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For those of us that are still new to the game but not completely helpless, what are some tips and tricks you've developed and discovered?

I can taxi competently, navigate using landmarks, check 6 frequently and identify friend or foe. But what are some tips you can give that are beyond the basics? What has made you a better pilot?

Lastly, how should I proceed as someone that wants to fly with wing men and in formation?https://myip.kim/ https://birthdaywishes.onl/ https://elecpay.in/tneb/

 
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49 minutes ago, stevejock1 said:

Lastly, how should I proceed as someone that wants to fly with wing men and in formation?

Download discord and join the channels for the servers that you fly on. You'll find that the online community is super helpful and welcoming, and you'll be able to wing up with people very quickly, and will soon find people whose approach to the game and style works with your own.

 

As far as pro-tips go, I'd say that its important to remember that it's a game, and it's fun, and also awesomely frustrating, but not something to get stressed out about. If you're hitting a brick wall on more 'serious' servers, spending half an hour on Berloga (essentially a massive furball server) is a great way to unwind and brush up on dogfighting skills and improve your gunnery.

 

Play with your convergence settings, find one that works for you (this may be different in different A/C with different loadout options), and stick with it. When you get to know the correct sight picture at convergence, you will start killing things much more efficiently.  

 

Also, pick a set of three or four planes and concentrate on learning to employ them effectively. I don't know which 'Battles Of' you have, but choosing one from each would mean that you should always have access to one of your 'specialist' aircraft during any given online map. Not to say you shouldn't ever take a flip in anything else, but it's always nice to have something you feel comfortable in.

 

Also, fighter boys look glamorous, but it's ground pounding that wins matches... ;)

 

I've been out of the game for the last month or so, moving house and tedious RL stuff, but should be on more regularly soon. If you seem me online, drop me a line and I'll gladly wing up with you.

 

 

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For me a big one was target identification, learning the shapes of aircraft to figure out sooner what is friend or foe.

I think it was this video that taught me a lot. (Great channel regardless.) 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Diggun said:

Also, pick a set of three or four planes and concentrate on learning to employ them effectively.

 

I suck. But I suck in only a couple a/c. The rest I couldn't fly straight in, yet.

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Already a lot of nice tips.. and I think that if you speak with an experienced player your skill will increase super fast!

Also, if you play together he can give you suggestion during the whole flight and you will learn a lot!!

 

If you see me online, feel free to write to me, no prob!

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Best thing i've learned and adopted; CLIMB!

Always enter in a fight with higher E-advatage, upon takeoff if in MP, gain alt over your airfield no matter what plane you're flying.

Than when over battle area evaluate situation bellow you and work step by step down......also check your six frequently no matter where you are.

But main thing is to have E-advatage over enemy which will make him defensive and to you it will give chance to run away if things go wrong!

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2 hours ago, stevejock1 said:

What has made you a better pilot?

"never engage if you have an energy disadvantage". You actually can read that often, and its quite obvious, yet I rarely manage to do that. But I admit that working on it, made me a better virtual pilot. Also, "pick your battles, only engage if you have a clear advantage" and the list goes on. 

But one quote that I like and read on the forums, is "kills comes with discipline", I dont remember who said that, maybe several people said it already, but I specially like that one.

Like for example, if you are flying a FW, dont start doing stupid horizontal fights against a Yak. While it doesn't necessarily mean you gonna die if you do so, I would never advise that kind of fighting when flying a FW. Dont rush, dont succumb to the tentation of attacking an enemy that looks lonely, be sure he doesn't have an escort, dont set yourself in a trap.

In short: be smart. But hey, its not easy, Im often stupid when playing, and when the enemy kills me, I say to myself "damn, what a bunch of stupid mistakes I made, mistakes that I was even aware of while making them".

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I come from the old days of Il2 1946 so my "pro tip" is:

 

Be chivalrous!, i se many new pilots acting like jerks online, shute killing and attacking already beaten planes, treat your fellow virtual pilots with respect and you will get the same back :)

 

that is all. S!

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Don't take death personally. Every single pilot who beats you has been shot down dozens of times. It happens, don't worry. Just get up, stretch, and try a slightly different tactic

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These are my 'pro-tips' from someone who is definitely not a pro - so, ama-tips? I don't really know. Take this in the context of online play. Other people have covered the fighter angle, so I'll lean towards ground attack.

