DCS Blue flag - A "how to / what to" and questions thread.

Just some basic gumpf for those who have not played before and are interested in playing Blue flag. Stick any question you want below for more detailed responses.

Blue flag simply is a PVP dynamic campaign that is free to play. It limits your lives to “x” amount per type to encourage looking after your airframes and discourage airquake. Lives are reset after a predetermined number of hours. The campaign is dynamic as you can fly where you want and do what you want, but the emphasis is on teamplay. You never truly know what you may come across because the enemy is human. To advance on the map you need to capture territory and hence helicopters have the most important roll in the game.

The biggest thing to note about Blue flag is the following.
You don’t have to be a current fighter jock to use it.
You don’t have know CAP413 (for us English folk) to talk on the radio.
You don’t have to be a good pilot.

You just need to have fun and that is it.

Blue flag currently have 4 servers running, some of which may be down for tweaking or revision
Blue flag WW2 - Normandy map
Blue flag Korea (using caucuses map)
Blue flag Nevada - Nevada map
Blue flag Caucusses (caucuses map obviously) - most popular

I am sure the blue flag team are working hard now that the Persian Gulf map is released. So I suspect to see this come in the near future.

What do you need to have to play Blue Flag? Simply just DCS. That is all you need!

But if you want the FULL Blue flag amazing experience there are some extra things you should get.

  1. DCS Simple radio. get it HERE

  2. Access to the Blue flag widget here

DCS Simple radio. (Its what the cool kids are using) Its a voice communication software that integrates with DCS so you can use your radios correctly. It understands what you have tuned your radios to in cockpit and lets you communicate with others on the same frequency. I.e. you want a discreet frequency to chat on with your mates. Then select a channel to chat on one of your radios and chat away. Most aircraft have more than one radio and therefore you can listen in on multiple frequencies and choose which one you want to talk on. If you are worried about unclickable cockpits from flaming cliffs modules then don’t worry. DCS Simple radio has a Discreet GUI that you can make almost invisible for you to manually tune your radios.

Why is simple radio a great addition to Blue flag? Because it adds a great deal situational awareness to you and everyone else around (that is using simple radio). It encourages communication and therefore encourages teamplay and really adds to the immersion.
There are plenty of instructions on the interwebz on how to install and set up DCS SIMPLE RADIO. Its very quick and easy to do. Shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes from download to finish of setup.

The Widget or interactive map.

Just open this up in a webrowser and it shows you in real time what is happening on the map. If you hover your mouse over an installation it will give you co-odinates of the installation and other info. The widget also tells you of the status of the installation from 100% health (all enemy alive in the area) to 0% health (all enemy are dead in the area and the installation is considered neutral and ready to be captured.)

The map also serves as a good idea of where you want to spawn in. Want to be close to the action. Look at the map and you can see from the changed icons which installation is under attack. So you can choose a spawn location that is most suitable for you.

What you need to do before you play.

Look at the server and see which planes / helicopters are available on which side and then decide if you want to be BLUE team or RED team. That is it. You cannot choose an aircraft to fly until you have chosen a side. Caution to this. Once you have chosen a side you cannot change sides until that campaign is finished and a new one started

So how do you get in and play?

  1. join the multiplayer server

  2. once in the spectators lobby press “shift” and “tab” to bring up your chat box (make sure it is in ALL not ALLIES) and simply type “red” to join red team or “blue” to join blue team

  3. choose a vehicle of your choice in the location of your choice (as long as your team owns that territory). Go and do stuff. Simple as that.

What to do in blue flag and how to play

To capture a facility / territory you need to firstly kill all the enemy that is protecting that area. Whilst you are doing that the enemy can run repair supplies in to hamper you. So you need to deal with them too. The enemy usually has fighters that protect the guys running in supplies so I guess you may want to think about them in your grand plan as well.

