ORBX FTX Global Base is an add-on scenery upgrade for Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) and Lockheed Martin Prepar3D (P3D).
To understand scenery better, check out my Scenery Exposed article.
ORDERING / PRICE (in US Dollars)
$93 – Purchased online at the Flight Sim Store (ORBX’s retail presence) – Oct 2013.
SHIPPING / PACKAGING
This item was delivered digitally so no shipping was involved. The Orbx FTX Global Base file is in ZIP format containing a security wrapper built by Flight Sim Store and is approximately 4.6 GB in size.
The Flight Sim Store allows you to download the product as many times as you chose.
DRIVERS / MANUALS
No drivers are required.
Once installed, a program called FTX Central contains the User Guide in PDF format. It is colorful and covers the product quite well from installation to operation.
ASSEMBLY / INSTALLATION
No assembly required.
Installation is pretty straightforward. Run the setup, enter your order number, registration code, and order date. Then, it should detect your FSX/P3D installation and do the rest on its own.
TIP: Be sure to take the option to backup your \Texture folder. This allows you to uninstall FTX and return the original files to FSX/P3D if necessary.
INTEGRATION / OPERATION
The heart of FTX Global is the FTX Central program. From here, you can enable the FTX Global scenery and other FTX sceneries and airports, and turn features on and off. I have since installed the North America Pacific Northwest demo and it includes even MORE detail and upgraded airports in that area.
The header image in this review is from the FTX Global User’s Guide and provides a very good comparison of the visual difference between stock FSX and FTX Global. It is the same difference I experienced I hope they do not mind me using the image to express the comparison. The image above is clickable for a larger version.
TIP: I highly recommend reading the manual in full as it has recommended procedures and FSX/P3D settings to maximize the impact of FTX Global.
Also included are FTX Aero (which can upgrade airport textures such as runways) and a tool to add 3D lights to all main roads. I do not use these, as REX 4 Direct already does this for me.
Lastly, I would urge you to take a look at all the scenery and airport packages, both free and for purchase, that expand on FTX Global. They can be found on the ORBX FTX website.
NOTE: FTX Global does not include mesh files. Mesh defines the shape of terrain in the simulator world, such as the height and ruggedness of a mountain. FTX updates the landclass textures, or scenery files, that cover this mesh to provide higher resolution imagery and a better view out of your cockpit window. There are meshes out there for purchase, but I have never installed one.
ORBX FTX support is provided via a customer forum. I have never needed to contact the manufacturer. The product performs as advertised.
For a few weeks after installing FSX/P3D, I flew around various locations in the world with the stock scenery. It wasn’t terrible for a game from 2006, but it always felt a bit “sparse” for lack of a better word. I researched a few different scenery products, but kept coming back to FTX based on user feedback, online comparisons, and my intentions to fly to global destinations.
After installing ORBX FTX Global, it truly is like a whole new simulator. The detail is rich, the autogen feels more natural, and I didn’t suffer a noticeable FPS loss. If the PNW package is any indication, I cannot wait for the rest of the west and east US coasts to be released. For these reasons, I give ORBX FTX Global a score of 10 out of 10.
ORBX FTX imagery by ORBX Simulation Systems. my737NG.com is not affiliated with, maintained, authorized, endorsed, or sponsored by ORBX Simulation Systems.