Joystick and Remappable 7-31-2017
Written and Edited by: MarkEAW
If you have access to one, it’s best to use a joystick as the primary control device for European Air War. Even in tandem with a mouse, the joystick is essential—a joystick is the optimum controller for the plane in flight. Its best with a throttle and twist handle (rudder) built in. Separate rudder pedals will work with EAW v1.2 although many people have trouble getting them set up (read further for details). Also the more buttons on your stick the better: there are a lot of controls which you need to have quickly at hand. If you are wasting time searching for the right keyboard key in a dogfight your life expectancy is not going to be high (read more about this later).
This help document is for v1.2 of EAW. If you need help with the CodeGroups independent source modded EAW Game, please continue to use this help document and see this other one: CodeGroup Joystick and Remappable Help Document. This second help document will provide continued assistance with 1.28 versions and up.
Here I will try to explain how to get your controllers working with EAW. I'll start with the obvious steps then move onto more advanced steps. First a few friendly notices:
Important Notice 1: EAW does not require Windows Shortcut Compatibility Tab settings to be used to run correctly. Those settings will interfere with EAW from recognizing your Joystick.
Important Notice 2: This is an early reminder that after you have correctly setup your controls to work with EAW, that you don't forget to make a backup copy of your eaw.ini file to another location.
Important Notice 3: Also do not unplug your controllers for swapping, they must be in working order before launching EAW; In Windows Control Panel Gaming Devices you should have your "preferred device / works with old games / first in the list / Device ID 1" Joystick set before starting EAW every time. If not, EAW will blank out your button assignments, loosing them all. If you don't understand now, you will after reading this help document, so don't worry.
Lets really get started by reading the rest of this section.
Getting Your Primary Flight Control To Work:
Just to be on the safe side while you follow these steps, if you have more controllers than your one Primary Flight Joystick installed on your machine (like a Gamepad, Wheel, Rudder Pedals or Throttle Stick), it's highly recommended to uninstall and disconnect all of them before attempting to run EAW, as unforeseen problems may occur, such as EAW not detecting your wanted preferred Primary Flight Joystick controller. So remove and disconnect them.
If you have a programmable joystick, be sure that the programming portion of
the software for
it has been shut off and that the joystick is not using a profile, its not
required and will only interfere with EAW detecting your Joystick during the
flight screen. (For your information, with-in EAW, you can assign any function you desire to any button in the Advanced
2)After reading and following instructions in step 1 above, be sure your Joystick or main flight control
is listed (or assigned) as ID 1(or preferred device) in your
Windows operating system in the Game Controllers control panel. It should be at the top of the list.
To do this in Windows XP go into the Control Panel and select Game Controllers and make
sure your stick is listed as the first controller on your list of controllers;
Click the Advanced button, your stick should be listed as your Legacy
Controller. In Windows 7, 8, 10 go into the Control Panel and select Devices and Printers> Find your Joystick Icon Device> Right Click and select Game Controller Settings> Click Advanced and Select your Primary Joystick,
this will set it for Preferred Device and Ok it.
(For any version of Windows OS you can get there too by clicking the start button and in the search or run box
type "JOY.CPL" and press the enter key.)
3)If you have previously run EAW with or without any controllers connected, as a precaution, delete your eaw.ini file (Found in the EAW Game Folder) and then re run the game. Typically the game detects and sets the correct Controller defaults and means everything should be working correctly and you won't have to move any setting manually. However once in awhile you must enable your controller; go to Game Configuration/Set-Up> Controls and on the Controller Setup Screen, set your basic Flight Controls; There you will see the first four lines, make sure they are all moved to the left most setting. For FLIGHT CONTROL to Joystick, So if your joystick has a throttle and rudder built in, then THROTTLE CONTROL to Throttle and RUDDER CONTROL to Rudder in that order.
(Note: None of the selection options on the left most setting should not be grayed out if your Joystick supports all of those functions and the circled options should not be set to Keyboard, unless your Joystick lacks a Throttle and Rudder.) If all went well with EAW detecting your primary controller (FLIGHT CONTROL set to Joystick is important here), it should not be grayed out, then you can try a Quick mission to test your controllers performance. However if the Joystick setting for FLIGHT CONTROL is grayed out, read the next paragraph.
