What's the best way to get started with Live?

any suggestions on the best way to familiarize yourself with live before jumping in?

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Practic ATC instructions and check #tutorials for help with anything! Also don’t be afraid to ask us questions :)

Welcome to the forum :)

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Know the rules-The first step is to go to an isolated region and practice the highest XP landings, make sure you are maintaining correct airspeed, lights, etc. if you didn’t already know them.

After this, there’s the handy tutorials section where you can read up on what the ATC instructions mean and what protocols to follow (As in the order you send out messages, interpreting ATC advice, etc.). Once you’re ready, off to Playground server!

Here, rules are enforced so it is time to put that practice to the test. You can initially get acclimated flying in regions without ATC, but if you like, you can transition over to busy regions such as SoCal and occasionally London and Caribbean. This is good practice to be ATC but pls. be aware that the playground ATC are in some cases Do not know how to sequence correctly, use the right commands, etc.

After playground, the next and final (for now at least) step is Advanced. This server is where you really have to know your stuff. The ATC and nearly all pilots here are professional (As in procedures and execution, not all are ATC and pilots/FOs) and expect professionalism back. By now you should be able to fly within the rules, but ATC instructions might be a little iffy because of the less than stellar service in playground (I rarely found good controllers in PG). This is especially critical because ATC can ghost offending aircraft (Make you invisible for __ minutes)!

However, as conplicated as it may sound, you’ll get the hang of it-many others have

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I’ve been practicing cross wind landings and takeoffs… Where can I find “correct speed” details?

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This or the one below :)

Anymore questions , feel free to ask me or check the #tutorials or use the search button on the top right corner

There’s a really useful breakdown of landing speeds, take off weights etc here too.

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Tutorials, definitely the best way to go.

At some airports, there are a number of paths you can take to taxi to your runway. Is there a protocol you should follow when taxiing?

Not at this moment; try avoiding other aircraft and taxi to the correct runway! Follow the flow of traffic!

@weecabin, you can also ask people on the playground to open a frequency for you somewhere with no traffic and do some patterns. Presumably you aren’t bad at flying since you can learn that part on solo mode. The live mode will introduce you to ATC and flying with other aircraft.

Have fun!

Not sure what you mean by “ask someone to open a frequency”.

Are you suggesting that I ask an ATC to move to a low traffic airport and work with him/her on comms?

Put a post on here saying something like:


There is a lot to learn, but don’t be afraid to ask stuff on here, we’re all happy to help. Take a look at the #tutorials category, you’ll be able to find loads of stuff there.


Live brings a whole 'nother level to IF. I guarantee you will be hooked, but just in case try the Live (1 month) just to be sure.

Overall you will find it cheaper to buy Live+ (1 year and all purchases), but if you have a low monthly budget to spend, you may like to stay on Live as many people do. You will have to renew your live subscription every time it runs out and pay the full price (£3.99/$4.99/ your country’s currency at about those < prices) to regain access.


Live mode has several servers to separate newbies and experienced pilots. Here’s some info:

  • Free Flight Server: This is the server that everyone starts at. The busiest map is currently San Fransisco, which is a great place to get a grip of the basics. At first I recommend you fly smaller aircraft, unless you are already an experienced Solo mode pilot. The Free Flight Server has no rules, and although it’s tempting to do whatever you want, it’s vital that you learn typical ‘real world’ procedures if you want to progress onto the next server(s). On here and on Google you will be able to find stuff like that. Without knowing stuff like “don’t taxi more that 30kts” you will be ghosted when you move on to the next server(s).

  • ATC Playground Server: After flying around on the Free Flight Server for some time, you will earn Standing and Experience Points (XP). The XP will allow you to progress to this server.
    The ATC Playground server is Live’s busiest server. It has open access to ATC, meaning you can hop on over and control any airport IF has. It’s important you revise how ATC works so you can fluently control traffic. The busiest region in the server is Southern California. You will spend quite a bit of time on this server before getting to the next.

  • Advanced Server: This is the ‘strict’ server for serious pilots. It’s sounds harsh, but you’ll find some of the funnest times in your IF life here. ATC’s are selected by a recruiting team and expect high standards of piloting in return for their excellent ATC. The Advanced Server is truly an amazing place. There isn’t really a ‘main region’ as people like to follow the ATC around. It can be anywhere.

  • Other Servers: Currently there are some ‘special’ servers but they don’t really concern you at the moment. These are the FNF Server (Basically the Advanced Server for Friday Night Flights) and the Olympic Server for the IF Olympics. Sadly you are too late to join a team, maybe you could join next year.


I hope this isn’t too much for you to handle. Once again, if you have any queries please do ask any one of the members here, we will be so happy to help you progress down the line. Hope you enjoy Live!

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