DCS World 2021 roadmap

Eagle Dynamics DCS World simulator is set to have an exciting year in 2021 as the sim pushes forward with new core system updates, new exciting modules, and delivers on some long awaited promises. The developer team together with their third party developers have some interesting things planned for 2021 and beyond.

This roadmap was last updated on March 1, 2021

Eagle Dynamics

First quarter

  • DCS: F/A-18C Hornet – Targeting the end of Q1 for Hornet to be released out of early access. During that time the Hornet will gain the SEA and GMT radar modes, target sharing, electronic attack and jamming, ATFLIR targeting pod, AGM-88C HARM (PB – pre briefed) mode, and AGM-84K SLAM-ER . Post launch, the Hornet is expected to get ACLS mode, WIDE ACM mode, and Data Transfer Cartridge features as well as the AIM-7P and on-going support to keep the module up to spec.
  • DCS: Mosquito FB MK.VI – The first twin engine, multi-crew WWII module, is expected to release by the end of Q1 into early access.
  • DCS: The Channel Map – The map will be expanded to include Biggin Hill and Eastchurch airfields, advanced landing group airfields, and new landmarks. The map will fully release by the end of Q1.
  • Volumetric clouds – Listed as being visually stunning but also having an effect on visual and optical sensors, these new clouds will also be network synchronized – a first for DCS World. The initial release will come in Q1 and include a series of weather presets. An update to the system will release later in the year with advanced weather modeling.

Second quarter

  • DCS: Mi-24P Hind – This flexible gunship and troop transport helicopter is expected to release in early Q2.
  • DCS: Mariana Islands map – This free map is expected to release in Q2. It will include Andersen AFB and several other airbases. Eagle Dynamics see’s this map and the China Assets pack as combining together for some interesting gameplay possibilities. The map is also slated to be a foundation for their “first” WWII themed Pacific map.
  • Dynamic campaign – Built around a real-time strategy system that factors in resources, zones of control, logistics, available forces, and a strategic decision-making system. This long awaited feature is aimed at Q2 or Q3 release for public beta testing.

Third quarter

  • DCS: AH- 64D – Eagle Dynamics are indicating that the AH-64D will be their biggest project for 2021 and will be based on a 2002 Block II version of the AH-64D. Early access is planned for the 3rd quarter of 2021 and pre-sales will begin in February with a 30% discount available to those buying early.
  • M.A.C (Modern Air Combat) – Yes, this project is still ongoing. New gameplay modes, 3D exterior and cockpit model updates, and gameplay modes are still being worked on. Eagle Dynamics is shooting for a Q3 release but that may slip to Q4 at the latest.
  • Vulkan API and mutli-threading – DCS World’s foundation is feeling a little bit old these days and the team has long been at work on upgrading the core of the simulation to better support multi-threading and bring in a newer and theoretically faster API. Vulkan API has shown gains in other sims and should offer benefits for DCS pilots too. It’s expected to come in Q3.
  • FLIR update – ED has been working on updating their FLIR rendering and has been redoing their underlying technology and creating thermal maps for all objects. These enhancements are expected to arrive in Q3.

2021 and beyond

  • DCS: F-16C Viper – ED reports that once the DCS: F/A-18C Hornet is released in Q1, part of the team will be shifting to the F-16C. Completing the F-16’s air-to-air radar modes, AGM-88C HARM modes, and adding GPS/INS-guided weapons, expanded defensive systems, air-to-surface radar modes, mark points, additional ICP and MFD options are on the priority list based on the survey they did last year.
  • DCS: A-10C II – ED says this project is nearly complete but that they will be adding ARC-210 radio, updates to the Tactical Awareness Display (TAD), Maverick slewing updates, and the AN/ALQ-184 ECM pod throughout 2021.
  • DCS: Supercarrier – This module will receive many updates through the year and the team has been busy building assets for the following areas: Ready Room, Air Boss Station (PriFly), and the hangar deck. This year we’ll see plane directors, the “burble”, deck crew light wands for night operations, unique radio channels for different controllers, and manual LSO control.
  • Damage model updates – Late last year, ED released their DCS WWII damage model updates that saw a dramatically increased level of damage detail for WWII aircraft. They are planning to bring the same update to their modern aircraft with F/A-18C Hornet, F-16C Viper, and A-10C II Tank Killer listed specifically.
  • Air Traffic Control – Now that Supercarrier’s ATC functions are mostly complete, the team will be working on ATC functionality for airbases. Three systems will be developed: Western Modern Day, Eastern Modern Day, and World War II. A large amount of voice over updates are required and they will also take the opportunity to update flight members, other flights, AWACS, tankers and other radio lines.
  • AI asset updates: B-52H, Tu-95MS, Tu-142, B-1B, IL-38, Tu-160, S-3B and SH-60B, M1A2, AMX-56 Leclerc, Wespe Sd.Kfz.124, KS-19 100mm ADA, Son-4 “Flap Wheel” radar, C1 Ariete, Pantsir SA-22 “Greyhound”, and S-300/SA-10 “Grumble” are all expected to be added or updated this year to introduce these new AI assets to DCS World.
  • DCS: Blackshark 3 – There’s some bad news here. The module will receive a fully updated 3D model, however, new Russian laws on the gathering of military data have prevented the module from getting new systems. ED has been forced to reconsider their update plans.
  • Enhanced AI – ED is looking to deliver several enhanced AI features in the later half of 2021 particularly around working with the new damage models and new ATC systems.

Visual effect updates:

  • Helicopter rotor wash over water and ground.
  • Missile flame and smoke.
  • Ground unit dust clouds.
  • Trans-sonic shock cones.
  • Fuel explosions.
  • Weapon water splash.
  • Further explosion improvements.
  • Smoke grenades.

Third party developers

Information coming soon.