What do pedals really do in this sim?


I fly with simulators since FS9 (then FSX and X-Plane). I like realistic behaviour as much as possible. Despite of this I never had a rudder pedal and I was relying in auto-rudder feature of the various sims. Of course I could never practice real cross wind landing techniques, fast descend with skipping etc. Also I was taxiing using the yoke and I guess through auto-rudder it was connected to nose wheel steering.

Now in MSFS 2020 I am surprised a bit. It seems that there is something like auto-rudder as I seemingly make coordinated turns with the ball in the centre. However there is no configuration option for auto-rudder. But one can assign hotkeys to INSTRUMENTS & SYSTEMS / FLIGHT INSTRUMENTS / AUTORUDDER OFF, ON and TOGGLE AUTORUDDER. But I can’t see any difference regardless of which one I select in flight. It turns coordinated. But interestingly the rudder is not moving when I turn the yoke. So it seems, it flies coordinated turns without (visually?) simulating the rudder movement. Taxiing also works but neither the rudder nor the nose wheel is moving.

Today finally I got a Saitek Rudder Pedal. It correctly moves the rudder and controls the breaks. The nose wheel is still not steering (on C172 and Mooney Ovation) and I still make seemingly coordinated turns in the air (ball is in the centre) without using the pedals. If I move the pedal together with the aileron (yoke) as if I would make a coordinated turn, the ball is moving out from the centre. I am still at the very beginning of learning using the rudder, but it seems I can’t as I don’t need it for normal turns. I can taxi on the ground using the differential breaks and adjust direction on higher speeds using the rudder, but the nose wheel steering is still not simulated (visually). I know that not all GA aircrafts has steerable nose gear, but I think C172 and Ovation have.

I have read here and there peaople - flying larger aircrafts in the sim - that they don’t really understand what the rudder is really doing, how it behaves in this sim.

I am confused now. Could I learn using the rudder (for coordinated turns) in this sim or is it using an “auto-rudder” in any case?

INFO: Though I am totally beginner in using pedals in sims, I am using sims (with yoke and autrudder feature) for more than a decade and I am familiar with the theoretical background of real life aerodynamics. So I am not really expecting comments about how it works in real life. I would like to know how is this simulated in MSFS 2020 and what (if anything) I misunderstand about it.



You can have auto rudder enabled in MSFS, but you can turn it off, and in that case the rudders definitely work and are needed for coordinated turns, and for steering on the runway, etc. [the setting I’m referring to is “Take off auto rudder” in “Assistance”. With that off, I need to use the rudder during the flight and landing as well, and it seems to function as expected.]

EDIT: FYI, I mostly fly GA aircraft, and some smaller jets. I haven’t done much with the A320 or 747. I’m using a Ruddo+ now, but it was the same for me with the Saitek Rudders I had before FWIW.


That’s my best hope. How do you turn auto-rudder on/off? Using the key press bindings? I could not find any checkboxes. Ther is one for taxiing, but not for flight.

(I also fly GA aircrafts)

Options > Assistance > PIloting.

Assuming you have reset all the setting to 100% realistic, you will find that the rudder is essential for keeping the aircraft in the centre of the runway when the wheels are in contact with the ground. Sadly the effectiveness of the rudder for coordinated turns seems plain wrong to me on some aircraft. I find despite having the realism set to 100%, I can turn quite steeply and rudder input doesnt seem to be required at all and the slip indicator (ball on steam gauge or line on digital instrument) doesnt show otherwise either. In the two aircraft I fly, the A5 and 172, I think the flight models as far as rudder are concerned need work.


Firstly, the auto rudder setting is under the assistance section. Secondly, rudders in sims are notoriously sensitive since you don’t have the air resistance to overcome. I would recommend setting a curve of 25% to start with. When using it in a turn after that, if the ball moves into the turn you need to apply more pressure, if it moves out of the turn you need less pressue.

For ground steering you use the toe brakes not the rudder. C172 does not have nose wheel steering. I expect you’d need to ensure that the controls were set to map the left pedal toe brake to the left break and similarly for the right.

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Options > Assistance > PIloting > Take-off Auto-rudder is for take-off assistance only based on the description.


I see that @MarkManner also suggested the same setting and said that it is valid for flight as well. I will check.

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It’s interesting that the control for this refers only to “Take-off-Auto-Rudder”, but as I noted in my reply the rudder isn’t automatic during flight or landing either with that option to “off”. I haven’t actually tried it with it “on” to see if when it is “on” the rudder doesn’t work in flight or landing. I may try that to see.

You can also steer with just the rudders, without braking, at an appropriate speed and for appropriate turn angles needed. You definitely do need the toe brakes when slow or when doing a tight turn, etc.

HAHRG, if you test it on and off, report on what you find. I’m curious since I haven’t ever tried it with that setting to “on” .

Not trying to be condescending here, but you should actually try it before saying it doesn’t work.

@MarkManner is correct. It tells you it’s for take-off, but seems to affect in flight as well. I also use pedals and they work great with that setting disabled. I have to use my pedals for coordinated turns in flight.

As for ground steering, use a combination of rudder steering and differential braking to steer the plane.

Thanks for the fast replies. Now I set Take-off Autorudder OFF (and set all sections to HARD anyhow now). I will check in the air.

The only remaining question is about (visual) nose wheel steering. In GA aircrafts it does not have a separate (thiller) wheel, but is possibly controlled by the pedals (if the gears ar out). I can’t see the whher turning. I know that it is not essential for turning, but I am asking anyhow.

I have tried all these settings, and the rudder only seems to be necessary to correct for heavy wind and for taxiing.

Adverse yaw is not implemented.

So much for “just as the real airplane”.


Hi OlafP88, I have to definitely use the rudders on take off and landing or I run off the runway. Are you including that in taxiing too?

this is because adverse yaw apparently hasn’t been implemented correctly in this sim, at least in my experience with the small default GA aircraft I tried so far. There are some threads and comments about this in this forum.

@HAHRG Please when you get a chance, review and then vote the following threads:


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Yes, I should have written “on ground”.


Rudder input is very effective on the A5 when on the water too when landing or taking off.

The C172 DOES have nosewheel steering…

Well, interestingly several of you acknowledged here above that during flight for normal coordinated turns you does not have to use the pedals. That is strange as it is not realistic at all. Now I checked with everything set to HARD and still I don’t have to use the pedals.

Of course we should use it for slow taxiing (differential breaking) and for take-off/kanding runs (rudder control), but thatis a totally different issue and is not related to coordinated turns in air.

Here is an article: Coordinated Turns - How much rudder should you apply?

We all know from the books the answer is to “correct for adverse yaw” — which is just a fancy way of saying to overcome drag from the aileron… How much rudder should you apply? That depends on the airplane. A typical light trainer like a Cessna Skyhawk doesn’t exhibit much adverse yaw so the answer is “not much.” It’s a different story in, say, a Piper Cub with lots of adverse yaw to overcome.

So maybe it is realistic with my Mooney Ovation that I don’t have to use too much rudder for coordinated turns, i.e. for adverse yaw correction. I should check some real life Ovation forums.