Flight Sims - Specifically IL-2

Okay, late to the party but I just picked up IL-2 Gold (includes the original game and two expansions). Haven’t been able to load it up yet because the guy at EB forgot to give me disc 2.

Is this game any more newbie accesible than the modern flight sims like Falcon 4 or Lock On? Any advice for someone just starting out? Has anyone here messed with the multiplayer options?

The IL-2 games have a plethora of options available for you to make it easier and more fun to play, so you should be fine. Weird how the EB guy didn’t give you the disk. I always make sure folks get their disks. Whatta slacker…

It’s not as easy as an arcade game, but you can turn off a number of realism options and that certainly makes it more accessible when you’re new to the game.

Has anyone here messed with the multiplayer options?

Sean Tudor in 3… 2… 1…

I’ve played a LOT of coop. Smooth, like buttah. Plays just like any single player mission, and in fact you can convert just about any mission to coop by unchecking the “[] Player” box on the aircraft details screen. If no aircraft is selected as “the one” then all become selectable in coop unless marked as not so.

It’s one of those games that “just works”.

Is this game any more newbie accesible than the modern flight sims like Falcon 4 or Lock On?


None of the new sims are “newbie friendly”. People, just because you can tweak a bunch of options to “dumb a sim down” that makes it newbie friendly? I guess things like good, interactive tutorials might make a difference. So would a few easy-to-access “unrealistic” god’s-eye views, or better yet, a padlock/view system that is not “realistic”. Or playing with A.I. that is glad to leave you behind then bitches at you about it. Or…

The USNF series was newbie friendly. Hell, WW2F is newbie friendly. CFS3 for all of its detractors is much more newbie friendly than IL-2. And CFS2 has some very long legs as well.

If you want to jump in the deep end of the pool, IL-2 (missing disk and all) is the way to do it. You’ll either love it and go hardcore all the way, or hate it and go back to shooters because you just crashed the 90th time in a row simply taking off.


Well, you can start in the air in the Quick Combat mode, so that addresses the most difficult aspect of the sim. (Taking off.)

At any rate, Scharmers exaggerates. IL-2’s pretty easy to learn to fly compared to Falcon 4.0 and Lock-On. No electronics to learn, you’re flying slower, combat is basically “point your airplane at the bad guy and shoot.” Yeah, learning to HIT the bad guys is kind of tough, but that’s true of, say, Far Cry too. It’s a game.

It’s true the padlock view sucks and the sim has some hardcore qualities. But WW2 games are pretty damned easy to fly, period. There are plenty of things to bitch about with the IL-2 design, but Scharmers is either enjoying some hyperbole or he’s turned into a real sim puss. :-)

If you want an easy intro to sims that doesn’t look like crap (which, alas, the USNF series does nowadays; shame they never released the D3D patch they did internally), check out Jane’s WW2 Fighters. Looks pretty decent, runs like buttah on a modern system, and it’s very easy to get into. And it’s a $10 budget title.

Thanks for all the replies, I think I should be able to handle it once I spend some time with it. I never imagined it to be an arcade game, but I was hoping that going slower and not having to worry about 30 different radar displays would make it more accessible.

Seems based on this…

… that I should be okay in the long haul. I want to fly a plane, dogfight, maybe hit some ground targets without having to worry about every little detail that happens in a modern sim (mostly dealing with the electronics). I don’t mind the avionics being more realistic than a Crimson Skies game.

Again, thanks for everyone’s reply. Co-op is really what made me consider this game. I’m a co-op whore and my little group was considering a flight sim.

Yeah, I have no clue when it comes to flight-sims but even I had some fun with IL-2 using the Quick Combat thingy. After about ten minutes I figured I was a veteran so I turned on all of the realism options that weren’t take-off and landing. At that point I started wondering how any planes managed to get shot down in WW2. Seriously, did we lose more than four planes? I couldn’t even find the other planes, let alone shoot them down.

