Welcome aboard Nugget!!
While this guide can be used with any 1C IL2 product version it is written with IL2 1946 in mind. Bear in mind that this sim is over a decade old.. and is still going strong. Before we begin... I must say that Mission For Today is the single absolute best overall TOTAL RESOURCE for this sim as far as guides, missions,skins,downloads etc. goes in cyberspace. It has no equal and will henceforth be referred to as M4T throughout this guide. Between here and M4T you will have all the resources you need to become proficient in this sim and get the most out of it.
While it is possible to fly this sim with a keyboard and mouse, to get the most out of it a joystick is HIGHLY recommended.
I personally recommend either SAITEK or CH Products. Both brands can also be purchased from retail sites at a reasonable prices usually less expensive than at the manufacturer's sites. I recommend that you shop around to find the best bang for the buck. For what it is worth the Microsoft Force Feedback 2 is the best single joystick ever made in my opinion. Rugged as all get out, good solenoids, and a good Force Feed Back (FFB) joystick, even if you do not use the features like gunshake, which I personally find a little hokey, or hit effects, just for the control forces alone, it does things that no mechanical spring can do as far as transmitting a better feel for what is going on with your virtual ship. Unfortunately Microsoft no longer makes the FFB2 but they can still be found on Ebay. Saitek does make a FFB stick. I have no clue as to how good it is because my trusty MS FFB2 is still working. Logitech and Thrustmaster also make a line of joysticks from low to high end. Look to spend anywhere from $30 - $600 depending on the stick and where you get it from. I recommend that you go for a H.O.T.A.S. setup (Hands On Throttle And Stick) which in my opinion is a much more versatile and immersive. The Saitek X-52, X-52 PRO, Logitech G940 or the CH Fighter Stick and Throttle are examples of a H.O.T.A.S. (Hands On Throttle And Stick) setup along with the Thrustmaster Warthog. The least expensive entry level HOTAS is the Saitek X-52 which can be had for as low as $98 on Amazon. Whatever stick you choose or wherever you choose to get it, make sure that it has some kind of rudder control on it or that you consider getting rudder pedals, which both Saitek and CH produce, or some kind of twist rudder on the stick.. Also take a look at the Guide to Joystick Settings @ M4T as far as actually programming your stick.
Track IR - Without a doubt TIR one of the best pieces of hardware for flight simmers since the joystick. If I had to choose between getting TIR or pedals first... I would say get the TIR first but IMO both are essential. You don't have to have them to fly.. but they help a great deal and if you can get them by all means do so. Even if it takes a few paychecks. One of the best ways I have found to really get a handle on TIR is to set up a QM with you and a bandit.. don't give him any ammo... at least at first... and just shadow him.. he will try to do all sorts of evasive maneuvers.. stick to him like glue... roll... yo yo... but keep him in sight... it will really get you used to using the TIR basically a virtual head.. and the plane. Then you can practice combat...
This sim is going to do one of two things to you. It is either going to spark that rise to the challenge fire in you... making you want to master it.... or at least invest a lot of time trying. Or it will frustrate you so much that after a few attempts you will put it back on your shelf and go back to whatever it was that held your interest before you decided to see what the hubbub was about. I cant help you if you chose the latter. However if you choose the former... then read on.
First.... find out what version you have. Keep in mind that the versions are NOT compatible. The series is as follows:
- IL2 Sturmovik - The original sim. It is not compatible with any of the later versions and is patchable to v1.22ov. A milestone for sure, and a classic for a collector... but if you want to fly NOW with people there are not a lot of servers that run the original IL2 left if any at all. It is over a decade old.
- Forgotten Battles 1.0 - Originally conceived as an add on for IL2, it wound up becoming a separate stand alone product in it's own right.
- The Aces Expansion Pack AKA Forgotten Battles 2.0 - As the name says it is an add on expansion pack to Forgotten Battles bringing in more planes and enhancing the move west. (Bear in mind that IL2 started out as an Eastern Front sim).
- Pacific Fighters AKA Forgotten Battles3.0 - This is where things get confusing for some. Pacific Fighters can be installed as a stand alone sim (FB3.0) with just the Pacific content... or it could be merged with FB 2.0 (FB3.0m ). Many people came here after buying PF and installing it as a stand alone... but most of them came around and wound up getting the other parts and merging the sim. *NOTE* PF standalone can only be patched as far as 4.04. there are no more patches for PF standalone after that. All subsequent patches and updates are for the merged version of the sim and IL2 1946 ONLY After PF came out there were additional patches throughout all the ensuing versions.. but IMO they aren't worth mentioning since the final incarnation of the sim is IL2 1946 which is what I recommend that you get if you have anything other than that. That includes the FB GOLD, or the Ultimate Flight collection, or that combo CD set that had FB,the AEP and PF all on one CD. IL2 1946 is the way to go.. but just for the record so that you know.... the add ons after FB3.0 were:
- IL2 Peshka (Pe-2) - An add on that only works on FB3.0m. Originally it was going to only be released in Russia... but after much justified weeping and gnashing of teeth... it was released online as an add on to FB,
- IL2 Sturmoviks Over Manchuria... and IL2 1946 were originally planned as separate add ons as well but after the release of Pe-2 and the problems associated with the release it was decided to hold off on the release of the final two products individually and they wound up being released together along with the Pe-2 add on in the IL2 1946 DVD, version 4.07m of the sim.
