Click here to view a list of active Direct Connect sessions
While they will no longer be available on GameSpy, many of the popular multiplayer communities are online and accessible via a method of bypassing GameSpy called Direct Connect. Rather than logging in to GameSpy, users can enter the IP address of a server and connect directly to that server’s network, all from within Flight Simulator and without downloading any additional software.
There were hundreds of different servers available on GameSpy with a broad spectrum of target audiences and realism. Many of the most successful will today be available through Direct Connect. Click here to view the full list and pick a server you’d like to participate in. Additional instructions for connecting to different servers are included on the session listing page and in the "Description" part of each server's listing.
Three of the most high-traffic communities available on GameSpy remain available by Direct Connect today. In alphabetical order, they are:
The features below are paraphrased or quoted from the websites of each community and were not reviewed by the communities themselves. If you believe your group should be added to this list of multiplayer communities, Contact Us.
Boston Virtual ATC (BVA) is a free multiplayer aviation community of 3,500 members that provides live, realistic, and professional virtual air traffic control in a truly communal environment where everyone is willing to learn and happy to help. It is one of few communities that requires users to pass through an application process, resulting in a group of highly-skilled pilots, 64% whom hold or are training for real-world ratings.
BVA restricts its controlled airspace to maximize traffic density, holds exciting and challenging events, provides free scenery updates, and integrates its server with custom software for filing flight plans, chatting with other members, and listening to voice ATIS broadcasts. BVA has numerous community-based and self-study pilot training programs. And above all, members are always happy to help and welcome aviation enthusiasts. BVA’s rigorously trained and certified online controllers, including several retired and current FAA controllers, work together with our pilots to provide the most immersive, realistic flight simulation experience available from the comfort of your home.
HippyHappy Germany was founded in 2006 and now has a large user base. This community includes real, hobby, and new pilots from all around the world. No expert knowledge, registration required, spam, fees, or backdoors: anyone can join anytime. Anyone can join anytime.
HippyHappy Germany uses an automated ATC ("Bot ATC") which guards several airports. Real players can also act as Air Traffic Controllers on the network. Users are able to interact directly with the server and view active controllers by typing specific commands into the FSX chat box. The server's IP address is 188.8.131.52.
msFlights.net is an organized community specializing in "group" flights. The community welcomes pilots of all skill levels to join group flights that usually consist of a few hops lasting one or more hours in total. The community also has an active Virtual Airline with ever-expanding routes.
You can find msFlights.net on a dedicated TeamSpeak 3 voice communication server at msflights.jmainguy.com.
The multiplayer server is available 24/7 with pilots flying at all times of the day. The community is also supportive of ATC, with an active controller online at least twice a day. Pilots are also to free-flight anywhere they choose!