I’m sure there is a web site out there that explains this stuff. What all of the dials mean, dogfighting strategies, etc. Or maybe you need a good book. Or maybe DennyA was in the air force for 20 years and that’s how he knows what the heck you’re supposed to do in the missions.

Oh, right, but then I found the autopilot control. That thing is great! You don’t even have to be sitting at the computer to play the game! I just turned it on and played GBA games until I heard the plane land. Sometimes I would sit there holding the joystick and making airplane sounds. It’s up to you, there are a lot of ways to not play IL-2.

So the short version is: unless you have flight experience find some kind of resource to explain to you what’s going on here. The tutorials aren’t going to help all that much.

Actually, I’d recommend EAW - go to simHQ and look in the EAW forums, get a couple of the graphic updates, and you get a ton of WWII newbie friendly air combat goodness, and campaigns that are a lot more fun (IMO) than WW2 Fighters.

EAW is the god of all WW2 sims. Period. End of story. I have a feeling that it will be many, many years before a sim approaches EAW’s unique blend of immersiveness and relaxed realism. Unfortunately, it’s starting to get a little long in the tooth now; even with the massive community backing it once held (but seems to be dying off now) you can’t help but be reminded by the sim engine that you’re flying a 6+ year old sim.

And it’s a crying shame that TK took everything from EAW and put it into Strike Fighters … except the fun.

–EAW whore – EAW: the best sim of 1998. All others were pretenders.

Scharmers has always been a little soft.

So, let me tell you guys a super secret about IL2… if you find taking off to be a bitch, do this. As soon as you get in the cockpit, hit I to start the engines, then hit A to turn on autopilot. Turn the time accel up and wait until you’re airborn. Slow time to suit your need, and bring up the map. Leave autopilot on and watch your progress on the map. When you get near the target - and your flight leader is kind enough to say “5 min to target… 1 min to target…” then make sure your time compression is 1x and turn off the auto pilot. Hit CTRL-1 and turn OFF the cockpit. Now you have nice big arrows that point to where the bandits are. If you’re using a hat to look around, then you know where you’re looking without needing the cockpit ironwork to remind you. Party on.

Using the above method, and turning off spins and stalls and all the other “kill yourself” options, my girlfriend who’d never played a flightsim before was happily shooting down the Krauts. I started her out against some big slow planes, then moved her up to the biplanes, and then she was ready after a couple of hours to get busy with some conventional opponents. Couple more hours of that, and we were ready to fly co-op together. I turn on my wingtip smoke so she can see me easily, and off we go.

The co-op missions, I created with in-air starts so she didn’t have to mess with taking off. That torque is a bitch to newbs.

I’m with Azsurom on those settings, especially the cockpit.

I simply can’t understand how anything ever got shot down in World War 2, when pilots couldn’t even see out of their planes.

IL2 is not some incomprehensible mandala of flight simming nirvana. What it lacks is any semblance of guidance. If you have the inititive to start QuickMatch games on your own, you can test, fly and land different aircraft in a controlled environment, in lieu of any kind of training program. The environmental graphics are starting to age but most of the new planes look fine (some of the older planes from IL2 still have low-res skins).

As of Aces, i think the Forgotten Battles/IL2 game franchise offers something close to 110 player flyable aircraft, and around 150~ total aircraft, although most of these are variants like the 109 G-10 vs. 109 G-14, as well as more or less every major tank or vehicle that served on the Eastern Front.

FB can be great fun in a cooperative coop environment like a LAN or everyone using teamspeak. Many of the bombers have several gunnery and piloting positions, and you can pack the whole gang into one plane and recreate a ‘Memphis Bell’ sort of mission

In fact if you want to introduce bleeding newbies to the game, have them take the observers seat in any two-seat aircraft and let them just hang out and watch the show. Try one of those shorter Sturmovik missions.

About the view system, i can’t fly with the cockpit off. I find it too disorienting and lacking in feedback of stall warnings and amount of Gs your pulling, which you can easily see in cockpit. And how can you fly without your manifold pressure, fuel, and heat gauges? I’m not super-grog though, i’ll still use external views.

