Future article series focused on new sim pilots?

I’ve had an idea that’s that I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’d like to write a series of articles that are aimed generally at new and potential flight sim pilots with the aim of helping to encourage new people in the process of getting into the hobby. At a time where I think we’re seeing some growth in flight sims (and space sim) I think this might be a conversation worth having.

I want to take some time and approach this smartly by trying to answer what later becomes obvious to experienced sim pilots but may not be for new pilots.

If you’re a new sim pilot and you’re just getting started and are a reader of the blog I’d love to hear from you. If you’re not a sim pilot but you’re thinking about it I’d love to hear from you too. What are some of the hurdles that you needed to jump over to get started or ones that you’re having difficulty with?

I’d also love to hear stories from more veteran sim pilots about experiences bringing other people into simming. How did it go and were you successful?

17 Comments Add yours

  1. SteezyActual says:

    How to set up trackIR. How to set up a HOTAS. The difference between DCS open beta and standard release, links to weapon/chucks/flight guides, popular youtubers and streamers, which modules are the easiest to learn, how multiplayer works, how to set up for multiplayer, ATC operations/lingo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      All great things that we sometimes take for granted. Going on the list!


  2. boxcarleader says:

    I think looking at the above-mentioned issues is to list DC’s modules. And focus on the things that throw people off like come and ATC alot of the most rewarding multiplayer servers require some ATC knowledge and not having the knowledge can get you kicked to spectator or when repeated even bumped from the server.


  3. arkhamuk says:

    That’s a good idea. Initial setup is the biggest hurdle I find. Trying to figure out which of the massive list of controls I need to have and which ones can initially be disregarded. Especially when you are new and don’t know what half the things actually do. The confusion can seem too big a wall to climb when first starting.

    Very simple lists, as small and stripped down as possible, just to get people into the air and enjoying flying before they start to study. Quick setting for best assists and easy mode to help the transition from gaming into full sims (I still play on the easier settings myself). As with most things, its first impressions that stick so getting new players setup and into the air quickly, I believe, is the most important.

    My friends are interested in DCS but always shy away sighting, what they perceive as, too much initial basic setup options to overcome that’s just too overwhelming. But we know it really doesn’t have to be that way. Grab them quick and then they will be watching online vids and reading manuals in no time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Christopher Krizsak says:

      I would personally appreciate such a series very much. I have been following this blog for quite some time now. I bought nearly all the flight sims you cover yet I somehow haven’t been able to get into the habit of firing them up regularly. I would be especially interested in getting familiar with online flight swimming, but I am intimidated by the learning curve to not get slaughtered on the servers.

      Cheers and thanks for all the great articles.


      1. William T Taylor says:

        what sim are you most interested in if you can give us that info i might be able to either help directly or point you on course


  4. phantom1 says:

    Choosing hardware for sim-setup isn’t always easy, but can matter if you want to fly well later on. Multi-monitors can work well, but there is nothing like VR for flying, exception for the clarity at the moment. Aircraft systems and processes take a lot of time and practice to learn so it can be a big challenge at first and means looking at it from more than a casual gaming approach. The rewards are high since there’s nothing like flying a fighter plane or attack aircraft well and instinctively going after your target.

    I’d say for newbies, just be persistent, take the challenges one step at a time – try not to get flustered if it doesn’t go your way the first time, like ground taxiing a Spitfire or cold starting an A-10C. You’ll know if it’s not for you if you’re constantly overwhelmed and frustrated by the amount of detail and information each plane has and provides, but that’s the great part about sims like DCS, IL-2 and X-plane, they aren’t simple stick and rudder.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. William T Taylor says:

    what sim are you most interested in if you can give us that info i might be able to either help directly or point you on course


