Got my HOTAS, lots of issues for AAB and ARB

So I got a Logitech x56 HOTAS with rudder pedals and I’m noticing a lot of weird issues. I am trying to play Air Battles on Arcade and Realistic just to develop some aiming skill and muscle memory as it’s quicker to get into action than Sim mode.

When I try Realistic controls the He 112 B-0 has a lot of nose drift from the tiniest pitch movement, it never stops pitching until like 30 degrees later. Meanwhile the Bf 109 E-1 settles much quicker and makes it actually playable.

Seeing this blatant problem with the nose drift even with autotrim on I decided to give simplistic controls a try, i.e. virtual instructor is turned on. But this makes you unable to pitch at all! If I dive down towards the ground I am completely unable to pitch up and away. I literally hold the joystick fully down to pitch up with 1 nonlinearity, 2 multiplicity, 100% pitch sensitivity, and my plane lawn darts into the ground. While in realistic controls this wouldn’t happen.

How can I setup my HOTAS to enjoy playing War Thunder on arcade and realistic? I will not use mouse + keyboard as I want to improve my joystick skills.

Imho you try to circle a square if you use joystick in Air AB - the mode in itself eliminates almost all advantages of a Hotas whilst increasing the disadvantages.

Together with an inactive account i have more than 400 days experience in Air RB - all on xbox with the certified Thrustmaster HOTAS.

The advantages of joystick vs mouse aim & instructor:

  1. Immersion - flying with a mouse is a joke in itself.
  2. Handling - you have (depending on the aircraft) a better handling, you can turn tighter and can use the full potential of your aircraft without the limitations & restrictions of the instructor.

The disadvantages of joystick vs mouse aim & instructor:

  1. No headons and no point and click at ground targets. The artificial stability increase of mouse aim allows precise headons - there is no “wobbeling” of your cross hair like with a HOTAS. I avoid headons at all cost - the only exception is when i meet an enemy at co - alt at very high speed (which increases my stability) and the enemy is 4-5 km away.
  2. It takes ages to find a “perfect” joystick set-up (to find the right parameters) and some planes like Spitfires have rather weird flight models. So if you you need to adapt your HOTAS profile you need to test again. So either you find a generic profile for all - or you have to adapt.

For Air RB i recommend SFC together with instructor off - everything more is an overkill for this mode.

There are some threads dealing with joystick usage outside simulator battles:

Joystick or No...?
Good entry level joystick for air battles

…and you find a guide to set up your joystick here:

Flight Stick Setup Guide:

What do you mean by SFC together with instructor off? You mean fly with autotrim off in realistic?

You have 4 options to fly:

  1. Mouse aim
  2. Simplified Flight Controls (SFC)
  3. Realistic controls
  4. Advanced realistic controls

I use #2 and disable all instructor functions in the settings. Ofc i use MEC too - this is possible if you setup MEC in option 3 & 4, but you can use MEC settings as soon as you defined the keybinds also with SFC…

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Changing to Simplified Controls and toggling off Virtual Instructor just makes it Realistic Controls.

You have 2 options with instructor:

  1. Simple on/off
  2. 5 individual instructor setting sliders with on/off

Just deactivate the 5 instructor parameters/sliders…then you have deactivated the functions, despite the generic setting is “on” - the you can use auto-trimm in SFC without instructor…

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There’s a lot to digest here and rather than make u feel like drinking from a fire hose of info, let’s break this down into setting you up for success.

First, don’t head on in a traditional sense. Rather use the enemy tunnel vision to control the fight, it will make you a better pilot situationally. Also, your energy retention is better with stick.

the drift you speak of is directly related to your dead zone around the center. I recommend 5-7% for all axis x y and z. I personally have mine set to 6% on all three. 5 is super jittery and 7 feels like abrupt direction changes, it seems like a small number difference but it’s super impactful.

Instructor, turn it off. It simply interferes with your inputs unpredictably universally.

Don’t fly stick in arcade to compete, however, air realistic and simulated give you a huge advantage over mouse and keyboard. Some of it is nuanced some is obvious. Some might debate this but it’s out of ignorance of the differences.

Psa, Logitech flight setups are horrendous for many reasons for example, drifting dead zones and short life span. For affordable options look at vkb, for premium look at virpil.

Finally, I’m always happy to help others who want to help them selves, message me if you would like a set up tutorial for a hotas setup.

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I don’t believe dead zone is the reason for the nose drift for the He 112 B-0 vs the Bf 109 E-1.
See my vid

I think I know exactly why that’s happening, let me know if u want a tutorial / walk through.

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confirmed the issue after a quick test flight. The problem is the same issue as some p51s and spit fires. The pitch control on the He 112 B-0 is very unresponsive, changing the pitch sensitivity to 88 or 90% resolves the issue in general.

However, after seeing your flight settings there is alot that you can change to help with your flying moving forward. I’ll be on discord if you want to go through the settings, it shouldnt take long, I recommend reading the hotas setup guides I wrote as they will be much more comprehensive and are a much better reference.

Flight Stick Setup Guide: