Pilot Question(s) from a new DCS User

Howdy Everyone,

This is my first post here, I figure it is best to make an account and get involved with the community rather than be a silent ghost.

About a month ago (on a whim) I decided to get into DCS and study the A-10C.
DCS is my first flight sim where I take it seriously (with HOTAS, Rudders, and TrackIR) to get immersed in the game as best as I can. Needless to say, I have fallen in love with this category, it is difficult to even describe DCS as a ‘game’.

My question for the pilots in here;

  • What was (or is) your most difficult thing to master for the plane that you flew (or fly)?
  • Is there anything you dislike about flying, if so what are they?
  • What can I do as a DCS player to continue improving my craft with regards to tactics and strategy?

Honestly, after 4 weeks of studying the A-10 with more time on YouTube and Chucks Guide than on DCS itself (roughly half way into my study material); I really have a new found appreciation for anyone brave enough to go up into the skies, regardless of aircraft! I think if I had more money, I would learn to fly a real airplane than to ride my motorcycle (that says a lot coming from me LOL)!

Thank you for your time, stay blessed.


Welcome to Mudspike!
A Great question and a great first post!

Personally, I didn’t struggle so much with the systems on the aircraft, the material and guides are a fantastic resource for unlocking the myriad pages and MfD mysteries on each aircraft.

My main stumbles have been from a lack of actual ability vs my expectations from the sim.

I have always thought I could dogfight, strafe and fly like maverick himself. This has turned into quite the journey actually learning these airmanship and fighting techniques.

Our (@schurem’s) fight club has been a wonderful easy going setting for sparring and learning from people better and more knowledgeable than me in a fun and friendly setting.

I can more than hold my own vs ground targets but the skill of actually outmanouvering other aircraft in a 3d space in such a realistic and wonderful sim as DCS has been a real learning curve that I’m still at the bottom of.

You are more than welcome to pick our brains and ask for help of needed and welcome to the Mudspike club!!

We are all friends here :+1:



Almost always - systems and avionics. When you get type rated (or similar training), you have a pretty good idea of how things in the airplane work, but over years, you develop a deeper knowledge as you break some of those systems and learn how they really affect the aircraft. The pull on the yoke, push on the throttles, waggle the rudder parts were always pretty easy to me…airplanes are not that difficult to fly around patterns and put on the ground.

Paperwork. And CYA steps that are designed so the company can roll out a lawyer and say “well…it says right here he shouldn’t have done this, or that we don’t allow that…” I’d guess there is never a 100% compliant flight. Ever. Just reading NOTAMs is mind numbing these days when you have 12 or 15 pages of them.

Take things in small chunks. Don’t be hard on yourself. Learn from others. Find a fun group of people to fly with online. Everyone here is super helpful and fun. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on TeamSpeak asking fellow Mudspikers what key command I need to solve my problem.

Welcome to Mudspike - a great group of real world and virtual pilots here that can help you out!


Hi, welcome to our community!
replying to your questions:
more you know different aircraft more easy is to get into a new one, many things are similar. ofc exist some with unique features that you only get when you read the manual. But personally nowadays for me what is more harder is when i need to deal with a non-english cockpit.
About dislikes of flying. For me personally nothing that i entirely dislike but i notice that more older i’m more i prefer civiil flight sims than military ones.
About iimproving: exist many many tutorials on the yt and websites etc, but imho every combat pilot should have this bible:

Best regards


Welcome aboard nugget!

Don’t disregard the training missions DCS has for each modules. The A-10C ones are quite good and complete. That’s where I go to learn the basics. Sometimes they’re fun (MiG-19), sometimes they are very intricate (AV-8B). Sadly, sometimes they are pretty incomplete or barebones too.

Funny how @BeachAV8R answered these for Real Life flying :wink: For me, the most difficult bits to master are the bits I find slightly boring, such as the CDU (navigation computer) in the A-10.

There’s very little I dislike about flying. It’s a game (for me), so even if it had bad bits, I get to skip those. No 15 pages of NOtices to AirMen for me! There are some things about the sim I dislike. It being a “realistic” military game draws in certain individuals who I find disagreeable. But you won’t find any of those here at the spike!

The best way to improve your craft as a DCS player is to keep having fun. Learn how the editor works so you can whip up your own “day at the range” scenario to get those 15 minute rote learning exercises done between dishes and kicking the children to their beds. The more times you fire that AGM-65D at that tank, the easier it becomes and the better you get at it. This goes for shooting down a bogey as well.

