Simulation based learning is becoming a crucial part in ECMO education. Simulation can provide a safe but also very realistic learning experience depending on simulation fidelity. In our institution we developed a simulation based ECMO training program that incorporates low- and high-fidelity simulation. Aim of this study was to evaluate effectiveness of low- and high-fidelity simulation teaching strategies in ECMO novices. We conducted four consecutive ECMO training courses that included fifty-one ECMO novices. We describe ECMO training execution and evaluate training effectiveness and perception by structured pre- and post-training questionnaires analysis. Results of our study show extremely high satisfaction rate with simulation training (4.9 ± 0.3, Lickert 5 point scale). High-fidelity simulation was perceived as very realistic and as such represents an important tool in learning immersion and experience. However, participants reported significant decline from their expectations with regard to structured approach to troubleshooting (4.7 ± 0.5 vs 4.3 ± 0.7, p = 0.02) and efficiency improvement (4.7 ± 0.5 vs 4.3 ± 0.6, p = 0.002) after high-fidelity simulation. There was also a significant decline from their expectation on self-confidence improvement (4.7 ± 0.5 vs 4.2 ± 0.7, p = 0.001). Our results therefore show, that complex high-fidelity simulation should probably be used with caution in novice participants, not to discourage them from further learning.