- Click 'Install' on the menu to the left of this page and save JoinFS to your computer.
- Open the downloaded file to install JoinFS.
- Launch your flight simulator and choose Free Flight.
- Limit your frame rate in the Display settings to around 35 frames per second.
- Launch JoinFS.
- Either create or join a network. Join by entering the address of another node, or from the menu, View|Hubs shows a list of public servers to join.
- From the menu, View|Aircraft shows a list of aircraft in the session. Use the Follow button to relocate near another aircraft.
- If an aircraft shown is not the correct model, simply select the aircraft in the list and click Substitute to change it to a suitable model.
- Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8.0 / 7 / XP, Linux (Wine).
- .NET Framework 3.5. (likely to be already installed.)
- SimConnect 10.0.61259.0 - Should already come with FSX. FSX:Steam users may need to install the legacy version from (FSX)\SDK\Core Utilities Kit\SimConnect SDK\LegacyInterfaces\FSX-XPACK\SimConnect.msi
- If you wish to create a network, or advertise your link, you may need to enable Port Forwarding for 6112 on your router. You may choose another port within the JoinFS Settings window.
- Aircraft may appear to stutter at very high frame rates. It is recommended that you limit your frame rate to around 35 for smooth movement. The cause of this is beyond JoinFS' control.
- Green is active.
- Amber is inactive.
- Red is disconnected.
- The Simulator label tells you if a connection to the simulator is successful.
- The Network label tells you if a connection is established to a JoinFS network.
- The Record label tells you that a recording of aircraft position and state is being made.
- The Playback label tells you that the current recording is being played back in the simulator.
Unlike FSX multiplayer, JoinFS removes the concept of a host. The original creator of a network can leave at any time and the session will continue as normal for the remaining pilots. New pilots can join the session by specifying the address of any pilots in the session. There are two ways to create a network:
- Create a private network by pressing the 'Create' button. Then click on your IP address which will be copied to the Windows clipboard. You can then paste (ctrl+v) the IP address, for example, into TeamSpeak, to tell other pilots and where they can join.
- Create a publicly advertised network from the menu, File|Settings. Tick the 'Hub Mode' box and fill in the details as necessary. You can specify the IP address or, if you wish, use a domain name for the hub address.
You can join any existing JoinFS network by connecting to any node in the session (it does not have to be the original creator). You can also join a special JoinFS node called a hub, these are advertised publicly using JoinFS's decentralized hub network. There are three ways to join a network:
- Enter the known IP address or domain name with optional port number. The format of the IP address should be '10.20.30.40' (default port 6112), or if you would like to specify the port number as well, '10.20.30.40:5000'.
- From the menu, View|Hubs, select a hub. The status column identifies nodes that are currently online. Then click the Join button.
- From the menu, View|Bookmarks, select a previously saved bookmark. The status column identifies nodes that are currently online. Then click the Join button.
JoinFS will remember your last connection so when starting JoinFS you only need to click Join to immediately connect to the previous network.
Rather than having to deal with IP addresses all the time, bookmarks allow you to maintain a list of friends and servers. The list of bookmarks will appear when you click on the arrow button to the right of the 'Join' address box on the main window. At the bottom of the list is an entry 'Add Bookmark...', that will open the bookmarks window. You can also open the bookmarks from the menu, 'File|Bookmarks'.
To edit or add new bookmark entries, simply enter the information into the table. If you do not enter a port number then the default 6112 will automatically be used. To remove an entry, clear each cell in the row. When you have finished, click 'OK'.
Suggested Joining Procedure
Where a group of pilots is gathering on a VoIP network (such as TeamSpeak), if you append the 'My IP' from JoinFS to your username in the VoIP interface, then this will allow any new pilots to quickly join your network.
Information About The Network Session
- The number of pilots in the current network is displayed on the main interface.
- From the menu, 'View|Aircraft' will show a list of the aircraft in the simulator. Showing callsign, model, a button to change the model and options for selecting which aircraft should be broadcast over the network, or recorded by the recorder.
