Table of content:

  • Introduce VATSIM
  • Necessary software
  • Pilots/copilots
    • VPilot
    • Squawkbox
    • FSInn
    • XSquawkbox
  • ATC
    • EuroScope
    • Virtual Radar Client
    • vSTARs
    • ASRC
  • Tutorials
    • How to get started
    • How to make a flight plan
    • How to talk to the ATC
    • Using Maps and Charts
    • Navigation basics
    • VATSIM Basics
  • Enjoy!

Introduce VATSIM

Vatsim stands for Virtual Air Traffic Simulation Network and is an online server where you can fly online with people from all around the world. You can use VATSIM on each available simulator. It is 100% free. VATSIM is really nice because you can fly as a pilot or as a co-pilot or you can take control of all the airplanes as an Air Traffic Controller. If you want to be an ATC you need to get some license at the Vatsim website, and get some special software where you get the screen where you can control al planes in the sky by microphone. If you are a pilot I will  suggest you to use FS-Copilot (or something like that). As pilot you also need to talk with the ATC by microphone. So you need to understand the type of communication which is used by the air controllers and pilots.

Necessary software

Pilots – Pilots need to have some software. All the software what I will tell you about are for Windows PC (except XSquawkbox which is only used for X-Plane and can be used in Windows, Mac, OS and Linux.

VPilot – FSX and P3D

I am currently using vPilot and it is really nice software and is not difficult to setup on your pc. It took me 5-10 minutes from download to working and be online. Including all settings and model matching. It is probably the best choice for new members that use FSX or P3D. Note: IACO isn’t supported anymore!

Squawkbox – FSX, FS9 and FS2002

Squawkbox is older software program but is still a very nice and effective. Squawkbox was the first software program which shows other planes who are online! Note: Squawkbox is no longer supported by the developer.

FSInn – FSX, FS9, FS2002 AND P3D

FSInn is also an older, but effective software program. It has got some gadgets like traffic radar screen, a push-back feature and the ability to configure the model matching so that you can see other online pilot with the  specific airplanes they are flying. I am currently using FSInn to connect to the DFN server! Note: If you want to use FSInn for P3D you need to have the migration tool from flightsimestonia!

XSquawkbox – X-Plane only

XSquawkbox is currently the only client to connect X-Plane with the VATSIM server. X-Plane is an alternate Flight Simulator product. It can run on windows, Mac OS and Linux.

Some definitions above:

  • FSX: Microsoft Flight Simulator X
  • FS9: Microsoft Flight Simulator (also known as FS2004)
  • FS2002: Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002
  • P3D: Prepar3D (pronounced “prepared”) as visual simulation platform that allows users to create training scenarios
  • Model Matching: refers to the process by which the pilot software selects which 3D model and texture to display while connected to VATSIM

ATC – Air Traffic Control

In the virtual skies of VATSIM there are many people who are flying online. But to get this process smoothly there needs to be Air Traffic Controllers who can get all the planes safely on the ground. For this job you need  as in the real life, to understood what you are doing etc. You need to get  certificates on the website of VATSIM.

To become a virtual Air Traffic Controller you need to download the free software.

I will guide you through this software. Note: Currently all ATC clients are only available for Windows.


EuroScope is designed by Gergely Csernak and currently the most popular ATC client for VATSIM. EuroScope is designed to simulate real-life radar software for VATSIM. ES also has some very nice features like an innovative display, automatic controller coordination and a build-in simulation system.

Virtual Radar Client

Virtual Radar Client, designed by Ross Carlson, is designed for easy setup and an excellent stability.


Also developed by Ross Carlson, vSTARs is a high-fidelity simulation of the real ATC system used on many airports in the United States.


The Advanced Simulator Radar Client is the  first ATC program software that is still approved to use on the VASTIM network. If you want to use ASRC you need to sign yourself up to access the library of AVSIM.

ATC communication tutorials: [credits: Aviationpro]




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