It is highly recommended that you forgo any other version of the sim and get the 1946 DVD.
The IL2 1946 DVD contains IL2 FB, The AEP, PF, AND the Pe-2, Sturmoviks Over Manchuria and 46 add ons combined into one DVD. Once it is installed there will be only one desktop icon.
IL2 series and Mods
This sim was never meant to be modded. Originally the code was locked by the developer. Up until 2007 this sim was closed to modification by the developer and for a long time that was one of it's strong suits. You knew that the code for FMs ,DMs etc was locked so that everyone was on the same playing field. Around the winter/spring of 07 give or take a few months the sim was cracked. Some say that it had been cracked for some time.. but the difference was that the crack was made public this time. To the IL2 community this was a major crisis. For some it was a great thing.. and for many others it was a disaster. Much of the dismay was caused by the fact that so many sims in the past had been ruined by mods because of the opportunity for online cheating. Many others felt that because the sim was hacked by people who did not have developer approval, they in essence were stealing the building blocks to the sim.. and many to this day refuse to use mods of this sim for that reason. The issue threatened to split the community down the middle into two pro mod and anti mod camps. The pros and cons of the issue of mods are individual matters and are not open for discussion on these boards. We all want the best sim experience we can get. So.. strap in and enjoy the sim.
There are three primary mod packs that you can choose from that most of the community use. They are not all compatible with each other which in some ways has served to splinter the community to an extent. Those mod packs are:
- HSFX: HSFX is the only mod pack that as of this date remains "officially" fully compatible with the stock version of the sim** which is one reason why I prefer it. That means that HSFX can be installed over the current and future stock versions of the sim. In fact if you are running HSFX with Expert Mode turned off you can enter a stock 4.12.2 server as long as the server host does not have check runtime=2 in the server settings. If check runtime=2 or better is selected you will not be able to enter a stock server with any mod pack. This means that you will be able to use your mod sounds and effects on your PC but you will not be able to use any mod aircraft. Only whatever stock aircraft the server is hosting will work. HSFX is currently up to version 7.0.3.
- SAS Mod Act X.xx: SaS is a team of modders that does an excellent job of keeping up with things and they also have a Mod Activator that is pretty current. I actually have two copies of IL2 that I fly with, SAS and HSFX but for me, for now at least, HSFX is the primary one for online flying . With their recently released CUP (Community Universal Patch for 4.12) mod pack with more stuff than you can shake a stick at SAS can give fans of IL2 a total IL2 experience offline unlike anything they have known up to this point. SAS Mod Act is currently up to version 6.0 and is compatible with 4.13 however not all mods are yet fully compatible with 4.13.
- Ultra Pack: Known as UP UltraPack is a mod pack put together by a different group of modders. UP is a different flavor of IL2. The main drawback for me with UP is that it is only compatible with the stock version of the sim up to version 4.10.1m. That means that any official patches after 4.10.1m will not be compatible with UP. Ultra Pack is a good mod pack and it has some things that are done better than in HSFX but my primary criteria is compatibility with the stock sim when it comes to online play so I prefer to use HSFX.
- Dark Blue World: Named after the great WWII film of the same name based on Czechoslovakian pilots, DBW as it is is known is an offline mod pack. It has great looking graphics from all the screens I have seen and many other great features however I have never used it so I hesitate to comment much on it but it is a popular mod pack for IL2 46. Like UltraPack it is only compatible up to stock version 4.10.1m and I do believe that DBW and UP are compatible with each other.
With the SAS CUP both UP and DBW have been merged into the CUP becoming pretty much obsolete..
To find out more about the various mod packs and what they have to offer I suggest you do a search for the name of any of the mod packs or ask someone in a PM and I am sure anyone would be willing to supply links. In my opinion while it is true that mods have fractured the community somewhat overall I think that they have been good for the sim and helped to keep it alive. I suggest that before you try to install any mod pack that you first install a clean copy of IL2 Stock patched to the appropriate level of the mod pack you have chosen.
