Making sure our users enjoy the best possible experience on our online servers is paramount to us. Finding a balance between allowing pilots to learn and ensuring we achieve the highest standards is vital. We manage this with our grade requirements. This blog post outlines the changes we are making to these requirements with our latest 20.1 update.

Why does Infinite Flight use a grading system?

A grading system is a way of grouping users based on set criteria. At Infinite Flight, we do this with several parameters such as flight time, landing count, and XP (experience points). These are given for time spent flying and landing quality. Meeting these criteria gives the user a ‘grade’ from 1 through 5. We then use this number to determine the level of access a user can have to our online servers.

This has several benefits for the user. It shows clear progression within the simulator, allowing users to look back and see their journey from novice to expert. Additionally, it allows users to fly on a server with other pilots of the same skill level as them.

This clear progression encourages users to increase their grade. This incentive to progress drives all users on all servers to be the best that they can and continue learning all the time. For us, this means all users experience the best possible version of the simulator each time they log on.

What’s changed with Infinite Flight’s grading system?

To make sure this grading system is suitable, it must represent the current situation amongst our online user base. As we gain an increasing number of users, online traffic increases. This means more pilots and a greater need to ensure adequate time to learn.

Grade 2 through 5 will be changed. These requirements will be being raised across the board. Our focus is on making sure users have been exposed to enough learning opportunities before being granted access to the appropriate server. We want to ensure that knowledge is current as rules and features are constantly evolving on our online servers to ensure the best possible environment.

You will also see a new layout for the grade table. We have retired the terms ‘ghosting’ and ‘reported’ in favour of a three-tier violation system that includes both automatic violations and violations given by our expert server controllers. You can read more about this on our blog.

We have removed all 2-year requirements.

What are violations on Infinite Flight?

Violations are our way of assessing of pilot performance on our servers. We want to be able to maintain high standards of flying online, however, we cannot monitor all pilots at all times manually.

To make sure we have the widest coverage possible, we automated this process with Level 1 violations, and give our expert server controllers the ability to give Level 2 and 3 violations. If you are flying well and within the set rules of a server, you will not get violations. If you violate these rules, you get violations. Simple!

We have violations for many incursions of rules. For Level 1 violations, we set parameters that are not allowed to be exceeded such as taxi speed. If a user is exceeding a parameter, they receive a Level 1 violation. This Level 1 violation is simply a flag on your flight history, and you get one Level 1 violation per parameter broken. If you are breaking a parameter for a prolonged period, you will then get one Level 1 violation per set amount of time until you are back within normal parameters. You can get Level 1 violations on Training and Expert Servers.

Level 2 and 3 violations are tied to specific breaches of rules that are noticed by our expert server controllers. These are numerous, with examples being spamming the frequency, taxiing without permission, and incorrect inbound procedures. You only receive one Level 2 or 3 violation per breach of the rules. Level 2 and 3 violations can only be given on the Expert Server.

Why are we changing Infinite Flight grade requirements?

There are a few key reasons why we are doing this:

  1. To ensure users have due time to learn the basics before accessing the expert server
  2. To reduce the number of violations for users and IFATC
  3. To maintain a realistic environment on all servers

Increased grade requirements are one of the most requested non-feature changes that we get day-to-day from our users. Our expert server is a place where correct speeds, altitudes, and ATC commands are expected of users. It is also a place where we expect pilots to be able to fly the aircraft of their choice to a suitable standard, and this includes knowledge about the flight envelope and performance of the chosen aircraft.

Allowing users more time to learn these factors before being thrown into a demanding environment is key to helping improve the environment on all servers. It allows new users to feel comfortable before gaining access to the expert server and increases the quality of the training server.

The new Infinite Flight grade requirements

You can find this information on your grade table. To find your grade table, go to the Infinite Flight app, press your name/login in the top right corner, and then select the small i icon next to your grade. This will present the table with the requirements. To the far right are the grade requirements for the next grade, and to the left of them are your current stats.

These are the new Infinite Flight grade requirements:

Screenshot of Infinite Flight's Grade Table
Infinite Flight Grade Table