Edited By: MarkEAW

tools-reference-manual - The games User Manual in PDF and Word97 doc formats. Also all the available official readmes and support faqs.




eaw.ini and Joystick | Force Feedback | Flight Sensitivity

Flight | Combat | Display

Renderer | Horizon Distance | Gamma Slider

Arcade Sound




Arcade Sound Setting



This document was written to help configure your game quickly but properly, just to get you going by using brief descriptions and instructions of the more important settings in the game.

There are a few things you should do with-in the game before playing (before seeing the flight screen). I'll go over some of them in short detail below. (For more major details on ALL the settings, please read the official EAW User Manual downloadable in PDF and Word97 Doc formats). Also, to really learn about the details of each setting and what it does, read my 'EAW.INI Help Document'.

The first time you run European Air War, before you even see the cockpit thus the flight screen, you should click on the 'Configure Game' button. Use the configuration set up to specify how you want to control the game by choosing a device. As well as to adjust the settings of such things as sound, screen resolution, and level of detail.

After selecting "Configure Game" from the main menu, the user can change any of the dozens of settings for EAW. The first section, "Difficulty," is where EAW can be tailored to be a hard-core combat simulator or a more casual flight experience, keep reading next sections below.


This is where you designate exactly what hardware you’ll use to control which aspects of the game—and exactly what controls correspond to which commands. Control settings can be changed. In addition to remapping the keyboard and joystick buttons, users can also select their flight devices, like rudder pedals, throttle, and sticks, choose sensitivity levels, and swap X and Y coordinates on the mouse.

The 'Flight Control' is the important one; it’s the main device for flying your aircraft, typically, this is set to JOYSTICK. The selections for the other options might change or be limited depending on what you select here. In general, for instance, you cannot use the same device as both Flight Control and for controlling the external camera—However there is one exception; being that if your joystick is your flight control, you can use the joystick "hat" to maneuver the camera. (A future note: most pilots will tend to reserve the use of the Hat for what is called Snap Views). For first time use, leave the Hat assignments at default.

For a standard control configuration, on the Controller Settings screen, for first time use, try to select these settings (top left): joystick, rudder, throttle, mouse, in that order. Your joystick might not work otherwise. However in some cases your flight controls may require special configurations, and you will need to set them according to your hardware. (Note if you don't have rudder controls of some type, you will want to get them for better control of your plane, whether its linked rudder pedals or a Twist Handle Joystick on an all-in-one stick).

To customize (or completely reconfigure) the controls for the game, select Advanced. This option gives you control over all four groups of controls—'View' keys, 'Flight' keys, 'Weapon' keys, and general 'Game' keys. When you’re done assigning, click OK to save your changes or Cancel to undo them.  Nothing wrong with leaving most at default if your just getting started for the first time.


EAW.INI and Joystick:
Once you run the game into the Menu Screen (when it's instructed too), the file eaw.ini is automatically created in the folder where you installed the game (..\MicroProse Software\European Air War\). You open it with Notepad, (You could put a shortcut to this file on your desktop since you'll need to edit this file again at a later time and probably often for other things).

There is a line in the [CONTROLS] section of the eaw.ini file: "Windows Joystick= ". The options are 0 or 1. If your joystick doesn't work with the game selection (grayed out) you could try changing this setting manually, typically to a 1. Having the wrong setting when entering the games Flight Screen, it can cause a Crash To Desktop. 

More information is in my 'Joystick and Controls Help Document', however if this is your first time following this guide , skip going to it and continue reading below.

Force Feedback (FF):
If you've have a force feedback stick, you can set the FF gain in controller setup. You should most likely want to set your FF effects in your stick software to default while you set gain from within the game - and come back to the stick software to fine tune afterwards. Note once you run the game for the first time (when instructed too) and enter the Flight Screen, go ahead and re-adjust the FF and test offline until you've got settings you will likely use most of the time. More information is in my 'Joystick and Controls Help Document', however if this is your first time following this guide , skip going to it and continue reading below.

Flight Sensitivity:
Set Flight Sensitivity to around two thirds for now. This controls how sensitive your stick will be with the Flight Model. (You may also have stick software which allows you to adjust stick sensitivity, this is different than Flight Model Sensitivity.) However even though there different, there likely to work together.

Note once you run the game for the first time (when instructed too) and enter the Flight Screen and once you've tried the game out a bit, you can take the time to do some flight testing to get the sensitivity just right. You must have sensitivity high enough to give you full control deflection: if it's too low you won't be able to turn as fast as you should (a very bad thing in a dogfight). However, if it's set too high the plane will be very "jerky" and it'll be hard to line up a shot - especially in 'pilot full zoom mode'. More information is in my 'Joystick and Controls Help Document', however if this is your first time following this guide , skip going to it and continue reading below.



