This paper presents a numerical investigation on the unsteady fluidelastic forces of tube arrays. The key focus is on the consistency between the unsteady fluidelastic force model and the quasi-steady model for tube arrays at large reduced flow velocities, as well as comparing two well-known conventions for the unsteady model. Two-dimensional unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (URANS) simulations are used to prove that the viscous damping coefficients of Tanaka's convention approach their quasi-steady values as the reduced flow velocity approaches infinity, whereas the hysteretic damping coefficients of Chen's modified convention always approach zero and hence result in low-resolution data plots as the reduced flow velocity becomes large. The nonconstant viscous damping coefficients of Tanaka's experimental data at high reduced flow velocities (which motivated the introduction of Chen's modified convention) might be induced by a systematic identification error in the phase of the fluidelastic force. A row of three flexible cylinders is used as a numerical example to analyze the effect of systematic phase error on the predicted stability boundary of the fluidelastic instability. Although identical fluidelastic forces are simulated by using the two conventions, Tanaka's convention is recommended due to its compatibility with the quasi-steady theory and optimal resolutions of data plots over any range of reduced flow velocities.