DCS Fly anything period is live

Oh, so many choices! I think I’ll start out with the WW2 birds, as they in general don’t take as much time to learn to get off the ground and fight. From there I’m not sure about which modern jet to go with (F-14, F-16, F-18, or the JF-17). Thoughts?

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F14 & F18 most complete, I guess, of those choices. The Tomcat is more of an experience of the two. Shoot, fly em all, at that price!

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The JF-17 is also very much complete. In my opinion the F-16 is also starting to become a solid bird now with all the updates she’s been having over the past 4 months.

Try them all!

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I really have to try the russian-teens series Fighters.
The 21s don’t really appeal to me.


Phrasing. Boom.

I’m gonna give the viper and black shark a spin


MiG-15 and 19 are easy to learn. There is not much to them. The 21 is worth a spin.
On the US side, 16 is a must. You can A2A and A2G. The 14 vs the MiG-21/23 is a hoot. The F-18 and the JF-17 a pits that need to be seen.

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The 21 is pretty similar to the F-104 if you’ve ever tried that out in a sim. It’s a solid energy fighter, and an excellent interceptor. A2G is basically set the sight, line up on the target, and pull the trigger when the needle is in the right spot. I totally get it’s not for everyone though.

@Victork2 The black shark is a different beast even if you’re used to rotary. Make sure to map the trimmer to a readily pressed button on your stick.

So to the Mud Spike brain trust, out of the following AC (F-14, F-18, JF-17) how much do they rely on working a HOTAS? I do a lot of my sim’ing these days in my recliner on my laptop with a Cobra M5 versus in the man cave with my full CH setup. Things like the A-10C which are very heavily HOTAS driven aren’t a lot of fun to use as you end up basically trying to press 4 keys to do the equivalent of activating a hat switch (and to get something off the rail can take 9-10 different hat switch movements across 4 different hats). I fly the Harrier just fine, as you really only need two sets of extra keys to simulate the sensor selector and DMT/TGPOD designator switches on the throttle.

So if we put the A-10C at the top of the need a HOTAS list, and maybe the F-86 or similar at the bottom, how do those 3 birds stack up? I’d put the Viper probably just above the Harrier in terms of needing a HOTAS. You can fly and fight it without one (thanks to F4 and then BMS I had plenty of experience decades ago doing that), but it does make life easier.


I don’t have the JF but I’d imagine of those three the Tomcat has fewer HOTAS buttons to push. Now, flying it might be harder without. Needs rudders for sure IMHO. So, I say - get the TigerShark!

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Ooooh I forgot about the trainers as well. Im going to try the l39 and the f5 as well.

Yay this is fun

If you haven’t given the C-101EB/CC a try…it is really a fantastic module. I just did a freeflight from Nellis over to Tonopah on one of the aerobatics servers. I really love the panel layout of the C-101CC. It is fun because it is underpowered…so you really have to nurse it around the skies…

Don’t forget about the freeware MB339, really excellent module. I can’t wait for the paid version.

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The F-14 arguably has the most straightforward design. On the stick you will find only a handful of buttons that have more than one purpose and even then they’re pretty straightforward. The countermeasures dispense button is used to activate DLC when the flaps are down (DLC = direct lift control, control rate of descent without changes in pitch or throttle, pretty nifty), the nosewheel steering button is used as the autopilot reference button in flight and the scroller can control either the DLC or the maneuvering flaps depending on what is logical/activated.

I’m not completely current on the Hornet, but last I flew it very actively it felt very similar to your description of the Harrier (you’re gonna feel quite at home, both are McDonnell Douglas birds). If you have something handy for the sensor select switch (and a few other controls such as cage/uncage, undesignate etcetera you will be fine for most engagements as I feel the brunt of the work is working the MFDs and the UFC.

I own the JF-17 and learned her (start-up, weapons employment etc) but never flew her into combat much. So again, I’m not an authority on this bird. It feels like she was designed as something for the Pakistani F-16 pilots to easily transition to. Her throttle is pretty much an exact copy although the functions have mixed up a little. You can control her very well via her three big MFD’s (partitioned in a ‘big’ upper portion and ‘small’ lower portion so you can control multiple things from the same page). There is however some HOTAS dancing involved in most engagements, and her HOTAS buttons change functionality depending on the mode you’re in. You could open chucks guide and go to chapter 10 to see the HOTAS diagrams and their functions in each mode, and see if that is acceptable or just too much.

To be fair, if you managed to dance in the viper without a proper HOTAS, then all these birds are manageable as well. None of them are as elaborate in managing an engagement as our A-10C is.

Subjectively TL:DR → F-86 >= F-14 >>> F/A-18C > JF-17 >>> A-10C


Excellent thank you. I did some of the tutorials for all three last night. All three seem to be reasonably workable without a throttle covered in hat switches, but that was only dropping dumb bombs and shooting rockets. I need to try out the A2A this evening and see how it goes, along with the fancier weapons and TPOD integration. Glad I’ve got 2 weeks to figure this out :wink:

Alright good luck! In the F-14 this will be pretty straightforward. You’ll use either PLM (pilot-lock mode) or scream at the guy in the back until he produces something. Handy tip is that with the display controls on your right you can replace your HSI with a copy of his radar screen so you can tell whats going on and what he’s doing. The only HOTAS trick you need to know about is that you must actually depress the weapon selector to get it to swap between sparrows and phoenixes, even if you didn’t bring sparrows.

Since you’ve got experience in the Viper, the Hornet’s and Jeffs take on dogfight and BVR modes won’t be all that alien to you.

Flew the Harrier tonight and it was fun just flying around.
Can anyone who has the module recommend it?


A million percent yes. Its wonderful


I was an early access buyer. I’ll second @Victork2 response, it’s a great module. I flew it alot before some of the major updates, so even before it had all the functionality it has now it was still a great bird. It basically does everything but BVR, and does it well (A2A marginally so, don’t go picking fights with a MiG-29 for example). Additionally its a unique aircraft in that it’s the only V/STOL aircraft in DCS (and one of the few actually in service). It’s not a bomb truck, but for fast CAS it’s a beast.

I’m actually surprised there haven’t been any paid campaigns for it as it’s so versatile.


I’m working on one. Not sure about paid yet or not though.

And yes, I love this module, though I’m a lil shaky on the whole VTOL thing.

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Not a fan of the F-18’s radar display currently, maybe it will grow on me. Really not used to having a back seater in the Tomcat lol. And the JF-17 doesn’t have any A2A training missions, I’ll play with that tomorrow with the help of chucks guide.

Overall the two I messed with tonight are both definitely flyable without a HOTAS, until I start to play with A2G some more I don’t see to much finger gymnastics with either one. I took the Falcon up for the heck of it, and again workable. Definitely easier to have a HOTAS for BVR work, but not imperative.

@jross Best advice I can give on learning VTOL is start off trying to land short, and then just keep making that distance shorter. Eventually you’ll be setting it down on the numbers every time. From there start landing on the helo spots for the heck of it :wink:

Thanks. I can do ok. But I’m spending so much time debugging LUA code lately…getting rusty.

Oh, and the X-mas present to me: the Huey. The Harrier is easier, so far, to me…from a distance, my Huey landings probably look like a rooster wrestling with a [American] football, in the dust.