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Important Control Actions

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I am kinda new to flight sims and I was wondering if anyone would help me out if its not too much hassle by listing Important Control Actions, all I know is throttle, open fire and to move left, right, ascend and descend, oh yea and to open the landing gear. There are so many controls in the settings I don't know which ones are important, when I look at them I get all flustered. 


I have a Saitek x55 Rhino which has the 3 programmable modes. I was reading in the forms that people have configured their mode 1 to take off, mode 2 to flying and mode 3 was combat as far as I can remember. Sounds like a good idea.


Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Edited by Fightn_Irish

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Whew,  I suggest you keep it simple to start with if you are just starting out on flight sims..  Changing modes can get very confusing very fast.  Most of the controls and actions you see on the control menu are for highly complex engine and flight management.  If you are just learning flight sims, things like oil radiator settings and mixture control will just frustrate and confuse you.  'Sounds like you have the basic controls down, I suggest that you use the sim on the custom easy settings for a while, then using the custom menu, pick an aspect of control that you wany to master, then map a control to accomplish that.  Do it slowly, because you will have to remember where all these controls are mapped.  Don't take too big a bite at first.

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Another few thoughts,..  you need specifics.  Pitch trim is important, alieron and rudder trim, not so much.  If you are using TrackIR, a button to center it is very handy. Open and close bomb bay doors if you want to bomb something, and of course to drop bombs.  I do that a lot on the uninhabited multiplayer servers.  If you fly Soviet planes, you need an accessible button to activate the goofy  brake/rudder steering system, otherwise you will just spin in circles on the taxiway.

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Hi. I also have an X55, and I completely ignored the fancy 3 different configs switch for BoS, and mapped all the controls using only the in-game assignemts. Here's a thread on it, with a PDF showing what I have mapped to what.




Also I have TrackIR, and use teamspeak, so left a few things unmapped so that I'd have buttons for them. Some mappings may already be done for you as well - eg. pitch/yaw/roll probably default to your joystick, as will the main hat switch for views. Some things you hardly ever do I have left mapped to the keyboard: eg. turning the engine on and off - I figure once you're running it is unlikely you would want to do that in flight.  ;)


Hope this helps.

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Also if you get flustered with the many controls you need then these are the ones you will need on your hotas for playing on Normal difficulty (without turning off helpers):


The basics

  • pitch/roll/yaw (pitch is up down on the stick, roll is left right on the stick, yaw is left right rudder which should be on your stick twist.
  • Throttle on one of your throttle controls 
  • machine guns on trigger
  • cannons on a different trigger (thumb is handy... you use cannons for bigger targets or ground attack)
  • drop bombs on a button
  • fire rockets on a button (once you unlock them)
  • hat switch set to views - this is probably default already, and will let you look around. f9 key changes view mode to different styles

Level up


When you feel ready to learn to take off and land properly in Normal difficulty.

  • flaps up/down on buttons (or rocker) - these provide more lift when down, so help with landing or ground attack.
  • wheel brakes on a button (for russian aircraft mostly) - help you stop when you land, and also help you taxi the aircraft if it wants to spin around. 
  • Tail wheel lock on a button - this lets the tail wheel of most aircraft swivel to make it easier to turn on the ground, or lock to go straight on the ground.
  • air brakes on a button (for Stuka, to help from going too fast when dive bombing)

Learning systems


When you want more control over your plane, but aren't ready to go to expert yet, you can map more controls and turn those systems on while staying in normal difficulty.


Engine management

  • Hit Leftshift M to turn on complex engine management and Leftshift N to turn off auto RPM limit
  • Mixture on a dial - full rich for takeoff, then reduce mixture as you go higher
  • RPM (prop pitch) on the other one of your throttles - makes the prop spin faster/slower, so like a second throttle
  • Supercharger on a switch/button - turn supercharger on above about 2km ish to improve performance

Heat management

  • Hit leftshift R to turn off auto radiator/heat management
  • Water radiators on a dial - keep coolant from getting too hot or cold. Open cools the engine, but produces drag. 
  • Oil radiators on a dial - same as for water
  • Cowling flaps on a dial (only for the LA-5 if you have it, and works like radiators)


  • Trim isn't really optional, but takes a while to get to know. It is adjustment/tuning to your plane so you can take your hands off the stick and still fly where you want. Eg. if you want to set your plane so it will climb steadily without having to yank on the stick all the time.
  • Trim reset on a button - for if you mess it up  :) or also to zero the plane controls after takeoff
  • Trim up/down/roll left/roll right/yaw left/yaw right on hat switches. The throttle ones work well.

Well, that's the main stuff. Start at the top and get used to just flying around, then work your way down mapping more controls. It gets easier as you go along, because you will start to remember which control does what without thinking. Using a HOTAS is very confusing at first, but very simple when you grow accustomed to it because your controls are all mapped to a real physical device (which doesn't change), and your brain will learn to trust it knows where to find the right control, just like driving a car.

Edited by 39bn_pavig

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