Control Sensitivity

Just did a nice scenic flight around the french alps. Spoiled by a ■■■■ approach and landing due to the stick sensitivity. i’m impressed by how this sim looks, it’s stunning, but i can’t understand how it can be so half-baked when it comes to the most basic aspects of the flying experience. i’m going on holiday for 2 weeks now and i really hope that when i come back there will be proper updates that fix those issues. i don’t wanna be annoyed by this but after waiting so long and having seen so many videos and being so excited it’s a real let down not even being able to fly properly. just let me decrease the overall stick sensitivity so i can have a normal linear curve and a reasonable flight experience.

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Yeah, so I’m not the only one thinking the control curves are rekt. Regardless of the sensitivity you choose, it’s never direct input from the joystick or even keyboard, there’s always a massive curve that ramps up once you pass a threshold. Makes the airliners extremely difficult to control on final.

From Ralf 9636 from avsim
Like many others I felt the pitch and yaw control in MSFS is way too twitchy. Here is how I fixed – or at least worked around – it:

  1. Always remember to make a backup before you edit any file ;-).

  2. The Flight Model is set to “Modern”.

  3. The Sensitivity in the Controls Settings is set to default 0. Lowering the sensitivity there does not solve the problem because it is just a slope. It only helps with small rudder / aileron deflections but makes it even worse with large deflections. So the pitch control will get even more twitchy during the flare and the yaw control will get even more twitchy during crosswind takeoffs and landings. So leave it at default 0.

  4. Locate the flight_model.cfg file for each aircraft. You find it here (e.g. for the C152):


If an aircraft does not have its own flight_model.cfg file it falls back to the file in the generic folder, for example:


  1. Change these lines in the flight_model.cfg file

elevator_effectiveness = 0.1

rudder_effectiveness = 0.1

Of course you can experiment with other values like 0.2 or 0.05 depending on your peripherals and personal preferences. You need to restart the sim after you edited the file.

Just make sure you still have enough elevator authority for the flare and enough rudder authority for crosswind takeoffs and landings.

This worked great for me, tested with several aircraft. The only adverse effect I noticed is that some aircraft need more nose up trim now than before.



Love those nifty tweaks, I’ll give this a try.

I hoped the necessary of editing files are History with the new MSFS

I had issues initially as well. Make sure the devices are calibrated in windows so that zero to the absolute full deflection of the controls is available. Secondly go through the flight simulator control configuration carefully to make sure that there are not conflicting multiple axes assigned to the same control etc. Make sure that flight simulator is also showing full deflection when the control is moved to the physical limit.

Once you have this working, I would suggest adjusting the sensitivity to match the range of movement in your hardware control.

For example: Most of the time with a aircraft with a yoke control the control movements for the ailerons are only going to be within say 10 or 20 degrees of neutral. My suggestion would be to adjust the sensitivity (in the simulator) of your control axis so that the graphic yoke in the cockpit approximates over a similar range of movement. Similar adjusted for the other controls. (In my case for say the C152: aileron ~ -30%, elevator ~ -19%, rudder ~30%. Dead zone zero for all.). I have set up a control profile for each control device per aircraft type so I can adjust individually if required.

If you do this the controls should hopefully be reasonably realistic for normal operations, but you still have access to the full control deflection if required. Of course once you have a reasonable control setup configured, it can be refined to personal preference as required. Note that normal operation of an aircraft (apart from certain abnormal situations and aerobatics etc) do not normally require anywhere near full control deflections.

With the sensitivity adjusted down like this, obviously the control deflection is not linear. Once you go beyond the normal range the control deflection will increase dramatically. This is a compromise with control hardware or joysticks that just don’t have the same range of movement that a real aircraft controls have. For normal flying I think it still produces a realistic feel to flying the aircraft.

Note that in a real aircraft, large control deflections are often accompanied by significant aerodynamic forces through the controls and also potentially large g forces acting on the pilot as well. None of these are present in the simulator.

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Thanks for the tip regarding the config file. I tweaked it and the in-game experience did improve, but it still was kind of quirky. I was only getting 23 fps on this flight though, so that wasn’t ideal. Anyway, I feel like it’s an awkward combination that won’t be so easy to adjust to, at least for me: having something that looks so real and alive, but feels so disconnected and weird in a way. I know, the Saitek Yoke is only a rather cheap one, but I still find myself longing for a real C172 and the real experience (well who doesn’t…). Just hoping we’ll get some solid updates over the next couple of months as well as tips and tricks on how to boost performance and perfectly calibrate even the cheapest of hardware stuff.

How do we calibrate them in Windows? The only settings I see available are in MSFS 2020.

That ‘tweak’ is a really bad idea. By doing that you not only reduce the sensitivity, but also the flight control effectiveness by 90%!!!
Which means no sideslip capability, 90% reduced pitch authority.

If you don’t have full size flight controls, or at least full 100% realistic joystick travel range, reducing the sensitivity curve is most realistic way to achieve a realistic feel/handling!

With the usual tiny joystick (range) you have to use a compromise. In a car sim you wouldn’t reduce the steering angle by 90% if the controls are too twitchy…

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I switch the flight model from modern to historical and it is ok for me with Saitek X52 PRO.

Until we’re able to fully adjust the curve a-la X-Plane 11 this issue will persist. Even if you reduce the sensitivity, the curve is so skewed that it causes extreme inputs at a certain point.


Yep, so please please please, to everyone that finds the curve built in annoying, please file a report through the zendesk thing. They need to know. I think this would change people’s perspectives on the flight model too.

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I know of a little program called Joystick curves that i used in x-plane, it worked perfect creating nice smooth curves, i do not use it for MSFS yet though, so if any1 wants to give it a try, if it works it will solve all your problems for now.


In option commande for your joystick go to sensibility. Then move your joystick several time to the max in X and then in Y.
For me this manipulation calibrate the joystick and then all is fine but I have to do that each time I restart my computer.

I agree that the sensitivity is off the charts and I’m sorry but I want a linear curve so that my control inputs has the same authority over the a/c flight controls, not exponential at the extremes.

My fear is that the sensitivity issue rests further than just how the a/c is configured and will require a tweak at the core simulation level. As it stands, at least for me, there is barely any precision in the controls for landing and I can barely notice any difference in flight control effectiveness with speed (because its already superiorly effective at low speed).

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Type the word control in the windows search field on the taskbar. Click the control app icon. Find Printers and Devices and click it. Find your controller, right click it and go to properties. There should be a settings tab at the top. There should be a calibrate button at the bottom. Follow the instructions.

Don’t understand. What’s a linear curve? Wouldn’t this be a straight line? Sensitvity 0%?

Well yes, but the sensitivity of the actual flight controls are too high when the joystick sensitivity is set to 0%.

That’s why you need a curve if the stick/yoke and hence its travel is less than the real one.
You can’t have realistic linear controls with unrealistic equipment.

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Yes, exactly. Linear curve = straight line = same sensitivity across the entire yoke range, if that makes sense. note that reducing the sensitivity to flatten that curve will inevitably result in a massive exponential increase once the stick or yoke reaches a certain point. the problem is that in the real cessna you can pull the yoke out quite a bit while the saitek one gives you like 3 cm from zero to full with no force feedback. bad combination. so we need the possibility to reduce the overall sensitivity, i don’t want a cessna that behaves like an RC Extra. i therefore manipulated the flight model cfg file and lowered the values for the elevator and aileron which is, however, no proper solution because now you have very limited sensitivy when your plane is moving slowly, i.e. on take-off. in a way i am alright with it though as i am now able to properly work on that yoke instead of treating it like a princess and barely touching it at all.