But once you have successfully removed the enemy garrison, you then can drop troops into the location. Once the troops are deployed and there is no resistance, the troops will capture that location. That location however is now yours but at 0% health, because you killed all the defending assets. You can spawn there now, but it will offer no protection and any enemy can retake it. So best thing to do is run some supplies in to quicken the rebuilding of defensive assets at that location. All locations slowly repair over time anyway but you really do want to repair a facility once captured.

Helicopters are by far the most important asset in the game. They carry the troops needed to actually capture an area. So the teamwork comprises of fighters clearing out enemy fighters and keeping them out. Attackers clear out the defensive units and logistics run in troops and supplies to capture and repair the facility.

Seeing and hearing all this happen in real time with DCS SIMPLE RADIO is a very immersive and rewarding experience and pays great dividends to the team that can apply teamwork.

There are also GCI slots (basically AWACS and combined arms users) who give you heads up on enemy movements (if they can see them) and co-ordinates the attack. Again another great reason for SIMPLE Radio as your GCI is your strategic command.

Other roles aside from fighters, attackers and logistics are.

Deployment of assets. Helicopters can also deploy sam sites, troops, Jtacs and radars to the field. All of which can ruin the enemies day.

There is also an intel roll - usually performed by a vehicle like P-51. If you can get close enough to a facility you gather intel on it. Get that intel back to base and you spawn an AI bomber mission that can devastate an area. Enemy will scramble to kill that bomber.

Another big item is your life system. Your life is not considered in use until you take off. Once airborne you will receive a message saying you have used one of your lives and have “x” remaining and lives will be reset in “x” amount of hours.

This is great as if you spawn in and someone is attacking the facility. You don’t loose a life. You may explode but your lives remain intact until take off. HOWEVER with this comes a very important piece of information. Once you land, you MUST use the radio menu to reclaim your life. Once you have done that on the ground in a friendly environment, you get your life back.

Anyways, a basic view and how to with Blue flag. Let me know if you have further questions or intrigues and all can help you get into what I think is one of the best things in DCS at the moment.


Nice write up, thanks!

I have to get in on this mess. Seems like a lot of fun.

Awesome. I’m definitely interested and one night will carve out some time to do this… Great write-up that I will definitely be using!

I want to get in my KA-50 and fly for the Klingons. Thanks for the guide @Bogusheadbox

I get it. Shouting at you to join doesn’t work, but a well formatted guide explaining the form and function does?

I see how it is



To anyone that all of this may seem overwhelming to, I usually just jump in as a clueless wingman and try to follow directions from those in contact with command (@Bogusheadbox @near_blind @klarsnow @AeroMechanical etc)

Definitely more fun in a group than to try and Lone Ranger it.

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One little tidbit to add is that both sides have TF-51s. These are used quite unrealistically to simulate fixed-wing transports. They can “carry” both troops and repair crates and because they are much faster then helicopters, they are often used to capture/repair any asset on the map, usually by crashing close by in a manner that is survivable. I am no fan of this aspect of the game even though I often play the role when no one else will. The intention originally was to have them take airbases sort of like an airdrop. But players quickly got creative.

Radio Frequencies.

More again for simple radio. Its not a case of guess who is on what channel. Of course you can choose as stated earlier, your own channel for you and your mates. However Blue Flag has assigned some very important radio frequencies for both the RED and BLUE teams. Simple Radio also separates the red and blue teams comms. Say you both select the same frequency, the other team will not hear you. Stops people stealing intel on what is happening.

These frequencies can be found on the GADGET/WIDGET . Just click on the top row under “DCS Radio” and click on “radio frequencies.”
As shown HERE. If you can open it in google docs, there are also tabs at the bottom showing you all the preset channels for aircraft as well.

Just using blue team as an example, the radio frequencies are.
ATC / CTAF - All Takeoff and Landing announcements Freq 251 This is the frequency you will be on when taxiing and take off and landing. When on ground its really nice to announce your intentions and everyone is encouraged to say what they are doing. Nothing special just use plain words like.
“Senaki traffic, bogusheadbox taxiing to runway XX”

“Senaki Traffic lining up runway xx, take off.”

You don’t have to use those exact words, just say in plain English what you are doing.

