Mod Life Upgrade N°1: Mod Highlight Series Begins!
Modding has always been something I have been amazed by. From small quality of life additions to full-on transformations, modders have always found a way to amaze me on so many levels. The first time I actively modded was FS2004. I still remember that little me was impressed by how someone on the internet had managed to introduce aircraft that looked even better than the official aircraft which the game came from. Many years later I started creating skin mods for the game that I was playing the most at that time, IL-2 1946.
This new series, Mod Life Upgrade, is a play-on-words of the term "Mid-Life-Upgrade" used for life-extending modifications done to keep airframes up to date and competitive. This series will be centered on highlighting mods that I personally think are not only great but fantastic. Usually these will be mods that fill-in the gaps left by the original developers, others that exploit the potential that the title had from the beginning, ones that completely re-imagine and transform the experience that the player gets from the game, or ones that are just fun to explore!
It will also be a series centered on flight games but it won't be limited to only them, other titles will be covered such as Arma3. Please support the official creators as this highlight article does provide credit and link to each mod's creator. They deserve at least a nice comment for all the work they have done to deliver content for the community, free of charge.
SIMPLERADIO STANDALONE by Ciribob
The amount of game changing mods in DCS can be pretty limited at times but there is a mod that has trascended being a novelty and has become part of the multiplayer environment due to it filling a void that Eagle Dynamics has yet to fill, an in-depth player usable radio communication system. While ED has not implemented an internal VoIP system as of the writing of this article, this mod will fill that gap by allowing you to communicate with other players using the in-game radios giving that extra sense of realism that was missing from the game. At this point most servers in DCS have SRS installed and have a plethora of radio frequencies that allows groups of flights to coordinate with each other be it for airfield operations, for GCI operations or simply to talk to each other. This mod can not be recommended enough, you can get it HERE.
IMPROVING IRANIAN FLEET SKINS [IIF PROJECT]
Sometimes all it takes to improve your experience are some really well done skins and the Iranian ones done by sadjad_vosoul are a perfect fit for missions over the Persian Gulf map.
From the F-5 to the Mi-8, F-4E, F-86 and so many more; these include an impressive amount of detail and the work put into them is noticeable. Some of the skins are fictional due to not having the specific aircraft variants for some of the aircraft as it is the case for the F-14B and the Yak-52 skins, since they represent both the F-14AM and T-6 respectively. Highly recommended if you have the Persian Gulf map to give yourself accurately represented enemy (or allied) aircraft! The forum page with links to all current skins is HERE
STRIKE FIGHTERS 2
OPERATION DARIUS BY THE COMBATACE COMMUNITY
There are so many mods for Strike Fighters 2 that choosing a specific one to be highlighted would not give the community justice. Operation Darius, on the other hand, is the modpack that allowed me to get the experience I have always wanted from SF2. Helicopters, ground units, aircraft of all shapes and sizes from all over the world are included with this pack. Set in 2012, Operation Darius is a fictional campaign in which Western nations fight a 4 week-long campaign in order to remove Iran's nuclear facilities The number of mods and creators involved in the creation of this pack is one of the longest lists I have seen for any user created content out there in the internet. Expansive would be an understatement. These individuals got together and delivered what is an unofficial expansion to me, one that I still play to this very day.
Part 3: HERE
Part 4: HERE
T.O.A.S (SOUTH ATLANTIC OPERATIONS THEATER) MOD
by DREAM MAKERS AND SIMARG
I have long been a user of a lot of mods that were created in the forums of SAS, one of the largest and most active IL-2 1946 modding communities out there. They have brought so many inconceivably complex mods to this old game that have in themselves have changed the sim-lite title into something completely different.
This expansion, created by DREAM MAKERS AND SIMARG, encompases the Flanklands War operational theater from both the British and Argentine perspectives with the aid of the Falkland's Islands map and the aircraft utilized during the conflict. This mod depends on the biggest modpack available in IL-2 1946 known as B.A.T and the installation can be somewhat troublesome but it is worth it if you want a really nice experience to pass time by while most DCS users wait for the South Atlantic map that is being developed by RAZBAM. Forum post over on SAS is HERE
About the author: Santiago "Cubeboy" Cuberos
Longtime aviation fanatic with particular preference towards military aviation and its history. Said interests date back to the early 2000's leading into his livelong dive into civil and combat flight simulators. He has been involved in a few communities but only started being active around the mid 2010's. Joined as a Spanish to English translator in 2017, he has been active as a writer, translator and content manager ever since. Twitter | Discord: Cubeboy #9034