Installation and Patching of the sim
As of 12/05/2016 the latest patched stock version of IL2 1946 is 4.13.3 This sim is still receiving official patches from a group of former modders who are under license from the developers known as Team Dadalos or TD. More information on the works in progress from TD can be found on this site. After you do your clean install of 1946 you should be at 4.07m, however some versions of the sim install stock to a later version. To determine which version you are starting with after you first install the sim boot it up and when the initial splashscreen loads look on the lower left corner and you should see ver X.x. Keep in mind that when you begin patching you will patch the next version up and with each successive patch if correctly installed that version number should change accordingly. For instance, if your initial version is 4.07m then you would start to patch at 4.08, if your initial version is 4.09 then you would start to patch at 4.10 etc. Regardless to where you start, it is recommended that with each successive patch install you boot the sim to make sure that the patch installed correctly before installing the next patch. This Patching Guide @ M4T will help you determine what patches you will need and what order to patch the sim in. You can also find the patches themselves in that link. *NOTE* Make sure that you do not download the dedicated server patches. After installing any patch it is recommended that you then boot the sim, make sure that it has fully loaded to whatever version you have installed. Run a quick mission to make sure that it works. Once you finish patching the sim to the latest version and you get your control settings the way you want them, I recommend that you do a complete back up of that entire install to another drive. The footprint of the stock sim is not very large on a disk. This way if you ever have any kind of instance where you will have to reinstall the sim you wont have to start from scratch. It can even fit on thumbdrive. My stock back up is 11G but I have skins and missions in there as well. When the next patch is released then upgrade your stock backup accordingly so that it is always at the most current incarnation of the sim. Further along in this post is a list of specific files to back up once you begin to use the sim and add missions, skins etc. All patches should be installed over clean unmodded versions of the sim.. NOT modded versions. Deactivating your mods in the JSGME does not make it a clean stock version.. That just gives you a modded version in stock mode.
OK YOU NUGGETS.... LISTEN UP!!!!
You can choose to do this any way you want to. This is just one method and it might not work for you but try it. I guarantee you that if you do it this way in 3 days or 30 days, it s up to you and how much time you want to put into it, you will be better off than just doing it on your own. Feel free to come to the forums at anytime to ask some of the more experienced members for advice. If you desire a more regimented but very well done method I highly recommend Joint Ops Virtual Combat School. I have been through it myself. It is a multi tiered very well organized program but like any training you have to be there to benefit from it so if time is a problem for you you might seriously consider going through the Nugget's Guide.
PreFlight : Controls
WARNING - Before you proceed especially if you are using W7 make sure that the settings file found in your main IL2 folder @ Users\YourPilot Name (default Doe)\settings is NOT set to read only otherwise whatever changes you make to your controls will be lost once you exit the sim.
1 - HOTAS controls
In this sim the HOTAS section of the CONTROLS menu is where any command that can be set to an axis (as in a potentiometer on the joystick axis) will be found (Throttle,Brakes,Prop Pitch,Flaps,Roll,Pitch,Yaw and the trims associated with them). While some controls in the HOTAS section can also be assigned to keystrokes it is more efficient and much smoother to have them mapped to a slider where possible. At the very least you should have Elevator (Pitch), Ailerons (Roll), Rudder (Yaw), and Power (Throttle) mapped in the HOTAS section. Trim is a way of fine tuning the default point on any off the three control axes Pitch, Roll and Yaw. I also have my trims set on sliders (Potentiometers.. they can be knobs or levers) and prefer it that way. Open the sim and go to CONTROLS. Scroll all the way to the bottom where you will see a section called HOTAS. That is where you will program your major control surfaces on your joystick.. Highlight the right side of the line that has the control on it and then move the corresponding joystick function. For example.. if you want to map your throttle L click on the line next to Power and an empty box will open up. Once this happens cycle your throttle from top to bottom. Inside that empty box text will appear that will say something like U slider axis or -U slider axis. Should you find that when you go into the sim any controls in the HOTAS section are reversed, simply go back to the control in question and reverse the cycling of the control in question. If it said U before it should change to - U and vice versa.
2 - Individual Controls
Go to the top of the CONTROLS and make sure that you have the following functions mapped either to a key on your keyboard or on your stick (I prefer to map a key to the keyboard and then use the profiling SW of my stick to apply the settings to the stick) and that you know where they are in the case that they are already mapped. These are the basics you will need to be able to enjoy most of the aircraft in the sim in various scenarios but there are far more options available than the ones listed below.
Wing Fold *
Toggle Engine (toggles engine on/off)
Select All Engines - I use this command in multi engined aircraft.
Weapons 1-4 Machine guns, cannon, rockets and bombs.
Toggle Bomb Fuze Mode
Tailwheel Lock - Very important if you have a hard time keeping your aircraft straight while taxiing.
Trim-All 3 trim axes (rudder,aileron and elevator) Having all three surface trims mapped is best but in my opinion rudder and elevator trim are a must. You can set your trim either in the HOTAS section above or with keystrokes. If you use keystrokes make sure you have a trim neutral function set.. especially for elevator trim.
Landing Gear -NOTE- some aircraft, like the F4F and the I-16 have manual landing gear and the normal landing gear function will NOT WORK therefore if you intend to fly those aircraft you should map a key to manual gear raise and manual gear lower. In fact I suggest you do this regardless. You may have your hydraulics shot out and have to manually lower your gear to get safely back on the ground. You will have to tap the manual gear raise/lower key repeatedly until the gear is fully raised/lowered ... or use a macro on your profiling software.