If you can, fly with others. It can be huge fun. There’s open servers that draw crowds from all over with intricate dynamic wars going on. Don’t go there unless you want to learn by getting your arse kicked by some random who’ll even gloat at the ease with which he kicked it. Better to fly with buddies who share the learning process.

Good of @Victork2 to mention the Fight Club. We haven’t done that in ages. Would be fun to do that again sometime, no? This is mostly about BFM (IMO by far the most enjoyable thing to do in the sim) but I have some sweet memories of a couple long leisurely formation flights as well.

Anyway. Cheers. Awesome first post. Keep that up and we’ll have you kickin’ ass and takin’ names in that hog like a boss in no time flat.


Welcome to the SPIKE @EasternSnap. From your first post, I imagine that you’ll fit in here well. Yes Sir.

In my experience, the absolute best way to learn an aircraft and its systems, is to fly one of the many scripted DCS campaigns. During the first few missions you will feel like you are drinking from a firehose. But by the end of the campaign, you’ll know how to start and fly the bugger with your eyes closed. Never feel bad about hitting the Pause button, so that you can go heads-down in whatever resource material that you’ve collected, or ask a question here. It’s part of the learning process. If you like the campaign, but feel like the enemy is trying to remove your rear end every time you fence in, there is even a way to edit the campaign, so that you can continue. Come back and fly that evil night carrier mission with a CASE 3 recovery when you are up to it.


Good Morning Everyone, WOW! Thank you for the replies :smiley:

@Victork2 ;
I almost began watching Ancient Aliens thinking I need to unlock the mysteries of the MFCD. Thankfully that was nowhere near the case. I approach every system within the MFCD as a mini-game while keeping in mind there is a whole aircraft to pilot. You said, “My main stumbles have been from a lack of actual ability vs my expectations from the sim”, my biggest stumble since has been learning to take the lessons one bit at a time (as I did not have any prior expectations other than hoping the game ran smoothly on my computer).

The fight club sounds very cool actually, my biggest goal with joining a club is to eventually find a [serious] co-pilot for the upcoming release of the AH-64D and to support missions with my A-10, on separate occasions. As for dogfighting, this is a long term goal within DCS for me - absolutely sounds like a plan! It is good to meet you Vic.

@BeachAV8R ;
I really appreciate this point of view comes from your true piloting experience over the years. It is interesting to compare and contrast, no?

Systems and Avionics, meaning all of the electronics inside? Yes, for me (only in the game of course) continuing to learn more on the technology available to the aircraft really puts me in more control. I go from feeling like I’m a tin can in the sky with little to no control - to slowly feeling like I can slowly provide real purpose LOL. When I learned how to use the TAD for the first time, it felt like I had senses in the air. When I discovered how to use the TGP; it added ‘eyes’ to my perspective that I didn’t have before.

Paperwork always suck, I feel like for so many jobs half of it (paperwork) is there to save each other from couple sue happy people while productivity is attempted to be made up with burdening employees with the use of technology. But paperwork at the end of the day is necessary and worth it doing the things we love … - still annoying LOL!

Because new users can only reply to two users in one post, I will reply to the remainder in a moment. LOL, I didn’t expect awesome replies so quickly, very cool to see.


@stavka ;
Hi stavka and thank you!
This reassures my purchase on FC3 because I wanted a ‘simple’ jet(s) to learn how to fly and maneuver while taking on the challenge to learn the A-10 II. My plan is to continue focusing on the A-10 until the AH-64D is released so I can dive into helicopters too. I was also thinking of the AV-8B or F/A 18 (if it is to go on sale during Christmas time).

I would love opinions on the AV8B N/A and F/A-18 if I can have the time to learn only one of the jets. I have been referring to documentaries on YouTube only to learn about the Jets. Blows me away how I keep referring to real world docs in order to learn anything in DCS. It is just on another level this.

Also, thank you for recommending that book.
I have already purchased it prior to this reply based on your recommendation.
This will be a very good read at work.

@schurem ;
Thank you and glad to be on!

YES! Thanks for clarifying this. I have been on the fence half way through my training missions within DCS because I figured I would watch the material from ralfidude. Though the training missions do provide a different perspective and detail that only aides to the learning process. I will stick to the in-game training missions as well then.