A great, actual Pro resource for this is the Ground Attacker Handbook, to be found here. A lot of things I do are from there: 



Flying ground attack on a lot of online servers can be an exercise in character building, because for the most part the nature of your role is to be at a disadvantage. However, in most servers, ground attackers are necessary to win the map and are really the backbone of the 'war effort'. 

-When you can do so, and it is practical, go higher. More height means that you will enter any fight with more energy available to you. If you have to run, you have more altitude to accelerate to get away. You reduce the likelihood that someone will be above you and increase your likelihood to be above someone else. Even on attacker, bomber or fighter-bomber missions, its often advisable to get up to a higher altitude. 

-Fly with other people where you can, or at least fly where you know you have friendlies. If you can't get on discord, get on the team chat and see where there is cover, an ongoing attack, or if anyone is available for escort. Its clunky but better than nothing.

-Approach target areas obliquely. Don't take the most direct route to the target from your airfield - that is where a lot of solo fighters are on patrol to pick off people on climbout or when navigating. If possible, put yourself in a position so that when you complete your attack, you're already headed in the direction of friendly lines.

- If you have no air cover over a target, do one attack and then run for home. Make a high-speed attack dive, drop all your ordnance, jink to avoid AA if you have to and then get the hell out of dodge. Even if you are sure there are no enemy fighters, they will show up very quickly once you have made your attack. Sticking around to strafe or make multiple runs dramatically increases your chance of death. If you are in a fighter bomber and have the fuel for it, you can drop your bombs, extend, climb back up, and return to the target at higher altitude later to provide cover for other attackers.

-Take the time to line up your attack runs. Simply diving in at the first target you see can be wasteful. If the target allows it, line up your attack so that you are dropping your bombs on a row or cluster of targets. Bonus points if you can include some of the AA in your attack. This reduces the chance that you miss the target completely and maximizes your blast damage.

-When in a target area, avoid flying straight and level - the AA will turbo-murder you , but if you can maintain a high enough speed and a turning flight path the AA is less likely to hit you.

-When making attack runs on an AA gun, do not point your nose directly at it until you are ready to fire, keep your path constantly changing. Try and 'curve' in towards it, let your gunsight drift across the AA gun and then open fire. If you dive straight in, you are essentially an unmoving target for the gun and they will get you. Opening fire from longer distance, especially with cannon ammo, can make the gun crew flee before you enter the most deadly envelope of fire.

-A better way to attack AA is with a buddy or two. One person attracts fire from the flak, while the other kills the guns without worrying about taking fire from it. Known generally as "dragging the flak". You basically alternate roles until the Flak is gone or you're out of ammo.

-Know your plane and your opposition. If you are bounced by enemy fighters, you have to use your best qualities to counter theirs. If you have gunners on your plane, know their general fields of fire and place yourself relative to the enemy fighters to maximize their effectiveness. If you have a higher dive speed and altitude, you may be able to dive away. If you don't have enough alt, you're better off forcing an overshoot. if they have a lot more speed than you a barrel roll is often enough. If they are closer to your speed, you have to do more work - If your roll rate is better than theirs, you can force an overshoot through flat scissors or rolling scissors. Rolling scissors favours the plane that can slow down fast and has a good sustained climb rate, so be careful doing this against a 109. If your turn rate is just massively superior (rare in an attacker) you can just break hard and then force them to either dogfight you or leave. 

-Overshoots often result in snapshot opportunities, and fighter pilots are astoundingly lazy about staying out of the way of the guns of an aircraft they just attacked. Often they will fly right by you and turn to go right across your flight path, - if they do this, line up and fire a long burst at them. If you miss, they may be forced to maneuver, and if you hit, you might kill or at least cripple them. I've gotten kills this way even when my plane's engine is dead.


 

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2 hours ago, ME-BFMasserME262 said:

"never engage if you have an energy disadvantage". You actually can read that often, and its quite obvious, yet I rarely manage to do that. But I admit that working on it, made me a better virtual pilot. Also, "pick your battles, only engage if you have a clear advantage" and the list goes on. 

Picking your battles is a skill that seems needed in just about everything. While i'm by far still a rookie at IL-2, I was significantly less of a rookie at ArmA, where I had "pick your battles" mercilessly pounded into me (Flashbacks to Dshk sounds and the screams of people over teamspeak). It also goes in-hand with knowing when to retreat, something I have yet to figure out since whenever I decide to retreat it tends to be too late. 

 

2 hours ago, ME-BFMasserME262 said:

In short: be smart. But hey, its not easy, Im often stupid when playing, and when the enemy kills me, I say to myself "damn, what a bunch of stupid mistakes I made, mistakes that I was even aware of while making them".

Recognizing our mistakes is probably one of the best tips. Personally in IL-2 i'm still at the point of knowing i'm doing something wrong, but not knowing what it is. 

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Understand the difference between turn rate and turn radius, and be able to effectively use this within a combat situation

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Have (at least) a beer before taking off. And have a cold one ready, hands need to stay steady 

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Lots of great advice so far.

 

Try not to get frustrated if you are shot down. Be realistic in your expectations. For instance, if you are flying alone and down low, expect to get shot down a lot unless you have built up the experience to counter those "boom-and-zoom" attacks. If you have more time to fly and learn, expect better results. If you do not have much time, expect worse results and take the appropriate precautions (e.g., look for a wingman or hang around friendly aircraft, pick your battles carefully, make sure you have a large height advantage).

 

There are loads of tips from experts in the IL-2 Resources Post.

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1 hour ago, Kataphrakt said:

It also goes in-hand with knowing when to retreat, something I have yet to figure out since whenever I decide to retreat it tends to be too late. 

Agree 100%. Happen to me in other games too, knowing when to retreat its such a challenge. Often retreat too late and die, or too early and don't do anything useful for the "war effort".

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I don't think I'm qualified to offer any "pro tips" so I just add have fun, enjoy the ride and invest in peripherals. HOTAS, VR or track-IR, seat shaker. Those alone can take it from playing a game to swearing you're actually flying over Stalingrad.

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I never do never engage.  I engage no matter situation or plane. 
At least once in a while I hit jack pot on plane chosen and time to engage. 
To me that is enough. 
 

expirience is learning from mistakes. And I made enough of them. 
Do not let common sense get in way for fun

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31 minutes ago, LuseKofte said:

I never do never engage.  I engage no matter situation or plane. 
At least once in a while I hit jack pot on plane chosen and time to engage. 
To me that is enough. 
 

expirience is learning from mistakes. And I made enough of them. 
Do not let common sense get in way for fun

For me it depends on the situation and my mission (self imposed, usually). 

If I am flying a Fighter/bomber or attacker sortie alone and I feel I can escape cleanly, I will run. If I'm in a situation where I can't get away clean, I jettison any ordnance I have left and fight - slim chance is better than no chance, after all.

If I am covering attackers or escorting, I consider the attacker/bomber aircraft my charges and will always stay to defend them if at all possible, in the hopes that they can escape or at least complete their own mission. If I'm covering friendly ground targets, I fly like the ground troops below me are dependent on my actions for their defense. I wouldn't feel right abandoning them if I had even a chance to spoil an enemy attack (and yes, I am aware this sounds silly as the ground troops are just little 3d models, but still). 

If I am doing some kind of free hunt or CAP mission, then I may disengage if I can't win, as no one's skin is on the line but my own. But I rarely fly these types of mission, I'm usually either covering attackers, covering friendly troops, or most often, carrying out attacks of my own.

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If you're climbing from cruise-level energy, (not zooming up from a dive) make sure you're 6 is absolutely clear.  

 

When patrolling, never turn your 6 o'clock directly to the most likely direction the enemy will come from.  

 

When patrolling, avoid keeping the wingtip you have pointing toward the enemy lines above the horizon for more than a few seconds.   

Avoid staying straight and level for too long as well.  

 

Turning a consistent circle at a consistent bank angle over a specific area for too long will make your blind spot approach much larger for the enemy. I also makes it easier for them to figure out what to do to avoid being spotted as they slot-in to said blind spot.  This is especially true if you're in the part of the turn where your wings are tipped away from their approach path, effectively blocking the view of them.  

   

10 hours ago, RedKestrel said:

These are my 'pro-tips' from someone who is definitely not a pro - so, ama-tips? I don't really know. Take this in the context of online play. Other people have covered the fighter angle, so I'll lean towards ground attack.

A great, actual Pro resource for this is the Ground Attacker Handbook, to be found here. A lot of things I do are from there: 



-When making attack runs on an AA gun, do not point your nose directly at it until you are ready to fire, keep your path constantly changing. Try and 'curve' in towards it, let your gunsight drift across the AA gun and then open fire. If you dive straight in, you are essentially an unmoving target for the gun and they will get you. Opening fire from longer distance, especially with cannon ammo, can make the gun crew flee before you enter the most deadly envelope of fire.

