DCS Kola Map FAQs

DCS: Kola is now available in Early Access on Orbx Direct, in the Eagle Dynamics E-Shop, and on Steam.

The far reaches of northern Europe are generally described as a world of raw beauty and quiet grandeur, where rolling hills meet dramatic fjords, and myriad lakes reflect dense forests and the tranquil sky (whoever wrote this sentence is an incurable romantic). However, these same landscapes are also host to conflict-laden topics such as past and present geopolitical tensions and alliances, access to ice-free ports and Arctic waters, extensive mineral resources, nuclear weapons and storage, national and regional defense strategies, and military exercises and winter training (now we are talking!).

Orbx proudly presents the DCS: Kola map, which covers northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Russian Murmansk Oblast and parts of the Karelia region. The map also includes large areas of the Barents Sea and Norwegian Sea to the north and west, ideal for aircraft carrier operations. The Orbx DCS: Kola map is represented in its current-day state, with some allowance for late-Cold War military features and functionality.

Normally priced at USD 69.99, the early release of Kola will be offered at a 20% discount, reducing the price to USD 55.99 (excluding all applicable taxes). The purchase price may also increase as the map evolves with further content.

These FAQs are meant to answer the most common questions and will be updated and expanded over time.

Who is Orbx?

Orbx is an Australian owned developer and publisher of add-ons and expansions for flight simulation software and known for creating high-quality scenery enhancements, aircraft, and other add-ons for popular platforms like Microsoft Flight Simulator, Prepar3D, and X-Plane. Our products can be found here: orbxdirect.com

With the release of DCS: Kola map we are very excited to join a number of prestigious third-party developers creating high-quality content for DCS.

I’m new to DCS, where can I find information and tutorials?

Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) is a well-known and highly regarded flight simulation game focused on military aircraft and combat scenarios. DCS is renowned for its attention to detail in aircraft systems, flight dynamics, and realistic combat environments. Players can experience a wide range of aircraft, from modern fighters to historical warplanes, and engage in realistic combat missions and scenarios.

DCS World itself is free-to-play and can be downloaded as a stand-alone version from the Eagle Dynamics Store [here] or the Steam version [here].

DCS World, despite its name, is not a globe-spanning flight simulator, rather specific areas of interest are developed as maps (also named terrains) and need to be purchased separately.

There’s a wide variety of online pages and tutorials available for all aspects of DCS. The official link list is located [here] and the official FAQ [here].

In addition, we have included our own list of helpful links and videos at the bottom of this FAQ.

What is the difference if I purchase DCS: Kola on Orbx Direct, the Eagle Dynamics E-Shop, or on Steam?

The content of the DCS: Kola map is the same regardless of where it is purchased.

  1. OrbxDirect [here]: When you purchase DCS: Kola at Orbx Direct, you’ll receive a license key by email that you will have to register on the licensing page of your DCS website account [here] using the Licensing > Redeem Voucher. After doing so you can start DCS World and download the map with the Module Manager. See [here] for instructions on how to install DCS add-on modules.
    Note that the Orbx Central app is not required or used for the installation and use of DCS: Kola.
  2. Eagle Dynamics DCS E-Shop [here]: after successful payment, DCS: Kola will be available for download in your DCS World Module Manager.
  3. Steam Store [here]: after successful payment, DCS: Kola will be available for download in your DCS Module Manager.

Please note that DCS: Kola licenses purchased on either Orbx Direct or the Eagle Dynamics E-Shop are not compatible with the DCS Steam Version, they can only be used with the DCS World standalone version. However, licenses purchased on Steam can be exchanged for the respective DCS standalone version at a later date, with some restrictions; for more information see [here].

Purchasing from the Orbx Direct store supports the developers (us!) directly, allowing us to keep you up to date with our roadmap and planned updates to this map and potential future products. Moreover, when you buy directly from us, you automatically participate in our Orbx loyalty program; for more information see [here]. 

The decision is obviously yours, and regardless of your choice, we appreciate your support and hope you’ll enjoy the DCS: Kola map.

How much hard drive space is required for DCS: Kola?

