having both regular planes to fly, and radio controlled planes, helicopters, drones and more. If you’d like to check it out, you can click here..
Final Words - Wrapping Up
There you have it, this is an entire guide I've always wanted to put together to help me fellow rc plane enthusiasts to read. I've tried using each software, and my personal pick for the best rc plane flight simulator is the Great Planes Real Flight G8.
I recommend you don't waste much time trying to get any of these softwares (other than the last one) to work on a mac computer. Instead, use a high quality Windows operating system and you'll be satisfied with what you get.