What DCS Module Should I Buy ?

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This recurrent question from newcomers and old veterans alike becomes more complicated to answer with each module released.

Each module has its own strengths and weaknesses, in the airframe modeled as well as the module itself.

This page is aimed to direct people and inform to the best of the community's knowledge on those pros and cons.

First, choosing what kind of flying and what missions you want to be doing is the most important.

4th Generation fighters :

The fastest and most agile planes in the sim. Go high, go fast, win air superiority.

F-15C "Eagle" :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/products/planes/eagle_fc/

The most powerful and popular long range fighter in DCS. Its radar and AIM-120C medium range missiles make it a formidable Beyond Visual Range ( BVR ) foe.

It's the favourite mount for many a DCS pilot.

Being a Flaming Cliffs 3 aircraft, it has no clickable cockpit and simplified systems, making it quick to start up and get flying.

Why do I want this ? :

I want to fly the most powerful Air-to-Air weapons package in game, and fly air superiority, dominate the skies.

Su-27S "Flanker" :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/products/planes/flanker_fc/

The counter to the F-15 historically, and also in DCS. This aircraft, unlike the F-15, has limited Air-to-Ground capabilities, being able to deploy unguided bombs and rockets in CCIP and CCRP.

It is inferior to the F-15 with regards to BVR but its IRST ( Infrared Search and Track ) capabilities make it dangerous in the right hands.

Why do I want this :

I want a fast, maneuverable, challenging multirole aircraft.

Su-33 "Flanker-D" :

The navalised version of the Su-27, it is essentially the same aircraft, only with carrier equipment ( Tailhook and reinforced structure ) and an Air-to-Air-Refuelling ( AAR ) probe.

Also part of the Flaming Cliffs 3 pack, and also missing a PFM.

MiG-29 A/G/S "Fulcrum" :

The little brother to the Flanker, it is also an FC3 level aircraft. It also has multirole capabilities ( Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground ), but its limited payload and range make it slightly less powerful than the Flanker.

It has to be noted that at time of writing, the MiG 29 has not yet received its Professional Flight Model ( PFM ). The three variants of the MiG-29 available only differ in payload capability ( The A can't carry advanced missiles ), and by localisation of the avionics ( the G is in imperial units, for use by the GDR's Luftstreitkräfte ).

Mirage 2000C :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/shop/modules/m2000c/

This little French interceptor is the only 4th generation aircraft in DCS with a clickable cockpit and detailed systems. It is multirole and a terrific dogfighter.

3rd Generation fighters :

The ancestors to the 4th generation, these aircraft are supersonic and have a limited radar.

F-5E-3 "Tiger II" :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/shop/modules/tiger/

The F-5E was built as a lightweight cheap fighter, and has been sold all over the world. It is a small, simple aircraft to use. It has a variety of Air-to-Ground ordnance and two Aim-9 heat-seeking missiles.

MiG-21bis "Fishbed" :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/products/planes/mig21bis/

The MiG-21bis is an advanced variant of the ubiquitous MiG-21 interceptor. It is multirole and very capable. It's a close match to the Tiger in a fight.

2nd Generation fighters :

Korean war era jet fighters. These aircraft are nearly supersonic ( and supersonic if you push them ), mostly guns-only aircraft designed for a classic "dogfighter" role.

F-86F-35 "Sabre" :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/products/planes/sabre/

The plane built to counter the MiG-15, it's a pleasant aircraft to fly and relatively simple if temperamental. Its 6 machine guns plus bombs, rockets or early heat-seeking missiles give it a considerable punch.

MiG-15bis :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/products/planes/mig15bis/

The Soviet-built interceptor is most notable for the immense firepower of its inboard 23mm and 37mm cannons, but it also has bombs at its disposal.

Ground attack aircraft :

Dedicated Air-to-Ground platforms, designed to support troops or destroy enemy ground units.

A-10C "Warthog" :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/products/planes/warthog/

The DCS flagship. The most advanced and complex plane in the sim. It can carry and deploy a variety of ordnance, both guided and unguided, and navigate complex tactical situations. It is however limited by Surface to Air Missiles.

The absolute top of the DCS tree.

A-10A "Warthog" :

The early variant of the Warthog, it has none of the advanced systems and no clickable cockpit, but retains basic Air-to-Ground capabilities, including the Maverick missile and the famous GAU-8 gun.

