Jester question

I have really been enjoying the f-14 so far. I have a question regarding the Jester AI. I set up a practice scenario having the jester locate aircraft at distance (~50nm) instead of me moving back to the RIO seat. After doing the mission 3 or 4 times I cannot get any consistency. I want to give the Jester the benefit of the doubt. I think I am probably doing something wrong. When doing the Jester commands menu- Radar beyond visual range- lock STT- (then either) locate forward target or locate forward enemy (sorry if that’s not the exact wording). After doing those menu steps, most of the time the Jester will communicate he can’t do it. He says “no sir” “can’t do it” “no” “uhh can’t do that”

Do I need to put the pilot and/or the rio seat in a certain setup? (I.E. flip certain switches/ put the radar in a certain mode)

My question is what makes him say no? Is the f14 computer/radar not in the right setting or is it based on the jester’s situational findings. I think the frustrating part is I have gotten it to work a few times (for reasons or radar settings I am not noticing) but most of the time he says no.


Yeah…some RIOs are just like that…:wink:

Welcome to Mudspike. I am the guy in that provides snarky answers of dubious value, much like the one above. :slightly_smiling_face:

I don’t have the F-14 module so I cannot say for sure. I would check the entire scenario set up to make sure it isn’t some type of geometry issue. Also, I think you should start in TWS until you get targets before switching to STT to lock up a specific contact…unless Jester is supposed to pick the target to lock.


Are you seeing the contact on the tid repeater? Is it an upside down chevron/staple/half circle, or right side up?

If it’s not on the tid repeater, your radar doesn’t see it, try moving jesters elevation up/down or turning left /right, you have to tell him to do this, he doesn’t really search using the radar on his own.

If you are seeing the contact and it’s upside down, that means it’s datalink, not ownship data.

This means your radar again is not seeing it, and jester cannot lock the contact. Again, put it inside the azimuth sweep on the tid repeater and tell jester to search higher/lower, until you get the right side up contact as well, then try and get him to lock it.

If you are still having trouble, try bumping the contact out to a hundred miles and repeating, the elevation coverage of the default scan is much better at 100 miles than at 50


I always enjoy snarky answers. They provide a certain entertainment value.


Welcome to Mudspike, @jbbozeman!

@Hangar200 is Mudspikes own version of Jester. But he’s not artificial, nor int… You know. He’s real. And unlike Jester, he’s got a varied vocabulary, even if he talks a lot about wrecking Viggens. You’ll see.


Welcome JB, I think klarsnow has the gist of it (and he better, being a miss daisy himself!)

Did you switch the TID (lower screen, behind the stick) from compass to radar? Its on the right hand dash panel sort of next to where your knee would go. You oughta see contacts show up there if and when jester sees em. If thats empty, he aint locking nothing. It can take time to populate, those sweeps dont scan themselves you know!


Oh wow. That makes total sense. He cannot track if there is nothing on the radar- to track.

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So Jester is kind of a unionized RIO then?
Even though you know the target is out there, he does not exert any effort to find the target but requires you to go back there and do half the work getting the target to appear on the scope before he will do it?

Certainly explains why I get nothing but a chorus of “nopes” from him too. I’m expecting too much.


Unionized Rio. LOL. He’s giving an effort, it’s just not a very strong effort. Not going back to the Rio seat and relying on Jester is exactly what I was trying to learn to do. What you have to do is tell the Jester the distance, azimuth you would like to use, altitude range to search within, etc. Then he will say something to the effect of “it’s go time.” It could be faster to go to the RIO seat yourself to set all of those radar parameters.

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In the real world, not quite that bad but try getting one to come down to CVIC to give his debrief…or pay his coffee mess bill on time…just say’n :unamused:

I guess expecting him to actively scan for enemy targets like an AI fighter was a step too far.

Hey! Welcome @jbbozeman!
I was about to warn you about these guys but I see you met them already! :smiley:
Jokes aside, hope you’ll find your place here! :wink:
Take care and enjoy!

