Useful tips

Here are some tips which will be of great help while you build yourself some confidence on VATSIM. Just make sure you have installed your pilot client first.


  • Before flying for the first time, log on as an observer and have a look at what's going on. Just make sure you never spawn on a runway or a taxiway. Listen to what ATC says on frequency and look at what pilots do then. If you have any questions, just send a private message to the controller and he/she will try solving your question. Just try not to do it at places where the controller may be busy.
  • When you are gonna fly, make sure you have close to you the charts for the airports, and study them for a while until you understand them before actually starting your flight. It is also very useful to fly using the latest (or one of the latest) AIRAC cycles. They contain all navigation data from around the world and change each month, in order to be able to fly updated procedures. You can buy them at several websites, like for example Navigraph.
  • Make sure you are confident with the aircraft you are flying. This way, you will be able to execute ATC instructions quickly. Flying with default aircraft is not forbidden, but it is not recommended at all, as their Flight Management Computers are usually not close to real-life ones, thus not being able to cope with procedures which pilots may be required to fly on VATSIM.
  • If you are in any doubt, ask. Controllers would rather repeat things than having all their plans spoiled because of someone who didn't do something as expected.
  • Once you trust yourself enough to take over the virtual skies, start by flying at smaller/less busy airfields.
  • There are many good FlightSim streamers out there on Twitch and YouTube. Just search for "VATSIM" and have a look at what they do and how they communicate with ATC.
  • Remember that all of us share the same hobby and we are here to have fun. So, what are you waiting for!?

You may also want to visit the VATSIM Pilot Resource Centre, where you will find all type of documents and helpful resources to help you with starting on VATSIM.

A VATSIM Europe Division service.
Content updated: 23. February 2018.