Changes to Live Grading System

Now that we have the Global Update, I think it is time that we make some changes to the live grading system. Currently you need 40,000 xp to achieve grade 3. This equals just about 4.5 12 hr flights. The whole point of the grading system in the first place was to make sure inexperienced novices don’t go making all of the servers crazy. Now, only 4 long flights are needed. On the topic of violations for the grading system, I think it’s fine for now because most newbies will probably understand the helpful message warnings and the requirement is set to a good number. Let me know what you guys think.

The other topic on this was closed but if anyone sees anything else tell me!


This horse has been beaten I don’t know how many times. I guess we can try again.

  • To make grade 3 you still have to have landings.
  • Grade != Quality
  • Having hours of flight means nothing if you dont land from time to time. People will have tons of time but grade will still suffer without the landing count.
  • I wont vote on any grading system unless it counts interaction with ATC. You can be grade 5 now and not once contact ATC.

Fair point, forgot about the landing count!

Yes, thank you for this Uncle Chris!


I’d add the landing count makes far less sense now for Grades 4 and 5. Due the Global flights being longer, being required to have nearly 3 flights a day for 90 days straight is putting the bar pretty high!


I agree up the xp amount or overhaul what constitutes Grade 3. Maybe have Grade 3 be a ratio between landings done and lifetime violations while also keeping the XP requirements. So for Grade 1 its 1:1 (100%), Grade 2 is anything above 2:1 (<50%) Grade 3 is from 2:1 down to 3:2 ratio (50%-70% of landings without violations), Grade 4 from 3:2 up to 8:7 (<70% to 85%) and Grade 5 anything higher than an 8:7 ratio (85% to 100% of landings without a violation). You could also substitute landings with flights but you can work around that by just taking off wand not landing and that would count as a flight in the system.

This system would also keep into account violation committed in the week leading to a temporary barring form the Expert server. That doesnt need to change. Same goes with ghosting. However with this ratio it forces users to improve thier understanding in order to access Expert. No longer is it about racking up touch and goes and XP but making sure that you arent breaking rules. Most experienced users will always maintain their G3 status, except for the occasional violation. But it also ensures that new users arent doing a large amount of T&Gs and long flights to get XP but are obeying the rules. Another side that needs to be addressed is how one can just fly on Casual get the stats then come on Expert without every really being in a n environment where they come across the rules until on Expert.


Hi, Dylan!

To become a Grade 3, you need at least 40,000xp, at least 10 hours of flight time, and at least 50 takeoffs and landings. Once you achieve all of that, you have to maintain a clean record, making sure you avoid a certain number of violations within a certain time period. If you exceed the violation limit, you will be downgraded to Grade 2 again. To remain a Grade 3 rating, you cannot exceed more than 2 violations in one day, and no more than 3 violations in 7 days. These guidelines were put into place to ensure that nobody would get away with an excessive amount of trolling in the Expert server (which I think is your main concern?).

Also take into consideration that most people don’t fly on IF for the rank, they fly because they want to experience different planes and fly in different parts of the world with other players.

So while you are sort of correct that it doesn’t take tons and tons of work to become a Grade 3, there are still guidelines and limitations regarding the amount of rule breaking they can do. Keep in mind, if a Grade 3 decides he wants to troll on the Expert server, ATC will likely ghost him immediately.

I think that the way it is, the Grading system between 1 and 3 is pretty fair. Let me know your thoughts on that :)

With the release of Global, though, I think that the guidelines for maintaining Grades 4 and 5 are a little high… to maintain my current Grade 4, I need to conduct more than one flight every day. Grade 5s need to complete more than 2 flights every day… So there definitely is something that needs to be said about that.

Shouldn’t this be in #features?

Personally I agree with @Chris_S on most parts - however, I do think time can increase pilot skill. When I was grade 1 I was very bad at flying, and not very knowledgeable on ATC, by grade 3 I’d naturally improved on both. So time (and by extension XP) should be an aspect on the grades, but not (as they currently are) the primary factor.

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I actually put in maybe 60 touch and goes last week to keep my grade 5 up, gives me 90 days to get ahead of the curve before those drop off my record again… High bar indeed.

I honestly think it’s about time FDS implements a new grading system designed for global. The current one forces you to keep on doing short haul flights/pattern work to get to G4/G5.

My idea is each time you complete a flight you get a grade from it (X/100%), like a test which is based on the overall flight handling. Based on the score, your XP from the flight can get degraded or you can get bonus XP.

Just my observations:-

G4/5 are a bit more redundant then they used to be, the large jump in landings in last 90 days was always prohibitive unless you had a lot of free time to do the TnGs. I was always happy with reaching Grade 3 and never deemedvit a loss that never made it betound ( have the XP, total hours and total landings so am not a newbie!)

A second observation is that on two different occasions I encountered very new Grade 3’s who did not use or have concept of using UNICOM. in one case a guy took off against the flow of traffic at EGLL, without making a single call to Unicom. I was in final to 27L when saw this b747 suddenly climb up and over me on the way out…

I would suggest that only real change is the landings in last 90 days is raised to around 50 landings.

I have suggested before, but not sure how it would be implemented, that to access Expert Server a pilot would also have to do so many ATC ops on TS1 Server within last 90 days as well as this would sure that a pilot would at least have working knowledge of the ATC commands.

Ye but doing atc ops is different from doing them and understanding what they mean. A few days ago I landed (can’t remember where) and the atc was going crazy there. I was already parking at my gate and he started spamming me with take off clearances and to hold short of different runways.

I 100% agree! Most of us don’t have the time to do 3 flights daily. I definitely think the required landing count for those grades should be lowered.

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Totally agree! Important thing to change asap. Me, for example, I’d be two grades higher if there wouldn’t be the landing count as this is the only point keeping me away. Hope this will happen soon

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