“Modules” is the collective term for all manners of add-on content in DCS World. Be they the planes or terrains or general expansion gizmos, free or for pay, or even much of the community-made stuff, they all qualify as modules and will soon start piling up in the list at the lower edge of the DCS main screen. As a categorising factor, the main DCS install and the user's own DCS content library both contain “mods” directories, and anything that goes in there qualifies.
Indeed, it is almost easier to explain what does not count as modules: namely, individual missions, aircraft liveries (cockpit and aircraft skins), and some custom kneeboards. Everything else, and in particular the stuff you buy from the DCS shop, is a module, as are many of the more advanced tools and plugins that integrate with and add functionality to the game.
These modules come included with the free DCS client
- Su-25T “Frogfoot” — an FC3-style simplified simulation of the modernised (and never deployed) Frogfoot.
- TF-51D Mustang — a full simulation of the of a two-seater training variant of the P-51 Mustang.
- Caucasus — the base terrain, setting of the 2008 Russio-Georgian war, covering Georgia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, as well as the Russian Federation republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia, and Adygea, and the Krasnodar krai.
The DCS aircraft modules can be separated into four main categories: full-sim jets, helicopters, and prop planes — all of which feature clicky cockpits and advanced systems simulation — and the Flaming Cliffs 3 aircraft, which are simplified, hotkey-driven sims that have been grandfathered in and inherited from Eagle Dynamics' older Lock-On: Modern Air Combat simulator.
- A-10C Warthog — the poster child DCS module, for all your BRRRRRT needs.
- AJS-37 Viggen — a Swedish supersonic nap-of-the-earth anti-shipping jet? Gör't (men som early access)!
- AV-8B NA Harrier — can't decide whether you want a plane or a helicopter? Why choose when you can just go VTOL? (early access)
- C-101EB and CC Aviojet — Spanish airforce jet trainers and aerobatics aircraft (largely defunct early access)
- F/A-18C Hornet — for all your carrier-based multi-role needs (very early access).
- F-5E-3 Tiger II — a simple and lightweight daytime jet fighter and trainer.
- F-86F Sabre — a venerable Korean-war era early jet fighter.
- Hawk T.1A — RAF jet trainer and aerobatics aircraft (largely defunct early access)
- L-39C and ZA Albatros — two-seater (and MP multicrew) Czech training aircraft.
- MiG-15bis — NATO designation “Fagot”, the main adversary of the F-86 Sabre.
- MiG-21bis — NATO designation “Fishbed”, the world's most common fighter jet, and after all, what's not to love about a supersonic maze of switches with nuclear capabilities?
- Mirage M-2000C — “La baguette”, a French supersonic lightweight multirole aircraft.
- Ka-50 Black Shark 2 — the oldest and, alongside the A-10, the most iconic of DCS modules, and the similarities with the A-10 do not end there.
- Mi-8MTV2 Magnificent Eight — one of the most common helicopters in the world, and the base chassis of the Mi-17 “Hip”.
- SA342L, M, Mistral, and Minigun Gazelle — anti-infantry, anti-tank, anti-air, and fancy light show versions of the Blue Thunder stunt double.
- UH-1H Huey — get your Vietnam on, and then crash due to a burned-out engine.
- Bf 109 K-4 Kurfürst — late-war version of the classic 109.
- Fw 190 D-9 Dora — not as iconic as the 109, but still a cornerstone of German air action.
- P-51D Mustang — I guess the yanks need to feel like they contributed too…
- Spitfire L.F. Mk. IX — fly a legend. Then try to land it. Good luck.
- Yak-52 — when the L-39 is not trainer enough and WWII is too ancient, there is this late-'70s Soviet prop trainer (early access).
The Flaming Cliffs
These planes are essentially old LOMAC add-ons that have been reimplemented within DCS. They offer simplified flight modelling and very little in the way of systems modelling compared to the full sims, and also use hotkeys rather than clicky cockpits for controls. While they can be bought individually, one should never do so. Instead, the Flaming Cliffs 3 package contains them all for a much smaller sum.
Eagle Dynamics have announced that the The Flaming Cliffs 3 package will be deprecated some time Q3 2018, to be replaced by the “Modern Air Combat” module — an expandalone of sorts mainly aimed at attracting new players to the genre in general, and DCS in particular, using both old FC3 aircraft and new simplified versions of some of the existing full-sim modules.
- A-10A Warthog — for all your simplified BRRRRRT needs.
- F-15C Eagle — everyone loves the SPAMRAAM and now you can too.
- MiG-29A “Fulcrum A” and S “Fulcrum C” — a Russian classic. Remember to check your fuel level. Includes BLUFOR German Luftwaffe variant.
- Shenyang J-11 “Flanker B+” — a Chinese licensed and version of the Su-27. Unlike Su-27, is capable of using R77 "Adders".
- Su-25 “Frogfoot” — another classic, built on the principle of, why fire one rocket, when you can fire a bajillion rockets?
- Su-27 “Flanker B” — get back at the SPAMRAAMers by doing the same, only without being detected.
- Su-33 “Flanker D” — dito, but now do it from a carrier.
- Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) — lousy with tourists, nuclear pockmarks, and UFOs, this patch of mountainous desert around Las Vegas offers lots of room and different possibilities for all kinds of training scenarios.