Su-25A "Frogfoot" :

Part of the FC3 pack, it is the first variant of the Su-25. It is a simple and rugged ground attack aircraft, with unguided and laser guided ordnance. It is a very nice and forgiving aircraft to fly.

Su-25T "Frogfoot" :

Seen as the "Soviet A-10" it is an evolution of the Su-25A. It offers more protection to the pilot and more advanced navigation and armament. It is an FC3 level aircraft. but comes free with DCS World It is also the only aircraft with dedicated Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses weaponry.

WW2 Propeller driven fighters :

Pure stick and rudder aircraft, where keeping them flying is an art in itself

P-51D "Mustang" :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/products/planes/mustang/

The classic US fighter of the war. it is fast and powerful, and with its bomb and rocket capability, can be used for strike missions.

It has great visibility with the bubble canopy, and the three axis trim makes it the easiest of the props to fly. However, engine management is a very important thing to learn.

Bf-109K4 "Kurfürst" :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/products/planes/kurfurst/

The german mainstay of the war, it is basically the biggest engine attached to the smallest airframe.

The K4 is the last variant built and is very heavily armed, with 13mm machine guns and a 30mm cannon. The K4 can also carry Bombs.

The K4 only has pitch trim, and requires constant attention, but it's automatic pitch system allows for a lighter workload. It's however recommended to disable it and manage it manually for smoother handling.

Fw-190D9 "Dora" :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/products/planes/dora/

Conceived later than the 109 and intended as its replacement, it instead became the brother in arms to its predecessor.

The D9 was a high altitude, in-line engine version of the 190. The engine management is fully automatic and the cockpit is greatly simplified compared to the 109.

eh canopy is a bubble type and offers great visibility, especially to the rear.

Helicopters :

The best consumer grade simulations available today. While helicopters are not the fastest or most agile, their unique handling and capabilities make them great fun to fly and very challenging to learn.

UH-1H "Huey" :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/products/helicopters/huey/

The classic Huey is a single engined Turbine helicopter; It is mainly used for transport but can be equipped with rockets, door gunners and swivel mounted miniguns.

It has no assistance in the flying controls, the linkage is direct. As such, it is recommended to get acquainted with it before getting the other modules on offer. Aerodynamic properties of helicopters and specific techniques are best experienced on this machine.

Mi-8MTV-2 "Hip" :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/products/helicopters/magnificent_eight/

The helicopter to surpass the Huey in popularity, it is bigger and more powerful than its western counterpart. It can carry a variety of pods under its pylons and be an effective troop support machine. The navigation suite is also very detailed, with radio navigation and inertial navigation. It also features a revolutionary autopilot system, which dampens input and helps with long range flying.

Ka-50 "Black Shark" :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/products/helicopters/black_shark/

A dedicated advanced killing machine, the Russian federation's Apache. It has powerful navigation and target management equipment, and armament to match. It uses guuded anti tank missiles, rockets, bombs, and a flexible mount 30mm autocannon. The Autopilot system is very present and allows a "hands" off operation, especially when engaging targets. It is recommended to have some experience before flying this helicopter

SA-342 "Gazelle" :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/shop/modules/gazelle/

A 70s era machine, it is a single turbine helicopter designed to use wire guided anti-tank missiles. It has great visibility and maneuverability, a comprehensive navigation suite, as well as an infra red camera for target acquisition. The multiple variants available allow for rocket, gun pod and even air to air missile use.

Advanced Jet Trainers :

While neither fast nor powerful, these aircraft offer good handling and detailed flight models to enjoy and learn on. They also offer navigation and weapons use capabilities.

L-39 "Albatros" :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/shop/modules/albatros/

The eastern block's main trainer for decades, it is a demanding aircraft to fly right, and great fun in aerobatics. It is used by many aerobatic teams around the world, such as the Breitling Jet Team, Black Diamond Jet Team, Rus aerobatic team, and Baltic Bees.

The ZA variant is a more powerful and dedicated ground attack aircraft, with an internal gun and 4 pylons.

Hawk T1A :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/shop/modules/hawk_dcs_world/

The RAF's trainer aircraft and the aircraft of the Red Arrows, it is a fast jet trainer, with a good armament.

C-101 Aviojet :

http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/shop/modules/c-101_aviojet/

The Spanish air force's trainer aircraft, it is also used by the Patrulla Aguila, the Spanish demonstration team. This module is supposed to get a second variant with anti ship capabilities, but progress is very slow.