- From the menu, 'View|Network' will show a list of the other nodes in the JoinFS network along with some routing information.
- From the menu, 'View|Monitor' will show informative messages from JoinFS that may help resolve any problems.
Model Matching And Substitution
JoinFS allows you to substitute any aircraft model used to represent other pilots in the session. If you have not already done so, before doing any model matching you must select 'File|Scan For Models' from the menu to build a list of available aircraft from your simulator. This list is automatically saved so you only need to scan again when you install or remove aircraft add-ons. If you use Tacpack from VRS Simulations, be sure to include the 'Misc' folder in the scan. If you see an aircraft that is not showing the model that you expect to see, for example, the other pilot has a model that you do not have installed, then you can quickly and easily substitute the model by opening the aircraft list from the menu, 'View|Aircraft'. Select the aircraft and click the Substitute button at the bottom of the window, and you will be presented with the following form.
This form shows the model that is to be replaced at the top and the substituted model at the bottom. Use the two drop down list boxes in the middle to choose the type and variation of the replacement model. When confirmed by clicking the OK button, the models will be updated instantly in the simulator. JoinFS will save all of your substitutions automatically. At any time you can view and modify the current substitutions from the menu, 'File|Edit Model Matching'. You will be presented with the following form.
A list of all current substitutions will appear in the form window, including the current default substitution which is used when you don't have a particular model installed. You can modify any of the substitutions, including the default model by selecting the model and clicking the Substitute button at the bottom. You can also remove any entries that are no longer needed.
Every time an object is created the following rules are checked, in order, to decide which model is used to represent the object:
- If you have an existing substitution configured then it will use that.
- If you have the original model and variation in your simulator it will use that.
- If you do not have the 'Default' model installed then the 'Default' will be set to the first entry in the model list.
- The 'Default' model will be used (you can set this from the menu, 'File|Edit Model Matching')
JoinFS is able to record the flight data for any aircraft currently in the simulator, including other pilots on the JoinFS network and AI traffic in the simulator. The Recorder menu has the following options:
- Record New - Start a new recording of the aircraft from their current positions.
- Overdub - Start playing the existing recording, and at the same time overlay new recordings of the current aircraft. You may also start overdub at any time while the recorder is playing.
- Play - Play back the current recording.
- Stop - Stop both recording and playing.
You may choose which aircraft you wish to record by opening 'View|Aircraft' and ticking the 'Record' box on the aircraft you wish to record. Your own aircraft and network aircraft are enabled to record by default.
Play back a recording over the network
You can play back a recording over the network to other pilots as well as seeing them on your own simulator. This allows you, as a group, to fly in formation with previously recorded flights. To choose which aircraft are sent over the network, go to 'View|Aircraft' and tick the Broadcast box on the aircraft that you wish to broadcast over the network. By default, recorded aircraft are automatically enabled for broadcast.
Record your own formation
You can use the recorder to assemble your own recorded formation flight. Start by making a new recording with your aircraft. And then use the overdub feature to continually tag aircraft onto the formation.
Save a recording to disk
Once you are happy with your recording you can save it to disk at any time from the menu, 'File|Save Recording'. To load a previous recording choose 'File|Open Recording'.
Should you have any problems connecting or seeing other pilots, try the following checks:
- Check the 'Pilots' number on the main JoinFS window. If this shows the total number of pilots you expect in the session, including yourself, then the connection is successful.
- Open the Aircraft List from the menu, 'View|Aircraft'. This should show an entry for every pilot. You should appear at the top with 'Owner' as 'Me'. Other pilots in the network should appear with 'Owner' as 'Network'. If you do not see all of the aircraft you expect then there is a problem with the network and is most likely a bug. Please report it to the support forum.
- You can quickly view any aircraft in the simulator, usually by right-clicking in the simulator window and selecting the traffic to view them. This will quickly allow you to see if an aircraft is there.
- If the aircraft is not in the simulator then you may need to change the model. Select the aircraft in the Aircraft List and click 'Change Model'. From here you can choose any model in your simulator.
- If there are still problems then check the log window from the menu, 'View|Monitor'.