Also, to be on the safe side, once you configure some settings, you will want a back up of your eaw.ini file so you can pluck out of it your control settings and remapped keys if anything goes wrong. Just make a copy of it some where safe. Do this each time you make substantial changes.

(For much more Control information such as in depth advanced controller configuring and usage, see my 'Joystick and Controls Help Document'). But first time readers of this guide should skip it and continue reading to the next section below.




These three menus—Flight, Combat, and Display—let you adjust the level of realism and difficulty of each mission you fly. As you enable more realistic settings, the overall Difficulty Rating increases, thus increasing your score at the end of every mission (a reward for playing at a harder level. Medals & Promotions; It should be noted that you won't be able to obtain any medals or promotions unless the "Unlimited Ammunition" and "Invulnerability" features from the Difficulty menu are turned off.)


I recommend you Fly full realism! when you first start. It's tempting to choose all the easy settings: ie stalls off, blackouts off etc. Bite the bullet, turn all the hard settings on (everything on the right should be selected) this will allow you to learn to fly properly. You will have problems at first with stalling and spinning, with a little practice, You will get the hang of things. Almost all games online are played "full real" so you need to get used to it.

The first of the sub-menus, "Flight," allows the user to select or deselect:

  • Realistic or easy flight model
  • Stalls/spins
  • Engine torque
  • Blackout / redouts
  • Overheating engines
  • Structural limitations to the airframe
  • Wind / turbulence

Same again: all the hard settings, ie everything on the right.

Next up is the "Combat" menu:

  • ENEMY SKILL LEVEL (Think of this one as more of a "Master" AI difficulty setting that can later be tweaked up or down in Single Missions and Campaigns by way of Skill/Difficulty parameter settings).
  • Landing difficulty
  • Realistic or easy gunnery (which changes the size of the "hit bubble" around aircraft)
  • Mid-air collisions
  • Unlimited ammo
  • Invulnerability

Don't leave the units on default: choose Metric or English - whichever you prefer. If you don't, during online play you'll get distances displayed sometimes in meters, sometimes in feet - depending on the host's settings. That will be a bit confusing for you. Select the one you prefer now.

Turn HUD on. Yes it's not very historically accurate to use it but absolutely crucial information in EAW as the cockpit dials are not the best visual quality. This shows your airspeed and altitude (bottom left in green) as well as your target's speed and altitude (bottom right in red).

IAS and TAS:
Choose IAS (indicated airspeed) rather than TAS (true airspeed). (A long technical explanation for this is that the airspeed gauge actually measures air pressure and then works out your speed from this. At high altitude, where the air is much thinner and pressure lower, you are actually going much faster than at an equivalent indicated airspeed at low altitude.

As a combat pilot, your main concern is the air pressure over your wings. This gives you lift. If you use TAS (true airspeed) you'll notice that, at high altitude, your plane stalls much earlier than it does lower down. If you use IAS, the (indicated) stall speed stays pretty much the same so you don't need to bother about compensating for alt.)

Lastly, "Display" sets:

  • Solely Metric, solely Imperial, or a default measurement system based on the scenario
  • Whether a set of your flight information (speed, altitude, and heading) is projected onto the lower left of the cockpit screen for easy reference
  • Whether altitude is in AGL (above ground) or ASL (above sea level)
  • Whether airspeed is in TAS (true airspeed) or IAS (indicated airspeed)



There are other settings within the game , such as Pilot Skill Level that can be set when creating missions that effect the overall difficulty of the game. This information is covered else where on my site... and is un important for you to be concerned of at this time.



EAW has more than a dozen options under the "Graphics" sub-menu, including changing the graphics renderer and setting detail levels for aircraft, terrain, clouds, special effects, etc.

The options on this screen influence how everything in every mission looks. Generally, more detail makes playing the game more realistic and fun, but it also can slow down the game’s operation. Go ahead and max these settings out.

You can reduce them later if you have too, but I don't recommend reducing any of these settings unless your trying to determine what possibly is causing the game to be slow. This may manifest as in slow control input response or jerky movement of objects on the screen (stutter). In this case you may need to lower the level of detail; Adjusting the settings to lower detail levels or turning some of the options off entirely should result in a smoother picture and faster responses if your system is slow.

However, If your Computer System is going to run EAW, then it better be good enough to use the maximum settings available here. Even when used on Modern Windows NT OS systems. No virtual pilot should have anything but the max! in this day and age (after the year 2003).

See my EAW.INI Help document for more specific details on each setting. I will mention just a few listed below.

Make sure you select the correct 3D Render option—the type of 3D acceleration you’re using; Direct3D or Glide mode. This is for the actual Flight Screen, where you fly the planes. Menu Screens use DirectX DirectDraw no matter what. In today's age without an old Voodoo Video Card installed, you will be using Direct3D. If you use a Glide Wrapper (see my 'Troubleshoot Help Document' for Wrapper Program info), then you can use Glide mode. For first time users try Direct3D for now.