 

 

Also, the fast-firing AAA does need to reload once it's spent it's magazine.  Be very mindful of it's reloads and you might be able to time your attack so that they spend ammo and you have a few seconds to take a straight-on shot while they are unable to respond.  It's tricky business, but it saves ammo. :) 

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Start off with the LaGG-3 (or similar non hot rod fighter) and stick to it until you get a few non-accidental kills with it :biggrin:

 

This way you will quickly learn how to take a beating and get over it, as the LaGG-3 will provide you with plenty of opportunities to practice dying online :) Then when your ready to progress to an easier type of fighter you will be way more competitive than the guy who started with the hot rod.

 

To stay sharp, go back to the LaGG-3 often :good:

 

Edit; Almost forgot.

 

Ditch the technochat and learn how to fly your plane on it's gauges from the start, that way you will get the most out of it.

Give excessive use of the zoom a miss, it just throws your judgment off.

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1 hour ago, Pict said:

Give excessive use of the zoom a miss, it just throws your judgment off.

 

I am trying unlearn excessive zoom now myself. Invariably I seem to lose situational awareness and often even controlled flight.

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28 minutes ago, cardboard_killer said:

 

I am trying unlearn excessive zoom now myself. Invariably I seem to lose situational awareness and often even controlled flight.

 

It's really much better without it when you manage to shake the habit, as it's one less thing to deal with. I also reckon my situational awareness got better.

 

Try cold turkey for a bit and just unbind the zoom controls, that's what I did and it was more gain than pain. I put them back in since as I like to have a bit of close up eye candy now and then, the wide zoom I just never ever use.

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I always fly zoomed out to maintain SA. I only zoom all the way in to ID bogies long distance. Then if I latch on the tail I'll part zoom in for accurate fire to finish the job. Other than that it is zoomed out. High speed run in for a slashing attack - zoomed out. Keeping track of a bandit in scissors etc. - zoomed out. It helps to establish the true direction of travel of your target and lead appropriately. 

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I rarely share those, but here's a bunch of rules I try to fly by. I pride myself in being hard to shoot down, even if my kill per hour isn't that high and it's mostly due to those:

 

- Never commit to a ACM dogfight unless you're forced to it by having to defend. Or unless it's a rare time you're 100% that there is no 3rd party.  ACM kills situational awareness

 

- Treat every single enemy as if there was two of them

 

- In combat keep your speed high (around top speed or higher). If you fail to kill an enemy within 30 seconds from since he spotted you, disengage and regain SA.

 

- This one is painfully obvious, but hit your shots. The only times you're supposed to miss are the times you can't get a solution in a first place. Every solution should result in hits.

 

- Master your own aircraft, but learn about the opposition. There is no "X outturns Y" or "Z outruns X". It's all dependant on speeds, altitudes and other conditions and blindly following nonsense will kill you

 

- Slowclimbing in a hot enviroment isn't a way to disengage or defend, it's a way to die to an enemy you haven't spotted yet. Speed, speed, level speed.

 

- Propably most important of them all - as a solo pilot, you can win 1v1s, maybe 1v2s. With a good wingman, you can kill squadrons. Wingmenship isn't two guys fighting in the same area, it's two guys working on the same tactic to achieve a goal.

 

- Another obvious one, learn to fly clean and slick. All the maneuvers should be performed by muscle memory alone, and performed cleanly. There's an amount of speed you're supposed to bleed when doing an Immelman in each plane, if you're going over the limit, you're doing it wrong. Same goes for every other maneuver out there. If you're bleeding unnecessary amounts of energy when performing those, go to SP and keep repeating them until they're clean and effortless

 

- Don't use your stupid navlights, they can be seen from miles away and you might aswell just tell the enemy where you're at. If you can't report your position to your wingmen verbally well enough to resort to using lights, fix that problem first.

 

- Aircraft aren't divided into "energy fighters" or "turn fighters", fights are won by obtaining and maintaining energy advantage over your foe until he's dead. There are way in which you can score a kill without obtaining energy advantage first, but they're inconsistent and shouldn't be relied upon

 

- And last but not least: combat flight sims are meant to be fun. If you can have fun while losing that's good for you. If you can only have fun while winning (like myself, unfortunately), you will have to spend hundreds and hundreds of ours perfecting your airmenship. Air combat it's a complex subject covering mechanical skill, theoretical knowledge, experience and mentality, and can't be learned by reading a post made by a dude on the internet. Get out there and frag out, peace.

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Always treat your plane like you treat your woman. Get into her three times a day and take her to heaven and back.