Here is an IL2 question for you guys. I have all of these games. I installed the original but rarely play with it. I just picked up the gold version of FB with the Aces expansion. Is FB an psudo-upgrade to the original IL2? I know FB is a full product, but does it make sense to keep them both installed or is all the content from IL2 (planes, terrain, missions) now folded into FB?

:roll: :wink:

Yes multiplayer is a breeze. Whether you play using slow modem or fast cable the game plays equally as well.

Almost no one uses the included UBI.COM lobby software. You’ll find most online pilots use HyperLobby - http://hyperfighter.jinak.cz. There is a thriving community of online squadrons that support IL2 of which I am part of one (http://www.raf74.com).

Scharmers has always been a little soft.

So, let me tell you guys a super secret about IL2… if you find taking off to be a bitch, do this.

There’s the rub. I shouldn’t have to go through a huge sequence of metagame stuff just to get my balky steed off of the ground. It smacks of, well, as the guys over at the CMBO Battlefront forums say (say way too much in fact) of gameyness.

Now, I’m perfectly aware that the Hardcore Mafia enjoys having simulations that fight them all the way. Learning the fight and the often artificial difficulties makes them happy and they find it fun. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with that at all – I can understand the button management sim guys. (I can’t understand the megagrogs who bitch about how one tiny texture mismatch ruins a sim, but that’s a different story.)

I just want to fly…I like micromanagement in a lot of my games – 4X games, in particular – but not sims.


There’s the rub. I shouldn’t have to go through a huge sequence of metagame stuff just to get my balky steed off of the ground. It smacks of, well, as the guys over at the CMBO Battlefront forums say (say way too much in fact) of gameyness.

Melodrama. Is taking off really hard? Even i can take off and land in most of the planes reliably; the only tough one used to be the I-16 armed with wing-mounted rockets, on an unpaved airstrip. I’d blow up ten times in a row before taking off manually. May have changed since then, dunno.

Take off sequence:
[ul]* Hit I to start engine

  • If multiengine, you’ll have to bind the keys manually which sucks. Normally i choose Shift-A for all engines, Shift S-D-F-G for engines Select each one, hit I, (Shift S, I, Shift D, I, ect… ) then select all (Shift A).
  • Chop throttle to 0 because for some odd reason the default speed is 20%, you can do this as soon as youve hit I (or when you’ve selected all engines in a bomber)
  • Set flaps to take off.
  • Set WEP/MW50 by pressing W on those planes which use those systems (mostly late German)
  • Go to external view, or go to 30% throttle, hold B (brake must be held, can’t be set), and use the rudder to turn the plane to see down the runway.
  • When clear, center plane again. Continue holding B until about to take off.
  • Throttle to 110%
  • Wait for engine to spool up (if cockpit on, you can see the RPM gauge)
  • Release brakes.
  • Carefully use rudder to steer aircraft down the runway. Less rudder is needed the faster you go so remember not to overcompensate, instead slowly use less rudder as you increase speed.
  • Prepare to level the wings. Most planes have a brief ‘out-of-control-torque’ moment when taking off, which causes the plane to rotate around its center axis. If you have a joystick it can be a bit tricky to steer with the rudder AND level the planes wings, but its really not that hard.
  • Take off. Lift up gear.
    It takes longer to type it then do it. The key binding thing does suck though. You can’t even raise the gear on an I-16 without manually binding the keys yourself. And ive never figured a good keyset for using the bombsights.

IL2FB Aces includes everything in the original games and patches. There’s no reason to keep the original IL2 installed unless you want to see all the wacky strange flight model and damage model bugs that have long since been fixed.

Thanks Sean! That’s what I was wondering.


Looks like a massive patch for the expansion was just released. Finally got my 2nd disc and fired this up last night. Graphics are really impressive even for a game that came out a few years ago. And it runs great on my rig.