Opinion: How to stop worrying and love your flying style in DCS World
Flight simulation is a surprisingly diverse when it comes down to player-base diversity. From teens, late-teens all the way to young-adults and adults. This means that they all coexists in the virtual skies we all fly upon. I have met some incredible friends that, regardless of age and demographic, are a blast to play alongside with.
I have found that, in my years of observing and being part of several communities for a variety of games and titles, the ways that someone can find enjoyment inside of a flight simulator are almost limitless. Civilian-focused sims are some of the finest sandboxes to get lost in, something that is even more noticeable now with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and its almost 1:1 replica of the blue dot in the sky we call home.
DCS World is not exception to this rule. I have seen some people enjoy it for the search and rescue missions, others for the relaxed feeling they get for flying a warbird or the thrill of modern combat and some for the detailed single-player campaigns. While limited in its possibilities, DCS offers an amazing set of tools for you to enjoy flying over the skies of the Caucasus, Nevada, the Persian Gulf, Syria the Mariana Islands and even the English Channel!
While there are some that worry exclusively about performance data, flight models and the newest "meta" in DCS, you should never feel guilty about liking what you like in DCS World. Do you enjoy flying warbirds at breakneck speeds over the Channel hunting the Luftwaffe? Then go for it!
Are you one of those that enjoy flying helicopters and going on precision PvE strike missions alongside your buddies while they fly top-cover for you? Then you would probably fit well on my friend group. Or are you one of those that actually worries about the competitive aspect of DCS, learning the minutia of each and every modern competitive aircraft, including how to properly notch missiles from every range? Then you are probably more skilled than I am.
But never, never let someone else tell you how you should or should not enjoy your time when you fly in DCS. You do not have to feel the need to be the best pilot in the sky or the one that knows every single system. If you have that need, then let it be a personal one and something that you personally want to strife for.
My heart breaks every time I see someone online say that they were interested in DCS World but were intimidated by its community. That perception that your typical DCS player is an armchair fighter pilot who acts like a know-it-all is one that we need to get rid off. So, please, if you want to try DCS, do it. Do not be intimidated by the shadow of elitism that looms over DCS World. It is a game at the end of the day, and games are meant to be fun.
Some of the best moments that I have had in DCS have happened while flying in challenging but unusual ways. Yesterday night I had one of those moments alongside my friend Erika, as we flew the A-29B Super Tucano mod together. Everyone else was flying jets but we decided to venture head-on into the fight with a pair of turboprops. It was a blast and I would do it again, no questions asked.
So stop worrying about how good of a pilot you are or if you should be flying something else. Enjoy what you do, and aim for what you want to aim. Let yourself enjoy your time upon the virtual skies.
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 and the co-founder of Skyward ever since. Twitter | Discord: Cubeboy #9034