I thought I would start this thread to offer spotting tips in DCS.
1. At BVR, rely EW, SA page if available in your craft, AWACS calls, to get a fix on where to look for enemy aircraft. Direct your RWS in that direction to hopefully get a fix and prevent the enemy from getting within WVR. Hopefully you can pick him up, but radar doesn't always pick up the enemy for a number of reasons. Remember, visually acquiring a target more than 10 miles away is unreasonable.
2. In WVR, look for the following:
Sunlight reflecting off the aircraft
Missile launch (hopefully not at you)
3. Look slightly for movement crossing horizon, especially in diagonal paths.
4. When you look out your cockpit, don't scan wildly, sparing on a second on a given patch of the sky. Instead, methodically check your six down both sides of your aircraft, then your four and seven, three and nine, and so on. As you do so, scan right to left and up and down with your eyes, like the radar bar scan. This takes time and in a dogfight isn't really practical. But can be helpful if the target is farther away, say five miles. If the bandit is in close, and likely on your six, then you should be able to pick him up visually fairly quickly using a shorthand version of this method.
5. In a dogfight, you should still use your EW and other instrumentation to get a rough idea where the enemy is and then look up out of the cockpit for him.
6. Most importantly, don't forget to use zoom. Arguably, this a cheat unto itself but the community uses and abuses it. Frankly, DCS would be unplayable without it, which another reason why I've come to using dot labels in certain circumstances. For more on that argument, see my other post here: viewtopic.php?f=39&t=15238
Be that as it may, use zoom liberally. Have it bound to your HOTAS so you can quickly check patches of sky using the method described in tip #4. Quick zoom is probably best, although I tend to use the slower zoom myself.
Hope that helps. Please post your tips if you have any.
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