Here are the results of the latest X-Plane 11 usage data as of 04 June, 2018. If you’d like to compare, here is the previous post from November 2017.

X-Plane collects diagnostic & usage data on a strictly opt-in basis. All information we collect is anonymous; it does not include contact information like your name or email address. We share the aggregate usage data with the community but we do not share or sell (or even have direct access to) the raw data.

Below is a handful of easy-to-digest charts, plus the raw data at the bottom of the post for those that are interested.

Items of note

All data in these charts are for users of the full version only—we’ve filtered out demo users.

If an aircraft’s name, studio, or number of engine fields in Plane Maker are changed at any point, the aircraft will show up in the data as two different entries. Tyler did a lot of work to consolidate obvious duplicates, but aircraft authors, please please please set this up correctly at the start and then leave it alone! It will make tracking data on your specific aircraft easier for everyone.

Aircraft


Hardware

 

VR

Since 11.20 went final, 2.65% of all users have flown at least 1 flight using VR hardware.

Raw Data

X-Plane 11 aircraft data

X-Plane 11 hardware data

About Jennifer Roberts

Jennifer came to X-Plane to update the manuals and stayed for the bug testing. You'll most likely see her on the Q&A site or answering bug reports.

63 comments on “Usage Data as of June 2018

  1. Good to see macOS rising from 31% from 02/2017 to 34% to 36% now.

    “Windows is like the faint smell of piss in a subway: it’s there, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” –Charlie Brooker

    1. No good idea to kick of an OS war here…
      As Apple and MS both are trying to take 100% control of our computers, our data and our digital behaviour, we should better hold together!
      If there is one OS that can be found superior, it is open source Linux.

      BTW, Udo, clicking on your link the appstore wants to “run an app” on my computer. In my eyes that is worse than any smell.

    2. Lol at quote. I am a mac user primarily, but not for XP, because my Oculus does not support Mac. Even before VR, I still used windows for flight sims because Mac OSX doesn’t support TrackIR, which is a real shame.

    3. LOL, I have both OS’s but can’t use the old iMac for XP because the Jobian’s thought soldering the GPU to the motherboard was a good idea (software driven hardware sales strategy). Then they decide to clue the case shut and I thought that’s it for me. I now have a Wintel with three GPU slots that I can easily add to or upgrade easily without having to buy a new machine.
      So the smell of old pee isn’t coming from my windows machine…

  2. Interesting data as usual, but I am almost shocked looking at those users with only 2/4Gb ram: are these numbers right?
    Frankly I cannot imagine how someone can run X-Plane with such low ram amount.

    1. It is definitely the case that only about 57% of users have 16 GB of RAM or more, and about 13% of users have less than 8 GB. This is unimaginable for an enthusiast, in the same way that 25% of all users flying with the mouse only (per the raw hardware data link) seems unimaginable. Different strokes…

      1. Very often I’ll load up xplane purely to inspect the results of my work for the scenery gateway. There’s often no use of the yoke at all, and indeed there’s no flying. Most of the session is mouse work moving the camera viewpoint to different positions.

        Does this data get excluded from results that determines what method is used to fly an aircraft?

        1. We don’t have a way of distinguishing dev usage from “real” flights. However, we don’t believe this to be a significant enough portion of all usage to add much to the noise threshold.

      2. Well, actually I too use only the mouse to fly because I have few space to use yoke, quadrant and other flight controls (even if I own them), but still I’m impressed with those ram configurations.
        Happy to see that data collection is really useful to make certain considerations on your side!

  3. Just had a look at the Aircraft xlsx file, and I noticed the Boeing 717-200 by Laminar Research at the bottom of “First Party Planes (By Popularity)”. Do you mind “X-Planing” (explaining) us what that is? Because I can’t find it anywhere in my X-Plane Aircraft folder.

