DCS: A-10C Warthog is an air combat flight simulator. It lets the simulator pilot fly the A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft in various combat roles and missions that this aircraft has been designed for. Its main role in the game is to fly missions (with a wingman) that mainly involve attacking ground targets. The simulator provides for all but classified A-10C features of the 'Tank Killer'.
While originally a stand-alone successor to DCS: Black Shark, it was re-branded as DLC when the free-to-play game DCS World was launched. The operation theater of this A-10C is within the DCS World, a simulated world in which the A-10C is one of the many modules that connect. DCS plans to develop more modules, some represent ground units. All modules (current plane sim DCS: Black Shark sim DCS: Combined Arms, and future plane sim add-on LockOn: Flaming Cliffs 3) work together to provide a large simulation of ground, naval and air warfare. This simulator can run in offline as well as multiplayer mode.
The simulator world is in the northeast corner of the Black Sea, and covers the area of the western Caucasus mountains from Anapa, Russia to Tblisi, Georgia. This world consists of over hundred other AI models, on the ground, in the air, and at sea. The AI takes into account searching for ground and airborne threats and prioritisation, reloading time and battle performance based on battle damage, to name a few AI features. The AI models the following NATO and Russian aircraft, and equipment:
Air defense units
Civilian ground vehicles
Selection of aircraft
This A-10C simulator itself has a very high level of realism, from preflight, startup, mission execution, weapons and aircraft handling. It also has a game mode which is less demanding: the preset for Game mode, and Easy Communication mode. In this game mode it uses a simplified flight model, one-button weapons control systems, an omniscient “radar”, and on-screen symbols/labels to boost situational awareness.
To assist the new pilot in depth training missions and the wide selection of single missions help to prepare to the campaign, aircraft and avionics familiarisation. Background info can be looked up with the built-in Encyclopedia. The simulator manual contains almost 700 pages of detailed info about the A-10C, flight operations, tactics, aircraft and vehicles, to name a few.
To boost immersion of the sim, the sound system support this. What is heard is what is expected. The 30mm cannon, button presses, switch flipping, the whiny turbofans, are present. Effect of distance and speed of sound where the sound of impact is delayed compared to the view of the impact.
Game play and options are as follows:
Instant Action (5 scenarios)
Fast Mission (fly a randomly create battle)
Campaigns (3 main ones consisting of various sub missions)
Mission Editor (for customisation, scripting, tactics, rules of engagement, and new missions)
Campaign creator (to build your own campaign mission set)
Encyclopedia (covers all aircraft, vehicles and systems in the sim)
Logbook (the flight log)