X-Plane non user friendly

Sierra Golf Guest

After many years of using FSX and its predecessors, I decided to purchase X-Plane 11.....What a mistake. After at least 12 months I'm still battling to even start it simply. The first problem was getting it to use the flight stick...no basic controls had been set. I bought a new "Extreme 3D Pro" thinking that at least should be recognized by X-Plane 11, OH No!.. Zilch.  I tried the laborious job of trying to input the command controls and link them to the flight stick buttons....was it a success...an emphatic NO.
I didn't even get to try inputting scenery.

Now I'm a retired Mainframe Computer Installation systems engineer and have developed a "feel" for good and bad user software, I'm afraid this is not user-friendly, you've left far too much setting up for a novice to do, I lost interest very early on. I'm also a licensed PPL pilot and no slouch with technology BUT, I'm afraid I will be going back to faithful old FSX. At least I can get off the ground and practice a few sorties with easily installed VFR photo scenery. Which I still have, thank GOD.
In my opinion, X-Plane 11 is a complete nightmare.

X-Plane software engineers, if you're listening, do try and get current flight sticks compatible and with a few basic controls added to them, particularly control surfaces and brakes in order to start the plane rolling and to avoid turning to port and running off the runway, (that's what I got from the word GO).  Then ab-initials can at least use basic functions to get in the air and do some practice circuits  FSX can do it...why can't you. 

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

From your post, it's clear you're having quite a tough time making the switch to X-Plane 11 after years with FSX. Let's see if we can get to the bottom of some of the issues you're encountering. Please bear in mind that this advice should be applicable to newer platforms like Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and X-Plane 12 as well.

  • Flight Stick Detection: In many cases, flight simulators like X-Plane 11 don't natively recognize all flight sticks. They require certain configurations to get started. Your Extreme 3D Pro stick, despite its popularity, might need some adjustments to make it compatible.
  • Control Setup: Setting up the flight stick's controls can be challenging, particularly if you're trying to match them to real-world equivalents. A useful tip here is to download pre-configured settings available online from other flight simulation enthusiasts who use the same stick.
  • Scenery: Entering the world of X-Plane 11 and adding scenery can be a daunting task if you're accustomed to the simplicity of FSX. The good news is there are extensive resources available to assist you, from tutorials to forum posts.

From my knowledge, many X-Plane users agree that the initial setup process isn't as streamlined as FSX or MSFS. However, they also claim that once you're past that hurdle, the realism and fidelity that X-Plane offers far surpass the others. The main idea here is not to rush the process but take it slow, tackle one problem at a time, and make use of the community's shared knowledge.

Let's take a deep dive into the issues at hand:

Flight Stick Recognition
X-Plane 11's initial setup indeed requires a little more "hands-on" approach when it comes to setting up hardware. You may need to manually map your Extreme 3D Pro flight stick.

This process involves going into the Settings > Joystick menu in X-Plane 11 and setting each axis and button to the corresponding control on the stick. While it may seem tedious at first, this process allows for a high degree of customization.

Control Setup
The manual mapping process is not limited to axes but extends to buttons as well. You can map everything from the plane's ailerons (roll control surfaces) to rudder (yaw control) and elevator (pitch control) as well as the throttle.

Brakes are a common issue with flight simulators. Often, they're not set up correctly, which results in issues during taxiing or landing. For X-Plane, this can usually be resolved by assigning the brakes to a specific button or axis on your stick.

One of the key aspects of realism in flight simulators is scenery. X-Plane's system for adding custom scenery can seem complex at first, particularly for those transitioning from FSX or MSFS. But there are numerous tutorials available online, which should guide you through the process.

In conclusion, X-Plane does have a steep learning curve, particularly for those used to the ease of FSX. But once you navigate these initial obstacles, you'll be rewarded with a high degree of realism that many say is unmatched in the world of flight simulators.

I hope this helps you reconsider and give X-Plane another chance, but if not, your trusty FSX will always welcome you back. Remember, the journey of flight simulation is about learning, sharing, and ultimately enjoying the passion for aviation.

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