    1. I couldn’t find the terms “Boeing 717-200” when I searched the aircraft sheet. Was that a typo?

      1. Hi Jennifer,
        The B717-200 is listed at line 56 of the table – no typo by Yannai.

        It appears to me that all the birds for X-Plane mobile push the numbers for the first party aircraft. Maybe it would be sensible to split the aircraft usage tables for the mobile and the “real” version of X-Plane because 3rd party a/c devs (IMHO) concentrate on the “real” X-Plane version.

        Sorry that I call them “mobile” and “real” but as an X-Plane enthusiast using a high performance rig, TrackIR, Joystick etc., X-Plane “mobile” is just a funny toy “to go” (no matter how good you make it). A tablet computer works as an electronic flightbag – not as good sim device.

        Regards,
        Marc

      2. Yes, I’ve also noticed that, it is labeled B-717-200. There is also B777-100 quite high on the Laminar list, what’s this?

        I’ve also noticed that there is no match between chart and raw data, eg. Zibo has 4.51% on the chart and 3.02% in the raw data. At the same time x737 has 3.42% in raw data while having only 0.99% on the chart. Could you please explain more how it is calculated?

        Thanks!

        1. Despite Tyler’s attempts to clean up the data from duplicates, I recall still finding multiple, obvious, individual lines for these aircraft. I combined them to come up with the total used in the chart. If my math or assumptions that they were the same aircraft was incorrect, I can adjust the chart as needed.

        1. We go off of the studio listed in the acf file metadata (column D in charts). I’m not sure why someone would put LR as the developer if it wasn’t a default plane. One theory we have is that people are updating aircraft from older versions (X-Plane 10, 9, etc) and then providing them online.

          1. I figured it out. X-Plane.Org member “oceansong” posted a modified MD-82 titled “Boeing 717-200” and uploaded it without changing the studio name from Laminar Research.

  4. Not having the FlightFactor A320U and ToliSS319 separated from the “Other Third Party” data is misconceiving for both usage data’s, certainly with the A319 which I fly more consistently than any other aircraft currently? Just noting, a sample on users graphic card sizes would be good data as well.

    1. Hi Stephen,
      I don’t understand your point at all. You fly the A320U and the SS319 a lot, but as a whole, they’re not as popular as other add-ons. So they’re low enough on the list that they got grouped into “other”. At 0.09% of flights, the 319 isn’t even a contender for “top X”; the A320U is being flown only about 1/3 as much as the lowest ranked aircraft that got broken out.

      We don’t have VRAM data for graphics cards – X-Plane doesn’t analyze that right now – note you don’t see it in your Log.txt either.

      1. Wow really surprised that both aircraft are still so low in the numbers? I think It will be interesting on how they improve over time. The small worry here is that overwhelmingly users are still flying freeware far than payware, good for simulator use, but not so good for the business side of the simulator.
        I understand the basic premise of X-Plane and what is built on, but if the business side is not supported then that external support can slowly wither away.

    2. There’s only so much room in the chart to list aircraft individually, so the cut off point I used was listing individual aircraft that had at least 1% or more of flights. Those two aircraft can be found in the raw data if you’re particularly curious about them.

    3. Of course the stats “don’t lie” but even so I too am very surprised that the FF A320U is only at 0.32% (which apparently is identical to e.g. the FF A350). This addon received a lot of attention up to and around its launch (for the right reasons) and still does today. I’d have expected it to be near the Zibo level of usage, if not higher.

  5. Hi there,

    Percentage of all flights seems weird as it makes more than 100% in total…

    Cheers

  6. Why not just assign developers with one id per aircraft, and then just have X-Plane reference it with the current X-Plane version when collecting diagnostic data/bug reports? That way, it’ll be much easier and amore accurate collecting these lists…and bug reports can be easily identidiable by Aircraft.

    1. We (LR) aren’t looking to heavily interfere with aircraft developers by requiring them to come to us for a registered ID every time they make an aircraft. X-Plane’s always been a very open platform.