- Normandy 1944 — from Cherbourgh to Le Havre, this map covers not just the French but also a sliver of the English side of the channel, and allows for many recreations of those early days in June.
- Persian Gulf — previously advertised as the “Strait of Hormuz,” this map covers the southern coast of Iran and the northern tips of UAE and Oman. Ghorbanifar-provided Hawk batteries not included.
- Combined Arms — take control over ground forces, either indirectly as a tactical commander or directly as a driver or gunner of most vehicles.
- NS 430 Navigation system — an onboard GPS (totally not the Garmin 430) that works in most aircraft without built-in advanced nav system, and that can be additionally expanded for the Mi-8MTV2 and the L-39.
- WWII Assets Pack — additional static and active units and decorations for mission- and campaigns set on the Normandy 1944 map.
The paid campaigns for DCS can generally be divided into four different categories: training campaigns, exercises, conflicts, and peaceful tests of operational and systems skills. Aside from the specific aircraft being flown, some campaigns also require other terrain modules. Aside from these, most modules come with one or two built-in campaigns.
- Basic Flight Training Qualification (BFTQ) for A-10C — a set of flight qualification and performance check rides, including emergency procedures.
- Advanced Aircraft Training Qualification (AATQ) for A-10C — continue form BFT with this set advanced flight task qualifications and performance check rides, including in-air refuelling, night operations, threat avoidance, and unguided weapon delivery.
- Tactical Training Qualification Campaign (TTQC) for A-10C — continue on from AATQ with this set of ground attack qualification and performance check rides, including CAS, SEAD, and interaction with ground forces.
- Aggressors Basic Fighter Maneuvers (BFM) for F-5E — learn the basics of dissimilar air combat as part of the 65th Aggressor Squadron at Nellis AFB (requires the NTTR terrain module).
- Aggressors Air Combat Maneuver (ACM) for F-5E — move on from BFM to hone your dissimilar air combat skills as part of the 65th Aggressor Squadron at Nellis AFB (requires the NTTR terrain module).
- Aggressors BFM for F-15C — relearn the basics, this time in a heavier, more powerful aircraft, once again joining the Nellis 65th Aggressor Squadron (requires the NTTR terrain module).
- Kursant for L-39 — before you're allowed into the larger MiG and Sukhoi interceptors, you must prove your worth as a “kursant” — cadet — in the L-39 training aircraft.
- 16-2 Red Flag for A-10C — join the Red Flag exercise held in Nevada and hone your skills in a complex combat arena (requires the NTTR terrain module).
- 16-2 Red Flag for AJS-37 — nu ska vi ut och härja; supa och slåss och svärja; bränna röda stugor, slå små barn, och säga fula ord… (requires the NTTR terrain module).
- 16-2 Red Flag for F-15C — fly CAP and escort for other combat elements as another Red Flag exercise comes to Nevada (requires the NTTR terrain module).
- M-2000C Red Flag Campaign by Baltic Dragon for M-2000C — take on the responsibilities of a multirole aircraft in a Red Flag exercise held in Nevada (requires the NTTR terrain module).
- Argo for UH-1H — join the Hellenic navy mission to the Black Sea region and operate your UH-1H off of the ‘Argo’ frigate in everything from cargo delivery to SAR to ASW.
- The Border Campaign for Mi-8MTV2 — support the special forces in deliveries, night raid, and ground support along the Republic's border.
- Charnwood for P-51D — a reproduction of P-51D missions flown in support of the allied breakout of Normandy and the eventual capture of Caen (requires the Normandy 1944 terrain module).
- The Enemy Within for A-10C — a campaign that puts you in cockpit of an A-10C Warthog, sent as a part of small US detachment to Georgia in order to help contain a growing threat from a terrorist organisation calling itself the "Caucasus Liberation Army" (CLA).
- The Georgian War for F-15C — this campaign puts you in the role of a pilot who arrives in Tbilisi as part of a small detachment intended to present the capabilities of the F-15C to the Georgian government.
- High Stakes for P-51D — as pilot-for-hire Vasily Sinitsa you have been promised mountains of money. In return, you must fly and master the venerable Mustang over a string of 15 missions.
- The Museum Relic for MiG-15bis and/or F-86F — a story driven campaign that takes place between the two small fictional countries of Matova and Obristen. As their war stretches on into its fifth year, both nations are feeling the strain of not being able to replenish any of their lost vehicles.
- Operation Epsom for Spitfire L.F. Mk. IX — battle German forces in the air and on the ground as the allies push south over 12 missions south of the Juno and Gold landing beaches (requires the Normandy 1944 terrain module).
- Operation Piercing Fury for A-10C — a story driven campaign consisting of you leading a forwarded deployed A-10C Warthog "Hawg" Flight in the Georgian Area of Operations (AO).
- Republic for Ka-50 — a non-linear campaign with story arcs that branch based on your mission results.The campaign consists of 15 phases, which include 18 missions of various types.
- Stone Shield for A-10C — you are assigned to the 445th Air Expeditionary Wing in 2015, just as Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Russia have announced the start of the "Caucasus-2015" military exercise.
- The Ultimate Argument for Su-27 — a campaign based on a fictional Caucasus conflict scenario, into which border states of the region got involved.