If any of them are grayed out that should not be, then exit the game and open
your eaw.ini file with notepad. Make sure that the setting for Windows
Joystick=1 and not zero. (this turns off the faulty EAW self Routines and Uses
the old Windows Controller API instead when set to 1.) Now re-enter the game and first go to Game Configuration/Set-Up> Controls and on the Controller Setup Screen,
set your basic Flight Controls as outlined in step 3 above. If all went well
once your done doing that, play a quick mission and see if your Joystick or
primary controller is now working properly in flight. (If the selection
options are grayed out, this means your stick is still not detected, continue onto the next paragraph
Hmmm. If your still having Problems Getting Your Primary Controller To work and don't understand why, see the 'SOME MORE TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS' section below for technical notes. (Don't bother trying to get your Secondary control working until you succeed in getting your Primary in working order first.)
The problematic situation is that EAW v1.2 recognizes only one game controller, it may (but not always) recognize a separate secondary type of controller (such as separate rudder pedals or throttle) plugged into different ports on the computer. Your chances improve when a few special situations are met; One being you have special software to virtually combine them into one device ID (sometimes your Joystick/HOTAS software has support for legacy games). Two they are physically linked (connected together and they connect to the PC by a single cable). Three they use different types of ports (One using a USB the other a Gameport) on the computer. I also find that most set ups have a problem with extra Rudder Pedals when the Joystick already has a Twist-Handle built in, Thus EAW gets confused and doesn't allow either device to function.
Let's try to get the 2nd Control to work with EAW v1.2 now.
1) For the setup of your external throttle or rudder pedals, if you have confirmed already that your primary controller is working properly in game, Install and Connect your Throttle stick or Rudder pedals as directed by the manufacture.
2) Find out where your Throttle or Rudder Pedals are on the list in Windows and write it down. Device ID2 is where it should be at, with again, your primary flight stick should still be the preferred Device ID1. If not move your flight Joystick to ID1 (first on the list/work with older game option).
3) Load up the game and go to "CONFIGURE GAME" > "CONTROL". You should be on the 'Controller Setup' Screen. There you will see the first four lines, make sure they are all moved to the left most setting. The Joystick is assigned for Flight Control and Rudder is Rudder and Throttle is Throttle, Camera is Mouse.
If all went well with EAW detecting your secondary controller, none of them will be
grayed out and you can try a Quick mission to test both your controllers out.
4) Goto step 3 and see if any of the control options are grayed out. If everything worked out then you can fly to see if your controls are responding correctly. If any are grayed out then you need to see the 'SOME MORE TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS' section again.
Here are some technical details that are helpful in troubleshooting, in no particular order.
Joystick Types Known To Work:
If your controllers software does not support "Combining" or "Combo Drivers" try some free software that combines all your controls into one virtual controller, thus allowing EAW (especially v1.2) to easily detect your controls as being built on one Joystick (One DEVICE ID). Try; "UJR - Universal Joystick Remapper" by: evilC with "vJoy software" by: Shaul or "VJoy Virtual Joystick Driver" by: Headsoft.
The other way around this without special software if you use multiple controllers is to have a setup where the controllers physically connect (plug-in) to each other (chain-linked) and only one connection (one cable) goes to the computer tower (such as a Stick, Throttle and Rudder Pedals combo). You'll have the most luck and fastest setup with this configuration.
However, its possible for a USB and Gameport set of controls (such as a USB Joystick and a Gameport Rudder Pedals or USB pedals with a gameport compatible stick) to co-exist in the stock v1.2 game...(Also note rudder pedals that use analog technology are not supposed to be compatible with digital joysticks, but I find it all really depends on the manufacture, driver and software these companies include.) Some software that may come in handy if you have multiple gaming devices attached to your computer and have the problem of having to deal with "Joystick IDs" with HOTAS setups is called JoyID's (or PJPJoyIDs) written by Paul. It's a nice utility which allows switching of IDs so you can place them in an list order you can use with EAW since EAW is programmed in a way that it will only read input from a Joystick with a DEVICE ID of 1.
Down Grade Stick:
If your controllers software doesn't allow you to do this then you have to do it through Windows installed devices. You remove your stick and add in a Generic joystick... configuring it as a Generic 2 or 3 axis stick, this will effectively remove either the Throttle and/or Rudder feature of your Joystick allowing your secondary Rudder Pedals or Throttle to work in EAW. If your stick has Force feedback, using a generic driver will disable FF support.