* I recommend making these functions multi key. In other words make it so that it will take 2 hands to perform them. That eliminates the accidental execution of them. Nothing like folding your wings in flight or releasing your chocks accidentally to ruin a mission for you. When Chocks are set your plane is basically as if it is not there. This was done so that planes do not have to worry about crashing into each other on carrier decks once they land. Just chock up and any landing plane behind you will go through you. Remember on carrier based aircraft and in some missions depending on the way the mission is made you must release your chocks before you can take off. If you throttle up and nothing happens more than liekly yiour chocks are in.
3 - Views
Just be aware of where the views are as far as F1-F5 and the FOV keys WIDE,NORMAL and GUNSIGHT. (These are preset I believe so just know where they are).
You can also set a key to FoV +/-.
*SHIFT+F1 will center the gunsight on some axis planes like the 109s, Ki-84s,Zeros
*CTRL+D will remove the lens cover on the gunsight for the D-3A, the F2-A and the Ki-43
*ESC will end your mission
Once you have set all this up in the controls menu click APPLY on the lower left and you will be returned to the main menu and your settings will be saved. The control settings that you set are stored in C:\Program Files \Ubisoft\IL-2 Sturmovik 1946\Users\Your Pilot. Doe is the default pilot but if you have created one that name will have it's own folder in the Users folder. The individual key assignments for each pilot you create are found in those folders. If you have not created one they will be found in the Doe folder. Note that inside that users folder itself there is a config file named default. That default file contains the settings for the default stick assignments that are initially displayed and the ones that the sim will default to when you press the Reset as default key in the controls menu. I have several pilots on my install but I have copied the same config file for all of them. I also copied that same user config to the default file.. that way if I ever accidentally hit Reset to Default in my controls menu.. it will not change. If you have ever accidentally pressed that button in the controls menu after you set up an assignment profile that works well for you, then you know the frustration of trying to remember all that. I renamed the original default config file as default_stock, then I copied the settings file from my pilot and renamed that one default. If for whatever reason I want to revert to the original default settings I can always rename that default_stock file and do so.
DaimonSyrius has an outstanding explanation of the axis setup for joysticks that goes well beyond this sim alone. It is more than worth a Syrius look here. Also a more detailed Stick Setup Guide @ M4T. There are other functions in the controls menu as well. However they are not essential at this point for you to function efficiently in flying the sim. Look at them later and decide what you will or will not need.
PreFlight : Initial Settings
From the Main screen select Quick Mission Builder > Difficulty screen. On that first page on the left side you will see:
Weapons & Stores
Icons & Maps
As you go through each of these categories you will see swtches and lights on your right. If the light is offthen that feature is not active. Set your settings as follows:
Flight Model - All lights lit
Weapons & Stores - Bomb Fuzes off
Views - All lights off
Icons & Maps - All lights off
Misc - Realistic Navigation Off
NOTE: Some of these suggested settings are temporary just so that you can remove some of the frustration factor from the sim, however you should NEVER fudge on flight settings. Take the time to learn to fly the sim with as realistic an FM as you can as far as stalls, spins, torque, gyro, flutter, wind, turbulence go. Where you can bend things a bit is on the settings like external views and icons etc. Some might say eliminate CEM (Complex Engine Management) * as well but I think that is a bad idea... It is best to get used to how the plane will perform in it's fullness and if you want to fly online, not many servers disable CEM or Separate Engine Start*. In the beginning these changes will help you immensely in getting used to the sim and how it works. As you get comfortable you can and should tighten things up a bit. I still use externals and icons although I very very rarely fly outside of the cockpit (As in no cockpit around you at all) and I like to set my icons extremely tight so that they show up much closer than the default settings.. but for now this is good to learn on.
*For a more detailed tutorial on CEM, including flying Multi Engined Aircraft and using trim see The CEM guide @ M4T. Also after the 4.11 patch some of the over heat engine model were changed so CEM is much more important. You have to pay more attention to how you run your engine as far as radiator and manifold pressure (throttle setting) and RPM (prop pitch) . There is a guide in the main folder called Temp_Guide_4111. I recommend that you take the time to go through this material at some point. Consider this a part of ground school Now that you have done all that Preflight stuff, we can begin with the the hands on Phase of getting you up in the virtual skies.
One thing about this hands on portion. It is all up to you .. if you are comfortable after an hour or 30 minutes than move on.. You can always go back. The main purpose of all this is to guide you through interacting with the sim so that you will be able to get more out of it. I still practice ground pounding using the Phase Two method.
Hands On Phase One : Flight
Go to Multiplay>Create New Server>(Make sure Game type is Dogfight> Create Dogfight 4 or 5 (Which should be Dogfight for 2 armies winter or summer).
