Flight control sensitivity

I think its time for some upvotes on this immersion breaking and major issue.


Rudder is especially awful, it’s as if the all the rubber give, cable stretch, bungee stuff in real planes has turned to solid 0 wiggle connections.

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Elevator trim in all aircraft seems to be an issue as it is almost impossible to trim an aircraft for level flight manually, the trim on the 172 as an example, little adjustments take a while to transfer to the aircraft.

My Father was using a CH yoke and pedals…He was having the same problems…they are not well suited to windows 10…he switched to a different setup ( a flight stick)…problems went away. CH is ancient and their software in antiquated

I think the problem might be control surface authority. Especially with low speeds (low dynamic pressure) the aircraft are too responsive.

Lowering control sensitivity is only a workaround. On top it results in a rather unnatural exponential / logarithmic curve.


I agree. The smaller planes are unusable. This is the reason, why I fly only with the A320. I tried all planes but they are horrible to fly.

Make sure you aren’t fighting with the autopilot, you could unknowingly have a key that you’re using for ‘x’ that’s also mapped to the autopilot on/off toggle.

Thanks - it didn’t occur to me that the joystick axis’ could have their sensitivity adjusted. Boy, what a difference! I’ve got the simulator’s 172 pretty close in feel to what I remember flying a RW 172 during training years ago.

It helps, but it’s not the solution.

When lowering your input sensitivity, you apply a exponential response curve, which is not natural. IRL your control surfaces move proportionally to your input. With a lowered sensitivity it will first move slower, then faster.

The actual problem seems to be too much control surface authority (too sensitive to dynamic air pressure). They are too efficient. Especially at low speeds. That’s something that certainly needs to be reviewed.


I have the same issue. Ironically the nosewheel refuses to turn. Full rudder deflection yet the aircraft barely turns, yet on the runway, if you so much as imagine a rudder input in any direction, the plane veers off instantly in that direction. Frustrating, to say the least.

I thought this was the old deflection vs pressure argument that crops up in pretty much every flight sim at some point or another but what you said makes more sense. When flying the little bush planes actual rudder deflection with a stab of the pedals looks okay but the reaction on the airframe feels way out of proportion.

Thanks for the >100 votes!

One more thing:
It might actually help that MS/ASOBO addresses the inertia issue with the next patch.

Maybe the control surface force is actually OK, but the lack of inertia makes the plane too responsive. Which could also explain why the planes are affected by wind a little too much.


Trim. Keep trimming. Just like in a real airplane. It’s harder in MSFSM2020 because of the poor aerodynamic modelling, no “feel”, and limited controller parameters.

Set an exponential curve, keep the elevator trimmed in all phases of flight, and you will be in the near-horizontal portion of the response curve. No excess sensitivity, no overshoots, no PIOs.

Here’s a technique I use in a real taildragger. Rather than pushing on a rudder pedal to turn or make a correction, keep pressure on both pedals, and release pressure on the opposite one when you want to turn or make a correction. When the airplane starts to react, take half of the correction out, and wait. Repeat. Continuously. Your feet are especially busy with a taildragger. They call it “happy feet!”

Ideally, we would have a library of presets that match a particular aircraft to a specific controller. Also, the aerodynamic and performance modeling would be realistic, and more like a flight simulator than an arcade game.


For my X65F Hotas I had to do the sensitivity adjustments in the stick’s own control panel in windows. There I could set a linear ‘curve’, and not the awful exponential one that the sim creates when adjusting the sensitivity.

The exponential one will give tiny outputs, small outputs, bigger outputs and suddenly explode into max the harder one pulls.

Good point. Your controller may have its own software for adjustment. TM’s T.A.R.G.E.T. software allows for comprehensive tweaking of a variety of their controllers: https://www.thrustmaster.com/en_US/products/target

Choice of controller makes a huge difference, too. I just upgraded from a HOTAS X to a HOTAS Warthog. What a difference!

It would be great if we had reasonably-priced force feedback controllers. Feedback would make a huge difference.

That linear curve will cut the total range of elevator deflection tho.

True that:)

EDIT: But as a workaround until further it will do. I never needed full deflection anyways, just nearly at landings. For acrobatic planes it may be differently.

A lot of this is down to final approach technique. You should be able to let go of the stick/yoke and throttle(s) on final, and speed would not change (this means knowing which RPM/manifold pressure/throttle setting maintains the correct final approach airspeed/AOA), and the airplane is trimmed as to stay on a 3 degree glideslope by itself. If you did nothing else, the airplane would land firmly on the threshold at final approach airspeed/AOA on a 3 degree descent. Then, all you need to do is smoothly reduce to idle approaching the threshold, make a small, smooth roundout into the flare, and you’ll have a smooth touchdown using very little elevator. Elevator sensitivity won’t be an issue because you’ll hardly need it.

To practice this, slew out to a long final (300’ AGL/NM will put you on a 3 degree glideslope, so 3000’ AGL at 10NM, for instance). Figure out which RPM/manifold pressure/throttle setting keeps you exactly at final approach airspeed/AOA, and trim so that you can let go of the stick/yoke and throttle. Practice initially with no wind. It’s fun, and it makes landings easy, no matter how sensitive the elevator. It’s also very useful if you have to take your hands away for a frequency change, to flip a chart page, write down missed approach instructions, etc. The airplane will stay put on glideslope and on speed all by itself.

Now practice with different aircraft with varying winds, weights, and configurations, memorizing the power and trim settings. You’ll be nailing perfect landings in no time!

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I mean, yes knowing usual power settings For approach and being properly trimmed is important but this idea you’re describing of basically “set it and forget it” bears nothing to the reality of hand flying an approach, flare, and landing, particularly in a GA aircraft.

My control sensitivities were improved by calibrating and recalibrating outside the sim using windows joystick calibration. But still the issue of exponential curve setting is completely at odds with actual control surface deflection in reality.

itend to agree with the issue being about air pressure and or aircraft inertia still being too low as being the more major factors explaining the twitchiness many are reporting.

Since people may be having different peripherals they may not all be experiencing the exact same issue or from the same underlying cause but there are so many examples (and videos) that are showing something very different is going on here than people not having the a/c trimmed and set power properly.