Game Cable to USB:
Hot Swapping Controls:
Setup In Game First/Profile Software:
USB Joystick Disconnects From Windows:
Joystick Grayed Out (Axis Not Responding):
You'll have to remove those check marks from the Compatibility Tab if you want
EAW to recognize your controller. Do these TWO things even if it seems
pointless: Right click into properties on your SHORTCUT to the game and see if
they are set. Now right click the eaw.exe file directly and see if your using
any Compatibility settings there...
Possible Cause - 2) Perhaps in the in-game configuration at the Controller Setup menu screen, your FLIGHT CONTROL has moved to the default KEYBOARD setting rather than STICK. This could happen if your joystick wasn't plugged in / installed or wasn't listed as ID1 at the time the game last loaded up. This can happen if you removed/swapped out your controls for another one at some point and you never reassigned the ID back to 1 in the Windows Game Controller settings. Note: You will have lost all your eaw.ini assigned controls as well if you ran the game under these conditions.
Otherwise, for older analog Joysticks, you may simply need to re-Calibrate.
Controls Messed Up/Plane Drifting Sideways:
The Joystick Pulls Or Acts Erratically In The Game:
POV Hat Not Working Properly:
Erratic View Changing Automatically:
No Keyboard or Joystick Buttons Working:
No control over the Aircraft and can't escape from the game:
Crash To Desktop at Mission Loading Screen:
Crash To Desktop, FF:
Win2K/WinXP and TARGETING Keys:
Fast Computers and Mouse Click Selections:
Unwanted Entry's In The EAW.INI:
Manually Enter Controllers Entry's in the EAW.INI:
*For further troubleshooting continue reading this document from top to bottom...
CHProduct (analog)Flightstick Gameport and CH (analog)Pedals Gameport
CHProduct Combatstick USB and USB CH Pro Pedals (use the control manager to map it as one device)
CHProduct FighterStick USB and USB CH Pro Pedals (use the control manager to map it as one device)
CHProduct Fighterstick (analog version) CHProduct Pro Throttle
CHProduct F-16 Combatstick, prothrottle, and chpedals or pro pedals. (all analog)
CHProduct F-16 Combatstick Gameport and USB CHProduct Pro Pedals
Logitech Wingman Force USB (no twist handle) and analog Gameport CHProduct Pro Pedals
Logitech Wingman Extreme 3D and analog Thrustmaster Elite Rudder Pedals
Logitech Flight System G940 HOTAS: Stick(Device=0 in eaw.ini), Throttle(Device=2) and Rudder Pedals(Device=3)
Microsoft Sidewinder 3D Pro (tested on WinXP with generic 4-button joystick w/POV and throttle option, no rudder.)
Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback (gameport type connected to Simped Rudder Pedals to gameport)
Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback 2 (tested on Win7/Win10 with built-in generic drivers)
Saitek X36 Joystick USB chain-linked X35 Throttle USB (Windows Joystick=0 in eaw.ini)
Saitek AV8R-01 (with Mode switch to OFF)
Saitek X36F Gameport chain-linked X35T Throttle
Saitek X36F USB chain-linked X35T Throttle
Saitek X45 USB Digital Stick chain-linked Throttle combo.
Saitek X52 Pro USB chain-linked Throttle.
Saitek Pro Flight Cessna Yoke chain-linked Throttle Quadrant chain-linked Rudder Pedals
Simped Rudder Pedals (plug a stick/throttle combo into y-cable gameport and connect to gameport)
Suncom HOTAS (shows as a "Three Axis Controller + Rudder Pedals" in Windows)
Suncom F15E Talon (on "B" setting w/USB adapter)
Suncom F15E Talon and Throttle with CH Pro Pedals
Suncom F15E Talon and Suncom SFS Throttle
Suncom SFS Flight Controller chain-linked Throttle (combo) connected through CH Pro Pedals (gameport)
Thrustmaster F16 FLCS and WCS MKII Throttle. Set Black Switch to Analog & Red to Digital.
Thrustmaster USB Top Gun Fox 2 Pro HOTAS
Thrustmaster USB HOTAS Cougar
Thrustmaster F22 Pro chain-linked F16 Throttle Quadrant System(TQS) chain-linked TM Rudder Control System(RCS)*
Thrustmaster USB T Flight Stick X: (Not HOTAS) Stick(Device=0 in eaw.ini), Throttle(Device=1) and Rudder(Device=2)
Track IR 4 (used with "mouse emulation")
*Ever wonder which rudder pedals are actually featured as a no-named picture in the official EAW User Manual on Page 16? I'm almost sure they are the 'ThrustMaster Rudder Control System' PC Game Pedals that where made first in 1993-then years later.
