The X-Plane simulator is designed for both realism and longevity. Maximizing both of these requires that X-Plane be updated often. Every few months, the we will make available a new update to the simulator. In between these official (or “stable”) releases, users can download beta versions of the upcoming update. These are treated as a kind of “update in progress”—new features and bug fixes are included, but in the beta stage, the updates have not been fully tested in a range of situations. This means that they may create incompatibilities or create other problems that would not be experienced in the stable releases. For more information, see the section “Using the X-Plane Betas” below.
Newer versions of X-Plane often contain feature enhancements, bug fixes, stability improvements, aircraft and resource updates, flight model improvements, and even new feature additions.
A purchase of X-Plane entitles you to free updates through that full X-Plane version run. This means that if you purchase the Version 10 discs, you will get the Version 10.10 update, the Version 10.20 update, etc., all the way through Version 10.99 if it exists—all free of charge. Of course, you do not have to take advantage of these updates, but it is recommended that you do so.
As with the version of X-Plane on the DVDs you purchased, Disc 1 (the master disc) must be inserted into your computer to use these updated versions. X-Plane uses this as a “key” to unlock the software. Be sure to have the disc spinning in the DVD drive prior to starting up the program so that X-Plane can find it!
Note that although previous versions of X-Plane required users to have all the desired scenery installed before updating to a newer version, this is no longer the case. New scenery may be installed regardless of updates.
To update X-Plane, do the following:
- Launch the copy of X-Plane that you wish to update.
- Once it opens, move your mouse to the top of the screen and click About, then About X-Plane. The dialog box that appears will show both your version of X-Plane and the latest version available. If these differ, there will be an Update X-Plane button in the bottom right of the window.
- Click the Update X-Plane button. X-Plane will automatically download the latest version of the updater program and launch it.
- In the window that appears, please do not select the “Check for new betas” box unless you are prepared to potentially work with some kinks (per the section “Using the X-Plane Betas” below).
- Click Continue to begin the program’s scanning of your X-Plane directory. This allows it to determine which files need to be updated.
- Assuming there is enough disk space to download the required updates, click Continue to begin the installation.
- The installation files will be downloaded and installed. When the installation finishes, you’re ready to fly.
Using the X-Plane Betas
The X-Plane beta updates are for users who want to help test the newest refinements to the X-Plane software. The advantage to doing so is that these users get access to the latest enhancements to the software (flight model refinements, new features, etc.). The downside is that there is a greater risk of encountering problems with third-party models or other general bugs. We recommend that most users stick to the stable version releases, as these are the ones known to “just work.”
See the X-Plane Beta page for information on the current beta builds.