Select a base..... For this part of the exercise select a base in the rear, any one will do.. pick a plane. I recommend that you consider either one of the La-5 or a A6M2 initially.. and stick with it until you at least get through phase two, then consider the plane you want to fly on a regular basis and if you are comfortable with it switch to it and stick with it until you get to phase four.. then you can experiment more if you like. Select arming. In the arming screen set your fuel to 50% set gun convergence to 300 for both for now. Hit fly. You will find yourself on the Tarmac. Start your engine and taxi to the runway and take off. You will also note that often on take off your aircraft may veer to one side. This is the effect of the torque from the engine. To counter this effect some pilots lock their tail wheel for take offs until they become proficient at ground handling. The lock tail wheel is an assignable function found in the controls menu. Fly a circuit around the airfield and land. Practice trying to do touch and gos where you drop your wheels and touch them to the ground almost landing and then taking off again. Fly around in the sky... turn dive.... if you crash hit escape... then refly... and do it over and over until you can get up... fly around and land reasonably well. Once you can do that and you are comfortable go on to Phase 2.
Hands On Phase Two : Air to Ground
Go back into the same multiplayer DF (DogFight) server that you have been using, but this time select a base closer to the front..as in closer to the bases of the opposite color. Select your plane. Select a weapons loadout with bombs hit fly. Take off... go to the nearest enemy base and try to bomb it. The flak will be tough. Very tough. This practice will help you to learn how to take off with ordinance.. which if you set things up correctly should be different from a clean take off... it will help you to practice ground attack. It will help you to practice landing a damaged bird. Even if you plan to do little ground pounding in the greater scheme of things this is good practice.
Hands On Phase Three : Air to Air
Initially ONLY IN THE BEGINNING for this phase, go back to the difficulty screen and turn off vulnerability and limited ammo but keep the gunnery realistic. For this phase you will go into the QMB (Quick Mission Builder) and set up a QM. Notice the layout of the screen.. It is pretty self explanatory. Friendlies on top Hostiles on the bottom. If you would like to change to another aircraft now is a good time to do so. For this first one make your enemies rookies and put them in inferior aircraft with full fuel tanks. For example if you are flying a 1943 aircraft put your enemies in something from 1940. Use all the enemy slots. Do that until you start to get more hits... but
be aware when you are getting hit and try to still avoid getting hit. You will have unlimited ammo but don't spray and pray. Try to make your hits count and
remember to lead your target. Now you can practice your air to air gunnery. Pay attention to how the bullets behave. The numbers in the icons are in kilometers. 1.00 is 1K, 2.50 is 2.5K etc.. therefore when you see a plane at .30 that is 300 meters the convergence number you set earlier. Don't shoot when they are too far away. When you get used to the 300 meter convergence then change it to 200-275. When you find yourself getting more accurate then change the conditions of the missions as in giving your enemies better aircraft or changing the numbers of friendly:enemy. The objective of this phase is to get you more familiar with the ballistics in the sim and the AI behavior. When you are ready to go to the next phase go back into the difficulty menu and turn on limited ammo and vulnerability and give all planes 40% fuel and try it a few more times before you go to Phase Four.
Hands On Phase Four : Upping the Ante
By now you should have already gone back to the Difficulty screen and turned on limited ammo and vulnerability. To set up the mission this time instead of using all the enemy slots use just two. Keep them rookies but give them slightly better planes... When you get comfortable with that or ready for the next level of challenge upgrade the number and quality of enemy planes... maybe give yourself a wingman. You can go through that cycle until you are competent enough to at least handle yourself. AS you cycle up with upgrading the enemy planes upgrade their skill level too... add more... add more wingmen for yourself. By that time you will be well on your way. If you do this over say... the next 7 to 28 days... you will only suck as bad or pretty near as bad as the rest of us.... I highly recommend that whatever plane you fly get used to looking at your gauges and the relationship they have with the throttle settings and prop pitch. Prop pitch will usually effect the RPM.. while the throttle will effect your manifold pressure. This procedure is not set in stone, once you become more familiar with the sim you may want a more immersive method and there are always other options. You can also give Zeus Cat's Training Missions a spin after you complete the NG.
***What to Back up***
This is for a clean unmodded install. If you have mods installed you will need to visit one of the mod sites for a more detailed listing of what to back up.Back up the following folders.. it can save you much grief in the event of technical issues hardware or software related. Look inside your Main IL2 46 folder.
- Missions - This folder contains all the missions you may have downloaded or created yourself.
- Quick - This is the folder where you place any user made templates that allow the user to utilize a new map while using the QMB. The Quick folder is located in the Missions folder. Default location: C:\Program Files\Ubisoft\IL-2 Sturmovik 1946\Missions\Quick. The Quick and Quicks (below) folders are easy to confuse but they have very different and distinct functions.
- Quicks with an s is the folder where the text files that are saved when you use the QMB. These text files allow you to use the same settings for time, plane, map, etc when you play a quick mission. There is a Save button that creates the files in this folder and a Load button that uses the files in this folder. This Quicks folder is located in the main IL-2 Sturmovik 1946 folder. Default location: C:\Program Files\Ubisoft\IL-2 Sturmovik 1946\Quicks
- Records - This folder contains all of the tracks you may have recorded.
- These two folders are easy to confuse but they have very different and distinct functions.