In EAW under CONTROLLER SETUP make sure the CAMERA POSITION is selected for MOUSE. You may need to SWAP MOUSE Y axis. Also you may need to adjust the EAW camera sensitivity to low as possible.
In the TRACKIR software Choose MOUSE EMULATOR to bring up a window. In that window check ‘X AXIS AUTO PANNING’ and move the slide bar all the way to the right. This should give you a value of 95.
Notice: You must load up the TRACKIR software and then the MOUSE EMULATOR program TIRMouse.exe before you start up EAW. (The Mouse Emulator program is located in C:\Program Files\NaturalPoint\TrackIR)
This area of the document is about information of the eaw.ini [CONTROLS] sections. These four settings are covered in my Inside The eaw.ini Help Document. And for more information of other areas of the CONTROL section, please keep reading down in this document.
The Joystick is assigned for Flight Control and Rudder is Rudder and Throttle is Throttle. These are normally setup from within EAW Controller Setup screen; all set to the near left setting. There may come a time you'll have to move these around to something else, but it's unlikely...
The joystick Dead Zone is the area in the center where the joystick does not respond, a dead zone around the stick axis. The setting for it determines how far you have to move the stick before control input takes place, any range of movement of the joystick's axes in that zone the aircraft will not respond. The benefits for higher settings allows for you to fly straight with your hands off the stick if you or your joystick happens to not be so steady. The benefits of a lower setting allows your control inputs to take effect sooner.
Look at the big picture when adjusting all your stick settings since it all depends on your Flight Sensitivity, your own joystick quality or condition, and your own flying ability. You may have to adjust your Dead Zone up or down, in addition to Flight Sensitivity. A lower Dead Zone setting reduces the amount of Dead Zone, allowing control inputs to take place sooner, a higher setting increases the amount of Dead Zone, delaying the time when input begins to take place. Tweaking the DeadZone setting can often help to smooth out a shaky stick or improve response on a sluggish one. If you can't fly straight, raise the DZ.
This setting in the eaw.ini is an overall value that measures how much you have to move your stick before it sends input to the game. There is no in game slider for this. 6 would be a small deadzone and 10 would be a larger deadzone. The larger the deadzone, the further you have to move the joystick to make the aircraft respond. If you have a good quality joystick that holds its center position well then you only need a small deadzone as long as you have a steady hand (0 min). A Value of 4 or less seems pretty good for modern Joysticks. Higher values are going to need more movement to get that input sent (20 max).
You will find changing this value will affect your plane's behavior a lot, you may get tighter turns and better response in Pitch and Roll the lower it is. Try a value of 3 to 5 to cut some of that engine torque or the occasional side rudder. Default value for EAWv1.2 is 10 (Middle Range). The range is from 0 to 20.
In general I would recommend a higher Deadzone setting to begin with until you have gotten a better feel for the Flight Models. Then gradually change your settings to the improved settings of a high Flight Sensitivity / Low DeadZone setting. See the next section to set and test Flight Sensitivity and other Joystick settings.
This slider is located in the games control setup section. This adjusts how sensitive your stick will be with the Flight Model on all axis at once. (You may also have stick software which allows you to adjust stick sensitivity, this is different than EAW's Flight Model Sensitivity.) Flight Sensitivity controls the amount of control input you apply to the FM from moving the stick by any amount AFTER it passes through the Dead Zone (read the previous section on the sticks DeadZone for guidance). If your stick is overly sensitive, a very slight movement will result in a great deal of control response. On the other hand, an extremely low sensitivity setting will result in very little control input for the same amount of stick movement. You will find physically individual models/brands of joysticks are more or less sensitive than others, and that these settings have to be tweaked for the different sticks. Stick Sensitive (as found in your stick software) is similar but not the same and can also effect the input response.
If you use different custom FMs sets (a group of plane parameters modified by the same persons), you will find that every time you fly with a different set of FMs it may be difficult to adjust to them. This is because they each have their own handling characteristics and each FM set responds differently to control inputs. This can also be an issue from plane to plane. Meaning you may need to adjust this sensitivity per plane, every time you change planes. (Note: it's possible with the newer source code modified games to use a mix batch of FMs, so this becomes even more important).
