View Full Version : How Many Functions on Hotas is optimum?

12-24-2008, 09:51 AM
I have an X-45 and have been messing about with the profiler adapting precog's oldie but goodie pacific fighters profile to the new format. This time around I have been more impressed with the shift mode as it seems more precise than in previous incarnations, ie it now actually does what is says on the packet. Now you could have over 200 functions mapped to the X-45. What I would like to know is what is the optimum is it feasible to have 8 functions on a hat switch or does complexity cost you kills if you cannot find the function you want?

12-24-2008, 12:21 PM
I have an X-52 pro, so I am in a similar situation as you. I found that I much rather have the pinkie button mapped as the Team Speak Push-to-Talk button than as the "Shift" button (however it is of course possible to use a different button as the shift). 3 modes, I find, is more than enough for my IL-2 needs, even then, I only really use two of them, and if I had a nickel for everytime I went to bomb, strafe, or shoot at an enemy when I was in my "landing mode" rather than my combat mode... wow, I would have some money. Typically it goes like this: take off, fly to target, go to bomb target, press "Launch button", lower gear, swear loudly, change to mode 1 (combat), press launch again thinking I will raise the gear, but now I drop my bombs, swear again, change to mode 2, raise gear, change back to mode 1, swear again for good measure... you get the idea http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

My "philosophy" with the X-52 was not to try to map every available function available in Il-2 and have 3 modes + 3 shift states, but to not have to move my hands at all during combat, so most aspects of flight/aircraft controls on the throttle, weapons and view controls on the stick. In other situations, landing, navigation, etc, I don't mind having to hit the odd key on the keyboard. I think "optimal" is a relative term and difficult to quantify, some people may want to try to never have to touch the keyboard once in a 3 hour online session, but for me, I am happy to have a few commands empty on the stick to leave room for adding something when inspiration strikes me. Also, I do not use bombers with a bomb sight, but if I were, I would probably program a new profile from scratch. Anyhoo, here are some comments on what I have programmed:

I use the 2 hat switches on the stick as 4-way commands, one for controlling the view (zoom in, normal, wide, gunsight on the top one), (center track ir, map and two empty commands on the lower one)

I try to keep the throttle mapped to things that control aspects of flight and that essentially remain the same for all modes: flaps (on the throttle hat switch, again, only two of four directions are used, left right. Top/bottom directions are empty), radiator, wep, trim, dive brakes. I have found 8-way hats to only work for controlling view directions for me, and the potential for selecting the wrong command too great if they are assigned to other functions. Since I have Track IR, I don't need the hat to control a view, so I use them all as 4 way and assign commands. I also assign commands to the mouse joystick, essentially making the mouse stick another hat switch.

The flight stick buttons control the weapons or landing functions depending on the mode. Combat mode (mode 1) the stick buttons are: bombs, rockets, toggle pods, cannons, machine gun (second trigger is mapped as both weapon 1 + weapon 2)

whereas Navigation Mode (mode 2) has toggle gear, canopy open, adjust seat.

There are a few things that are used so infrequently that I just keep them mapped to the keyboard: nav lights, landing lights, toggle chocks, release drop tanks, arresting hook, start engines.

Last but not least, I have select engine #1, #2 and all engines mapped to the toggle switches on the base of the X-52.

I also have a Saitek Aviator stick which I have taken apart and mutilated into a throttle quadrant. The two throttle levers control aileron trim and rudder trim (elevator trim is mapped to the throttle), and the switches control aspects of the engine: mixture, pitch, super charger.

Oh yes, here is my mutilated aviator throttle quadrant.



12-25-2008, 04:29 PM
Thanks for the info. I guess your profile evolves as you do when playing the game. I was hoping that I would get a more finite answer then I would never be plagued by the 'what ifs'. Oh well off to refine it again.


12-26-2008, 05:02 AM
See the Nugget's Guide.

With a stick like an X-45 you can pretty much add most of them..

12-27-2008, 06:09 AM
My philosophy is similar to Stingray. I use the pinkie shift but only two of the modes on my X52.
I use the Mouse Left Button on the throttle for comms.

12-27-2008, 09:10 AM
I think there is no general optimum.
Your mental "freshness" and your memory (and how many hours you fly) is what dictates what "your" optimum is.

My hotas also has lots of buttons, A/A A/G & NAV modes, shift states, and whatnot...
One single button can be programmed in its simplest form, like an On/Off switch, but could also output 6 different commands, depending on above "state" changes.
I couldn't keep up with such complexity http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif so I found my (simple) setup, which is my optimum.
No criticism intended.

12-27-2008, 10:21 AM
Originally posted by Stingray333:
I use the 2 hat switches on the stick as 4-way commands... +1

IMO this is the best advise for using hats for commands. It's just too easy to goof up a command using 8-way positions. I too use these hats for view commands, and also for AI chat commands using the shift mode.

12-27-2008, 12:06 PM
The optimum is how many you can handle, no more, maybe less.

Right now I only use one mode on my X-52, and the keyboard is adequate for the rest.

12-27-2008, 02:06 PM
I might go back and re-program my stick to only use a single mode on the X-52. I know its a silly mistake, but the number of times I fly to a target and go to drop a bomb and am still in landing/navigation mode and lower my landing gear when I should have dropped a bomb, or engage an enemy fighter, get into position and pull the trigger only to have nothing happen occurs way too often!


12-28-2008, 02:24 PM
I have been busy adding this, removing that and reading, reading. I think I have a profile that is good to go now. I think the curse of the noob is to have to many commands on the stick and I expect that I will lose some as my flight time increases.

Can you indulge me as I pose just one more question. I have the aileron trim and rudder trim on the rotaries but I am still just a little off when trying to get level flight enroute to targets is there something I am mising?

12-28-2008, 05:24 PM
I doubt you're missing anything, trim on rotaries can be quite touchy in some aircraft. You also need to keep in mind that trim response is a little delayed, if you move the rotary quickly the control surface will only respond slowly. When setting trim, make very small adjustments then wait a few seconds to see the result.

12-31-2008, 04:37 AM
Thanks for the tip, I must admit that I do move the rotary quite quickly so small and slow is the way to go. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif