We may earn a commission from the affiliate links on this site. Check our advertising discloure for more.
microsoft flight simulator for mac - cover

How To Play Microsoft Flight Simulator On a Mac

Last updated:

Although Microsoft Flight Simulator For Mac does not exist, here we show you the easiest ways to play Microsoft Flight Simulator on a Mac in 2024 including on Apple SiliconMacs.

There are many flight simulators that work on Macs but unfortunately Microsoft Flight Simulator isn’t one of them.

However, there are ways to play Microsoft Flight Simulator on a Mac as we’ll show you here.

This includes how to play the latest MSFS 40th Anniversary Edition which was released in November 2022.

We found that by far the easiest way to play Microsoft Flight Simulator is by using Xbox Cloud with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate which allows you to play Xbox games instantly in a browser on any Mac even if you don’t own an Xbox.

Can You Play Microsoft Flight Simulator On M1, M2 & M3 Macs?

You can play Microsoft Flight Simulator on Apple Silicon Macs using Xbox Cloud with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Xbox Cloud works in a browser on both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs and is the only method we’ve found that runs MS Flight Sim on a Mac reliably.

Note that you cannot install Microsoft Flight Simulator on an M1, M2 or M3 Mac by installing Windows on Apple Silicon Macs using a virtual environment such as Parallels

Apple Silicon Macs can only run the Windows ARM version of Windows which isn’t compatible with Microsoft Flight Simulator.

This means that there’s no point installing a virtual environment such as Parallels or using a compatibility layer like Crossover to try and play MS Flight Sim on Apple Silicon Macs.

You May Also Like:

Here then are the best ways to play Microsoft Flight Simulator on a Mac in order of ease of use, performance and stability.

1. Xbox Cloud (Intel & Apple Silicon Macs)

microsoft flight simulator on mac

By far the easiest and best way to play Microsoft Flight Simulator is with Xbox Cloud.

Xbox Cloud (also known as Xbox Cloud Gaming) is Microsoft’s online Cloud gaming service which allows you to play Xbox games on a Mac in a browser with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Xbox Cloud allows you to play the Xbox version of Microsoft Flight Simulator 40th Anniversary Edition within minutes of signing-up.

You don’t need an Xbox to use Xbox Cloud but you do need an Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Controller to play Xbox games on a Mac.

Xbox Cloud also only works in the Microsoft Edge, Chrome and Safari browsers – it does not support Firefox.

We recommend using Safari on a Mac to play MSFS in XBox Cloud for the best performance although we’ve had absolutely no problems playing in Chrome too.

If you don’t have an Xbox controller and use Google Chrome, you can also install the Keyboard & Mouse Controller add-on which allows you to use Xbox Cloud without an Xbox controller although playing MS Flight Sim on a Mac this way is not as good as using a controller.

The reason this is the by far the easiest way to play Microsoft Flight Simulator on a Mac is:

  • It does not require installing any other software such as a virtual machine to run Windows.
  • You can be up and running playing Microsoft Flight Simulator on a Mac in minutes
  • It works perfectly in a browser on any Mac
  • You can connect an Xbox Controller easily via Bluetooth to your Mac to play games in Xbox Cloud
  • It works on all Macs including both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs.

It is definitely not worth trying to play MSFS with any other cloud gaming service.

Microsoft own both Xbox and Microsoft Flight Simulator so Xbox Cloud is by far the best way to go and it performs really well on a Mac.

To play Microsoft Flight Simulator on a Mac just follow these instructions.

