Air refueling, axis curvature and joystick model - ED Forums


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Old 08-13-2019, 01:22 AM   #1
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Default Air refueling, axis curvature and joystick model

I haven't been writing on this forum for sometime, hopefully because I'm getting better at DCS and don't have to ask as many questions as before!

That being said, some time ago, I asked for tips when it comes to air refueling. Many people asked, with good reasons, what kind of curvature I was using for my axis, and also other axis custom settings.

At the time, I said that, with the Mirage, I was using a curvature of something between 25 and 30 (don't quite remember) and a deadzone of 3. Everybody turned apeshit, saying how crazy I was to have such a curve.

I argued that I was using a very sensitive joystick, the ThrustMaster T16000M, and that it was unflyable with anything less than 20 (it's a lot more for the F-5). Most people, if not all people who replied, said it had nothing to do with the joystick and it was a question of practice, etc etc.

I did try lowering my curvature and it was just insane. It made no damn sense. But I still believed I was wrong, and that you guys were surely right, as I am not a top expert when it comes to DCS.

BUT! I have now changed joystick for a VIRPIL and mother of god! It did prove that I was kinda right! With the Virpil, using curvatures as high as 20 or 30 is just unflyable. I just need to use something in the range of 10, depending of the aircraft, sometimes a bit less, sometimes a bit more.

I haven't practice refueling yet, but I thought I would post this here anyway, for anyone who might be trying to understand why they can't succeed at air refueling.

I'm not trying to rub it in anyone's face, like "see how right I was!". It is really just that I have the proof that the joystick does matter and it might help others to know that. The sensitivity of some devices is very high, forcing you to use a high curvature value.

I hope this post might help someone that has/had similar issues.

Windows 10-64bits, i7-8700k, GTX 1080Ti, 16 Gb RAM, MSI Monitor 32in 165Hz.

Mirage 2000C, F5-E, Mig21bis, A10-C, FC3, F-18, AV-8B N/A
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:43 AM   #2
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Spot on. Think you've really hit the nail on the head.

It's all about how you feel.
I was using a buddy's setting for my HOTAS. Partly because I was lazy setting one up myself
Felt ok flying, but refuelling was just too twitchy.

Since modifying my own curves and deadzones, it feels much easier.
Don't get me wrong. I still need practice, but at least i don't feel like i'm constantly fighting the controls now.
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:35 AM   #3
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Virpil and similar joysticks with steel mechanical gimbals don't have this play around the center. In 16000M or Warthog plastic ball gimbals you have to push hard to make some adjustment from the center position and this make your movement big or nothing. And the stick is constantly trying to fight you and return to the center position.
Mechanical gimbals, like i.e. Virpil, with added extension are even more precise due to longer lever.
For me two things made air refuel rather easy - VR with depth perception and joystick with mechanical gimbal and extension.
But for classic plastic ball gimbals aggresive curves will help a lot and there is no reason not to use them - if something looks stupid but works...
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sylosis View Post
At the time, I said that, with the Mirage, I was using a curvature of something between 25 and 30 (don't quite remember) and a deadzone of 3. Everybody turned apeshit, saying how crazy I was to have such a curve.
Pretty sure I didn't respond back then.

It's always been a mystery to me why some people would be so adamant that a curve of exactly 0 with a deadzone of no more than 1 and absolutely under no circumstances ever more than 2, would be the way to go for all players with any joystick in any module.

Curves can do wonders to overcome some of the problems of our consumer grade joysticks, like very short travel and crappy pots and a completely unrealistic translation from stick movement to controls deflection.

What you said mirrors my experience: if it works for you, use it.

The only thing I think is really important about curves is knowing how they work: the added control near the center will be sacrificed around the edges, and so high precision flying with high controls deflection, like in aerobatics, might become a lot more difficult the stronger the curve gets.

With the TM Warthog, I think I started in the Ka-50 and A-10C with curves around 25 in roll and pitch, and gradually lowered them to 15. This has since been my standard curve setting for all modules and has served me very well. If I ever get an extension, I'll probably set curves to 0, but until that time, I really don't care what others think of this setting, because I know it suits me very well.
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