Current state of WW2 combat flight sims?

So the last WW2 combat flight sim I purchased was IL-2. The original.

It looks like various flavors of IL-2 GB are the current state of the art? I know DCS has been adding warbirds, but the stable is still pretty small. Any sim I have some how missed?

There’s IL-2 Cliffs of Dover, which came between the two other titles.

Except the very old ones you have these titles:

  • IL-2 Sturmovik - Cliffs of Dover
    Excellent after many patches and the recently DLC.

  • Combat Flight Simulator 3 (with Firepower from A2A Mod)
    Old but still good because with that mod it includes some crewable bombers and secret weapons that not includes on other ww2 combat flight sims

  • IL-2 Sturmovik - Battles of …
    With all the DLCs (that manytimes goes in nice sale) its the Nr. 1 in the genre in all (campaigns scripted+dynamic, visuals, flight model, contents, etc etc etc)

  • Wings Over the Reich
    Much updated and empowered (that includes beautiful modern graphics) standalone mod of CFS3. It only covers Battle of Britain but have one of the best dynamic campaign ever made in the genre.

  • DCS
    Good but expensive models, it not have enough contents to do a full proper ww2 battle experience.


Is the best cockpit simulator, but falls short of ‘WWII fighter pilot simulator’, meaning the war raging beyond the cockpit.

IL2:GB does an excellent job of this, and runs wonderfully in VR. CloD is excellent as well, albeit on a smaller scale (Battle of Britain/Tobruk).

If WWII is what you seek, I would say IL2:GB is the way to go. Pick the time period you most enjoy, and have fun!

The only shortcoming IL2 has is the lack of clickable cockpits. DCS obviously has them, as well as CloD, so that’s one advantage they both hold. Your personal tastes will determine which fits you best.


I’d echo that currently IL2 and Cliffs offer the best WWII multiplayer experiences. Over at FTC we do full campaigns that are well researched and very immersive. We have about 70 people on most Sundays. We have an active Discord and a website here for anyone interested in trying it out.

Here is a short video of a campaign break night mission that Djanjo and I built as a filler mission.


YES! This is the truest post about WWII you’llever read @jenrick

I wanted to say the same thing but @WarPig has a better mater of the language.

I’ll just add that DCS WWII is made either of Online PvP battles or small crafted missions that can possibly tax a machine’s hardware to the point of breaking…

IL2 Battles has Dynamic campaigns AND crafted missions, and while maybe the graphic inside the cockpit is a fraction less realistic (debatable but - that is…) the external world and 3D models/textures are second to none…

In both games the soundscape is vibrant and realistic and in both games special effects (fire, explosions, rain, snow) are really breathtaking.
Maybe night missions are slightly better in Il2 but there’s always a degree of personal preference…


Well said!

I agree that IL-2 Great Battles is the over all better WWII sim.
However, there are some really good campaigns available for the Spitfire, in DCS. I must say I prefer the aircraft modelling of the DCS Spit IX, over its IL-2 counterpart. Most of that is due to the clickable cockpit, which is awesome in VR. But, like already mentioned, YMMV.


IL-2 BOS and COD tend to be quick WW2 fixes for me. I can imagine that they would be both excellent for MP. The B/C Mustang and Mossie are incredibly beautiful and fun to fly. Never mind that the early Stang only has 4 x .50s. It can shred enemy fighters as you channel your inner Gentile and Godfrey. The Mossie is a beast that can hunt bombers as well as move serious mud. The way that you almost have to loft the rockets seems realistic, is a challenge, but huge fun when you get it right.

However, my most immersive single player experience by far is flying Reflected WW2 campaigns. The way that he forces you to fly the aircraft and communicate as historically correct as possible, adds so much to the experience. DCS, with all of its faults, still has superior radio and scripted voice ability over the IL-2 offerings, especially in the hands of a skilled mission designer.

Even though it’s one of his early campaigns, Blue Nosed Bastards, especially in VR, is the whole enchilada. I detailed some of its goodness in a short review with minimum spoilers. Note that you have to follow the script, cold & dark starts, taxi on time, join ups in position, make checkpoints, and be on the right frequency for success, but this makes it so much more immersive than diving into a furball, which you will have every now and then regardless.

Wolf Pack for the Thunderbolt is more of the same. More refined and depending on your skill set, perhaps more challenging. Really looking forward to the Reflected’s Mossie campaign.


Me too!
Just bought his “Beware! Beware!” Campaign, but I’m going to save it until after summer :slight_smile:


I wish I was able to fly Warbirds correctly to enjoy the campaigns…

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I’ve been complaining about the antiquatedness of my current PC for three years now. If history is a guide, I’ll continue to moan with increasing frequency for two more years and then upgrade. Until then, Reflected’s stuff is wonderful and unplayable. There’s simply too much happening especially down on the deck. But, as other’s have said, YMMV.


What are you doing wrong? Is it the engine management? That can be tricky when trying to keep up with the AI…


Ah… Where to begin? I try to do my best but handling complex engines, maneuver planes either too hard or not hard enough, AI that simply makes no mistakes…
The list could go on.

IL2 Battles is on the other hand right what I can handle…


Yeah, IL-2 GB has a better balance there.


Also don’t forget the cost equation. For one price you get a map and 8+ flyable planes in one Il-2 title, with the full range to fly alongside/against.

The price of one warbird in DCS is about the same and the list of other planes is far smaller. Plus you need to buy the Channel or Normandy maps and the WWII objects as well, because otherwise you’re flying the warbird in 21st century Black Sea area.

So I would say DCS makes you pay for the privilege of more accurate modeling.
I have the P-51D in DCS and in Il-2. Yes, it is modeled more faithfully in DCS…but I don’t really care. It is lacking that WWII world unless I devote even more to it and frankly Il-2 has been fulfilling that for me. I have jets/helos in DCS but I’m not going the WWII route for that.

Now if Il-2 CloD had been the final entry, then I likely would have gone all-in just for the sake of something, but Il-2 admirably makes the grade.

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Honestly, once you get in the air, there’s not much difference in the two sims with regard to manifold pressure and rpm management. You can wreck an engine in either if you don’t mind temps and limitations. Best to set your power settings just below max and don’t exceed them unless you are maneuvering.

DCS does model a few additional controls, like the Mustang’s carb inlet air control, but that’s basically set and forget above critical altitude. The 109s won’t let you forget :grin:.

Whatever your unfamiliarity in an aircraft, flying a Reflected campaign will make you an expert by the 4th mission :+1:

I hear you about controlling a fighter, especially at high altitude. The secret is being fingertip delicate with pitch control. Hold on to airspeed and altitude like your life depends on it, because it does. It often feels like you are having engine trouble or that the sim is broken. But no, you are flying in very thin air. Remember that airspeed displays lower at altitude and that your enemy has the same challenges. Resist the temptation to dive after enemy aircraft. Make them come to you.


Well I don’t deny that having some proper training would definitely help! :smiley:

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By the way, Il-2 are on huge sale on Steam and on official website. So its time to complete the collection :wink:


Excellent thank you for the heads up.

I have the P-51 and Mossie for DCS, and have tried out the rest of the pack. Honestly the lack of an overarching war as @WarPig talks about is my main issue. I think I’ll pick up IL2GB, to get my fix.

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