Microsoft Flight Simulator: What Are the Red & White Lights by the Runway (PAPI & VASI)

Microsoft Flight Simulator has red & white lights called PAPI or VASI on the side of many runways' thresholds. Here's how they can help you land correctly.

Microsoft Flight Simulator VASI PAPI Lights

Microsoft Flight Simulator has red & white lights called PAPI or VASI on the side of many runways’ thresholds but it doesn’t really tell you what they are for. You may be asking yourself what they mean.

Those lights are either Precision Approach Path Indicators or PAPI (a single row of lights that are either red or white) or Visual Approach Slope Indicators or VASI (two rows of light with each row that can appear white or red). Here’s how to take advantage of this information that they are giving you.

What the Red and White Lights mean in Microsoft Flight Simulator

Basically, the lights are an aid that lets you judge visually whether you’re on the correct approach slope to the runway.

They can show you whether you’re spot on,. too high, or too low.

Below you can see both examples and read what they mean.


PAPI Lights have five configurations:

  • If all the four lights are red, you’re way too low.
  • If one light is white and three are red, you’re slightly too low.
  • If two lights are white and two are red, you’re on the correct approach slope.
  • If three lights are white and one is red, you’re slightly too high.
  • If all the four lights are white, you’re way too high.


VASI lights have three configurations:

  • If all the lights are red, you’re too low.
  • If the closer set of lights is white and the farther set is red, you’re on the correct approach slope.
  • If all the lights are white, you’re too high.

If you see white on top of red, you may be in trouble because you may be trying to land inverted, but jokes aside, that would mean that the lights have been installed incorrectly, and I doubt it’s simulated in the game.

If you want to learn more about Microsoft Flight Simulator, you can check out our review that will tell you everything you need to know about Asobo Studio’s new and groundbreaking game.

Microsoft Flight Simulator is already available for Windows 10 and Steam. An Xbox version is also planned for the future but has no release date for now.

That’s all you need to know about what the PAPI and VASI lights mean in Microsoft Flight Simulator. You can also check out our growing guide wiki that includes more information that can help you get started.

About the author

Giuseppe Nelva

Proud weeb hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long-standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality), MMORPGs, and visual novels are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans on Earth of the flight simulator genre.