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1 hour ago, cardboard_killer said:

Always treat your plane like you treat your woman. Get into her three times a day and take her to heaven and back.

 

What do you do with the other 23 hours, 57 minutes of the day?   

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Learn how to defend yourself first.  Never deliberately present your backside, always turn into your opponent never away.  Running is not always a valid defensive tactic, better to turn back in before its too late and you lose the space to gain the angles.  Learn how to slice, roll, and maneuver around a gun sight, try to picture what he's seeing in his sight picture and where your at in it.  Fight for position to pass under him, his worst blind spot, doing so will reset a fight, change your angles the instant he loses sight, chances are good he won't reacquire you quickly.  Never pass forward of the 3-9 line long enough to lose control over it unless its a wallowing bomber or already cripple.  If you manage to get yourself behind that line, and have doubts of escape velocity, fight to keep its position and gain a superior angle.  It's more than cool to simply survive in a crap plane, if you can get that down the fighters will be a piece of cake.    

 

Easiest shots are rear aspect, so defend nose on, to do that you have to be aggressive and early.  Make him push the stick and kick rudders and earn it the hard way.

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13 minutes ago, Mobile_BBQ said:

What do you do with the other 23 hours, 57 minutes of the day?

That's for the other women.

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There's plenty of advice about how to fight you should take from real combat pilots (e.g., memoirs, dicta boelcke, aerial attack study, etc.), but one thing you can do that real pilots couldn't is debrief what went wrong when you get killed.

 

I study my stats and sortie logs and replay the details of sorties. From that, I can almost always pick out one or several key mistakes I made along the way to getting shot down, write them down, and try to avoid making them again. Usually the key mistakes are bad decisions pre-engagement, sometimes they are bad decisions in maneuvering, and very rarely you can chalk it up to the other guy just being better despite you doing everything you could.

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1 hour ago, 69th_Bazzer said:

There's plenty of advice about how to fight you should take from real combat pilots (e.g., memoirs, dicta boelcke, aerial attack study, etc.), but one thing you can do that real pilots couldn't is debrief what went wrong when you get killed.

 

I study my stats and sortie logs and replay the details of sorties. From that, I can almost always pick out one or several key mistakes I made along the way to getting shot down, write them down, and try to avoid making them again. Usually the key mistakes are bad decisions pre-engagement, sometimes they are bad decisions in maneuvering, and very rarely you can chalk it up to the other guy just being better despite you doing everything you could.

 Boyd's Aerial Attack Study has had the single greatest impact on my flying since I've been playing combat flight simulators. Even if you don't want to sit down and read the technical minutiae, the diagrams speak volumes. 

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On 2/15/2020 at 3:52 PM, Peen said:

Wingmenship isn't two guys fighting in the same area, it's two guys working on the same tactic to achieve a goal.

This one is pure gold. 2 friends and I just recently engaged a formation in a 3v8 and within 20 seconds it was 3v4 and shortly after 3v0. What a cleanup. Communication and SA are key

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On 2/13/2020 at 12:46 PM, Dark_P said:

I come from the old days of Il2 1946 so my "pro tip" is:

 

Be chivalrous!, i se many new pilots acting like jerks online, shute killing and attacking already beaten planes, treat your fellow virtual pilots with respect and you will get the same back :)

 

that is all. S!

Don’t listen to him. Kill everything. Kill them in their chute and kill them in their crashes plane. Be aggressive. Take no prisoners 

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9 hours ago, Valkyrie77 said:

Don’t listen to him. Kill everything. Kill them in their chute and kill them in their crashes plane. Be aggressive. Take no prisoners 

 

and you, you better take your pills again. It won't hurt you...

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On 2/13/2020 at 12:46 PM, Dark_P said:

I come from the old days of Il2 1946 so my "pro tip" is:

 

Be chivalrous!, i se many new pilots acting like jerks online, shute killing and attacking already beaten planes, treat your fellow virtual pilots with respect and you will get the same back :)

 

that is all. S!

Additionally, if you are new to the game, whatever you do, don't think "I'll have a quick go in QM to see how the planes work", the quickest and easiest way to find out the basics is to go in a busy MP server and ask questions like HOW TO START ENGINE (syntax and ALLCAPS are important to further endear yourself to your new buddies). Everyone will quickly tell you it's ctrl+e for engine start (coincidentally the same key stroke for map and external view).

Seriously, most people are keen to help newbies but showing some initiative isn't a bad idea.

 

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