- NGen - This is where the information to generate a multiplayer campaign is stored. (I am not sure where the mission information is stored after you generate the campaign though.)
- Paint Schemes - This folder contains all your skins Default location: C:\Program Files\Ubisoft\IL-2 Sturmovik 1946\PaintSchemes\Skins
- conf - This text file contains key game settings.. as in sound, graphics, and game config. etc. This is not a folder but a file that is in the main IL-2 Sturmovik 1946 folder. Mine is in C:\Games\Ubisoft\IL-2 46
- Default location: C:\Program Files\Ubisoft\IL-2 Sturmovik 1946\conf
- Users - This folder contains your pilot and stick control settings. All the inputs that you have set in the sim are stored here.
Some aircraft (Fw-190s, Me-109s P-47 Razorbacks to name a few) have an offset gun sight or a cover over the gun sight that will have to be moved. To move your FoV so that you are looking down the sight pres SHIFT+F1 and the sight view will toggle back and forth (It will slightly offset the forward view to look directly into the sight). To remove the lens cover from the sight (Some Japanese planes and the SBD to name a few..)press CTRL+D and the lens cover will be toggled on and off.
- There is an Aircraft Guide to all the cockpit gauges of stock planes listed in your main IL2 folder.
- Explanation of Difficulty Settings @ M4T
- Config guide at M4T - The config file also mentioned above in what to back up is a text file that is located in your main IL2 folder. This guide at M4T breaks down each component of the config file ad explains what it's purpose is. By editing the config file you can do things like remove the text of the AI chat and turn your hudlog on or off. The hudlog is the text that appears on the right side when you get a kill or damage, or when you adjust your throttle, pitch etc. The config file also allows you to adjust certain graphics and sound parameters.
- Various Aircarft Guides at the M4T Database
- User defined control settings by SkyCat
- SkyCat's Newcomer's Guide
Tweaking your joystick settings
Originally posted by FatBoyHK
It is my own experience, I hope it is helpful for those who have wobbling problem. Step-by-step instruction are presented first, for those who are lazy.
The story behind the instructions are presented next.
1. Figure out how to trim your plane for hand-off flying in both high speed and low speed.
2. Try to find an all-linear pitch setting (All-40s, All-50s, etc) that enable you to aim very precisely in high speed BnZ, with you plane trimmed for high speed flying.
3. Increase this linear response curve as much as you can while you can still aim precisely. For example, if you are using All-40s, try All-45s.
4. Modify the profile, by adding up the values progressively to 100. For example, if the profile is All-50s, change it to 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 100.
5. Try to use this profile to do some BnZ in high speed, and TnB in low speed. In both case trim your plane properly first. If you can aim well in both situations, you are done on the pitch setting.
6. If not, try to reduce the maximum deflection value (i.e. the last value). For example, if you are using 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 100,
try 50 54 58 62 66 70 74 78 82. For BnZ planes, a fairly low value can be used, because you can't pull maximum deflection without snap-rolling anyway. For TnB plane, you should be more conservative.
7. For the yaw profile, try a soft, linear setting like All-50s. Increase or decrease it as you wish. After that, modify the last two or three values so that they add up progressively to 100, so you can turn while taxiing on the ground. For example. if you are using All-50s, try 50 50 50 50 50 50 60 75 87 100
And here is the Story
Before trying to do anything with joystick profile, find out how to trim you plane properly first, by properly I mean a hand-off flying. You will need more than one trim settings, for example one for high speed flying (BnZ), and one for low speed flying (TnB), so you can test accurately how your profile works in both of these situation. After trimming your plane, fire up QMB with your favorite plane against an ace AI, with you in the advantage. Bounce it from altitude, at high speed. Try to make precise aiming and fire only when you are sure.... after several run, ask yourself, is it easy? Can you hit it consistantly? Probably not, otherwise you won't be here. It should wobble like a balloon and you just can't point to where you want. If it is true, you profile is too sensitive, or too aggressive, in the low-stick-deflection region (i.e. the first 4 to 5 values in the pitch setting). By sensitive, I mean the value is too high. By aggressive, I mean the value increase too fast and make the response curve non-linear... one very common mis-conception, is that a profile of 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 is a linear response curve. It is actually wrong. It may be a bit surprising for some, but an All-100s, or an All-50s profiles are linear. Linear profiles are better IMO, as it is a lot more predicable.