It is funny how you mention to continue having fun.
Sometimes in DCS when I get stuck on learning something, I just say screw it ima do some airshows around town in Syria. I usually walk away with more knowledge than scars from whatever happens during those flights lol :stuck_out_tongue:

When I first played multiplayer a few weeks ago on DCS, a very cool moment was when two other players in an F15 and F16 (I think?) were following me in formation. I told them I am a new player, to not wait for me but instead, they had changed plans and decided to followed me. Insanely cool community, I keep saying it again but it goes to show how rare these are in gaming scenes.


Welcome, to the best flight sim place on the internet, IMHO.

Your first post kinda summarized my entire gaming…simulation :wink: … history regarding the depth of these thing.

And you picked what to me is one of the toughest virtual birds to learn the systems on. So I’ll step aside for those that have mastered that interface.

Personally, I try to approach each platform (module) as one might the real thing, using Mr. @Chuck_Owl as my co-pilot (and various other bits as you mentioned).

DCS annoys me in the area of AI but everything else is highly satisfying - mastering (in my mind) one platform is very satisfying on it’s own. Then add in the satisfaction of using my skills? to dispatch something adds icing on top.

The ACM (BVR/BFM, etc) part against the AI is lacking; what they have in convenience (few mouse clicks, anytime you want) they lack in tactics. Doesn’t take long to whup em. So I find myself going 1 V 3+ to make it more interesting.

Saying that, the Air-To-Ground stuff is quiet exciting, but in a different way. An analogy escapes me right now.


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@chipwich ;

Glad to be onboard the SPIKE, sir.

I have yet to do a DCS Campaign, I guess it is the lack of confidence because I have not finished my training videos from ralfidude’s playlist. I am currently on episode 7. However, I have begun attempting missions. Two little missions I repeat are ‘Bird on a Wire’ and ‘Target Practice’ (think that’s what its called). I like to blow up terrorists in Dubai or just train on armor in Nevada for practice. I am definitely going to play all missions and campaigns DCS has to offer for my A-10 as time continues.

Mission Editor is another thing I have been diving into to create my own training campaigns. I now am starting to add AA that tries to shoot me down. Thanks to mission editor, I have spent this whole last week practicing my CBU-105, GBU-54B / 38, GBU-12, and the 30mm. It’s no surprise our military is expecting to extended the service date of this aircraft to 2040!

To everyone,

Thank you for taking the time to reply to me!
I know to check this place more often as it is loaded with activity.

I am going to be on DCS for today and tomorrow (and every day as I have been I guess lol).
It will be awesome to have the opportunity to fly with you guys sometime.

If you folks ever need CAS for your missions (or to fly around) and don’t mind a noob ass pilot - I am your guy LOL! I currently own all DLC maps with the exception of anything WWII related. Maybe that is for the future but I currently have no plans for that era of planes.
Steam User: EasternSnap

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Both are amazing. I personally prefer the Harrier as its weird and fun to hover land (or not in my case mostly) but the hornet is an absolute masterpiece as well. If you are familiar or getting familiar with the Hog they will hold less of a challenge to unlock for you as they are setup broadly similar

I’m a big fan of the Russian aircraft (especially the mig 19) as after flying the Yank jets for a while I wanted a new challenge. They are alien and strange but again, absolute masterpieces.

If you ping Mr @schurem or myself when you would like someone to play with we can always arrange to assist.
I’m currently nose deep in learning the Mi-24 and having an absolute blast with it. But I can hop in and play target drone if required. Our discords are easy to locate as we have same names on there too lol.

And yes @schurem I am hinting profusely regarding fight club, its been ages.

I also have my own server which is totally empty and super fast
I also recommend looking up the hollo pointe servers run by @Wes @WreckingCrew and @Franze as they are mission focused, a bit more serious while not being elitist and great GREAT fun. I frequent them fairly regularly to say hi to the guys as well as play.


Hi @jross!

I think for me over time was I needed more from my games.
Walking away from games (as I got back into gaming about 8 months ago) was very unsatisfying as I felt it took little to no effort to do whatever it was that I was doing. After uninstalling CoD and reinstalling Arma 3, It always looked fun watching people fly. I thought to myself, I will play a game focused on flying instead to see what it may be like to learn and fly a plane. So nowadays I find myself on DCS, American Truck SIM, BeamNG.drive or even SnowRunner.

