DCS World F-14

Best DCS World Modules of 2021

Intro

For those of us that geek out at even the mention of a fighter jet, DCS World is a dream come true. However, it can be a bit overwhelming at times when looking to purchase either your first, or next aircraft module. If you’ve been looking for one, or multiple good modules this year, stay tuned! I’ll go over five of what I think are the best DCS World modules of 2021 in today’s post!

 

F/A-18C Hornet

Realism:

In terms of realism, the F/A-18C by Eagle Dynamics is by far the most complete and realistic module on this list. Essentially every known aspect of its real world counterpart has been modeled in this aircraft.  Everything from the weapons systems down to the flight model itself is an insanely realistic representation of a real life F/A-18C. Aside from the flight model, the systems in the weapons themselves are also quite realistic and very fun and challenging to play with. This is perhaps why I love the F/A-18C module so much. If there was any aircraft in the DCS World arsenal that makes you feel as if you’re really in the cockpit, it’s this one. If you’re playing in VR, the experience multiplies ten fold.

Difficulty:

Any aircraft module in DCS World comes with at least some level of difficulty. The difficulty isn’t necessarily how hard it is to fly the aircraft; although sometimes it can be. In this case, the difficulty I am referring to is how difficult it is to learn the aircraft and its systems.  In regards to the F/A-18C in DCS, it’s definitely not the easiest aircraft to learn. Considering that it is one of the most, if not THE most complete modules in the simulator, there is more than a wealth of information to learn. Learning the basics of this aircraft like startup, taxi, takeoff, and BFM isn’t too difficult. But learning all of the weapons and flight systems of the F/A-18 can take awhile. Luckily, Eagle Dynamics has included very very detailed tutorials for each system in the module so that anyone can learn! The only real question is, are you up for the task?

Role:

Moving on from the module and into more about the aircraft itself, what is the F/A-18Cs role in combat? The F/A-18C is what is know as a multirole fighter, meaning that it can function as both an air to air platform and an air to ground platform. This is one of the reasons I highly recommend the F/A-18C for people just getting into DCS World as it gives you a very wide variety of both air to air and air to ground weapons all in one module, letting you fly basically any type of mission!

Capability:

The F/A-18C is a very capable aircraft and can hold its own in pretty much any fight. Not only is the aircraft highly maneuverable and an amazing energy based fighter, but it can be deployed from both land and sea. Seeing that the F/A-18 is a naval and military aircraft, you can strike an enemy from practically anywhere you’d like. The systems of this aircraft are also highly advanced and will give you the upper hand in most dogfights and air to ground battles.

Weapons:

In terms if weaponry, the F/A-18C carries a VERY wide variety. Included in the module are many types of air to air missiles to choose from if you want to try them out in different types of dogfights. Along with all of its air to air ordinance, the F/A-18C module comes with many air to ground options for all of your bombing needs.

F-5E Tiger II

Realism:

I’d like to continue this list with by far one of my favorite aircraft in the entire simulator; the F-5E Tiger II. Yet another wonderful high fidelity module by Eagle Dynamics, the F-5E is, in my opinion, the best high fidelity module for beginners in DCS World. This is because the aircraft systems are much easier to learn as the aircraft is a bit older. This doesn’t mean that experienced DCS pilots can’t enjoy this aircraft as well. There is plenty of information on the aircraft and its systems to keep you busy but aside from that, the F-5E does not feature a fly-by-wire flight control system like a majority of other aircraft in DCS World. This means that the aircraft is a bit more challenging to fly but is very rewarding once you learn how to pilot it properly. The F-5E is pure flying. The F-5E Tiger II is an insanely realistic module and should not be overlooked.

Difficulty:

In regards to how difficult this aircraft is to learn, the aircraft and weapons systems are rather easy compared to many other in DCS World. Being that the F-5 is a cold war era aircraft, the systems are not nearly as complicated and advanced as many modern aircraft. This makes it perfect for beginner pilot that want to get into high fidelity aircraft modules. On the other hand, the aircraft itself is a bit difficult to fly if you’re used to the smoothness of an FCS controlled aircraft. It does take some getting used to but is by no means impossible. It just makes the aircraft that much more rewarding to fly.

Role:

Just like the previous F/A-18C, the F-5E is a multirole aircraft. If you’re wanting to get into both air to air and air to ground battles, the F-5E Tiger II is a great option.

Capability:

Although the F-5E is an older fighter, that does not mean it can’t hold its own in a dogfight. Of course it’s going to have a very difficult time against a modern day F-15, but when put up against its intended targets like the Mig-21, it does outstanding work. I’ve even managed to shoot down a few F-14s with the F-5 which i think is quite impressive!

