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Default chopper control scheme for choppers is highly uneffective
Reviewed, LowPublic


The default controls on chopper are using non-realistic controls and movement, are apparently unintuitive and lead to uneffective flying and a lot of crashes to people trying choppers in the game for the first time. (on a side note, I've not seen ONE player keep the default chopper control scheme and be able to run a missin effective chopper role. Everyone changes the controls)

Controls in real choppers is done through 3 elements :

  • Cyclic
  • Collective
  • Rudder

ArmA 3 controls should by default follow the same thing.
Cyclic is a 2 dimensions control, can be mimicked through mouse
Collective is a 1 dimension control, can be mimicked via 2 keyboard keys
Rudder is a 1 dimension control, can be mimicked via 2 keyboard keys.
This makes the flying experience natural and smooth.

The whole "Turn Left/Right" control is non existent in real choppers, and difficult to apprehend when trying to precisely control the chopper, namely for landing. If it has to remain, it should be an option and not the default control.


Legacy ID
Feature Request

Event Timeline

whisper edited Steps To Reproduce. (Show Details)Mar 22 2013, 8:37 AM
whisper edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
whisper set Category to Feature Request.
whisper set Reproducibility to Always.
whisper set Severity to Feature.
whisper set Resolution to Open.
whisper set Legacy ID to 3686265686.May 7 2016, 12:59 PM

Though my default flying is joystick and rudder peddals with realistic mapping

I bind mouse left/right to Turn left/right. Turn uses a mix of rudder and roll depending on speed so when very slow or hovering its becomes fine rudder control. That leaves A&D for left/right cyclic when you need to move sideways from hover.

other bindings, W&S for collective.

PS. I get your objection to 'Turn' but for noobs on keyboard and mouse this is probably the easiest way to fly. And doing less with the left also makes it easier to reach the alt for free look. If the lack of 'sim' bothers me I just reach for my joystick.

Also to be honest I'm not sure what to make of the description above. The default A3 keys are as you request, its just a question of exactly wich keys you want bound to task. You havn't actualy suggested your alternative.

Yes, that is actually true. In my opinion the deafult controls in Arma 2 & Arma 3 for the choppers are useless.

I only play the game with mouse and keyboard, I would like to have some joystick for chopper but I don't.

My deafult controls recommended to use the choppers with the keyboard and mouse are.

Cyclic forward - [W]
Cyclic backward - [S]
Cyclic left - [A]
Cyclic Right - [D]
Collective Raise - [Space]
Collective Lower - [Left Control]
Pedal Left - [Q]
Pedal Right - [E]

And for Aiming I use the mouse too.

Cyclic forward - [W] / Mouse Down
Cyclic backward - [S] / Mouse Up
Pedal Left - [Q] / mouse left
Pedal Right - [E] / mouse right

The left control Key have a problem at least in Arma 2, and is that while pressing left control for going low the rest of the keys of the keyboard stop working. But in that way you can use all the common controls of the chopper with a familiar bindings.

In Arma 3 with that control configuration I have even more problems.

The [E] is for some reason working as "Turbo for Vehicles" so it works like the Ciclic Forward mixed with my Pedal right binding.

The [Left Control] key have the same problems like in Arma 2 but worst.

While using the left control the rest of the keyboard don't work, you can't use countermeasures, for example. And the mouse only work if you are in the third person cam, while using the first person cam the mouse don't work.

I didn't explicitely list the bindings I use, yes. First because they are already existing for those who exclusively use the keyboard, so the exact bindings on the keyboard is not really that important, what is important is that some binding mimicking real choppers control do exist.

What is imho very wrong in the default control scheme, for those using KB + mouse (and, seeing the current level of chopper FM in A3, I'd object it's the most sensible thing to do, even better than joystick which is not required currently in A3... hopefully things will change ;) ), is that this strange "Turn left/right" is bound to one of the mouse axis, when the mouse, having 2 possible axis, is far better being setup as mimicking the real 2 axis Cyclic.

And no, I'm pretty sure the whole "Turn being a mix of Cyclic roll and rudder" is horrible for beginners, they may get on with it eventually, but IF they change the controls and stick to pure Cyclic axis, they immediatly master the chopper far better. I've seen it happen already 3 times live in A3, people unable to make a proper landing changing bindings after I tell them to do so, and TADA! miracle, bird is on the ground intact.

