What’s your command?

Often when I encounter new users to the MS FS franchise, I am asked how I know so many of the key combinations or keyboard shortcuts. The answer I give is practice and consistency from our friends at MS. Fortunately, many of the core key commands have been the same throughout the many versions, with a few new combinations added with each new version to take advantage of new features. FSX has greatly increased that number, so I can see how overwhelming these key combinations can be to the novice. I thought that it would be a good idea to post some of my personal most utilized keyboard commands as a foundation to build. Once you become more familiar with these basic commands, I recommend pulling up the complete list of keyboard commands in the kneeboard during an active flight (SHIFT+F10) and start learning some more advanced commands. In a future post, I’ll point out the newest commands FSX has brought to us. Have fun!

SIM COMMANDS 

Pause

P or BREAK

Full Screen Mode

ALT + ENTER

Menus (display/hide)

ALT

ATC Menu (display/hide)

` (ACCENT) or SCROLL LOCK

Kneeboard (display/hide)

SHIFT+F10

Sound (on/off)

Q

Exit Flight Simulator

CTRL+C

Exit Flight Simulator Immediately

CTRL+BREAK

Cycle Coordinates/Frame Rate

SHIFT+Z

End Flight

ESC

CONTROL SURFACE COMMANDS  

Aileron Trim (left)   

CTRL+Num Pad 4

Aileron Trim (right)   

CTRL+Num Pad 6

Rudder Trim (left)   

CTRL+ Num Pad 0

Rudder Trim (right)   

CTRL+Num Pad ENTER

Flaps (retract fully)   

F5

Flaps (retract incrementally)   

F6

Flaps (extend incrementally)   

F7

Flaps (extend fully)   

F8

Extend/Retract Spoilers/Airbrakes   

/ (FORWARD SLASH)

ENGINE COMMANDS

Engine Autostart

CTRL+E

Throttle (cut)

F1

Reverse Thrust (turboprops/jets)

F2 (press and hold)

Throttle (decrease)

F2 or Num Pad 3

Throttle (increase)

F3 or Num Pad 9

Throttle (full)

F4

Propeller (low RPM)

CTRL+F1

Propeller (decrease RPM)

CTRL+F2

Propeller (increase RPM)

CTRL+F3

Propeller (high RPM)

CTRL+F4

Mixture (idle cutoff)

CTRL+SHIFT+F1

Mixture (lean quickly)

CTRL+SHIFT+F2

Mixture (enrich)

CTRL+SHIFT+F3

Mixture (full rich)

CTRL+SHIFT+F4

Carb Heat/Engine Anti-ice ((on/off))

H

Magnetos (select)

M

Master Battery/Alternator (select)

SHIFT+M

Jet Starter (select)

J

GENERAL COMMANDS 

Brake (set parking)

CTRL+. (PERIOD)

Brakes (apply/release)

. (PERIOD)

Landing Gear (extend/retract)

G

Cowl Flaps (open incrementally)

CTRL+SHIFT+V

Cowl Flaps (close incrementally)

CTRL+SHIFT+C

Doors (select) 

SHIFT+E

LIGHT COMMANDS 

Lights – all (on/off)

L

Strobe Lights (on/off)

O

Panel Lights (on/off)

SHIFT+L

Landing Lights (on/off)

CTRL+L

VIEW COMMANDS

2-D Cockpit (cycle panels)

W

View (next category)

S

View (previous category)

SHIFT+S

View (next view in category)

A

View (previous view in category)

SHIFT+A

View (previous view toggle)

CTRL+S

View (default zoom)

BACKSPACE

Look (snap)

Num Pad

Look (pan)

Hat switch or  thumbstick

Look (reset to forward view)

SHIFT+Num Pad DEL

Look Using Mouse (on)

Hold SPACEBAR

Zoom In

= (EQUAL SIGN)

Zoom Out

– (HYPHEN)
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