  • If you don’t already have one sign-up for an Xbox Game Pass subscription. Note that Xbox Cloud is only available with Game Pass Ultimate so it’s important you don’t select any of the other plans available. You can currently get Game Pass Ultimate for just $1 for the first 14 days and then its $16.99/month afterwards.

xbox game pass pricing

  • Go to Xbox.com/play.
  • Click on Sign In at the top of the page and login with your Xbox username and password.

xbox cloud on mac

  • You will then be prompted to connect an Xbox controller to your Mac via Bluetooth. You must have an Xbox controller to use Xbox Cloud – it will not work with a Mac keyboard, trackpad or mouse.

 connect xbox controller to mac

  • To use your Xbox Controller with your Mac make sure that Bluetooth is turned on on your Mac. Then press and hold the Xbox button on your controller to turn it on and it will light-up. Press and hold the small Bluetooth pairing button on the front of the Xbox controller to activate pairing mode. When pairing mode has been activated, the Xbox button will start flashing rapidly. On your Mac, click on the Apple logo in the top left of your screen and go to System Preferences and select Bluetooth.

connect xbox controller mac

  • Select your Xbox controller from the list of Bluetooth devices that appears and click Pair.

bluetooth xbox controller mac

  • You can now use your Xbox controller to play Microsoft Flight Simulator on your Mac in Xbox Cloud. You can disconnect the Xbox controller from your Mac at any time by going back into the Bluetooth settings or turning-off Bluetooth. You can also use the Controlly app if you want to have more control over how your Xbox controller works with your Mac.
  • Press any button on the Xbox controller to start Microsoft Flight Simulator.

play microsoft flight simulator

  • You can then play Microsoft Flight Simulator just as if you were using it on an Xbox. The game performs surprisingly well in a browser with virtually no lag or latency although it helps if you have a fast internet connection.

msfs mac xbox

2. Boot Camp (Intel Macs Only)

The only other way to play Microsoft Flight Simulator is by using Apple Boot Camp. Boot Camp allows you to install Windows on a separate partition on your Mac hard drive.

boot camp installer mac

Once you’ve installed Windows on an Intel Mac with Boot Camp, you then have two choices to play Microsoft Flight Simulator:

However, to play Microsoft Flight Simulator using Boot Camp you need two things:

  • An Intel Mac because Boot Camp does not work on Apple Silicon Macs
  • An eGPU because Microsoft Flight Simulator is so demanding that it needs a dedicated graphics card

This method therefore definitely doesn’t work on Apple Silicon Macs because Boot Camp is not available on M1, M2 or M3 Macs and also eGPUs do not work with Apple Silicon Macs.

If you have both an Intel Mac and eGPU, using Boot Camp to play Microsoft Flight Simulator is still not as good as using Xbox Cloud but is about the next best thing.

Boot Camp is a free tool in macOS on Intel Macs which allows you to install Windows on a partition on your Mac hard drive so you can choose whether to dual boot your Mac in either Windows or macOS.

The advantage of this is that it dedicates all of your Mac’s resources to a game like MSFS which requires a lot of RAM or graphics acceleration processing power.

Because Boot Camp only allows your Mac to boot in either Windows or macOS (rather than running both at the same time as with a virtual environment) your Mac can devote all of its resources to the high demands of games like Microsoft Flight Simulator.

The disadvantage of installing Windows with Boot Camp is that you’re restricted to using either Windows or macOS at one time – you can’t switch between the two instantly like with virtualization software such as Parallels.

You can find full instructions how to install Windows on a Mac with Boot Camp here.

3. OneCast (Requires Xbox)

msfs on mac with onecast

If you have an Xbox and simply want to stream Microsoft Flight Simulator to your Mac, then you can use OneCast to stream MSFS from the Xbox to your Mac via your WiFi router.

OneCast allows you to stream Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X games to macOS in 1080p including Apple Silicon Macs.

Whereas Xbox Cloud streams MSFS to your Mac via the internet, OneCast streams it to your Mac via your router’s WiFi which is usually faster and more stable than gaming via the Cloud.

Unlike Xbox Cloud however, you must have an Xbox in order to use it.

OneCast also allows you to connect an Xbox controller to a Mac to play MSFS via Bluetooth or with support for haptic feedback vibration too including with Apple Silicon Macs.

You can try OneCast for free although after 14 days it costs $14.99 to buy a license key for the full version.

Will MSFS Be Released For Mac?

Microsoft has announced no plans to release MSFS 2020 or 40th Anniversary Edition For Mac so these workarounds are the best solutions to play it in 2024.


Discover more from MacHow2

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

error:

Discover more from MacHow2

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading