Getting started with Microsoft Flight Simulator X

Dear all,

So, I've been interested in flight simulators for quite a while now. I know that there's a guy in this community who does live streams of flights, but I want to get started in doing these sorts of things.

First, what would I need, and what would be the cost of such a thing? I don't know how to get Steam working on Windows, and I'm probably going to need Steam to get the flight simulator. What other software would I need to get the thing working?

Second, is it truly realistic? I've seen several live streams, but how realistic is Microsoft's flight simulator when compared with actual flight? Would it be worth it to buy it? 

Finally, would I need to buy a flight controller for this game? Is it absolutely required? Hopefully not, as I've heard that these can cost hundreds of dollars.

Thanks very much for answering my questions, I have more than a little interest in getting started. Eurofly isn't doing it for me anymore, I want to experience what actual flight will be like on an airplane.

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