Set Up Mouse as Controller
Before I explain how to set up your mouse, let me loose a few words on Mouse vs. Joystick. Aces High II lists the Joystick as a System Requirement – and it should be considered as such. Mouse flying can be done, I even know quite a few people that have done it for years and with high success – but a joystick (no matter how simple) will make things a lot easier for you and will give you more precise and coordinated input in the long run.
If you use your mouse for flying, it will have to serve a DOUBLE duty. To navigate the Game Interface (Clipboard, radio) and to steer your plane. We will need to assign a switch to change between the two basic functions – the “Mouse Toggle”. While in “flight control mode”, your mouse cursor will be stuck in place and can’t be used to click on anything. While you are in “game interface mode” you can not control your plane.
Of course there are plenty of different ways to set up your mouse for flying. To avoid confusion, in this article, I will stick to one layout I have found easy to use and practical. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be “customized” and adapted to your own wishes and preferences.
When you enter the game, your mouse is automatically in “interface mode”. Open your clipboard with ESC key, Go to OPTIONS > CONTROLS > Map Controllers. Now your clipboard will look like the image below:
Note that if you do not have any game controller plugged into your computer your X and Y axis as well as some of the buttons are already preconfigured to default settings. If that is the case, you can skip the DEFAULT MAP step in the following description. Doing it anyway doesn’t hurt the setup process.
Make sure that the Mouse is selected in the upper right pull-down box - Select Controller. For now we will map “Mode 1 (Planes & Default)” – in the Mode Selection pull-down menu.
Click on DEFAULT MAP in the upper left corner. This will automatically assign the X and Y axis to the corresponding Analog Input – Roll (Aileron) and Pitch (Elevator).
It will also map some of the mouse buttons, but we will have to change those settings in a bit.
Now, your Clipboard should be looking like this:
We can now start to map the rest of our mouse functions: Throttle, Mouse Toggle, Fire button and WEP.
First we want to assign the throttle to the scroll of the mouse wheel.
Highlight the “Wheel” item in the list by left clicking on it. Now click on MODIFY in the lower left corner. This will bring up a popup window Select AH Function where you can choose the function/input you wish to assign to the highlighted item.
We can only map an Analog Input to our mouse wheel, so the rest of the categories are greyed out. Scroll down in the list on the right side and find “Throttle 1” – highlight it by clicking on it.
By clicking on OK, the window will disappear and in our list on the Map Controllers Window “Analog Input Throttle 1” will now be standing to the right of “Wheel”. We are finished mapping our Throttle. Scrolling the mouse wheel in flight will now control the manifold pressure of our engine – the throttle.
Now on to the rest of the buttons.
Select “Button 0”, MODIFY. Make sure the “Global” category is selected and find “Fire All Guns” in the alphabetically sorted list. Highlight it and click OK to map it to your left mouse button. Pressing the left mouse button in flight will now fire both banks of guns (primary and secondary weapon).
Do the same for “Button 1”, assigning it to “Mouse Control Toggle” – which can also be found in the “Global” category. This will allow you to switch between Mouse as Flight Controller (Mouse cursor is stuck in place) and Mouse as Game Interface while flying by simply clicking the right mouse button.
To map the WEP function to the click of the wheel (“Button 2”) we will have to change the category in the Select AH Function Window to “Flight”. Do that by simply clicking on the button in front. Find “WEP (War Emergency Power)” in the list and OK. Clicking the mouse wheel when at full throttle will now toggle your extra engine power – provided the plane you fly had WEP historically.
Now we are done mapping “Mode 1 (Planes & Default)”. Your Controller Map Window should be looking like this now:
To be able to control Vehicles as well, we will need to copy the mapping of Mode 1 into “Mode 2 (Vehicles & Boats)”. To do that choose “Mode 2 (Vehicles & Boats)” in the Mode Selection pull-down box. This will make all mapping in the list below disappear. If the settings we just mapped for Mode 1 aren’t automatically copied click on COPY MODE 1 in the upper left corner. All mapping we did for Mode 1 is now copied into Mode 2. This enables us to control ground vehicles and PT boats as well. If you wish to you can of course have a different button layout mapped to control vehicles.
Now all that's left to do is check the box “Auto select mode at start of flight" - this means the game will switch automatically between control modes when you spawn a plane or vehicle on the runway.
It’s done! You do not need to calibrate the mouse. Click on OK to close the Map Controller Window and save the new settings.
To make sure Aces High “sees” the new control mapping, you might have to leave the arena and come back in. You are now good to launch and fly high.
Hints and Tips on Mouse Flying
If you cannot “center” your mouse anymore (uncontrolled input) – toggle “Mouse Control” off and on (double right click), this will set all inputs to zero. This is also something you need to do before engaging the autopilots, as any mouse input would disengage them immediately.
If you prefer to fire guns separately, you can have the “Mouse Control Toggle” function mapped to a keyboard key (Default key is “H”) – this will free your right mouse button and you can set left mouse button as “Fire Primary” and right button as “Fire Secondary”. A “Fire Secondary” button can also be used to launch bombs or rockets (after selecting them).
While I'm usually in favor of switching it off immediately, the “Stall Limiter” (OPTIONS > PREFERENCES > Flight on your Clipboard) might make things a little easier to control when flying with mouse. But keep in mind it will still cost you turn performance.
If you want to change the sensitivity of your mouse you’ll need to do that for each Axis separately. Highlight it, then check the “Advanced” box. Another window will open to the left – it has a “Mouse sensitivity” slider at the bottom. Move it more to the left or right to adjust the sensitivity. If you ever want to return to the default setting, just click on the DEFAULT button. You do not need to enable scaling for it to take effect.
Make sure the axis you are working on is selected and shows in the upper left corner (In this screenshot X-Axis). Otherwise the settings won’t keep.