The lower settings will give you a more stable, less prone to stall, but slower response to your inputs, not to mention losing some of your planes ability to turn tight. The higher setting will give you a tighter turn, more prone to stall, but faster response to your inputs. You must have sensitivity high enough to give you full control deflection: if it's too low you can't 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 unstable and it'll be hard to line up a shot - especially in 'pilot full zoom mode'.
You have to find the sweet spot where you can maneuver more freely without having to worry about stalls and spins at critical moments. The more realistic the flight model and the more realistic the in game settings are, a lower setting you may find will be better. You may find giving up a little turn performance for a more stable plane is best. This will help avoid Spins and Blackouts while sacrificing some performance of a tight turn. A less sensitive configuration is at an advantage at higher altitudes because planes lose turn performance and stall earlier.
If you find that your over controlling and spinning out too often.
It maybe best for you to set the slider to the lowest value of 0.8000 to
begin with and work your way back up from there. You may find a
slight adjustment set at 0.9000 may seem comfortable for most
planes. Some Planes/FM's are more forgiving than others so,
experiment! If you feel you need more guidance keep reading and
follow the directions below.
A Introduction Setting:
In general I would recommend a lower Flight Sensitivity setting to begin with until you have gotten a better feel for the Flight Models. Then gradually change your settings. Try the next test with your current settings, instructions follow.
Quick Roll Rate Test:
1-Set the sensitivity slider in EAW to max (right side), make a test flight in a
109E4 and pull the stick backward, if the plane stalls very easy, it
means your flight is functioning normally go to step 2. If the plane
seems stiff and is difficult at stalling, you need to increase the
Joystick Sensitivity out of the game and in your Joystick Software.
3-Now that you have the Joystick Software settings corrected, set the sensitivity-slider in EAW to max (to the right side) and get a stopwatch and time a 109E4, at 100m from the ground and make test turns with full power, turning as tight as you possible (full stick deflection) without stalling, but almost (When the HUD Display in the lower left is Yellow.)
4-Stop the timer at the end of a 360degree turn. The E4 will require about 16 seconds at 225km/h with 100m altitude and should stall late while in a constant turn. (You should get at around 230-235km/h about a 15sec duration for the full 360degree turn.)
5-Before each test afterwards reduce the sensitivity (slider left, notch by notch) until the plane starts to lose its Turn Performance (until you notice turn rate falling off or spins) with elevators at there maximum.
6-Once you found the spin, up the sensitivity (slider right, just by one notch). This should now give you the full benefit, the sweet spot for that particular plane, joystick and settings.
Note: If you get a new stick, you'll need to go through the process again.
Force Feedback works very well with EAW, It's nice to feel the forces as you fire the guns or start the engine up! The best part of the feedback is it alerts you from bullet hits from the rear. You can even judge when your going to stall as the plane is buffeting, this allows you to push your plane a tab bit more: this is a huge advantage, particularly when you are learning your planes Flight Model with specifically set difficulty settings. Most players that have gone from a normal stick to a FF stick have often wondered how they could have ever flown the game without it, its truly something to consider getting.
The rest of the senses of the FF just add to the excitement!! True FF sticks like the MS Sidewinder use two motors to drive the stick, one for the X axis and one for Y. They can be programmed freely in games to move in any way you want. Distance, speed and force are fully programmable so in effect you'd have far more then 100 possible movements and that's exactly how it is programmed in EAW. European Air War has been programmed to work with any DirectX-compatible Force Feedback Joystick, and has been tested by MicroProse with Microsoft's Sidewinder Force Feedback Pro, Logitech's Wingman Force, and CHProduct's ForceFX. I've tested it with Microsoft's Sidewinder Force Feedback 2. (Note: Versions before EAW v1.2 disabled force feedback on some Logitech Joysticks, patch to v1.2 to resolve the issue.) Note: One lacking feature is that the rudder control on most if not all sticks, don't have FF, maybe some rudder pedals have, but I don't recall ever seeing any.