  6. boxcarleader says:

    good advice Phantom but i think we need to go the most simplistic route … cheap stick with twist grip for rudder. point them twards the simple cockpit aircraft to get a feel for the game … especialy DCS … and go with that then some communities or even direct help from one of us on the blog… i fly everything military but am a jack of all trades … i would be willing to help some as i have time with basic flight school level stuff and help them learn some of the multiplayer stuff but in depth on the F-18C would have to be done by others. 🙂 i think it would be awesome for Shamrock to do a series for new players but it would be better for us members of the community to help sham buy spending some of our time teaching and helping the poeple trying to get into this hobby to expand the playerbase especialy online.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. phantom1 says:

      Agreed Boxcarleader, FC3 is a great place to start since it will offer a decent variety of planes without initial horrendous procedures. One more thing to add regardless of what controls (cheap/expensive) is make it comfortable and easy for yourself – start with invulnerability on, simple radio all of the stick and rudder aids you can get until you learn to really fly under your own control. Basic setup to start for controls: flaps, landing gear, trimming, zoom and maybe canopy open/close help. Worry about all of the fancy nav modes, weapons systems later and start by flying the plane first.

      And yes, the multiplayer community is awesome – lots of us are willing to pitch in anytime – should definitely be encouraged more!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. TheDoctor says:

    nice idea i’m a veteran sim pilot , honestly i’ve brought a lot of people to both DCS and il-2 , the thing that irritates beginners the most is control set up , they usually get frustrated if it took to long to set or if it wasn’t set up in the right way

    the other thing is pushing themselves to multiplayer immediately resulting in getting killed over and over then > rage quit
    the s should start with SP then push to MP


  8. boxcarleader says:

    i have not played single player since Warbirds on AOL lol … im a multiplayer fool i love the teamwork but i would sujest that we push them twards hoggit and the inferno servers to get some online PVE before PVP especially on DCS were Its Confusing both ways … at least the training missions are good on DCS

    Liked by 1 person

  9. boxcarleader says:

    OH and we need to push as a community for a C-47 or C-119 or even a C-130 or C-17 so we can bring some civil aviation fans into this and expand the player base… and they would be good for the game as a whole

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      There’s definitely been some calls for some more cargo type aircraft. A C-130 and all of the fantastic uses it has would be a great option. Bonus points if we could get an additional multi crew AC-130 option!


  10. Mischiew Rithe says:

    As said before, choosing the hardware requires reading a stack of reviews and some guiding. The good news is that it’s usually more or less universal, or at least one should make sure not to restrict the possible sims with a very specific hardware, unless it’s a deliberate choice. By that, I mean it’s probably hard to use an helicopter setup to pilot a Tomcat, while the reverse is perfectly feasible (if not optimal).

    Hard choices I seem to remember are: what sim do I try, and what aircraft is best to start with? Will that be deep enough but still possible without being overwhelming? Isn’t that full of bugs or completely outdated? Is that realistic or just vanilla graphics? That could pretty much make the difference between a future passion or immediate disgust for this hobby.

    First big question, what type of simulator? Fight or civilian?

    For fight simulation, the most obvious choices are DCS and IL-2, but again, it depends on the scope. Warbird or not? Complex system modelling or not? Can one deal with the “beta” nature of DCS? Is it mainly to play SP or MP? You seem to know those questions pretty much, and perhaps diving a little bit into them one by one, with a very few simple alternatives for each decision, and with the help of other veterans’ comments, that would give better visibility to people before they start?

    On the civilian side, there’s the old P3D vs X-Plane question. Then in either case, the choice of scenery, airplanes or helicopters, extra software like weather and so on. That category is actually very complex, but perhaps just giving the main decision criteria is already very helpful, since a new simmer doesn’t always know what to look for (a bit as the first time you buy a car or a house, what are the tricky bits and gotchas?).

    It’s hard to cover all the initial “best choices” in function of a new sim pilot’s preferences, but as support there are a few known youtubers with quality reviews and sim sessions which can give a good impression of what it’s like before buying.

    FWIW 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Blue 5 says:

    Your words are always appreciated, S5, so if you have the time I am sure it would be valuable.

    If there were some way of adding others’ thoughts, that might increase the scope of the advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      That’s a good idea and I was thinking the same. I may put a call out in a few places and gather some of the responses.


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