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Digital Combat Simulator

Digital Combat Simulator is a combat flight simulator that was developed by the same people who created the Lock On series, Eagle Dynamics. This flight simulator is free to play, with additional modules and updates that require purchase. DCS was originally released in 2008, under the name Black Shark which had a separate game engine to the original Lock On series.

The world that features in DCS is similar to its predecessor, a large swath of land that includes much of Georgia and the Caucasus region. There are a number of other locations scheduled for release this year in 2017, which includes some Middle Eastern countries like the UAE, Oman and Iran. In 2015 a free update, known as DCS World 2.0 featured an additional new location, the Nevada Test & Training range.

Digital Combat Simulator is perhaps the most advanced aircraft combat simulator on the market today. It incorporates some of the latest gaming technology, like support for virtual reality, including the Oculus Rift, TrackIR and the HTC Vive. Support for VR is ongoing and will continue to improve with future updates and releases.

DCS generally works on modules that can be purchased. Some modules are created by Eagle Dynamics and others are third party produced. Each module is different and comes with different aircraft and features. For example, DCS A-10C Warthog has fixed wing aircraft with very realistic functions in regards to the weapons systems, avionics and flight dynamics. There are a lot of different modules for aircraft, which were released periodically. There are also modules for terrain, like the Strait of Hormuz module which was designated for release in 2016 but is anticipated to come out this year, providing terrain in the Middle East, which will cover a 390x390 km area which you can roam freely. It’ll offer realistic and accurately rendered air bases in Oman, the UAE and Iran.

The Nevada terrain module was released in 2015 and featured a large area of Nevada, with some smaller sections of both California and Arizona. There are some iconic locations like Las Vegas, Lake Mead and the famous Area 51, among others. The total area covers a 600x610 km area.

Currently there are 25 modules, either released or in the making. Around half of those are ED developed and the rest developed by various third parties. DCS is constantly being updated with new modules for users to play, making it one of the most up-to-date and much loved air combat simulator on the market today. It is a whole different world to the original Lock On, as some of the new modules, like the Admiral Kuznetsov module, will feature working elevators and a detailed interior of the ship. You can even walk around the vessel.

It features everything Lock On was originally based on, like a multitude of aircraft, both flyable and computer controlled, as well as mission editors, online multiplayer, mission generators and a lot more. You’ll find a large number of land and sea based units and weapons but with much better graphics, usability and features. The training missions still feature, which is beneficial for those who aren’t used to realistic flight simulation.

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