Newer, more commonly manufactured Force Feedback equivalent sticks use what is called 'Rumble' or 'Force Vibration', These sticks usually use a spring for centering (instead of tension from motors). The motors they use for vibration are smaller than what full fledge FF Sticks use. However, these FF equivalent sticks still are using the same FF instructions from the game to provide low grade feedback to you stick. Don't let that keep you from getting a rumble or vibration stick as some feedback is better than none. Note: Realize different games and sticks from different manufactures will behave differently than EAW or a full fledge FF stick.
FF sticks will provide spring centering resistances with motor tension. The physical resistance in a normal stick uses a Spring. The Spring is there to give you some resistance and automatically centers your stick. You only need enough spring tension to return the stick to the center perfectly every time. Any more tension just creates extra hassles like wrestling for control of the aircraft, sometimes resulting in busted stick shafts.
In the Games Setup Control menu, three Force Feedback options are listed; "Disabled," "Arcade," and "Realistic,". If these options are all grayed out, your joystick does not support Force Feedback.
If your joystick supports Force Feedback but you don't want to use it, select "Disabled,"(0). The other two options, "Arcade"(1) and "Realistic,"(2) set different types of Force Feedback responses. "Realistic" places an emphasis on the forces of flying (such as engine stalls and G-force effects); "Arcade" on the other hand, will exaggerate 'action' forces (such as firing your guns and taking damage). This is in the eaw.ini file, below it is set to FF ON: Arcade Mode.
Beneath these settings is a slide bar entitled "Force Feedback Gain," which sets the overall strength of Force Feedback responses from Low to High. This One setting applies to both Arcade and Realistic forces. You may want to increase it when using the Realistic setting and reduce it when using the Arcade setting. As Realistic will be softer and Arcade will be meaner. I find it's best with EAW to use the default force values with your Joysticks Software, and allow the in-game slider to adjust the force strength. Its just something to keep in mind, It all really depends on you and how you want the game to behave. In the eaw.ini file you can manually set a value. Default is 7500, max is 10000
Force Feedback Gain=7500
Binding Keyboard Functions to Key Assignments are best done from within the Games Advanced Control Configuration as duplicate entry's are watched by the program and it won't let you add them. Start the game, then go to:
"CONFIGURE GAME" > "CONTROL" > "Advanced".
Across the top should be the listings for the "View", "Flight", "Weapon", and "Game" sections. You should already be on the "View" options. To change a mapped function, just click on the function you want to change. It should turn red. Then hit the key on your keyboard, or press the button on your joystick (including the hat switch) that you want to map that function to. If that key/button is already in use, EAW will tell you.
To remove an assignment of a key without assigning a new function from within the Game, select the function you want to remove and then press the [Pause Break] key as the new assignment, this will remove and blank out the key assignment.
Provided here are two examples to help you get familiar with assigning buttons. Then additional instructions to help you out written afterwards. (To assign buttons to functions from within the game, go to CONFIGURE GAME then CONTROLS then ADVANCED.)
To stay on top of the fight you have to continuously jump around between several different views - simultaneously using target functions to see who is where, and what their speed and altitude is (HUD data). Good S.A. is one of the main skills which makes a decent pilot; bad S.A. is the main reason rookie pilots get killed. Before you can even begin to develop this skill, you need to make sure that you have all the game functions you need at your fingertips.
Below is a list of the most important game commands (ie views and target buttons). Try to get as many of these functions as possible set somewhere on your stick. Buying a stick with lots of buttons increases your options. The easy to find keys such as the spacebar, enter key, and the mouse buttons are next in line once you've used up all your stick buttons.
You can just go ahead and try things out with default keyboard settings, but if you find you are having a tough time, unable to keep track of the fight (and you will), get your stick setup with lots of views and targeting functions. You'll never be-able to play effectively if you only use the front and rear views. Also if you don't learn to switch through the many Targeting functions other than the standard [T] key (Target Closest), like the one for finding Friendly Wingman, it will make team play difficult. You also need to know how to use Flaps and Gear quickly, as well as the Map and Cockpit Zoom. All these options available to you are needed to be successful and to improve your skills.
The minimum what a personal configuration needs to provide to the player:
*standard [F1] Front view (2D Cockpit, in the cockpit looking straight ahead) New pilots who always fly in the forward facing cockpit view get killed quickly. So if you're in a 1 v 1 engagement, you can get by with just forward view, rear snap, and padlock toggle. You may want to have the front up view also so you can see above the front windshield of your cockpit during turns.
