DCS World [advice for someone transitioning from the Strike Fighters]

Okay, I’ve moved all my DCS keys from my Steam copy to the DCS client that is downloadable from their site. I’m going to give DCS an honest shot because in the past, I’ve been phenomenally unimpressed by it. The updates happen faster than on Steam and the sales of modules happen more frequently.

I only have two modules, FC3 and DCS A-10. I’m interested in some of the other stuff, but I’d like to get good at flying what I have. Any advice for someone transitioning from the Strike Fighters series to DCS?


Find @near_blind and @klarsnow online and bugger them to join you in DCS :wink:

The Chuck’s Guides series is going to get you started on the full-sim experience: Chuck's Amazing DCS Guides

Doesn’t really apply for the FC3 aircraft, most systems are much the same across the aircraft, the difference is in performance and loadout for those.

And well, that hasn’t been true for a long long time :wink:

Personally I think the FC3 planes are some of the best ones. Many of the others are modeled better, but frankly I’ll take a lower fidelity F-15C or Su-27 over a precise C101 or F-5E any day.

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Kind of where I am. What other modules have FC3-level complexity?

There’s the Su-25T which you get free of charge.

Well, what turned you off about it? The past year or two of updates have been mostly related around new modules and visual fidelity. You can modify and look at key commands in cockpit now which is nice.

If ‘systems learning’ isn’t your thing, then maybe play/learn under the framework of a user written campaign? @BeachAV8R reviewed a few A-10C ones here:

If MP isn’t your thing then SP becomes much more fun with a good story/narrative to give the flying more purpose.

Do Mudspike people have recommendations of really good FC3 or A-10C campaigns (either free or bought)?


Crap, someone said my name.

Coming from strike fighters, I’d say FC3 is a good portal. The avionics and physics are a bit more in depth than what you get in SFX, be this as miniscule as actually having to slew the sensors, to picking which radar mode, PRF, and scan volume are best for a situation, to major things like dealing with the doppler notch, missile guidance and physics, etc. Additionally the Su-25s, the F-15C, the A-10s, and the Su-27 all have what is called “PFM” (Professional Flight Model), which as good as any full blown DCS module (I can vouch for the F-15s).

I personally fly the F-15C, the F-5E, the F-86, and the Viggen. I’m more or less fluent in just about everything.

None. There was such a hulabaloo when FC3 was released (on the heals of BS2) that ED promised they would not charge money for another FC3-level simulation, and ED isn’t going to release modules they can’t charge for. Likewise none of the 3rd party developers have announced any intentions of making them. Everything from here out, for the foreseeable future, will be study sim level.

@Sryan put together an absolutely masterful guide on how to fight air to air in the F-15C. While the examples are more or less for this jet, once you can grasp the concepts beneath them they apply to just about every Gen 4 fighter in one way or another.

Qualifying things helps. updates happen more frequently and modules release more frequently. I won’t get into sales.

Where applicable. The Russian systems tend to remain the same because the Soviets built their avionics for maximum commonality. An F-15C’s avionics are nothing like an Su-27s avionics. The Su-27 is however very similar to the MiG-29. The A-10 is nothing like the Su-25, etc.

So I think FC3 would be a good start. Another question to ask yourself is what do you want to do in DCS? Right now one of the things about the sim (it could be argued, a weakness) is that there is a massive variety of aircraft that are unique and do different things in different ways.

Do you want to do air to air? air to ground?. What type of those do you want to do? There are miles of difference between how a Mirage, an F-5 and an F-86 fight. Likewise the way an F-86, a Viggen, and a A-10 drop bombs is all wildly divergent. None is less valid than the other (well, except the A-10, far too slow).

Finally if you ever want to try any of this, drop myself or @Fridge a PM. With a few days notice we can throw together a scenario that can demonstrate the merits of a module.


Crap, someone said my name.

I can’t think of any modules outside of FC3 (or mods that people have created where they reuse parts of FC3 aircraft with different skins (ie: F/A-18 model that uses F-15C code)). Most are now of the ‘clickable’ variety with advanced (or semi-advanced) flight models.

Both Chuck’s and Syran’s guides are indispensable in getting up to speed in an aircraft without having to sink a bunch of time into them … but sinking time into them will make them easier to use and you (the general ‘you’ and not a specific ‘Hey you!’), a better pilot.

