Ground Steering

I know this has been discussed before, but why is it so hard for Microsoft to make ground steering easier? FSX and X-Plane both provided smooth steering/taxiing, but FS2020 still sucks. I know some purists want things to be exactly like reality, but would it be so hard to set option to use z-axis on joystick to turn plane?


What? That is exactly how you do it???

You turn on the ground by using the rudder controls. If you have a joystick with a twist stick, you use that.

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It feels like I’m on ice when trying to turn.

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Note that MSFS doesn’t like high taxi speeds when turning and/or no full rudder/steering deflections either.

E.g. on the 787 you have slow down to ~5kts to be able to do sharp turns and not more than ~80% steering angle.

How fast are you going? Try to keep under 10 knots in a turn, like you would in real life. Sure, the ground model is not THAT perfect, but it’s no different to me than it was in FSX.

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Depends on the aircraft. The MSFS airliners are sensitive, but the taxiing on ice effect can happen IRL as well.
Delta MD-88 Skidding on Takeoff - YouTube

the ground steering on the crj is really good, fwiw.

I don’t have an answer for you except to say that this was discussed a little bit in the last Dev Q&A, and the team said that this is something they will look at in the future. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time in the video, but here is a link to the Q&A, if you haven’t seen it. (I think it might have been talked about somewhere after the 1-hour mark.)

In the meantime, there is a relevant Wishlist topic that you may want to take a look at:

What a show off.

First the drift and then the high performance take-off. I bet the pilot got a few tickets for speeding before.

As someone else noted, it sometimes feels like I am on ice when turning. I am going very slowly and I can have the rudder turned to make a right turn, but the plane veers left - or vice versa. This is using a Thrustmaster T-16000 joystick. IN X-Plane everything seems to go more smoothly.

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Same here.

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FSX/P3D was noticable more realistic concerning taxiing.
All the slow down and use-less-than-full-steering-input recommendations are workarounds.

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I don’t think so.

I had aircraft understeering in FSX as well sometimes. Yes, it’s worse in FS2020 but not by much. Both sims did not exactly get it right. But X-Plane is not much better.

Although it’s strange that a racing sim engine has so much trouble with ground friction. I think Asobo could have used some code from Forza to get better results. …

Yes XP taxi characteristics are much better and more realistic then MSFS then need to add that into the the bucket of things to fix

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In my humble opinion, this is not a joystick / sensitivity issue. The problem is with the airplane definitions themselves. It is so frustrating that every single (GA at least) aircraft is almost impossible to keep on the centerline without massively reducing joystick sensitivity. But the JustFlight Arrow 3 behaves properly. I know MS doesn’t want “study level” airplanes out of the box - but come on, we should at least be able to take off without crashing into trees.

Plus would be nice if they’d exhibit left turning tendancy instead of the right turning tendency they currently exhibit. Guessing someone at Asobo got a sign wrong somewhere…


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No problem keeping any aircraft on the centerline with my T16000M.
(-33% sensitivity on all axis to compensate for the reduced joystick size/travel)

A right turning tendency? Which aircraft?

That airplane probably needed new set of nose tires at its next stop. Looks like the steering tiller wasn’t fully centered when takeoff thrust was applied.

I’m a tester on the CRJ project. One thing we wish could be added to the SDK would be the ability to disable controller inputs through programming, so that things like ailerons and elevators would not move in response to yoke inputs unless all hydraulic systems were properly configured, but at the moment that is not possible.

That said, the nose wheel steering switch is functional in the CRJ, and does make a difference in taxi behavior. At the moment, the only way to steer any airplane in MSFS is with rudders, and in the CRJ, the rudder steering works whether the steering switch is “on” or “off” — but, if you go to an external view, you will note that if the steering switch is “off”, the nose wheel remains centered at all times, while with the switch “on”, the nose wheel moves left/right with the rudder pedal inputs.

This is not just an animation. The nose wheel friction is modeled, and with the switch “on”, it is much easier to make a very sharp turn at slow taxi speeds, such as when making a 90 degree turn from a taxiway to line up on the runway.

Ideally, Asobo will eventually provide a true tiller axis linked to the nosewheel only.

BTW, the real CRJ can be steered on the ground if the nose wheel steering fails, by using differential braking combined with differential engine thrust, but it would be considered a grounding item if it happens before takeoff.

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With the steering switch off, the nosewheel is free castoring, which means it should not remain centered at all times!

With the steering off you can ‘theoretically’ make even tighter turns, but controllability is way easier with the steering on.

We did fly with an inop steering, but it’s no fun and taxiing in a strong crosswind is not easy.

True, but in the sim, the only option (programatically) at this time is either to lock the nose wheel with switch off, or allow it to turn in response to rudder inputs with the switch on. This is semi-realistic in that the nose wheel can’t be moved with the switch off in the real airplane if standing still.

What we would really like to see in MSFS is a dedicated nose wheel tiller axis, but when (or if) that will be added by Asobo is an unknown.