The A-10 definitely tests my patience.
The learning curve is difficult for me because I know nothing of airplanes to begin with. I continue to watch YouTube on my free time just to learn about airplanes in general.

Honestly to God. If I meet the individual response for creating the Chuck’s Guide, I will buy him a beer or whatever he likes to drink LOL! If there is a hardcover or paperback version of his guide, I will happily pay my hard earned money for one (as everyone using the [high quality] material provided should).

If Mr. Chuck ever reads this, seriously thank you so much for helping me get into this insanely complicated world (for me at least) of learning how to fly the A-10. I have not completed your guide yet, but for whatever I have read - it has been re-read many times. I hope only good things come to the ways of people like you, sir.


Paging @Chuck_Owl

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Thanks @Victork2!
The Mi-24 is so damn cool too. Is it only Russian inside the aircraft without an option to make the cockpit English? lol

I am going to check out the servers you recommended because running missions against AI right now on multiplayer servers is a blast, no pun intended.

What is the name of your server? I will add it to my favorites in server browser.
Really, If I can find the same group of servers to consistently join with the same group of users would be wonderful.

We had a micro-discussion about something similar recently - sims of this depth can start to look almost like work. In those rare moments I do a little 1 v 3 BFM against some innocent AI, over Nevada. Simple and stimulating using only the pole, pedals, and trigger. Then come back for a SH Break. The virtual equivalent of “blowing off some steam”. In VR at least, I feel the urge to light a cigarette afterwards (but I don’t smoke) :wink:


I HIGHLY recommend hollo pointe and hollo pointe North.
Both run by the same guys and they have sublime and varying degrees of complexity on a rolling system.

Mine is only open when I’m online which is infrequently and I use it to train with my good friend @Scoop but you are welcome anytime. I normally announce it when it happens.


@Victork2 The reason I asked about FA18 or AV8B was because I really want a high fidelity module that can also be used on the carriers. I want to learn how the crewmen work and what it is like taking off from a ship as well. The 8V8B has been on my sights but I hear the FA18 is more complete of a module. Not to talk down the AV8B of course. Reading reviews on Steam gives me that impression. Plus the AV-8B has my most favorite letterings on the aircraft - MARINES.

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Ok, sounds good!

Thanks again man, really appreciate all the help I’m getting here.
I feel like I just got a new DLC to DCS meeting everyone here!

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They are both excellent to be honest. Both are a great experience and it really comes down to personal preference. I’m English and we designed the Harrier. Plus the hornet is what replaced the most beautiful fighter to ever exist in the tomcat so I’ve always had a bit of bad feeling towards it. So I bought the Harrier first.
But then I bought the hornet anyway and I love it.
It’s planes, they all rock! Even the little motorgliders I fly. If it flies, it’s cool :sunglasses:


At this time, as @Victork2 mentions, the Hornet or Harrier. They both get my full concentration. The way ED does the modeling (I’m only guessing as I’ve never flown either IRL) - man!, it takes more skill than I currently have. It’s funny cuz many will say ‘Trapping’ (Hornet) isn’t a big deal for them but sticking the basket (air refueling) is hard. I’m exactly the opposite.

But in the Jump jet, both [getting gas and landing] are harder.

And I’ve come to appreciate how real aviators MUST have one eyeball on the fuel gauge at all times:

I have an Air-To-Ground mission that, as best I can, simulates real world COIN operations. Blast off from the boat; drag your [AI] wingman around; decide if I should top off the tanks enroute to my [CAS] CAP station or not; drill holes waiting for the ABCCC people to task me (it’ all randomized so it could be immediately or take quite a while); watch the fuel gauge; get a task and decide if I have the gas to get to the coordinates (and back); blow stuff up with a JTAC - while watching the fuel gauge; decide If ‘we’ need gas to get back home, etc.[1]

Whew, that’s when it gets to be work. I have to dedicate about 2 hours to it, thus I only partake once a week. But knowing that capability is there - in my Man Closet, for something less than a bazillion dollars - is, well, cool.

Note[1]: I think I posted my AI wingman fuel script here a while ago but recently have updated it (hopefully simplifying it?) in conjunction with some work with @chipwich. If anyone wants to use it let me know. Another issue with the AI is, as most have discovered, they tend to run out of petrol and eject with little warning. With this script you can keep track of it.