I am pretty sure that we can throw together a scenario that can get into some of the missions that a module would have had to deal with. Might take a little time but it shouldn’t be that hard.

And don’t let @TheAlmightySnark off the hook. There is no reason he can’t get on (given timezone issues) and do the same thing. :slight_smile:


Get on TS3 and fly with someone. A lot of the kinks you’re going to have to work out have been worked out a bajillion times. You’ll get an answer to a question in 5 seconds instead of trying to scour forums. Plus it’s a lot more fun to repeatedly crash on takeoff when people are watching and laughing atwith you than by yourself.


Don’t join in on a DCS Mudspike fly-in when a certain somebody has nukes, and a shaky hand on take off. :wink:


When you are wanting to break out, IMO, the F-5E is a pretty good compromise between FC3 type aircraft and those more complex. It has an easy to learn cold and dark multi-engine startup, good old fashioned iron bombs, (my personal favorite) unguided rockets, a great gun, manageable fuel system, a simple a2a radar with AIM9, auto or selectable flaps, and an enjoyable, but sometimes challenging FM. Looks fantastic and can meet varied mission requirements. Free and payware campaigns, decent training missions, good YouTube tutorials. There is a lot to like for the non-systems focused combat flight simmer.


Talk about learning the wrong lesson.
People complained about FC3 because they’d released FC2 just a couple of years before (and it was pretty much a direct port with little to no changes), and they decided the reason was people didn’t want anything but graduate-level sims??? :unamused: I seemed to recall a comment that FC3 was one of their best sellers ever?

No one wanted to keep re-buying the same modules over and over, true, but they WOULD like to buy new planes.

An FC-level AH-64 would be welcomed when a DCS-level one appears to be off the table due to classification, for example.
While I accept that some people only want the study-level, how does NO Apache appear preferable to an FC-level one to anyone? Those people simply wouldn’t buy it, and the amount of effort is quite a bit lower so ED wouldn’t be incurring significant delays making one while they’re taking the long road making other DCS modules.
Of course they would charge for it, because it’s new and other people want it.

To sum up: Flaming Cliffs 4? Black Shark 3? No, bad ideas.
A new collection of FC-level planes (especially ones that will never be DCS’d because for various reasons) for $60? Or a single bird for $25 or something? GOOD idea.


I don’t think they want that in their simulator, why I can only guess. Perhaps to increase reputation or something.

I think that makes a lot of sense, and from what I have heard they would be open to it, even beyond modern stuff, I could totally stand to have some FC level bombers added for WWII.

I do disagree that they need to be aircraft that could never be DCS’d, I think there is merit in adding aircraft, and then upgrading them for free later like they have been with the FC3 pack, but that is just my opinion.

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Full systems depth Eagle, Flanker, and Fulcrum confirmed as free upgrade!? :sunglasses:

Just kidding, of course!

Two spirited thumbs up.

The F-5’s a blast to fly, and by nature of where it is in systems complexity (the actual aircraft, not just the module) it’s a fantastic platform to learn the principles of flight, navigation, air-to-ground, and air-to-air (except BVR).

If I were Zaphod Beeblebrox I would raise a third spirited thumb up.

Hop onto TS or ask in the DCS thread to set up a training session with someone.

Sim fun levels flying alone:
Sim fun levels flying with a buddy:
Sim fun levels flying with a flight of real buddies:


Would be awesome wouldnt it?

I think the Russian birds pose more issues in getting the details needed to model them.


Yeah it would- FC3 level is great to just hop into the action but especially for an air-to-air centric platform like the Eagle I frequently feel like the systems abstractions at a point become more of a hindrance than a benefit.

Some day I guess. I’ve been waiting with baited breath for the Fulcrum PFM for eons now.


Nyeeeeeeet. Technical data is over there on chair, feel free to grab! Pay no mind to box labelled “Gulag” held up by stick, or to string attached to stick.


I extremely like where this thread is going.
I can testify that even in Italy there’s lotsa people that would love another batch of let’s say 6 planes at Flaming Cliffs 3 level. Three western and three opposing force.
My Gods how amazing would that be if it was '80s birds out of Strike Fighters 2 roster…

F-4 Phantom at FC3-level would be a tremendous amount of fun. Naval and land-based versions. An F-16C (Block 30) wouldn’t be terribly hard to manage, either. Maybe toss in a F-104S. For Red side air, the Flogger is just necessary along with maybe the newer Fitters.

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