*padlock toggle view (locks your view on whatever plane you have targeted; toggle might be best) This is often the best solution for newbie's and people without a 8-way Hat Switch. It provides a simple setup that the player can use to automatically follow the target. Padlock can be confusing or disorientated in the beginning, but with the right configuration and after some hours of usage things become easier.
*snap views The 'snap views' consist in 9 different keys (By default the snap views are programmed to the Keyboards Numpad.), every key alone represents one view direction (front, front right, front left, right, left, rear, rear right, rear left, 90° up). If you push one of these keys, the view will snap to that direction and if you release the key, it will snap back to the front view. Snapping Back automatically is very important to keep orientation. If you always fly within the cockpit, you'll be using snap views to look around and target buttons or keys to identify planes. With a lot of planes in the sky, you'll need to jump around all the different views regularly.
MOST IMPORTANT regarding the snap views is, to know that you can combine the 'snap view 90° up' button, with any of the horizontal snap views, to get a 45° up view!! Example: Push 'snap view right' + 'snap view 90° up' at same time and you will get = 'snap view 45° up right'.
To make it possible for you to look at every view direction, you must use all 9 functions, programming the 8 horizontal 'snap views' to your Joysticks 8 way Hat switch(POV) and then set the ninth function, 'snap view 90° up' to a button on your stick base, which you can reach easily without your finger leaving the throttle slider (this is also very important to maintain a good dogfight!). With this common view system setup you can look all around while fighting, easily!! like the following:
EAW.ini [Remappable Keys]
POV can also be assigned to emulate the "mouse view(pan view)". You will most likely want to tone down the sensitivity for the camera to its minimum, this is so that the movements of the POV switch are soft and not abrupt.
*mouse view can be used to look around easily, keeping more than one target in sight at the same time and it works well in 'Full Realistic" Missions without icons. However the disadvantage is one of your hands is tide up, rather than being ready on the keyboard or the stick buttons.
*zoom in and zoom out (magnifies your gunsight - great for long range shots)
*instrument view or a snap view (in a long battle, you need to watch your engine temperature; if you're not sure what's what turn on instrument labels with [ALT F1], but note that instrument labels don't work in the virtual cockpit.)
*cockpit toggle (switches cockpit off so you can see without the cockpit being displayed, allows you to see more.)
With an external style, you'll probably be using the external camera view ([F9] and mouse pan) a lot to look around when its safe to do so, when there is no near bandits around - as always, clicking away with target buttons to identify planes (assigning some of the target commands to your mouse buttons can be a good way to work with mouse pan but I'd advise keeping 'target closest enemy' and 'target next enemy' on your stick where you can get at them more quickly).
A good technique is to jump around between player/target (to see the bandit), [F9] (to fly the plane), and [F1] (with toggle cockpit set off [Keypad .]) to shoot or chase. You'll also need to use padlock occasionally - eg in a close quarters scissors fight - so keep it on your stick buttons somewhere or use the default quick key [Numpad *].
*[F9] view (External view following your plane - also cycles through other planes in the game. If you get killed early in a sweep for example, you can watch the rest of the fight from the perspective of any plane in the game.) Its useful for taking off or landing to see what you're airplane is doing and to see how close to the ground you really are.
*mouse pan (in [F9], the mouse moves your viewpoint around) In combat you'll also want to use this (with your left hand for the mouse and stick in the right hand).
*player / target view (external view) Is good in dogfights since it gives you a very clear picture of the two planes' relative positions.
*target / player view (same as player / target but from the other end) Is good for evading a bandit close on your six, or to quickly check what he's up to.
Some sticks have a trackball - if you've got one it's ideal for the camera pan.
(There are also a few other external views, but these are not so relevant for fighter combat). The [F12] key (movie mode) can be used to look around at the action. If you're not in the heat of battle, you can put your plane on autopilot and watch the action unfold, or just admire the view. Use the mouse to move around and zoom in and out. You may find yourself spending as much time just looking around this way as actually flying. Just like watching a good WWII movie!
*TARGET CLOSEST ENEMY (absolutely vital: you've got to know where the closest bandit is)
Here are the other Targeting Functions available to you and are not normally needed on your Joystick.
TARGET PREVIOUS ENEMY
Important Buttons On The Stick For Online Play:
As an unorthodox configuration you can use hat switchs for functions you need quickly in a dogfight--zoom, cockpit toggle, etc. instead of using it for views; instead follow your opponent with padlock, and use the snap views in the base of the stick to keep track of your orientation.
