Microsoft Flight Simulator Reno Air Races Expansion Review

Race against the world and your friends!

Reno Air Races: The World’s Fastest Motorsport

One of the most chill and relaxing games to come out on the Series X (and GamePass!) this year, Microsoft Flight Simulator, is now turning it up a notch. Available now, the Reno Air Races: Expansion Pack.

If you’re not a plane enthusiast, you’ll probably be just as clueless as I was when I heard about this. The Reno Air Races are officially known as the STIHL National Championship Air Races. A multi-day event where planes go really fast.  Everything from Biplanes to Jets all compete to get the highest speeds and the fastest time around the Reno Stead Airport. And when I say fast, I mean fast, we’re talking speeds of nearly 800km/h! Lightning McQueen has got nothing on these guys.

The Microsoft Flight Simulator team reports to have worked closely with the Reno Air Racing Association and dozens of pilots to create authentic recreations of the many of the world’s most famous racing aircraft.

The race in question is a simple circular course that varies in size depending on which of the 4 classes you pick:

  • Biplane
  • T-6
  • Unlimited
  • Jet

And you have your choice of competing in single player time trials or multiplayer quick matches to prove who is the best Flight Sim pilot.


As someone completely new to flight racing, I found this game mode incredibly frustrating unfortunately. Unlike the main game, which features an in depth tutorial on how to land and fly a plane. The Reno Races tutorial is just a wall of text. Now at first glance, it all seems pretty self explanatory. Make sure you go around each of the pylons on the track. Make sure to maintain your altitude.

“Easy” I thought, but oh boy is it hard to spot one of these tiny pylons as I’m whizzing round the race track at 200km/h plus. I wish there was some sort of visual HUD for the track. Something similar to the landing HUD that appears when you select an airport for land. Instead, I just get someone yelling in my ear that I’m either too high or I’m off course. Of course, this is something that should only be in a tutorial mode of sorts, when you’re in a real race, the gloves can totally come off.

Thankfully, the planes you unlock for the Reno Air Races Expansion are available to use in open world mode. My favourite plane is the Jet, the Aero L-39 Albatros. This thing handles like an absolute dream, and is getting me incredibly pumped for the unfortunately delayed Top Gun DLC. *Que Top Gun theme*

The Reno Air Races breakdown

If you’re looking to dive into this racing mode and show off your skills, you can pick up the full Reno Air Races: Full Collection which includes 40 planes and the multiplayer mode for $89.95AUD on the Microsoft Flight Simulator marketplace.

If you’re not needing all the variations of the 4 classes of planes. You can grab the Reno Air Races: Expansion for $29.95AUD.

If racing isn’t your style and you just want to try out the new aircraft you can pick them up individually for $14.95AUD or in bundles for $44.95

The Reno Air Races Expansion adds an awesome new addition to an already beautiful game, the unfortunate learning curve might push some people away, however, as the Microsoft Flight Simulator have demonstrated before, they’re open to feedback and will make changes based on it. Here’s hoping a proper tutorial gets released soon.



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