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Chester doesn’t use the radar as effectively as a human RIO can, but the AWG-9 is also quite picky. Targets nearer to the ground or moving laterally from its viewpoint are difficult for it to track. In addition, once you start to get within about 20-30nmi from a target, Chester seems to have more trouble working the radar and you should start thinking about using one of the pilot boresight modes to acquire. Unless it’s TWS and I have a good view of the targets, I don’t rely on Chester much.

You’ll note that I call him “Chester” rather than “Jester” – this is because I think of my version of the RIO AI as a more inbred cousin of the real Jester, due to certain limitations and restrictions. But I can’t be too hard on him because he does work 90% of the time.


I’ve also noticed the pattern is that when within 20-30 nm, either us or them have let go an initial missile and they do the ‘AI is notching’ mini-game, which causes Mr J to lose all hope and just sit there pondering imposter syndrome (I’m not a real RIO, I can’t do this…).

If Heatblur do work on his smarts then the best change would be for him actively working the Pulse Search if he sees the current TWS hook going lateral. I imagine that’s not super easy to code for that behavior, at least in early access.

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I don’t doubt it’s difficult to make an AI be able to do the things a human can. That’s why I’m wondering why there wasn’t just the accommodation made to take big shortcuts to simulate capability.

The AI aircraft don’t do all these things. It would be nice if they did, so that I’m not getting locked up the second I’m inside detection range and fired on the second I’m inside launch range. They automagically scan the area, perhaps secretly actually already know you’re there and use some check to determine if they’ve “seen” you or not yet? Then as soon as they’re pointing in your direction and are in range they lock you up.

Maybe it would be better if Jester just already knew where all targets were and would lock up a target when you asked as long as the radar can be steered to acquire it, regardless of where it’s pointing right now? That would simulate him looking around trying to find something.

It’s especially galling when I’ve got an RWR hit that tells me there’s a MiG at my 12 locking me up and he tells me he can’t lock anything. IRL it would be in his self-interest to FIND it. There has to be a happy medium between him being a god-mode radar and requiring being led by the nose.

As it is, the AI have several advantages over players. They can’t lose sight of a target unless there is a physical obstruction and have no trouble acquiring it. They don’t need IFF, they always know who is on their side and who isn’t (just once I’d like to see one shoot another down with something other than a rogue IR missile, which I do see on rare occasions). Part of making an AI convincing is having them make mistakes in a realistic manner, and DCS AI make all too few.


I’m reviving an old topic.

So I finally got the Tomcat and I can say that I really like it, except…Jester.

From my experience and from reading though this thread again I take Jester really doesn’t do all that much RIO stuff.

I set up an easy test with an IL-76 as the target just orbiting a few miles off. Get airborne, head towards the target, bring up Jester and set to Visual Range Radar - STT. Get a few “yahoo” comments from the back seat indicating that he has the bogey on radar ands then…nothing. I’m Master Arm on, Sparrow tuned up and selected and…no lock. I try to get him talking again but all he says is “Woohoo! Target at 12 o’clock” I eventually close to AIM-9, get a tone and blow it away.

If you listen to the real world audio in the recent Libyan Mig shoot down DCS video, you will hear the lead RIO doing all the stuff IOT lock up and shoot the Migs…so what is Jester doing back there?

I take if from Chuck’s Guide and some YT tutorials, that I need to “jump into the back seat” if I want to get things done…is that about it? If so, I have a lot more to learn.

You have to use the command wheel to tell Chester to lock a target, he doesn’t do it automatically.

Using him is more like directing an assistant, he doesn’t take charge like a real RIO would.

Your rep from the SwAF precedes you.
Jester is scared :poop:less holding onto his ejection handles…


Hmmm…I’m in VR and not using a mouse…grrrrrrr


You don’t use a mouse, you use head motions to direct the wheel. So bring the wheel up with a single keypress, use your head to look at the wheel position and hit the key to select that option. Leave it neutral to go back to the previous menu or close the menu.

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