After this step I come up with a pitch setting like this:
40 40 40 40 40 40 60 70 80 100
With this setting I can aim very accurately when doing BnZ, and I was actually using it during the last weekend on Warclouds. However there is another problem. Yes, BnZ is fine, but once I wanna work on a tracking shot solution in a turn fight, I failed terribly. Every time I want to pull a lead on the bandit, my plane started to over-respond and my nose jumped up and then came back down violently, totally out of precision. This problem is due to a over-aggressive response curve at the large-stick-deflection region (the last 3 or 4 values of the pitch setting). In the previous step, I chose to use 40 for the first 6 values. It is actually pretty low. When I pull the stick to 60%, the game take it as 24% only. And the last 40% of the stick deflection need to represent 76% of the stick input to the game. It will be too inaccurate. I tried to solve this problem by using this profile:
40 47 54 61 68 75 82 89 96 100
Now I can make deflection shooting a little bit better, but it is still not ideal. The plane is still over-sensitive in both BnZ and TnB situation. The response curve is a bit too aggressive. So what can be done next? A compromise is needed. You may leave it and try to live with it, or you can give up the maximum possible deflection, by lowering the last value of the profile. I did the latter and here is my final setting:
40 46 52 58 64 70 76 82 88 94
I give up 6 points from the maximum deflection. Because I don't need to add up to 100 anymore, I don't need to be too aggressive. The result is excellent, I love it. I think it is the final setting that I will use throughout the life of v402.
So how many points you should give up? The less the better of course. In most BnZ plane, you can actually give up quite alot, because you can't pull the sticks much without snap-rolling anyway. For TnB plane, you may need to apply full-stick deflection quite often, so it is better to keep as much value as you can.
After tuning for the pitch, tune for the yaw. It is alot easier. Linear setting is still the call of the day. And due to the fact that any rudder delection bigger than 50% are quite useless for pin-point aiming, you can give up precision from the large-deflection-region and beef up the low- deflection-region instead. It is my yaw setting:
50 50 50 50 50 50 60 75 87 100
The first 60% of the physical deflection represent the first 30% of the logical deflection. It is accurte enough for me. If it is still too responsive, lower values like 30 can do used. To conclude, when tuning your stick profile remember these simple rules-of-thumb:
- Trim before testing
- Linear response curve is usually better
- You need to cater for both Bnz and TnB situation (with small and large stick deflection respectively)
- You don't need 100% stick deflection in most cases because your plane cannot take it. Therefore you can trade maximum deflection for more precision.
Once you get more settled in check out some of the links below.
- In Pursuit:An Online Pilot's Guide to Aerial Combat
- VAC Voice Activated Commands - This utility is very similar to SHOOT.. it allows you to interact with your PC and thus the sim with voice commands. Very useful for commanding the AI.
- Gunnery at M4T - A good explanation of the tool and what is does. Also this entire section at AW.C is a really good resource.
- RAF Gunnery Manual - A printable manual used by the RAF in WWII.
- Bag the Hun - BTH is a video based on the above literature but with animation made by Joe 90.
- ACMVIZ - Short for Air Combat Maneuvers Visualization - This program will show you a short video of various combat maneuvers.... yo yos, immelmans etc. It is a very usefull tool.
- Dart's Training Videos are also a great source of info on everything from gunnery to skip bombing.. Dart's lecture delivery on the videos only adds to the overall quality. Even for die hard vets of this sim... if you have not checked out these videos do so. Skip bombing and determining range from the gunsight were two of the most helpful ones for me. Dart's Vids on YT
- Adding your favorite map to the Quick Mission Builder
Getting Online.. Now the real fun begins..
A note about online settings.
Anyone hosting a server can set the realism settings to whatever they want to from the difficulty menu. For example, if the host of a server has it set for closed cockpit with no icons then the guests in the server will not be able to leave the cockpit or use icons. If the host has the server set for full icons and an open cockpit, meaning you can remove the cockpit and use what is known as "Wonder Woman" view and icons are available the guest can use the settings on his side to turn these features on or off at their choosing.
Servers are set according to what the host wants so if you look through the servers you will find one with settings you prefer. There are four* types of missions you can participate in on line currently.
DogFight - Just as the name implies a DogFight server is a server set up with basically one goal. One pilot trying to shoot down another pilot. Sometimes you start on the ground .. sometimes you start in the air.. depending on the mission and the map the host has set. Dogfight servers are unique in that once you get shot down, crash or land you can hit Refly and you are right back in the action. In a DogFight server all the pilots are live.
CooP - Short for cooperative. In a Coop mission there is usually a goal.. escort some bombers.. take out a bridge.. protect some ships or just fly patrol. It is a mission that can have a mixture of live and AI pilots and usually there is a mission brief of some kind. It can have separate sides.. or everyone can be on the same side.. It all depends on the mission. In a coop mission any slots that are not taken up by live pilots will be flown by AI so technically you could launch a coop on your own PC and fly it.. You will be the only live pilot and it will run like a single mission. In a coop all the players gather together on the server where they choose sides and pick aircraft and once everyone is there or all the slots are filled the host will hit Fly and the mission will start. People can still join the mission up to the point where the host hits Fly. Once the host hits Fly no one can join the mission. When everyone hits Fly the mission will start. Like in a Dogfight server sometimes you may start in the air and sometimes on the ground. Personally I like Coops most of all.
Campaign - A Campaign is very similar to a coop in every way except that it is a series of missions usually with a long term goal. They function the same way that Cops do but they are connected. There are two types of Campaigns Static and Dynamic.
- Static Campigns- A Static Campaign is basically a series of missions strung together. They may have a end term goal but there is no connection between missions save for whatever the Campaign creator has written into the mission.