      1. “X-Plane’s always been a very open platform.”
        ———
        And this is – beside and beyond the stunning quality of X-Plane – what makes this simulator so awesome!!

        If something is missing or less appreciated, LR brings tools to easily add it or make it better. As far as I recognized, X-Plane has the most active community of creators – compared to other sim platforms. A huge benefit for all X-Plane users!

        Please keep it open the way it is!

        Regards,
        Marc

  7. Is there any chance to find out where we fly?
    I would be interested to know where the community is and if they fly to/from larger airports or to smaller strips.

    1. I really need to get this added to the automated analysis script we use…

      Here are the top 50 start “locations” (obviously the Flight School tutorials aren’t quite a location):

      RegionPercent of all flights
      KSEA8.39%
      Flight School5.94%
      KLAX1.42%
      KSFO1.21%
      EGLL1.18%
      KJFK1.14%
      EDDF0.83%
      KBFI0.72%
      LOWI0.72%
      LSZH0.68%
      KBOS0.67%
      KLGA0.61%
      KSAN0.59%
      EHAM0.59%
      TNCM0.58%
      KMIA0.55%
      YSSY0.54%
      EDDM0.51%
      EGKK0.49%
      KHND0.49%
      E460.47%
      LFMN0.45%
      EDDH0.43%
      EGCC0.42%
      SABE0.42%
      KPHX0.42%
      PMDY0.41%
      KORD0.41%
      LFPG0.39%
      LEBL0.36%
      EDDL0.34%
      KLAS0.34%
      EDDT0.34%
      KEWR0.34%
      KATL0.33%
      RJTT0.33%
      PHNL0.32%
      KMCO0.31%
      LSGG0.30%
      Shuttle0.29%
      KDFW0.29%
      LIRF0.28%
      CYVR0.28%
      Carrier approach0.28%
      Carrier cat shot0.27%
      CYYZ0.27%
      LOWW0.27%
      LFPO0.26%
      KPDX0.26%
      YMML0.25%
          1. Just opening/documenting the format a bit would solve the issue through community anyway, maybe that’d be the better solution 😀

          2. Sigh. If only it were that simple. We’ve had a lot of debate internally about opening up the tutorial file format, but the problem is:

            • The file format, while it is “plain text,” is really not suitable for editing as text. (Trying to do so would be like trying to edit an ACF file without using Plane Maker… except worse, because of lots of non-obvious interdependencies between different parts of the file!)
            • The editor we used internally to create the existing tutorials is, frankly, terrible. We essentially hacked up WED to edit certain aspects of the tutorials, while still editing other aspects in plain text. It’s basically as bad an authoring solution as we could have come up with while still being able to get the initial versions of the tutorials out the door.

            So, while we could theoretically just stick the existing, awful authoring tools online, I think it would make things more frustrating for third parties, not less. What we really need is like 6 months of developer time to allocate to building a real, nice tutorial editor. But… we just don’t have the resources for that in the near future—the team is already booked quite a ways out on higher priority stuff.

            (The other challenge to getting the schedule time is: the existing tutorials have not really been a knock-out in terms of end-user response. It’s hard to say whether this is because of the way they are implemented—they could probably be better!—or because the whole concept is just less interesting and less useful to people than we expected they would be. In either case, it’s hard to make a case for moving our limited developer resources off some other important project—especially something we know the community will love—to work on the tutorial infrastructure.)

        1. Try the FSFlyingSchool add-on. It gives you feedback and scoring of your flight, plus you’re not constrained to flight in a set location.

      1. E46 at 1 in 200 flights ?
        Good thing Philipp seems to have found a smoking gun that causes this teleportation to be a very real thing in X-plane. This would be the most thoroughly quantified bug to be squashed ever since.

        1. Indeed! Instances of E46 are almost certainly due to a bug teleporting your plane to “the first airport in the list.” I’m not aware of Philipp’s work on this, but certainly if anyone has a repro case for this that hasn’t been address, they should file a bug.

  8. Yikes at the Linux usage, has it actually dropped or not kept up with the sales of X-plane 11?

  9. Hi, thank you for sharing all this data with us!

    I’d like to suggest, if feasible, you also add third party plugin use next time. This is orthogonal to the other data and probably as interesting as the aircraft data. Every plugin gets identified with a unique plugin id which usually is stable from version to the next too.

  10. I’m really puzzled by the 32bit OS entries. X-Plane 11 is a 64bit application, it shouldn’t be able to run. But 10% of Linux users are running it in this configuration. Maybe, this is wine? Very odd anomaly.

  11. Hi,

    I am not interested in VR, is it possible to separate VR from the main simulation so that we don’t have a big amount of data we don’t want to use in our computers. I am not updating to 11.20. Is it possible when the next official update is release that we can update without having to accept the VR part?

    1. As the article notes, so far 2.65% of all users have flown in VR. That’s not a huge portion of all the data so far, so it’s not impacting things on a massive scale. VR will continue to be a part of X-Plane. You will not be able to get a version of X-Plane “without it,” although you may choose to never use it if you prefer.

    2. What is this “big amount of data” you speak of?

      The percentage may be small, but I’m sure that, like me, there are a lot of people waiting for the right moment to invest in a VR headset. Personally, I’m waiting for the mainstream vendors to go at least 5k resolution and 180 FoV.

  12. Ok, thanks. I don’t have anything against VR, for me it is just a very different game that has nothing to do with the traditional simulation. I have seen and heard from other users that VR is affecting the main simulation. May be Laminar can take this request into account for future updates, it shouldn’t be so complicated.

    1. VR is simply an option you can turn on and off so if you aren’t using it it should have no impact on the “normal” sim. If people have found something different, they should file bugs! (With lots of steps and data to back up their claim. 😉 )

  13. Hello, interesting stats, I’m one of the Linux users, tho I’m probably not included in the statistics, because I’m using amdgpu + mesa and it’s sub-optimal for xplane11…

    Are you going to support amdgpu+mesa in the future? It seems like AMD is putting a lot of work in the open amdgpu driver, compared to the amdgpu-proprietary one.

  14. Hmm, surprized by the low Linux share. Then again it is on an opt-in base, and Linux user might generally be more security sensitive thus less inclines to opt in.
    For me XPlane’s Linux support is a big thing. The downright huge amount of custom scenery data I have by now forces me to distribute them to several file systems and syslinking them to XPlane, which is sooo much better manageable under Linux than under Windows.
    Plus the Linux version runs demonstrably faster more stable, and even TrackIR is supported. In recent years I haven’t wasted even a single thought on installing XPlane on Windows.
    I don’t mean to trigger OS war here. I don’t give a wet fecal matter on what other people run.
    I simply would like to congratulate Laminar Research on this excellent Linux (and Mac) port. Don’t get dis-encouraged by this statistic to keep up the good work on both the Mac and the Linux ports!

    1. Hi Keyser,

      It’s _not_ the opt-in nature of analytics. We can tell platform split because X-plane’s user agent string when calling to check for updates contains some OS info, and Linux usage is even lower in that data set.

      cheers
      Ben

  15. Ben.

    I dont understand what is taking so long to upload the video from FSEXPO. If you dont have the video can you upload the slides please

    1. The video is being post-produced, but we didn’t take the video so I don’t know when we’ll have the finished product. I’ll post the slides.

  16. Looking at the figures you collected I keep scratching my head. I think there must be a relation between the number of posts on a forum like x-plane.org and the preference for certain aircraft. Some examples:
    320 Ultimate by Flight Factor 15779 posts
    A330 by JARdesign 2712 posts
    Still many more users are preferring to fly the JARDesign A330 over the FF-A320?
    I doubt that.

    1. Keep in mind these figures are the percentage of flights over the entire lifetime of X-Plane 11. Newer planes are naturally disadvantaged by that metric.

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