Weapons:

In terms of weapons, the F-5E Tiger II module comes with a very good variety. It features lots of bombs to drop on whatever you wish as many cold war era missiles! This is another reason I really like this modules because it allows you to take a step back in time and experience a dogfight like a Vietnam pilot would have.

Su-27/Su-33

Realism:

Coming in at number three are the first modules I ever bought for DCS World. The Su-27 and the following Su-33 are not high fidelity aircraft modules, meaning you can’t click around the cockpit and play with switches like you would in the F/A-18 or the F-5. Don’t let that turn you away though! There is still lots of information to be learned in regards to this aircraft. You may not be able to click buttons and switches but the systems and flight model are still there. The systems and flight model are actually quite realistic and very fun to use. If you’ve only flown American fighters, taking the step into a Russian fighter is very refreshing! It forces you to relearn a new aircraft without previous knowledge from another! Personally I love the Su-27/33 and think they should get a lot more attention.

Difficulty:

Regarding the difficulty of these aircraft, they’re actually quite easy to learn and fly! The systems are pretty straight forward but the terminology of Russian systems is very different from western aircraft and takes some getting used to, but they’re not that difficult. Russian fighters are based around super-maneuverability rather than energy conservation like western aircraft are. With this in mind, both the Su-27 and Su-33 are much more sensitive to inputs than many other modules. The aircraft is not the easiest to fly, but that is what keeps the plane and the pilot alive in a dogfight.

Role:

Both the Su-27 and the Su-33 are multirole fighters are mainly meant for air to air combat. Personally, I prefer the Su-33 module over the Su-27. This is because, give or take a few minor differences, they are essentially the same aircraft. The reason I like the Su-33 better is because it is a carrier based aircraft and offers everything that the Su-27 does but with the addition of carrier capabilities.

Capability:

Speaking of capabilities, the Su-27 and 33 are some of the most capable aircraft in DCS World. Like I said before, Russian aircraft are designed around the concept of super-maneuverability. This means that compared to many other aircraft in DCS World, the Su-27/33 can most certainly hold its own in an air to air battle. Aside from its air to air capabilities, the Su-27/33 have amazing air to ground  abilities as well!

Weapons:

Both the Su-27 and Su-33 feature the feared Russian R77 missile. The R77 is essentially Russia’s version of the American AIM-120 missile. This makes these aircraft both maneuverable and deadly. These fighters also come with many other short and long range air to air missiles for you to choose from. In regards to air to ground ordinance, I was surprised the first time I saw how many air to ground weapons these aircraft featured. Along side many types of bombs, the SU-27/33 feature unguided rockets which are an amazing addition to any DCS pilot’s arsenal.

A-10C

Realism:

Last but certainly not least is the A-10C. This is arguably the most realistic module in the entire simulator. This is mainly because before Eagle Dynamics released the simulator to the public, they were actually developing an A-10C simulator for the United States Air Force! If it’s good for the Air Force it’s good for me! In regards to its flight model they are insanely  realistic. Essentially every part of this aircraft is modeled and is one of the reasons I love it so much. If you’re looking for a module that’s as close to its real world counterpart as you can get, this is definitely at the top of list.

Difficulty:

When it comes to difficulty, this is probably the most challenging aircraft to learn in all of DCS World. Seeing that it is the most realistic module in all of DCS World, there is A LOT to learn. Thankfully there are many resources out there to help you out. One of the best I have found is a Youtube playlist by ralfidude that goes over the most important operation of the DCS World A-10C! You can find it here!

Role:

Although all the other aircraft on this list have been multirole fighters, the A-10C is purely a ground attack aircraft, specializing in close air support strikes. If you’re someone who primarily wants to focus on air to ground missions and it bored of the Su-25T Frogfoot, I’d suggest giving the A-10C a try!

Capability:

In terms if capability, the A-10C is a highly capable aircraft. Not only is it amazing at pretty much any air to ground mission you throw at it, but it surprisingly can do a fairly good job in air to air combat as well! Normally being slow in a dogfight would be a death wish but since the A-10C is so good at slow flight, it works as an advantage! Now, this is certainly not the purpose of this aircraft, but it is something to note.

Weapons:

Regarding the weapons provided with the A-10C, there are many many to choose from! Like I said, in regards to air to ground combat, the A-10C can handle pretty much anything you throw at it. I think most of that capability has to do with its massive range of ordinance. For air to ground, I highly highly recommend checking out the A-10C!

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, every DCS pilot eventually finds the plane that he/she enjoys flying the most. This can be rather overwhelming first getting into DCS World which is why I’ve written this article in the first place. I hope it was at least able to provide some insight on the best DCS World modules of 2021 if you’ve been looking to buy your next one! If you enjoyed, feel free to share and I’ll see you in the next article!

 

 

Check out my last article on the X-48 here!

11 thoughts on “Best DCS World Modules of 2021

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