At the time of launch the map requires approx. 150GB of free hard drive space. With more content planned in the future, especially a full set of winter textures, this will likely increase further.

That being said, with additional optimisation being worked on in parallel with new content, we hope to not increase the overall map file size much more. 

What is included in DCS: Kola at the launch of early access?

The Kola map spans about 1,400 km east-west by 1,000 km north-south, with more than 575,000 sq km of land and a total coverage area of ~1,350,000 sq km. Its southern boundary roughly aligns with 65 degrees latitude, meaning most of the map area falls within the Arctic Circle.

Right from the beginning of its early-access phase, DCS: Kola includes its entire coverage area, with detailed terrain, summer ground textures, shorelines, thousands of lakes, most rivers, and the main transportation network already in place; more than half a million sq km for you to explore! 

In regards to high-detail areas and military installations, this initial release focuses on an area spanning the Finland/Russia border, encompassing central Finland and the western parts of the Murmansk and Karelia regions of Russia. The map below highlights the focus area, in green, while also indicating the additional airports in Norway and Sweden.   

Key Features of the Early Access Release

  • Complete base terrain for the entire map area, with highly detailed topography, summer ground textures, shorelines, and lakes and rivers.
  • An initial focus area spans the Finland/Russia border and encompasses central Finland and the western parts of the Murmansk and Karelia regions of Russia (see map).
  • Four high-detail areas, focusing on two airports in Finland (EFRO, EFKE) and five in Russia (XLMV, ULAK, RU-1110, RU-4464, ULMM), and their urban and rural surroundings and infrastructure.
  • Two road runways in Finland, near Rovaniemi and Sodankylä, respectively.
  • Two additional airports in Norway (ENBO, ENNA) and three in Sweden (ESNQ, ESNJ, ESUK) are functional but not fully detailed at early-access release.
  • Significant civilian POIs include bridges, vertical obstructions, monuments, hydro dams, power stations, port facilities, landmark buildings, open-pit mines, towns and small villages, and industrial sites.
  • Improved night lighting for cities and towns.
  • Main road and railroad network, with bridges and tunnels, which is connected across the map that allows long-distance AI routing.
  • Natural landmarks and geographic features, like Norwegian fjords, detailed coastlines, snowfields, forests and wetlands, tens of thousands of lakes, and large river systems.
  • Map features represent the current era but includes allowances for the late-Cold War era – e.g., operational road runways and fully functioning Russian air bases – to enhance mission options.
  • The Orbx team is collaborating with experienced DCS campaign creators Baltic Dragon and Reflected Simulations to create engaging campaigns.

What is the roadmap for DCS: Kola in terms of content and frequency of updates?

Orbx is committed to frequent updates of the map, delivering bug fixes, new content and enhancements. The first major update is already planned for release in June 2024 and smaller updates will follow the general update cycle of DCS World. Given that most of the map area lies within the Arctic Circle, a full set of winter textures will be one of our first priorities.

Our plan is to deliver updates within geographic subareas, given the large distances involved, rather than widely dispersed features. The map below shows our current planning for and within these areas. Each area update will include several detailed airports, military installations, training areas, as well as towns and villages and their key infrastructure and POIs. The pink rectangles indicate the respective high-detail areas. Note that the map only shows airports and road runways and not the many additional military sites, towns, and landmarks that will also receive updates.

Specific airbases already in development or planning include Andoya, Bardufoss, Evenes, Vidsel, Kilpyavr, Alakkurti, and others, as well as more naval bases, training ranges, border guard stations, garrisons, radar/EWR stations, civilian airports, and important landmarks like large bridges, vertical obstructions,  and the Esrange Space Center.

Please note though that “no plan survives contact with the enemy” 😉  and thus update content and timing can and will change. Obviously, we’ll also gather requests and feedback from the user community (see below), which may further influence our planning of updates.

Last but certainly not least, with each update we will further improve on terrain detail and features, add more high-resolution aerial orthoimagery, detailed cities and towns, custom POIs and vertical obstructions, as well as significant industrial sites.

Where can I provide feedback on the current and future features for the map?

We have created a specific page where you can lodge your wishes!

Register here to post and vote: https://kola.orbxdirect.com/

Where can I receive technical support regarding the Kola map?

