Using A Joystick And Mouse
Setting up and adjusting your joystick
Flight Simulator is most realistic when you use a joystick, yoke, or other controller. You can fly more precisely, and the buttons and controls make it easy to change views, adjust the throttle, extend or retract the landing gear and flaps, and operate other aircraft controls.
Flight Simulator is compatible with joysticks, yokes, game pads, and other controllers supported by Microsoft Windows and the DirectInput device standard. Use the device that works best for you as your primary control, and customize it to suit your needs. Many products feature different configurations, so refer to your controller's documentation for its button assignments.
Before you fly, make sure your joystick or other controller is:
Also make sure you have the latest device drivers. If in doubt, download and install them from the manufacturer's Web site.
Depending on your joystick, you'll probably have buttons for frequently used controls and for cockpit views, but you'll still need to use the mouse or keyboard for other functions.
1. (Trigger) release brakes
2. Cycle views
3. Elevator trim down
4. Elevator trim up
5. Extend flaps
6. Retract flaps
7. Display kneeboard
8. Landing gear up/down
9. (Hat switch) Look around
10. Throttle control
Here's a list of the default joystick commands:
|Apply/release brakes||Button 1 (trigger)|
|Cycle views (Cockpit, Tower, Track, Spot)||Button 2|
|Elevator trim down||Button 3|
|Elevator trim up||Button 4|
|Extend flaps||Button 5|
|Retract flaps||Button 6|
|Display/hide Kneeboard||Button 7|
|Landing gear up/down||Button 8|
|Bank left (ailerons)||Move stick left|
|Bank right (ailerons)||Move stick right|
|Pitch down (elevator)||Move stick forward|
|Pitch up (elevator)||Move stick backward|
|Yaw left (rudder)||Twist stick left|
|Yaw right (rudder)||Twist stick right|
|Look ahead/right||Move hat switch up/right|
|Look right||Move hat switch right|
|Look back/right||Move hat switch down/right|
|Look back||Move hat switch down|
|Look back/left||Move hat switch down/left|
|Look left||Move hat switch left|
|Look ahead/left||Move hat switch up/left|
|Look up||Move hat switch up|
Customizing Joystick Assignments
Use the Controls Assignments dialog box to customize joystick assignments to suit your flying style.
To change joystick button commands
To change joystick axes
Resetting and Deleting Assignments
To remove a joystick assignment from a command you've selected, click the Delete Joystick Assignment button in the Controls Assignments dialog box.
To cancel any changes you've made to your key assignments and return to the Flight Simulator default settings, click the Reset Defaults button in the Controls Assignments dialog box.
Testing Your Joystick
To test your joystick
Calibrating Your Joystick
If your joystick seems to be behaving erratically, you may need to calibrate it.
You can calibrate your joystick in the Windows
Game Controllers dialog box
Calibrating Your Joystick in Flight Simulator
To calibrate your joystick
Adjusting Joystick Sensitivity
Flight Simulator's preset sensitivity for joysticks is in the middle of the range, and the response rate is average. You can adjust these sensitivities; experiment to find the setting you like best.
"Sensitivity" refers to how sensitive the joystick is for a given axis. For example, with high sensitivity, the slightest movement of the joystick will have a large effect on the aircraft's controls in Flight Simulator.
"Null Zone" refers to how much "dead space" there is in a given joystick axis center position. For example, with a large null zone, you will be able to move the joystick slightly before it has an effect on the aircraft's controls in Flight Simulator.
You can adjust joystick sensitivity in the Controls Sensitivities dialog box
To adjust the sensitivity of your joystick
To reset all sensitivity options to their default values, click the Reset Defaults button.
Adjusting Joystick Forces
If you are using a force-feedback joystick, such as the Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback 2, you can enable or disable any or all force-feedback options:
If you have a force-feedback joystick, you can adjust the forces in the Controls Forces dialog box
To adjust joystick forces
To disable all force feedback options, clear the Enable force feedback checkbox in the Controls Forces dialog box.
Clicking, dragging, and scrolling around the cockpit
The mouse can be a Flight Simulator pilot's best copilot, acting as the hand that flicks switches, resets the altimeter, moves the GPS display within view, and helps you scroll through your flight notes. Just click the control you want to operate. Some controls act like toggle switches: for example, clicking the landing gear lever once retracts the wheels; clicking it again extends them. Other controls, such as the throttle and trim wheel, move through a series of positions. You can drag these controls using the mouse, much as you would move them using your hand in a real airplane.
Using the Mouse Wheel
If you have a mouse with a wheel on it, you can use it to manipulate many cockpit controls, such as adjustment knobs and the trim wheel. Move the pointer over the control until the pointer changes to a hand, and then roll the mouse wheel to change the control.
You can discover each gauge's function simply by rolling over it with the mouse without clicking; a description will pop up.
To flip toggle switches, position the mouse over the switch you wish to change and click. Since toggles only have two positions, clicking a second time on the same switch will return it to its original position.
Many of the cockpit gauges, such as the altimeter and heading indicator, have adjustment knobs, which should be adjusted prior to and during flight. Other instruments, such as the VOR OBS knob, should be adjusted during flight.
To turn knobs, position your pointer over the instrument's control knob. When the pointer sits on either side of the knob, a hand cursor appears.
When the hand with the minus sign (-) appears, clicking will reduce the instrument's setting; the opposite is true when the plus sign (+) hand appears. If you click and hold the knob, the instrument's control knob will begin to rotate in the direction indicated. Release the mouse when the knob reaches the desired setting.
Remember: You can also use the mouse wheel to turn the adjustment knobs. Move the pointer over the control until the pointer changes to a hand, and then roll the mouse wheel to change the control.
Some controls—such as the throttle, trim wheel, and mixture—can be pulled using the mouse. First move the pointer over the desired control, then click and hold while dragging.
Control panel icons offer an easy way to access flight maps, the GPS receiver, and other instruments located outside the screen frame. Familiarize yourself with their functions:
Some aircraft also have throttle control icons, ceiling panel icons, and flap lever panel icons; these icons will also appear on the control panel. Roll over the icons to read what each represents, then click on the items that you wish to display or hide.
Using the Mouse in the Virtual Cockpit
In this version of Flight Simulator, the mouse works in the 3D Virtual Cockpit just as it works in the two-dimensional Cockpit View. Use your joystick's hat switch or your keyboard's numeric keypad to display the panel you want, then use the mouse as described above.