GCI West & Primary Comms (USE WHEN OPERATING ON PAK 1/2/4/5 OR NO OTHER GCI ON) freq 264 - This is your GCI channel. He is a player running combined arms and is your eyes, ears, tactician and general help. After take off you switch to this frequency and ask for tasking or advise of what it is you want to do. That way the GCI will keep an eye on you and advise of any threats or co-ordinate cover or a strike etc.
You will notice the “operating on pak” bit. Basically when the server is super poluated the comms can be overwhelming, so a second GCI may be on to help co-ordinate efforts in another area of the map. Though the original page on the Widget / gadget will show a break up of the pak areas, just check in on the main frequency. If the GCI wants you to change he will tell you.

GCI East (USE WHEN OPERATING ON PAK 3/6 OR SECOND GCI REQUIRED) Freq 254 - as above, this is only used when the comms are overloaded and we have more than one GCI operating. Just check in on main freq above and the GCI will tell you if you should change.

Transport / Helicopters Freq - 30 FM As helicopters are such an important instrument in DCS they have an additional channel to help self co-ordinate themselves. This is kind of a secondary channel if GCI is busy on 264, then you can talk on 30FM whilst listening out with GCI for situational awareness.

Guard - Emergency / Establish Comms ONLY Freq - 243 & 121.5 This is not really used but a good GCI will be covering this channel It may have been more utilised when SAR operations were included with Blue flag.

So that is basically it with the radios. It works really well. People are friendly on the radios, you don’t need to speak the lingo, just use simple English. Though I would try not to waffle, just keep it simple.

With this you get co-ordinated take off and landings. Its much rarer now to land when someone is taking off as most use the radios. People know where you are and respect your requirements more. No taxiway takeoffs etc. Just nice efficient flow of traffic around aerodromes. Of course not everyone is on Simple radio, so the occasional clash can happen. But in Blue flag, it doesn’t happen that often.

So a dry run would look like this.
call intentions to taxi
Call lining up / taking off
change to GCI and check in (if he is on)
Tell GCI what you are doing or do what he is asking.

From there GCI can give you vectors, contact reports etc. You can request cover as well. If a GCI can’t task you cover then he can give you vectors away from threat or towards friendlies or friendly sam sites etc.

Simple radio adds so much to DCS as it puts everyone in the same picture. Its a great bit of kit, no hassle and no need to feel funny about talking on the radio to other players. They are human just like you.


Nice layout of the fundamentals, @Bogusheadbox. Blue Flag Caucasus is my go-to MP server.

One thing that tripped me up initially: when picking red or blue side at the beginning of a round, make sure you have chat on ALL, not Allies.

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Thanks @Peaches I have amended my first post. Cheers.

Really looking forward to jumping into this. Your AAR stories have been rivetting. Still, getting comms sorted will take some serious concentrated effort on my part lol. Simple radio my posterior! that recipe for installation is like two pages long :stuck_out_tongue: Not to be a wuss, I have done far more intricate IT recipes but not something I’ll be doing in that one hazy hour between kids-to-bed and pappa-beddy-bye-time.

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The instructions are more complicated than it actually is. Just download and run Simple radio and boom it should be done. Just do the settings/ keyboard bindings.

Apparently they are having a promo video contest. Here’s a user made one. Shows off some blue flag features.

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How will RedFor compete against the wave of Hornets on BlueFor going forward? Red has not seen a modern addition to the line up for quite awhile…

FC4 will fix it Generally when things get awkward, they give red exclusive rights to the Mirage 2000. I’d imagine Red’s also going to get an F-14A and an F-4 soon.

too soon?

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Wouldn’t be realistic if Redfor wasn’t getting stomped. 'Merica!!!

You underestimate the power of the mi-8 sir !!!

Generally what happens is when a new aircraft is released, it is available for both red and blue teams to start. Because people want to play it, i guess it won’t be fun to have everyone on blue with one lonely baguette on red.

The hornet though will be at a disadvantage to start without IFF and no gci to declare

I foresee much “RAYGUN” in our future.