We provide Technical Support via the following channels:

What about the campaigns by Baltic Dragon and Reflected Simulations?

‘Baltic’ and ‘Reflected’ both have extensive portfolios of popular missions and campaigns for DCS World and are hard at work on their respective campaigns that will take place in the Finland/Russia boundary area of the Kola map. Their respective YouTube channels can be found [here] and [here]. 

They may still be looking for help with mission voice-overs so keep an eye out for their requests.

Will there be an Asset Pack specific to the Kola map region?

While we don’t have an asset pack of our own, we are aware of their value, and also of existing and planned assets by 3D artists suitable for missions in the Kola map area. We are looking into options of collecting and sharing these with the community.

Will there be (dynamic) Northern Lights?

We do hope so, as the aurora borealis certainly is a well-known and spectacular feature of the high latitudes. It is, however, something for Eagle Dynamics to implement. All we can say at this point is that ED acknowledges that it is frequently requested and they are considering adding it at some point in the future.

Is there a possibility that the map will be expanded in the future?

Our primary focus will be on adding content and improving detail and accuracy within the existing map boundaries. There are a lot (!) of features of interest to military enthusiasts that can and will be added in subsequent updates. Moreover, the DCS World game engine does have limitations regarding the overall size and content of single terrain maps, but we will be working closely with Eagle Dynamics to optimise sizes and quality over the next few months.  

However, if we have the community support as well as the technical means, we will definitely consider expansions to the south as well as the industrial areas along the White Sea shores.

Can I use Volanta with DCS World?

Volanta is Orbx’s smart flight tracker application, available [here]. Volanta is an easy-to-use flight tracker that integrates all your flight data across all major simulators, including DCS World.

DCS World integrates with Volanta to automatically track your flight data. Once you have DCS and Volanta set up, your flight information will be captured by Volanta, allowing you to view and analyze your DCS flights alongside those from other supported simulators.

Note: There have been reports of minor compatibility issues between DCS and Volanta. While Volanta can track DCS flights, some users have experienced glitches like incorrect aircraft data being recorded.

What kind of peripherals are commonly used with DCS World?

  • Mouse & Keyboard: While not the ideal choice for DCS World in terms of handling aircraft, a good mouse and keyboard are still essential for navigating menus and interacting with the game world. 
  • Joystick: DCS World can be enjoyed with a basic joystick, especially if you’re new to flight sims or on a budget. Two popular options with DCS users are Logitech Extreme 3D Pro and Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS.
  • HOTAS (Hands On Throttle And Stick): Arguably the most essential peripheral for DCS. A HOTAS will allow you to control your aircraft’s movement more precisely than you could with a keyboard and mouse or basic joystick. There are a variety of HOTAS options available, from budget-friendly models to high-end military jet reproductions. Popular choices include the Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS, Logitech G Saitek X56, and Virpil Constellation Alpha-C Grip.
  • Rudder Pedals: Rudder pedals allow you to control your aircraft’s yaw (steering). While not essential, rudder pedals will be helpful for more precise maneuvers, especially during takeoff and landing.
  • Head Tracking devices: Head tracking allows you to look around the cockpit and outside environment by simply moving your head. This can be a huge advantage in DCS, as it allows you to spot targets and threats more easily. There are a few different head tracking options available, including TrackIR, which uses a webcam to track your head movements.
  • Virtual Reality Headsets: VR places you directly in the cockpit, allowing you to see the world very closely to how a pilot would. This offers an obvious advantage in combat, again for spotting targets and threats, but also for judging distances and angles more accurately and overall immersion. Note, however, that the use of VR requires a more powerful PC with similar graphics settings as using a single PC monitor.

Additional Websites and Resources

(By no means a complete collection!)

New Users:

News, Community, Multiplayer, Q&A, and Tutorials:


HIP Games

Kola Facebook Group

Grim Reapers

Growling Sidewinder


Wags (Matt Wagner, DCS Senior Producer with ED)

Missions and Multiplayer:



https://www.airgoons.com/w/Main_Page ← look out for their upcoming Kola missions!

Non-Military things to do:

Resources specific to the Kola map area: