Keyboard Overlay(s) for DCS

As a Noob to DCS world, I’ve been learning the key combos for the SU-25T - most seem to be the same/similar to LOMAC, Flaming Cliffs (false advertising…never did see any cliffs on fire), etc. so the memory is slowly returning. Haven’t hooked up my Warthog HOTAS yet - am working with a nice Saitek Cyborg (two throttles) that gives me the basics for aircraft controls and simple weapons stuff…well I can fire the gun.

Back in the day, a couple of games/sims came with keyboard overlays - cheap cardboard cutout things that …well…“overlaid” the keyboard showing the various functions of the different keys.

Obviously in DCS, one size does not fit all. Still, I was wondering if there was anything out there for some of the basic aircraft - Su-25, F-15C, etc. Or perhaps a generic F=Flaps, G=Gear, Win-Rshft-Pause = active pause (I tend to use that one a lot)

Hook that hog up. Map your fc3 kites manually. Hog has all the buttons you need to drive a fc3 crate, and the non-fc3 machines you just pick up the mouse to do what needs doing that cant be mapped to your HOTAS.

DIY is more cumbersome than a keyboard overlay but it makes you learn by heart far better. You also get to re-map inconvenient things. After a bit of flying you find out you do not need landing light toggle to be readily available, while seeker head uncage turns out to be vital.

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Copy all. I had LOMAC and FC2 key strokes memorized for the most part so…same for BlackShark. I’ve mapped several FSX TACPACK aircraft-VRS Hornet, Aerosoft F-14 and Lightening, MILVIZ F-4E, RAZBAM AV-8B & IRIS A-10-to the hog and have some buttons & switches mapped for various functions that the switch wasn’t exactly meant for - so I can do that again.

BTW, After I wrote this post I read @BeachAV8R’s Mig-21 review in PCPilot…so some jets have mouse clickable cockpits? That will save some time and effort.

FC3 aircraft are just LOMAC aircraft with updated visuals and (for the most part) flight models.

DCS Aircraft have clicky pits, some level of systems modelling, and (for the most part) advanced flight models.

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Good time to buy a hi fidelity aircraft as most have 50%off in the current sale. I can recommend the A10-C but almost all the planes are available at discount

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Exactly! I’m looking at the Mig-21. Not too many complicated systems but seems to be a very good model. (Plus @BeachAV8R did a series of tutorial articles in PCPilot. )

That said, I’ll have to take anther look at the A-10C as you recommend. In FSX-TAC PACK, IRIS did a fair job at simulation the A-10C…the systems are there and sort of work, so at least I’m up on the buttonology.

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If you are looking at dipping into clickable cockpits I would also recommend the F-5E. Not too complex, as finished as it is ever going to get/needs to be, and just a fun ride every time you fly it.


This is the one true answer, the other is F-86F.

Also I don’t know if you heard, but there was this obscure naval strike fighter released recently, might be worth a peek :thinking:

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Plus it makes a mean MiG 28 impression…

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I had also heard that…thing is I’ve been around that airplane so much in my Navy career that I’m too used to it and might find it boring (The Truth: I can’t seem to put anything but a T-45 on a carrier deck in one piece)

The guy that flew that in Top Gun (the finest film ever made - tragically ignored at the Oscars) eventually made 4-star Admiral. I worked for him for a while when I was at PACFLT - ADM “Rat” Willard. He still has the black helmet…quite a character.


I went with the Mig-21 and Mig-28…err… F-5…and no keyboard overlays! (which was the topic I started on.)

Thanks to all for your recommendations!


Well done but I chuckled at your description of the Mig21 it was the hardest bird to master I have yet flown

Honestly the F-5 is probably the best plane to start on. It does everything, it’s forgiving. It goes fast.

Well, I’ve been taking Russian lessons so I can read the gauges -:wink:
I do agree that it will be hard to master - I think @BeachAV8R mentioned something about white knuckles trying to avoid an approach turn stall in his review.

I was thinking more from the weapons system side. And I must admit that my “knowledge” of the Mig-21 comes from my aviation intel officer days, which, if they have correctly modeled it, is a very simple radar for air-to-air (no TWS, etc) and pretty much hard gunsights for rockets and bombs.

Of course, like all typical Soviet aircraft of its day, it probably has 3 switch throws to do something simple but…if I don’t have to memorize a kybd combo and can just click them, I’ll be happy.

I’ll be learning the F-5 at the same time so if I get frustrated…

But yes, the Mig-21 is a very unforgiving aircraft…at least I don’t have to try to land it on the boat.:sunglasses:


Ah, the MiG-21’s not so bad as long as you remember:

  • Be fast
  • Don’t be slow
  • AoA is not your friend
  • Always keep power on during landing

I also wouldn’t really qualify the Sapfir as a search radar so much as a ranging radar with certain benefits. @Aeromechanical can spin many a yarn about his woes trying to use it like a Gen 3 + FCR set. I found much more success keeping it in standby until the merge, then flipping it on into bore sight.

The F-5’s radar is cut from the same cloth, but much more intuitive to use.


After many times trying to meet a self-imposed challenge of getting a BVR Fox-1 kill on 1980’s Blue Flag with the Fishbed, I can safely conclude that the rumors are true- your radar in a MiG-21 is designed to vector you towards and fox on bombers you’re cued towards by the GCI.

You can get some use out of flicking it on-and-off to gain situational awareness against fighters… but for the most part keep it off, use your eyes, and trust your R-60’s!

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You are spot on - It is Fact - Pure Soviet Doctrine & Tactics: All fighter flights were GCI The Soviet IADS (“Eye-Adds”; Integrated Air Defense Systems) was set up so that tracks were passed down to GCI centers were controllers would vector the fighters into position on the enemy aircraft and even tell them when to turn their radar on.
(or passed to SAM assets)

So yes, once you are in position, when told to do so by GCI, the radar comes on, the bogey should be somewhere in front of you. Lock the radar- shoot when it shows you in range of your AA-2 / AA-8 (I’m a NATO codename guy…never memorized the R and S numbers) Wash-Rinse-Repeat.

If you listen to the released tape of the Su-15 that shot down KAL 007, you will hear it all play out.

So who plays the Russian ground controllers in multiplayer? :open_mouth:

You’re gonna wanna look at Blueflag :smiley:


MOG why did I get that Mig-21?! Currently the score is 2 trucks to something like 40 crashes.


Yep, sounds like you’re doing about average for the course.