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Learning How To Play DCS?


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I'm new to DCS and I am in the process of learning how to use/play this flight sim. On the hardware side all is set, I have a PC that exceeds the recommended requirements to run the sim and I just picked up the Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS bundle that includes joystick, throttle, and pedals. I'm ready to download the DCS software and begin the learning process to earn my wings. I see on the DCS website there are a number of DCS World, P-51, and A-10C PDF manuals so I wanted to ask fellow pilots how they learned how to fly in DCS. I glanced through some of the manuals and some of the PDF's have a huge number of pages! What is the best way to proceed to learn this sim please? There seems to be potentially a huge amount of information to absorb. Should I read the manuals first, run through the tutorial missions, etc? Thanks.

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Hi Pilot905


It is best to use all the information available, the manuals are in depth and a great starting point, searching youtube as another great source of information and there are many tutorials out there.


Then you have the in game tutorials which are great for practice.


Many of us learn in groups and in multiplayer, you can find various online groups who would be happy to help you learn.




hope that helps


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I'd say choose aircraft you like the most and learn in small steps how to employ it. You can also try the easiest way and buy Flaming cliffs 3, because these aircraft are the easiest to learn. I'd advise against buying fc3 planes separately, it's rather not cost effective.


Chuck have great library of short and complete guides for all modules: https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/topic?url=https%3A%2F%2Fforums%2Eeagle%2Eru%2Fshowthread%2Ephp%3Ft%3D135765&share_tid=135765&share_fid=74365&share_type=t


You can use his manuals to decide which aircraft fits you better and have better capabilities for you.


Wysłane z mojego MI MAX 3 przy użyciu Tapatalka

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What is the best way to proceed to learn this sim please?


That really differs from player to player.


Some people are more hands-on, they need to start DCS, maybe go right to a free flight Instant Mission in the preferred aircraft and fool around a little, just to get a hang of things.


Others would read through DCS manuals or even real life manuals (usually these are more experienced virtual pilots, preparing for a new module that has been announced but not released) before they sit in the virtual pit for the first time.


Then there's YouTube, with literally tons of information, from beginner's guides all the way to really advanced topics.


And like others said, there are many beginner friendly multiplayer communities ranging from fun flying to die hard full real who will take new pilots under their wings.


And the Mission Editor, while a bit intimidating at first look, is a brilliant tool in order to set up training scenarios so that you actually know in advance what's supposed to happen, and where. I can't recommend it enough! It's okay to do just the basics. Place a player flight, give it some waypoints, and then fly the mission.


So maybe the most difficult thing is for you to figure out which of these works best. ;)


Personally, I like the in-game tutorials very much. They're a great way to get acquainted with the pit and some basic tasks like startup, taxi, take-off, navigation, landing, and weapons use. You won't come out of them a pro, but all those panels and knobs and buttons should start to make some sense.


Plus, I personally like to get some of the basics down before I advance to weapons. How can I navigate? What if GPS or whatever else fails, which backup systems do I have available? How to restart an engine in the air? How to land the aircraft, so that I don't blow tires or cause even more serious damage. Then again, you may already know the old saying... Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. Any landing that leaves the aircraft in a re-usable state is a perfect landing. :D


In any case: Good luck, and have fun!

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  • 4 months later...

As a newcomer to DCS I am delighted to find such helpful tutorials like Chuck's Guides and other similar PDF content. Yet many of them tend to be massive (e.g. 400 pages) due to the technical nature of the jet systems. I was curious as to how experienced players review the material. Do you print off those large PDF's or do you view them digitally (like on a PC display or tablet). Being an older player I find it easier to study from paper but its fairly expensive to keep printing and binding 400 page manuals. Digital is easier to manage but I find that spending hours staring at a display to be eye straining and harder to absorb. I guess there's no easy answer but I wanted to see what other players do. Thanks.

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Personally, I never print anything out. I'm okay with reading stuff on my PC screen. But I never read 400 pages before I jump into the sim. ;)


Alt-Tab'ing between the PDF-viewer and DCS helps me a lot, so that I can read stuff and then immediately put it to good use in the pit. Same with YouTube tutorials.


If you really want to read a lot of stuff beforehand, I've heard great things about e-readers like the Kindle, though I've never used one myself.


Ultimately it comes down to your personal preference. If you learn best from printed paper, the financial investment is probably worth it; just compare it to the cost of a module and you'll know whether or not it's worth it to you.

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I'm firmly in the "reading the manual" camp.



When I get a new aircraft, I load up a "free flight" instant action mission, and use it to mess around with the aircraft, configure some very basic controls (pitch,bank,yaw,throttle,trim,flaps,speedbrake).



Next, I load a "cold and dark" aircraft on the ramp, and open up the manual on a tablet, or reader program in the background. The airplane then becomes your laboratory. I look and interact with gauges when I read about them. I practice procedures as I read them.



You've twice complained about the length of the documentation. But that's 400 pages of information! All in one place! Straight from the developer's mouth!

You will spend the equal or greater time trying to learn the information that's contained in these many pages.



Instead of looking at the total page count please instead examine the Table of Contents. These are well prepared documents, logically built, which you don't need to read straight through, and will have you become VERY competent in the aircraft of your choice in a short while.



And the first aircraft to learn is the hardest... for me learning new interesting aircraft is a major appeal of this genre, so I enjoy sitting down with a tasty beverage, a cold jet, and some good documentation.. to explore all the work that went into these things.



TL;DR, look at the Table of Contents, not the total pages.

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