Some players may want to use the hat switch as a 8-views option with another button used for UP, which would allow 16 views in total, when UP and one of the other views are pressed.
Try to perform a series of looping attacks from the bombers' high six: dive to challenge a bandit that's making a run at the bombers then loop back up to your station above and to the rear of the bomber formation ready for the next one. Climbing back up again helps to conserve your energy: if you just run about like mad, turning hard all the time, you'll get too slow to attack anyone. Don't chase a bandit once he turns and runs or you'll quickly get separated from the bombers and you won't be able to help them. You don't have to get any kills in this mission, just protect the bombers. Force an attacking bandit to break off then immediately identify the next threat to the bombers.
When you get the hang of it, you should be able to use a combination of views and target buttons to keep track of the fight from your position on the bombers high six (camera pan in [F9] mode can be very useful in a busy sky). If you must, pause the game every so often to look around ([Alt P]). Once you get familiar with your control configuration, you'll learn to keep track of the fight without pausing: you'll need to because you can't pause the game online (well, not without protests anyway).
Basic tactic-tips and often made mistakes:
To follow the rule 'Stay fast and/or high' you need to avoid turning just on the horizontal because you'll only lose speed and and gain no positive altitude. You planes energy will go down. When you make turns not just on the horizontal but Up or Down at the same time you'll be able change direction with less Energy loss. While a down turn will make you lose Altitude, you gain speed. You also will notice you don't have to pull hard to change direction, gravity helps. With an up turn you gain Altitude but lose speed. A slow climbing plane doesn't lose that much Energy while turning.
An often made biggest mistake is when you may like to turn hard because your going much faster than the enemy that is behind you, thinking you can either turn away or get behind him. The true result will be that your turn will develop into a very big Radius and with very high speed, meanwhile the enemy behind you can make a slower turn with a smaller radius. (but both planes will require the same amount of time for 360°). So the much slower enemy plane that's still behind you can follow you even though your faster. Not only will he be-able to stay with you from behind, but he will be-able to line up a shot, when fired his bullets will cross your course of flight. This can be deadly.
If you find yourself in a close turn fight going fast, don't forget that depending on the planes fighting each other, reducing power can help you turn more tighter, you can't do that if you are much faster than the enemy.
If you overshoot, its possible that you will be too slow to gain distance away fast enough allowing the enemy that you just overshot to maneuver into shooting position way before you can get away. Just remember if you overshoot, you need to be much faster than he is, especially in stock EAW v1.2 where you can score a kill at 1,200 meters distance.
If you don't overshoot, by continuously managing your throttle up and down, its possible that you might miss the right moment to apply more power again allowing the enemy to get the chance to accelerate out away from you, this possibly allowing him to turn behind you. Just remember in a turn fight its often better to stay behind the enemy. Don't forget the possibility that the enemy will have a wing-man, so check your 6!
This section of the document is to provide information about miscellaneous
Modifying the EAW.INI:
Joystick EAW.INI Commands:
This is how a 4 way hat is typed out.
This is how the extra 8 way hat is typed out.
Note: Among the keys freed mention above, there are other keys without any assignment at all. Then there are semi-free keys that have a few assignments to them. These free and semi-free keys can all be used to remap the keyboard to your liking, you can proceed most of the WORDS with SHIFT or CTRL or ALT, such as SHIFT EQUALS.
If you want to fly with the Mouse; First, update to version 1.1 of European Air War. Then fly any plane in the game before quitting. Double-click on the EAW.INI file in your European Air War folder. In the [Remappable Keys] section, change the line to read "Flight Controls=Mouse." Make sure that nothing else is assigned to "Mouse" in the control setup. Save the EAW.INI file and start the game again.
Even if you do have both a mouse and a joystick, the mouse is important for other functions. The mouse is necessary for selecting from menus and maps and moving around the briefing screens. Not to mention controlling the Virtual Cockpit view and External cameras.
Here's the Mouse buttons;
Open up your joystick and be careful doing so, take a video so you know how it goes back together. Next get some Pure Silicone Lubricant and spray a dab into the faulty switch so it goes underneath. Then push the switch in lightly and release. It may make a clicking sound again. Test it out and see if it's reliable. The important thing is that it goes on and off when you need it too. If its too far gone you need a replacement switch.