Reader Question–MultiPlayer Networks

Here’s another reader question/comment that was submitted a few days ago.  I think this will be helpful to those who are thinking about taking their simulation experience to the next level.  While my comments to the general question will reference American Truck Simulator/Euro Truck Simulator 2, most of my key points will be directed towards Flight Simulator.  So let’s get started with the question and then my general comments.

Hello.  I found your blog site after a few Google searches regarding a recent issue I experienced after connecting to the VATSIM network for the first time.  In all honesty, I’m fairly new to Microsoft Flight Simulator.  But many years ago I did use FSX but never tried VATSIM.  I’ve been watching YouTube videos and Twitch streams and VATSIM seems really cool. But my first experience wasn’t an easy one and I’m really confused.  Basically I connected to VATSIM and wanted to experience seeing other aircraft in real world liveries and just fly.  The first issue I discovered was that I didn’t see other aircraft in their respective real world liveries and I also angered the controllers and other pilots when I attempted to take off without permission.  I was hoping my VATSIM experience would be similar to ATS where I could just do whatever I wanted to do until such time as I could get my head around all the procedures.  Needless to say, I don’t think VATSIM is for me but wanted to see if you had any pointers for me. 

First things first.  The VATSIM online network is NOT like the online networks for ATS or ETS2.  Yes, you’re right….for the most part with ATS/ETS2 you can connect and just do your thing pending it doesn’t violate the terms of service of TruckersMP.  In other words, as long as you don’t crash into other players or block roads/intersections then most likely you’ll be fine.  Of course, you’ll see plenty of idiots doing the very things I encouraged you to avoid, but when they are caught they are generally served with a ban.

But like I said, other than TruckersMP and VATSIM both being online multiplayer networks…that’s really where the similarities end.  The online networks for flight simulation including VATSIM, IVAO, PilotEdge and POSCON are all serious, by the book online multiplayer networks.  Before connecting to any of these networks you really need to have an understanding of a few important things.

First, you really need to have a solid understanding of the aircraft you are flying.  In other words, you should be able to taxi, take-off, fly and navigate based on a pre-determined filed route including SIDS/STARS and finally land, taxi and shut down the aircraft.  While I’ve been flying on the VATSIM network for more than two decades, I rarely fly using a new aircraft until such time that I’ve put in the time required to learn it properly. 

Second, you really need at the very least a basic understanding of the procedures required for filing a flight plan, requesting ATC clearance and just a general understanding of all the radio communications needed during a flight.  While there may be times you’ll find no controllers logged in, this doesn’t mean you can just do what you want to do.  Regardless of ATC availability…one should always operate his/her aircraft in such a manner that doesn’t impact other online pilots. 

It may all sound like a lot of stuff to learn, but if I can do it…then anyone can learn the ins and outs of VATSIM or any of the other online networks for flight simulator.  My advice is to search YouTube for VATSIM tutorials.  You’ll find hundreds of hours of content to get you started.  Second, I would encourage you to connect to the VATSIM network, make sure your plane is parked at a gate or some other remote parking area and tune into the various frequencies and just LISTEN!  You’ll hear how other pilots are requesting clearance and communicating with ATC.  Don’t give up….keep learning and keep trying.  But bottom line, please understand that the online networks are for serious users who want to simulate the real world operations. 

Now, you mentioned when you did login all the other aircraft did not appear in the real world liveries as you had hoped they would.  There is an easy solution for this and allow me to direct you to the FSLTL (Flight Sim Live Traffic Liveries) website.  You’ll also find YouTube videos on how to setup FSLTL so that when you connect to VATSIM you’ll see other aircraft as you would expect. 

Finally, I also have several “how to” articles I’ve written over the years which can be found here.  Alternatively you can navigate there by clicking the Flight Menu and clicking Flight Sim Tutorials.  A few that might help you initially will be The Basics of VATSIM, IFR versus VFR and Your First Flight

Also, understand this final important thing.  Everyone….including myself and everyone else you’ll find on the VATSIM network have been exactly where you are today.  We’ve all been brand new and we’ve all made mistakes.  From time to time we may even still make a mistake.  But bottom line is we’ve all been brand new at this.  The vast majority of individuals you’ll encounter will go out of their way to help someone new.  Especially when that new person has a desire to learn and improve. 

