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Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Complete Set-Up Guide

Adding your RealSimGear Components to MSFS

Nick avatar
Written by Nick
Updated over a week ago

Disclaimer: Due to the dynamic nature of MSFS (they often release updates that break 3rd party add-ons), please report any issues found to our support team via an Intercom message (the chatbox on our site), or email to Also feel free to join our Discord channel at: for more updates and discussion. Do expect updates to this Add-on and/or CommandMapping files as we find/fix issues.
โ€‹For a continually updated list of products in use with MSFS and other important MSFS news click here.
While this version of our Add-on now provides for a very high level of compatibility between RealSimGear hardware and MSFS, there are some known issues we are continuing to work on:

  • While there is no native GTN support in MSFS, there are presently two 3rd party add-ons available that are compatible with the RealSimGear GTN750/650. The GTN package from PMS50 and the TDS Simulations GTNXi For the setup and use with our GTN650/750 units and the PMS50 software click here.

  • Touch screen Implementation is still not available by default in MSFS. You can find information at the end of this article on how to get touch screens working in MSFS until Asobo make this correction in the future.

  • The GCU479 and GCU47X still lack alpha-numeric key support. We are waiting on an implementation of those buttons by Asobo.

  • Dimmer controls (aircraft VC panel lighting)

  • Trim offsets for the RealSimGear Cirrus Yoke.

Fixed Items

  • GFC500/700 mode indicator lights are now functional.

  • G1000 Pan Stick can now move the cursor by holding in the stick desired direction.

  • GNS430/530 Long Press CLR now returns you to the NAV page.

  • GTN750/650 Long Press CLR now returns you to the HOME page.

  • RealSimGear Device Interface is no longer dependent on the MSFS Community Folder for use.

  • Added options to adjust Force Feedback settings for the RealSimGear Cirrus Yoke.

NOTE: Using this plugin requires that you update the firmware on your RealSimGear hardware to version 3.1.9 or greater. You can now use our new Firmware Utility for that, those instructions for that can be found HERE. NOTE: When you update the firmware on your hardware, you will also need to make sure you are using the latest X-Plane Plugin (if you also fly X-Plane) which can be downloaded HERE.

Ok, on to the fun stuff ......

Install the Add-on

To install, simply download the new MSFS installer using the button below.

Once downloaded, find (usually your Downloads folder), the installer, "RealSimGear_MSFS_Installer-" and double click it to run the installer.

You will be prompted to allow the installer to run, please choose "Yes".

As part of the install process, if you have previously installed the RealSimGear Firmware Update Utility you will be prompted remove previous versions. Click "OK" to proceed.

You will need to choose "I Agree" to use the Add-on.

Your installation options are automatically selected. If you own a Gen1 GTN see the note below, otherwise click the "Next" button.

Note to owners of the Gen1 RealSimGear GTN units: You will need to install the PenMount Touch Screen Drivers for your touch screens to function. Gen1 GTN units will have a hardwired cable coming out of the rear of the housing. If you need to install the PenMount Drivers, select the checkbox next to "Touchscreen drivers for Gen1 GTN's".

Choose your install location. By default (recommended) the installer will automatically place the software in the Windows directory show in the image below.

Allow the installer to install the software. During the installation the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable will also install automatically. If you have selected the touchscreen drivers option earlier it will prompt you for the installation of those drivers.

Close the installer, when the installation is finished by clicking the "Finish" button.

Starting MSFS and RealSimGear Add-on

Once you have the RealSimGear Add-on installed, simply start MSFS, which will auto-start the RealSimGear Add-on.

Once the RealSimGear Add-on has started, you will see a familiar interface as shown below. With Version the "Connect" and "Disconnect" buttons have been removed. The RealSimGear Device Interface for MSFS will now automatically detect and connected and/or removed RealSimGear hardware.

The "Reload Command Map" button is now present on the new version to reload your CommandMappings.ini file if you have edited the Command Mappings while the RealSimGear Device Interface is running. More information on the new CommandMappings.ini file structure and editing the Command Mappings is covered in the Command Mappings section below.

Once the RealSimGear Add-on UI is present, feel free to load into an aircraft and location, and try out the hardware interface!

Selector for GNS Devices

MSFS does not really have the same concept of COM/NAV1 vs COM/NAV2 like we see in other simulators. As such, if you are using either of the GNS430/530 RealSimGear hardware, selecting COM1 or COM2 in the RealSimGear Device Interface will result in the following behavior:

  • If you have an RSG GNS430 or 530 and select COM1, this will cause that hardware (regardless of whether it is a 430 or 530 hardware) to control the 530 in the aircraft.

  • If you have an RSG GNS430 or 530 and select COM2, this will cause that hardware (regardless of whether it is a 430 or 530 hardware) to control the 430 in the aircraft.

Selector for GTN Devices

MSFS does not really have the same concept of COM/NAV1 vs COM/NAV2 like we see in other simulators. As such, if you are using either of the GTN650/750 RealSimGear hardware, selecting COM1 or COM2 in the RealSimGear Device Interface will result in the following behavior:

  • If you have an RSG GTN650 or 750 and select COM1, this will cause that hardware (regardless of whether it is a 650 or 750 hardware) to control the PMS5 GTN750 Add-on, using PMS5 native commands.

  • If you have an RSG GTN650 or 750 and select COM2, this will cause that hardware (regardless of whether it is a 650 or 750 hardware) to control the PMS5 GTN750 Add-on, using G1000 commands.

Selector for G1000 Displays

The RealSimGear G1000 Display Units can be configured for either Primary Flight Display (PFD) or Multi Function Display (MFD). You can assign a specific role to each of your G1000 displays right from the RealSimGear MSFS Device Interface.

Assign the role to the specific display according to your set-up by clicking the "Device Type" box next to the hardware name. The blue box indicates the current setting for the listed device.

PFD1: Left Seat Primary Flight Display

MFD: Multi Function Display

PFD2: Right Seat Primary Flight Display

Command Mappings

Version has some very big changes in regards to how the command mappings are handled. Since this version has taken the RealSimGear Device Interface out of the Community folder, your command mappings are now going to be located in different folders as well.

The RealSimGear Device Interface for MSFS will install all of the default CommandMappings.ini files automatically in the locations shown below.

These files in increasing order of priority are:

  • <installdir>\Device Interface\CommandMapping.ini

    (referred to as the Global CM) DO NOT edit this file. This file must remain untouched.

  • %LOCALAPPDIR%\RealSimGear MSFS Device Interface\CommandMapping.ini

    (referred to as the User CM) This file can be edited to suit your individual needs for button mappings and will affect all units regardless of aircraft selected.

  • <installdir>\Device Interface\Airplanes\<airplane name>\CommandMapping.ini

    (referred to as the Global Aircraft CM) This file is intended to be used by aircraft vendors.

  • %LOCALAPPDIR%\RealSimGear MSFS Device Interface\Airplanes\<airplane name>\CommandMapping.ini

    (referred to as the User Aircraft CM) This file can be configured for specific aircraft.

More information on the install locations of the CommandMappings.ini

  • %LOCALAPPDIR% is your local app data directory ( C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local

    On most systems, but using the string "%LOCALAPPDATA%" in the explorer

    location bar will find the correct location automagically.

  • <installdir> is where you installed the Device Interface to.

  • <airplane name> is the short name of the currently loaded aircraft model.

    For convenience, this is displayed in the Device Interface title bar.

Editing the User CommandMappings.ini

The user command mappings now support H: events and L:var events. You are welcome to edit the User CommandMappings.ini files called out in the locations above to suite your individual preferences. A complete listing of H: events can be found in the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Software Development Kit Documentation HERE.

*Note: While we encourage you to customize your command mappings to suite your needs in the simulator, you will need to do so at your own risk. In the event that you have an unfavorable outcome or you need to start with a fresh CommanMappings.ini you can find a link to those files on our Downloads page HERE.

Pop-out Screens

In terms of getting the pop-outs populating the RealSimGear screens, hold down the Alt-Gr (The ALT key to the right of the space bar) while hovering your mouse over the in-aircraft avionics, such as the PFD, MFD, or GNS gauges (your cursor will change to a magnifying glass with a "+" sign) and then LEFT click. This will cause a pop-up. Note, if you do both the PFD and MFD you will get a combined image. For the purposes of this guide we will be working with the G1000. This procedure is the same for the GNS430/530, G3X and G3000 Flight Deck System including the Garmin GTC 575/580.

To separate them into distinct windows, click the + sign. Once you have two independent windows (PFD/MFD) drag them (without changing the size) to the appropriate RealSimGear screens (they will be pretty large, just make sure to drag the portion with the icons in top right into the RSG screen).

There are 3 options here:
1) Hit ALT ENTER keys, which should put those windows into Full Screen and they should fill the entire RealSimGear screen. Note if you resized them prior to ALT ENTER, you may get black/gray borders, if so, simply close them and repeat the pop-out process, taking care NOT to resize them prior to moving to the RSG screens.

2) Simply hit the "Maximize" icon which will maximize the pop-out in that screen, but will likely leave the title bar at the top.

3) Manually resize the sides and top/bottom to fully fit the screen

Automate Pop Outs and add touch screen control with MSFS Pop Out Panel Manager.

Currently, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 does not have a method for direct manipulation of touch screen devices for it's avionics. This will effect your ability to control the G3000 GTC's, GTN 750/650, and G3X avionics in the simulator with your touch screen device.

Fortunately, a community member has stepped in, providing a free to use application for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 which will allow you direct control of touch enabled avionics. This program is: MSFS Pop Out Panel Manager

With the MSFS Pop Out Panel Manager you can have the mod automatically select, pop out, move, and make full screen all of the avionics in use with your RealSimGear hardware, this includes the G1000. Additionally this is the only way, presently, to use touch screen devices in MSFS until Asobo implements the feature.

  • You can get the most current release of the mod by hawkeye-stan directly from the authors GitHub page HERE

  • Support for the application is provided by the author on the official Microsoft Flight Simulator forums HERE

*Note: While we have fully tested the implementation and functionality of the mod, and confirm its compatibility with our devices, RealSimGear will not provide support for direct issues with the mod. This is to be done with the mod author through his discussion forum.

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