What comes next for DCS: F-16C?

It’s only been a couple of days since the release of DCS: F-16C but we’re already looking at what comes next for the latest module from Eagle Dynamics. There are many more features that the jet will need before it’s complete and there are plenty of bugs for the team to start crushing. Let’s have a look and talk about when you might want to buy this jet (if you haven’t already).

Future features

The DCS: F-16C does have a lot of features right out of the gate. Both AIM-120 and AIM-9 are available, so is the Litening targeting pod, and so are a variety of laser guided and unguided air-to-ground munitions. The systems are all there to support the F-16 along with basic navigation and other core systems. But that leaves a lot still to be finished and Eagle Dynamics has a list of things coming up next in the queue according to their most recent DCS World Weekend News update. Let’s have a look:

  • IFF
  • TWS
  • Programs for CMDS
  • Autopilot (HDG SEL and STRG SEL modes)
  • INS setup and DED page
  • FM/FLCS/engine tuning
  • AA and AG mode missing indication

Of those, I hope that IFF comes up most quickly as we’ll need this feature for the jet to truly be any use in complex multiplayer situations and scenarios.

Of course, TWS (track while scan) is also a huge draw as the feature is being worked on simultaneously for Hornet and Viper at the same time.

Bugs to squash

As with any module of this complexity, bugs are going to be something that need to be squashed over the coming days and months. These things are never simple and so expect it to take some time to work over before the F-16 feels ready for prime time. Eagle Dynamics has compiled a list of key bugs they are working on:

  • All things Damage Model are currently WIP
  • Pilot body WIP
  • Wing Flex WIP
  • DED symbols not affected by reflection
  • Seat Shadows in the cockpit not complete
  • LAU-3 firing issues after reload
  • LERX vortexes only on-air start
  • Some stores alignment issues remain
  • Tanker can send ‘transfer complete’ in error
  • OBOGS BIT Switch isn’t clickable
  • MPO check shows nothing
  • Depressible Reticle Switch doesn’t affect on HUD
  • Some MP sync issues remain
  • AoA bracket is bouncing around while taxiing under 60kts.
  • No animation on the engine inlet fans
  • Pilot shows still in the cockpit after ejection
  • EQUIP HOT caution light doesn’t illuminate after for AIR SOURCE selected OFF
  • AWACS Declare not available
  • ENG CONT switch doesn’t affect nozzle position
  • Trying to eject with seat unarmed causes ejection soon as the seat is armed
  • HUD IAS delta is too big comparing with info bar
  • In certain cases, Afterburner flame overlaps engine nozzle
  • HUD velocity switch doesn’t display Ground Speed
  • AR floodlight and other lights on fuselage doesn’t work
  • ALT GEAR Handle isn’t clickable
  • HUD Brightness Control Switch not functioning
  • EMER Jettison and GRND jettison not functioning
  • Seat adjustment moves POV but not model
  • PNEU label is not displayed
  • Hook doesn’t extend
  • Infobar shows wrong flaps value
  • Stores Drag WIP
  • Active and Time to Intercept calculations for DLZ

Clearly, there’s lots for the team to work on but that was not an unexpected thing given the early access nature of the module. Just like the F/A-18C Hornet, the F-16C is going to mature over the coming months and will pick up new capabilities while bugs will be squashed.

Should you buy into early access right now?

A lot of questions are going around on if you should buy into the DCS: F-16C at this stage of early access. The answer is going to be very individual and dependent on your interest levels and tolerance for flying a module that is very much a work in progress.

Early access, by very nature, is an early look at an aircraft and in those first weeks and months things are going to be rougher around the edges. The early access period helps test the module out and it exposes issues and bugs in mere hours that small test teams could not hope to replicate.

If you like your aircraft modules to be complete and working without any major issues, right now is probably not the time to get started with this aircraft. One look at the bug list above should tell you that there’s lots for the team to do and much work still to come.

On the other hand, if you can’t wait to have your first flights in the DCS: F-16C, you can almost certainly do that with this early access module. Flying, basic fighting, and even some precision guided attacks are all possible with this module even on day one. There will be problems and it will take time to sort them out so you have to have a bit of patience and be willing to put the jet down and fly something else when things aren’t ready to go.

DCS: F-16C is going to get better and more capable and what Eagle Dynamics has established here is a solid foundation that will be built on. Plus, if you really need to fly fast, far, and do all kinds of different things… one need only look at the last couple of modules to come out for DCS World to satisfy your interests.

Viper is here and I’m confident it will be great!

9 Comments Add yours

  1. 79vRAF says:

    I have to say I am very impressed with the F-16 currently. However, there are things that I just have not been able to work out. Is the RWR working at the moment, as I am unable to get anything from it. Also I can’t drop fuel tanks. Otherwise I’m working my way through things. I’ve not found the TGP to be straight forward, I seem to be getting something wrong there; but dumb bombs and air to air I am getting to grips with.

    In my opinion this is better than the Hornet, and I do really like that aircraft.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LD88 says:

    Hey Shamrock, just wanted to say thanks for the excellent blog and keeping things constructive with how you frame your articles. I need to take a break from the one of main forums we all know about, due to the extremely toxic environment over there. Your blog is hugely refreshing in comparison. Keep up the awesome work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Hey LD88, thanks for the kind words! I err on the optimistic side but I think the overall perspective I try and maintain is just how cool all of this stuff is. Even when there are bugs.

      Bugs get fixed and we get to experience something awesome. Thanks again for your comments and stop in any time!

      Like

  3. Warlock says:

    From the email they sent, in the Q&A section:

    Q: Is the Sniper pod still being considered further down the road?
    Q: Will the sniper pod make a return?
    A: Yes.

    I instantly became happier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      That’s awesome. I skipped right over it!

      Like

  4. Michael Dwyer says:

    I only own the Harrier and Viggen, so I don’t have a wide background with other aircraft but i have to say the sounds in the cockpit are fantastic. The engine spools up and slows down nicely (as far as sounds go), when you are near stall or pulling hard in a turn the aircraft vibrates and you can hear the rush of air over the aircraft. It’s just so nice to get these queues.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I think the F-16 might be the best in this regard. The F/A-18 is very close with great over the wing sounds that vibrate into the cockpit and it helps communicate what’s going on with the jet.

      Like

  5. PHANTOM1 says:

    Agreed with the comments here, most (if not all) of the controversy on the Hornet seems unfounded for the most part. ED is doing well to get a large amount of information and systems working for all of their modules, implementing 3rd party into what they already have as well as trying to keep us all happy. Personally, I would’ve waited longer even to get an early access Viper if it meant the Hornet receiving the next available, but it is what it is, yet Wags and the team should not be criticized for making a business decision. Apologies if that somehow offends, but I don’t believe it is supposed to.

    While the Hornet is good and seems nearly finished (I’m certain it isn’t) ,I’m not convinced of any large superiority between that, the Viper or the Eagle, for that matter (other than being an FC3 module.) They each have performance advantages and disadvantages so pilots will end up preferring one way or another and learn to fly any of the three to full potential. It’s just early days for the Viper and lots to look forward to, so in the end the community will be served better for having more choice rather than arguing over a trivial delay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      No offence taken here for sure. Appreciate any well thought out comments!

      I agree that most of the controversy is unfounded. Frankly, yes the Hornet is missing some features, but development is ongoing and both of the jets are going to pickup some features together. TWS for example.

      It’s great to have the F-16 join the rest of the teen fighters in DCS.

      Like

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