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ModelSim is required to use the simulator.
In order to help with finding errors and not always have to program the fpga, you can simulate your program. You can set the inputs of Main or a Component to trigger an operation and after running the simulation, you can see how the values of all signals change while running the code. This way, you have a lot of information to compare at a glance, which helps to find the error or check if your code works as expected.
Of course we did a tutorial for this as well: