Digital Combat Simulator, or DCS, is a preeminent simulator for fighter jets that is well-known for its astonishingly realistic aircraft physics, environments, and flight controls. DCS is a game that requires precision and control, making it essential to have an adequate controller setup to play the game effectively.
The most popular controller setup for DCS is a hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS). However, not everyone has access to a joystick or can afford one. This article aims to explore whether it is possible to play DCS without a joystick and the different ways players can enjoy the game without one.
So, can you play DCS without a joystick?
While some users have reported success playing DCS World without a joystick, many agree that it is not ideal. Without a joystick, it may not be enjoyable as it is meant to be. While technically it is possible to fly without one, in practice, you need something, even a gamepad or a cheap stick, to get started. Many DCS players know that, having some form of HOTAS setup is essential at a minimum to stand a chance in combat situations.
If you do not want to invest in a joystick, there are alternative options such as head-tracking or mouse control. Some users have reported success with head-tracking using a webcam and Aruco. Additionally, it is possible to set up mouse control in DCS through virtual controller and virtual joystick.
It is also worth mentioning that modifying the controller parameters in the Configs/aircraft-name.yaml file can improve the gaming experience. However, this may require some technical knowledge and tinkering with the game files.
While it is technically possible to play DCS World without a joystick, it is not recommended for an enjoyable experience. A joystick, even a cheap one, can greatly improve the gaming experience. However, if you do not want to invest in a joystick, alternative options such as head-tracking or mouse control are available.