I hope this helps you and I hope it helps anyone else that may read this article at some time in the future.  The flight simulation community for the most part is comprised of likeminded individuals who all have a passion for aviation and we’re all extremely helpful to those who are new. 

I hope to see you flying the friendly VATSIM skies very soon. 

Until next time….

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

American Truck Simulator Arizona

The very highly anticipated map update to include the US State of Arizona was officially made available yesterday (Monday, 6 June) for American Truck Simulator.  In addition to this new US State, several features and enhancements were also included for both ATS and ETS2.

I’ve had a really busy last couple of weeks and my blogging efforts have suffered.  I did not participate in the Arizona beta as I was busy and two, well…I just typically steer clear of beta projects.  It simply reminds me too much of my real world job.  Anyway, I did manage to take a short drive from Las Vegas, NV to Page, AZ.  I would have spent more time exploring Arizona, but I spent about an hour tinkering with my Logitech G27 as it seemed to have forgotten it was a steering wheel controller.

Thankfully the issue with the G27 WAS NOT due to the Arizona update but was an issue caused by a recent Microsoft Windows 10 update.  Many other users who have the G27 and run Windows 10 are reporting the same issue.  I think this update must have dropped about a week or so ago as I began noticing some really odd behavior from my G27 at that time.  Simply, normally when I boot up my sim PC my Logitech G27 will make a few movements as the software identifies the device and calibrates it.  But about a week ago, the G27 wheel would turn and pause, turn and pause…over and over and over.  It seemed possessed.  But I was spending time flying and just eventually unplugged the G27 until last night.

The fix for me was simply to uninstall the Logitech Profiler software (for the G27 it is version 5.10) and re-install.  This corrected the issue and I was 100% back in business.  However, as I’ve been reading on the Steam forums this morning, other users haven’t been so lucky.

If a simple uninstall and reinstall of the Logitech Profiler software does not fully resolve your issue, then you may consider following the steps below.  These were posted on the Steam ATS Discussion Group page.  Please note that I’ve not tested the below steps, so your mileage may vary.

*******************************************************************************

**** ALL CREDIT TO USER AGENTZ86 ON LOGITECH FORUMS FOR THE FIX *****
Re: G25/G27 is detected as Driving Force – FIXED – SOLVED [ Edited ]
Here is my fix: – Works on Windows 10 too
Turn off / exit the GS 5.xx software
•Go to – Control Panel / Hardware Sound / Device Manager
•At the bottom of the device list you will probably see a item shown as (Universal Serial Bus Device) This will show you USB devices
•One of them will be the G27 (it might be in another location on that list but usually in (Universal Serial Bus Device)
•Right click on the G27
•Select (update driver software)
•Select (Browse my computer for driver software)
•Select (Let me pick from the list of device drivers on my computer)
•There will be a list of a few things perhaps G27 or even some assistant thing showing up in there (just fyi)
•The one you want is (USB device). This will remove that assistant thing that is creating this paradox.
** NOTE: If there is no choice for a USB device then (uncheck the option for *show compatible devices)
This will show a huge list of manufacturers etc.
From here scroll to the top of the list and select (Standard system devices)
Then on the right you scroll down to select (USB input device)
This will cause the Driving Force which gets selected by the assistant device to be removed and all association with it.
Now the G27 will show up under the (Human Interface Devices) Instead and will work perfectly without forgetting who it is.
Turn on your GS 5.xxx profiler and BOOM all should be well no rebooting and no reloading anything at all.

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Well that is all I have time for at this time.  Of course, multiplayer will not currently work with the ATS update.  TruckersMP are working hard to update their multiplayer servers and software to accommodate all these changes (including Arizona).  No timeframe has been given on when the update will be made available.  I think the last major update (custom wheels) took TruckersMP about a week.  So just be patient….enjoy Arizona in offline mode and multiplayer will be ready when it is ready!

In closing, I’m sure the Steam Discussion groups will soon begin to fill up with questions regarding what the next state will be.  While I have no official knowledge, I think we can be assured the next state to be released for ATS will be one of the following:  Oregon, Utah or New Mexico.

Until next time…

Happy Trucking!!!

J

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