Horizon Distance
You can also adjust your distance visibility; FAR setting is best as it allows the maximum view distance and better playability, but demands more from your computer. The FAR setting allows you to see farther out on the terrain and seeing planes further away without them being hidden in the Horizon Fog (at least 10 miles or more on clear days). The Fog is produced from ground level up to the sky, like a wall, doing so, it also hides the EAW world virtual square edge. (Note NVIDIA Cards using native Direct3D Mode will not see the FOG, its a feature modern drivers do not use. However some wrappers will allow fog support. Should you then still set this? Yes, set it the same as if you could see fog. For the reason why? keep reading).

The Game manual says the Fog effects your view distance as well as "other pilots". It is unclear to me if that means the AI planes "perspective" is effected by it at all. In related notes, You should realize that its known to real world players that in Night Time missions, the AI can see through the darkness, they are not effected by it as far as I can tell??? So I don't think the FOG effects the AI??? If you know better , please let me know.

Gamma Slider
This only effects the Glide Mode of the game and can be left in the default place for other modes. If the background or the color level is darker than you would prefer, try sliding the Gamma Correction to the right to brighten the entire viewing area. (this won’t work with all 3Dfx cards; so if you have a 3Dfx card in Glide Mode and if the in-game Gamma Correction isn’t functioning, you’ll have to adjust your Gamma settings from your Desktop Control or Wrapper program.)



The Sounds menu offers slider controls for independently adjusting the volume of speech, engine noise, sound effects, external noise, and music. This screen also gives you the option of turning on subtitles for the sim's speech, (which is delivered in authentic British, American, and German voices).

The Sound screen lets you control not only the volume of game sounds but also their quality. Choose between 8-bit and 16-bit sound. The higher setting (16-bit) sounds better, but requires quite a bit more memory, as well. You'll want 16-bit on modern computers.

You can also determine the number of sound effect channels; generally, more channels means more sounds can be played at once, though you are limited by what your computer’s capabilities. On modern computers you can max it out.

You adjust the levels for the different sound effects and the music separately. Click anywhere along a line or drag the volume controls where you want them. Bear in mind that the engine sound effects can clue you in to the health of your plane—your engine may begin to labor before it actually fails. You can only react in time if you hear the change in pitch. You probably don’t want to turn these sound effects completely off (see below).

The last option in the sound configuration allows you to turn the subtitles on or off. The officer presenting your briefings speaks in the language of his homeland, as do all pilots on your in cockpit radio. Thus, for example, if you are flying a German plane, but you do not understand German, you would turn this option on to have your briefing information and communications subtitled in your native language. English Radio message will display text along the bottom of the flight screen with English language speaking AI.

Arcade Sound (Unrealistic setting):
If you want to have an unrealistic setup for sound during the game then Increase Sound Volume to the max, then you can drop your Engine sound slider just above half way or slightly less. (Note: The Engine Volume effects all planes not just yours.) Then increase the External sounds to about 75% of the slider. This way you really get to enjoy all the sounds from the game while in flight. Remember you can MUTE the sound during flight by using [ALT S] keys or pause the game [ALT P] and this will also stop all sound.

This is what it looks like with the Arcade Style Sound in the eaw.ini file:



See my Sound Help Document for background information.





In independent unofficial updates there are special pre game / pre flight settings located along the Top of the Configure Game screen. They seem out of place because they where kind of hacked into the game, but none the less they are in working order. Versions of EAW1.28 and such have these settings, including Month and Day. You will find Month and Day where dropped in Versions 1.40 and up. There is a new set of settings near the right hand side now.

These settings can be adjusted all in your  eaw.ini  file or on that screen by clicking on them to change there values.

They are (Default Values shown):

SnapViewSpeed: 5


ConvergenceY: 0
ConvergenceZ: 0

ReticileSize: 1024

ExtraSquad: 0

QuickMissionType: random


For more vast descriptions and usage of the above mentioned settings, see my 'EAW INI Help Document' for each one.




In later versions (maybe starting with the independent CodeGroup v1.28), they have increased the Maximum Sound Volume setting and have set the Engine Volume to only effect your Engine sound, not all the planes. This allows you to have an even better External sound experience as you can lower your Engine Sound down to nothing if you choose to. Remember you do want to hear your engine in case its getting hot as the sound pitch changes.

Arcade Sound Setting:
Here's the sound area I have for v1.40v64 of EAW to have unrealistic Arcade type volumes. Move the sliders in game until you have what you want. Or you can manually enter the volume values in the eaw.ini. I'm not aware of a real maximum value for volumes, test to see if you can increase the distance at which you hear sounds.




In the game setup for sound, If you center all sliders, the recorded sounds should be rather balanced all over, but then you can still move them up or down for your preference.