The first step towards becoming a VATSIM pro is downloading the software. Today, I’m going through all of the steps to downloading xSquawkbox, the pilot client I use to connect to the VATSIM servers.
Signing Up for VATSIM
The very first step is signing up for VATSIM. It is pretty straightforward, and here is the link for signing up.
On to the next step!
Choosing your Software
You will have to decide which software best suits your needs, but I’ll help you as best I can. The first thing to think about is which OS you are using.
The typical flight simmer uses Windows, but I believe that iMacs (or even a MacBook) can still be used. If you are using macOS, I recommend using xSquawkbox, which this tutorial is about.
If you are using Windows, you have many more options, but I recommend either xSquawkbox or xPilot which most people use. Here is a link to the xPilot article on how to install it if you would like to read it.
If you would like to check out the other possible software, here is the VATSIM article’s link about exactly that.
Once you have decided on your software, we will continue.
First, head to this link and download the latest release. I would recommend getting the current release, not the beta because it’s simpler at the beginning, but either should work.
Extract (unzip) the file.
Open the “X-Plane 11” folder, then the “Resources” folder, and then “plugins.” Drag the “xSquawkbox” folder into the “plugins” folder.
Now, open X-Plane and start a flight (it doesn’t matter where or in what aircraft), then head to the “Plugins” menu at the top. If you see “xSquawkbox” in the menu, you did it correctly! If it does not show up, comment on this post and I’ll get back to you on how to fix it.
Great job, you have now downloaded xSquawkbox (or another software) which will start your VATSIM journey! Get updates and get a complete list of the best, free flight sim improvements! Also, click this link to head to the second post of this series, planning your first VATSIM flight!