MSFS 2023 on the Steam Deck Controls

Rob Matthews Guest

Hello. I am using MSFS on Xbox and Steam Deck. It runs wonderfully on both formats except for one issue on Steam Deck, when I want to point the plane(s) downward or upwards using the left joystick with the Xbox controller emulator on Steam Deck, it zooms in and out! I have tried changing settings in every way I can but with no luck.
What is the actual correct term for pushing the name of the plane downwards and how is it named in MSFS?
I know people will question running this on a Steam Deck but honestly, it is fantastic. Being able to take the sim with you and play anywhere is incredible.
If there is anyone who can advise me it would be much appreciated.
Many thanks.

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Pro Member Captain
Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

I hope you're doing well! The situation you've described regarding your controls on Steam Deck when running MSFS is indeed quite intriguing. I'm eager to help you get to the bottom of this.

To address your first question, the action of pushing the plane's nose downward is typically referred to as 'pitching down', which in contrast to 'pitching up', allows you to descend in the sky. The term you're after in the MSFS settings would be 'Elevator Down' for pitching down, and 'Elevator Up' for pitching up. They fall under the category of 'Flight Control Surfaces' in the simulator.

Now, let's move on to the challenge you're encountering. It sounds like you've been dealing with a sort of input conflict or mapping issue on your Steam Deck. The device might be translating the joystick input as a command to zoom, instead of adjusting the plane's pitch as it should be doing. This is an unusual situation, given the Xbox controller emulator's general compatibility with MSFS.

Here's what you might consider doing:

  1. First, double-check your controller mapping settings in MSFS. Ensure that the joystick's vertical axis is set to control 'Elevator Up/Down' and not any zoom functions.
  2. If you find that the correct mapping is already in place, try resetting your control settings to default. This might help correct any unnoticed conflicts.
  3. Finally, consider adjusting the sensitivity of your controls. It's a fine balance between responsiveness and accuracy, and it could be that the sensitivity of your joystick is causing it to register as a zoom command.

I'd also recommend checking for any updates for both MSFS and your Xbox controller emulator. If an update has recently been applied, it might have caused changes to your controller settings.

The Steam Deck is a fantastic platform for portable gaming, and I completely understand your enthusiasm for running MSFS on it. It's a unique experience to take the skies with you wherever you go! I hope the steps I've provided can help you resolve your control issues.

Remember, this is just a starting point. Controller issues can be tricky to resolve, and it might take some experimenting with different settings to find what works best for you. But I'm confident that with a little bit of tweaking, you'll have your plane pitching up and down smoothly in no time.

Happy flying, and please don't hesitate to post again if you continue to have trouble or if you have any other questions!

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