Top X-Plane Plugins for Added Realism
I’ve spent alot of time tweaking my system and have it pretty well dialed in to avoid crashes and conflicts. Here’s a list of the plugins I’m currently using, what they do and links to download.
- ArdsimX Interface – In my opinion the best plugin out there for maximum flexibility for full immersion & realism as it gives a simple way to interface with external, physical components. I dumped most of my Saitek gear and built all of my panels around this. See my other post about about it here, which dives in deep.
- Sim Innovations Air Manager – Must have to run Air Manager on another monitor, which gives you full flexibility to design your own instruments or place them anywhere on another screen. I’m using this to place the instruments in my CNC cut bezel.
- DataRef Editor – Basically a Dataref viewer. As you interact with your aircrafts controls in X-Plane, you can see which Datarefs are actually affected, so you can effectively program ArdsimX or Air Manager.
- FlywithLua – Lua scripting plugin, running these scripts
- XP Realistic Pro -Fun immersion effects, mostly vibrations and stall effects. It’s a bit quirky though with multiple monitors, you currently have to use X-Camera in combination to make it work.
- ARCAL – Pilot controlled lighting at airports during night flights.
- Road’s Traffic Settings – Designed to update road traffic settings in X-Plane. Testing to see if this helps with framerate hiccups.
- Xenviro – This is a fantastic plugin which controls the weather and sky conditions with lots of great features. It replaces the default X-Plane environmental controls. I’m using 1.07, but I think 1.06 had better control over the environment, or I just missed something in the new version.
- FlyInside – The only VR plugin for X-Plane out, until X-Plane releases built-in support for VR. I like it, but difficult to manage with my system. More on this in my post about VR in X-Plane.
- Saitek Instrument Panel Support Add-On – Pretty good upgrade to the default Pro Instruments, definitely worth the money.
- Headshake – Good, free alternative to XP Realistic. Very similar and works great with X-Camera. it’s a bit simpler to use than XP Realistic. Offers bumps/vibrations and look-ahead camera features. I run either this or XP Realistic almost all the time.
- World Traffic V3 – Slow to setup, but adds a sky full of virtual aircraft. I like to follow them while flying, basically in formation, which helps me fly better overall, by using small movements to stay coordinated.
- X-Camera – A necessity, gives way more functionality to the X-Plane camera system. It’s too deep to go into here, but worth checking out!
- X-Chatter – A new plugin from the makers of X-Camera soon to be released as a standalone version, which will play back actual recorded ATC background chatter while flying. I can’t wait to get using this.
- PilotEdge – Realtime ATC communications with real people! This is pretty great to help anyone get used to talking to ATC. I still get a little nervous speaking to them though, but it’s really helped me. This is a paid subscription service.
- XGS Landing Speed – A small window popup which gauges your landing based on descent rate. It forces me to pay more attention to airspeed and descent rate and stay on the glideslope. It’s a fun tool and always great when it tells you your landing was Excellent.