- Dynamic Campaigns - A Dynamic Campaign is a campaign in which what you do counts. You can move the front lines.. each victory or defeat matters in the next mission.
MDS - Moving Dogfight Server . A MDS mission is one that combines the features of a DogFight server, being able to come in and out at will as long as the server is up and running and a Coop server, having AI in the form of objects like ships or vehicles .. or aircraft. Originally created as a mod called Zuti's Moving Dog Fight Server, it was introduced into the stock sim by Team Diadalos in ver 4.10. Before the MDS was created basically you had only two types of online missions.. Coops and DogFights.. a campaign is a variation of a Coop for all intents and purposes. The MDS changed all that and it is one of the longest sought after additions to IL2.
For online play most people use Hyperlobby which will be called HL from here on out but you can also fly IP to IP. That will be explained below.
To use HL
Go to the link above and download the client, then once you download and install the client it should put an icon on your desktop. When you click that icon you will go to a screen that looks like this:
There will be no call sign in the window. You will have to pick a callsign for yourself. and enter it. Choose this wisely as this will be the name that you will be known for better or worse on HL. Select a password. Notice a small square to the right of the password box. That is so that HL can remember your PW and you wont have to type it in each time you connect. There is also a feature where you can have HL automatically connect you once you hit the icon. I prefer to not use that feature. I prefer to hit connect. Make sure that you enter the Forgotten Battles room NOT the IL2 or Pacific Fighters room. Hit connect. HL will ask you to direct it to your 46 folder on your PC which in most cases is C:\Program Files\Ubisoft\IL-2 Sturmovik 1946 but you can direct it to wherever your il2fb.exe file is. Once you do that it should load up to a screen that will look like this:
On your left you will see Games in Progress. These are rooms where action is ongoing and they are usually DF rooms.. Some are Dedicated Servers and some are hosted by individuals. The numbers to the right of the rooms tell you how many are present currently in the room on the left of the / and how many the room is capable of supporting to the right. Open Mission and Coop Rooms can be used for anything .. but they are generally used for their stated purpose. You enter the Coop Server .. and once the room gets full the host will launch the mission. Hitting the General Room tab will open up a new set of rooms for Coop and Open Missions. If you mouse over the names n the DogFight rooms you will be able to see the difficulty settings on the server and the names of the people who are in the server. If you hit the INFO button on the coop server it will give you the same information. On the right hand side you will see the Players List. The CHAT panel is a list of all the people who are not in a game but waiting it will also show you the number .. Often you will see them chatting in the rectangular box that says HL server. To enter text into the chat stream just type into the long black window at the very bottom in the center at the bottom of of the bottom of the interface. The In Game panel shows you the people who are actually in a game.. the number will be to the right. In the picture above there are 105 people in the chat and 478 in a game for a total of 583. There have been days when that number totaled well over 4 figures. You do not have to set p a dedicated server to host missions in IL2. You can host missions of all kinds on HL directly from your PC which is the most common way to host on HL. For hosting Coops just go to the top slot in the Coop room and wait for people to join. When it gets full mouse over the info button and you will see a button to start the mission. To host on HL behind a router you must open port 21000.
Dedicated Servers briefly
A dedicated server is just what it's name implies.. it is a server that is usually set to run 24/7 with some kind of mission always running. While you can run a dedicated server using the standard sim software, it is better and easier to manage a dedicated server if you use the available dedicated server software. For just hosting missions you do not need to use dedicated server software. To find out more about the subject of dedicated servers check out the IL2 FB Daemon Guide . The Patches for the Servers can be found here Dedicated Server Patches Setting up a Dedicated server is no small undertaking but it can be a rewarding experience.
To fly multiplayer Peer to Peer
You can also host Peer to Peer missions as well outside of the HL.
Boot the sim and go to Multiplayer > Create new Server > Join Server .. depending on which one of you is hosting the mission and which one is joining.
The one hosting has to launch the mission first when going IP to IP before others can join and he has to give others his IP if he wants to go IP to IP.
To join a P2P server select Join Server enter the IP address of the host and :21000 ex: 000.000.000.000:21000 select Join and wait for the host to launch.
To host a P2P server select Create new Server select Multiplay > Create New Server and then select one of the following:
- Dogfight > select Max players > Create
- Coop > select Max players create
- Campaign > select Max players > create
Then select the mission > Load
You can do all this on your own PC as well with no one else just to see how the process works and it will still run just if you select Dogfight you will be in the server by yourself. In a campaign or a Coop it will run like a single mission with the AI taking any empty slots. After you hit load and select your base, aircraft and load out you can go on and hit fly and your friend can still join and it will be a 1 v 1 dogfight unless you invited others to join.. Of course the same rules mentioned above for HL apply to the missions selected in P2P. Others will not be able to join unless you give them your IP.
There is much more to be found at M4T in the way of articles and downloads from settings guides to skins and mission at the direct links below.
Edited by Bearcat, 03 February 2017 - 02:51.