Maxyz added a subscriber: Maxyz.May 7 2016, 12:59 PM
Maxyz added a comment.Apr 3 2013, 11:26 AM

What do you mean by "The whole "Turn Left/Right" control is non existent in real choppers"?
And by the way, although mostly using a joystick for flying, I'm pretty much capable of doing anything regading piloting a chopper in Arma, by using default controls on keyboard and mouse. I don't see how rebinding buttons can improve something since any control scheme is just a matter of habit. If your collective raise was on "Q" and you rebinded it to, let's say, "SPACE" - is it somehow magically became better in terms of maneuverability?

In a real chopper, there is no lever, pedal, or whatever, that has the effect on the chopper that you see the "Turn left/right" has on a A3 chopper. This "Turn" control is some magical mix of rudder ("pedal") and collective making the chopper roll and turn the nose at the same time, which would require input on TWO controls at the same time on a real chopper.And by "magical", I mean you don't really know and control the amount of rudder and the amount of collective put in it (it is actually dependant on speed, apparently).
What I witness is that if you ELIMINATE this "Turn" control from your bindings, suddenly you have complete control of the chopper and suddenly people control their chopper better. Even people who like you could get on with the default control find it better when bindings are changed to mimick real chopper controls.

And I'm not saying that rebind that SAME control to a different key would make things better.
I'm saying that they should use different bindings to the same key. Ie : get rid of "Turn left/right".

Maxyz added a comment.Apr 3 2013, 12:05 PM

Oh, got it. Never used this particular "turn" control, didn't know what they do =), thought you're talking about pedals. Anyways, nobody is forcing anybody to use 'em. So I don't see the point in calling default conrols "highly uneffective".

Default control are kind of forcing you because "Turn" is set up on your mouse left/right by default ;)
That's the whole point I'm trying to make (I agree, kind of a little one, but I thought it coudl warrent a ticket :) ), they should not have "Turn" on default major control settings.

Controls are under "options" menu that is named with such a label for a reason: IT IS OPTIONAL TO USE IT / USE IT BY DEFAULT.

If you don't like the controls layout just get in there and change it like everyone else does in every other game.

Thank you Captain Obvious.
But if default controls are unnecesseraly stupid/obscure/hard, it'll impact newcomers PoV on the game and it should be changed, for the good of the game.

The [E] is for some reason working as "Turbo for Vehicles" no matter what you actually have in the options menu, so it works like the Ciclic Forward always!

The [Left Control] key have the same problems like in Arma 2 but worst.

While using the left control the rest of the keyboard don't work, you can't use countermeasures, for example. And the mouse only work if you are in the third person cam, while using the first person cam the mouse don't work.

You can't use countermeasure while holding LCTRL because LCTRL+G cycles trought the different release modes for countermeasure, feature that is not yet implemented.
The same goes for example when you press LCTRL+E / LCTRL+Q that leans the camera right and left, LCTRL+MOUSE AXIS moves the head like in a 6DOF TrackIR and so on... a correct controls configuration will solve everything
Showing default chopper controls

Khan added a subscriber: Khan.May 7 2016, 12:59 PM
Khan added a comment.May 14 2013, 2:15 PM

This suggestion was processed by our team and will be looked into. We thank you for your feedback.

To add to this, I wanted to post a report on this as well, but I think it fits under this report perfectly.

When one binds different keys to the control scheme, even then the controls do NOT work as intended, for example:

I use Left arrow, Right arrow, Up arrow, Down arrow, for Collective raise/lower and Spinning left and right.

I use Q and E instead to switch the rudder.

Pressing right arrow banks me rightward, even though there is NO SUCH KEY OR OPTION IN THE CONTROL SCHEME.

pressing E makes me tilt forward, even though there is NO SUCH OPTION OR ANY ERROR MESSAGES/WARNINGS STATING THE KEY IS ALREADY IN USE.

Needless to say this makes me crash my helicopter every single time and, frankly, flying with a keyboard has hence been nearly impossible.

Esfumato--- your control scheme is similar to the one I use.

Is anyone having trouble binding Right Pedal to 'E' ? When I do it, it makes the heli pitch forward while turning, instead of just turning slightly like the left pedal.