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Gunship 2000: Getting it (hopefully) right

Gunship 2000 Intro
Gunship 2000 Intro

This post is about obtaining the optimum version of Gunship 2000 and how to optimise the gameplay experience in DOSBox-X or DOSBox Staging.

The release of Gunship 2000 on GOG and Steam hasn't gone well, the version is an abandonware version and the documentation lacks the necessary GPS codes required to use the in-game map, effectively reducing the game to a demo.

At time of writing the publisher has indicated the release will be updated to the latest version, hopefully fixing many of the problems in the current release.

This guide assumes you are using Windows 10 and want to set up HOTAS controllers, but most of it is fairly general.

If there is anything you think is inaccurate, misleading or just plain wrong, let me know, I wrote this to help out other retro flight sim fans, so getting it right is important.

Warning: Make sure your are comfortable doing this, this is for informational purposes only. I can't take responsibility for any loss or damage incurred. This is working on my particular machine and setup, your experiences may differ.

Which version of Gunship 2000?

Gunship 2000: Office Simulator
Gunship 2000: Office Simulator

My preference is for the cd version of Gunship 2000 found on the 'Conquer the Skies' cd compilation. This version has many advantages including:

  • It's the latest 469.085 version.

  • It includes the base game and Islands & Ice expansion, with the mission editor.

  • The copy protection GPS codes aren't required, so the in-game map 'just works'.

  • There is a complete high quality pdf manual with expansion and mission editor sections.

There aren't any GPS codes in this version of the manual but they aren't needed anyway.

Which version of DOSBox?

My preference is for DOSBox-X or DOSBox Staging, it's very much down to personal preference. In fact there's no reason not to install both and see which one you prefer.

The advantages over standard DOSBox include huge numbers of additional components already built in and available. Take a look at the DOSBox-X and Staging websites to see just how far DOSBox has come today!

For Gunship 2000 the most important one will be the midi component.

You can use standard DOSBox v0.74 (at time of writing GOG still does) but you get so much more built in with DOSBox-X/Staging.

Installing DOSBox

You can get the latest version of DOSBox-X from the DOSBox-X website. Installation is straight-forward so I won't cover it here. Likewise DOSBox Staging is available from the DOSBox Staging website, again it's a straightforward installation.

Once one or both are installed, remember to run each one, this will create a default configuration, which we will use later.

Installing midi components

'I thought you said midi components were built in?' I did and they are, however if you wish to enjoy the music of the Roland MT32 or CM32L midi synths, you'll need to supply some rom files.

For the MT32 and CM32L you'll need:


  • MT32_PCM.ROM



You'll want to create a sensible folder somewhere eg. D:\MT32 and then create a subfolder for MT32 and CM32L roms, eg. D:\MT32\MT32 and D:\MT32\CM32L.

Having them in a separate folder means one copy can be used by DOSBox-X and DOSBox Staging, not only for Gunship 2000 but any other games you configure in the future!

For Gunship 2000 we'll use the CM32L roms as the specs on MobyGames suggests Gunship 2000 has support for the LAPC soundcard.

Generally you'll use the MT32 roms unless the game setup has an option for the LAPC sound card, which was basically an enhanced MT32 synth as a pc soundcard, then you can use the CM32L roms. Don't be afraid to try both out, it's easy to switch back and forth.

If you try other games and think the midi music is a sounding a bit strange, try the other roms.


If you're feeling adventurous, you can try a soundfont. DOSBox-X/Staging has a fluidsynth component built in. You can specify the fluidsynth component as your midi device and supply a soundfont, a file in a .sf2 format.

A soundfont can make old DOS game music sound amazing, really really weird or somewhere in between. If you're interested, the midi section of the DOXBox-X wiki is well worth a read.

How I set things up

This bit is very subjective and based on my personal preference. I have a lot of DOS flight sims and this approach allows me to keep things organised while only using a single copy of DOSBox-X/Staging.

Firstly I have a folder where all the DOS games live, D:\games\dos

Within that folder there's another folder for Gunship 2000, D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000

Within the Gunship 2000 folder there are a number of sub-folders, each one has a particular purpose:

hdd folder

This is the folder that will be mounted in DOSBox as a hard disk drive, the C: drive in DOSBox.

cd folder

Stores the cd image of the game, the D: drive in DOSBox. I tend to rip my cd's to cd image files as who knows how long the cd or cd drive will last and it's generally faster. I normally use iso for data only (or cue/bin if there are audio tracks on the cd). The .iso format is fine for Gunship 2000.

fdd folder

Stores the floppy disk images of the game (normally older games not found on cd) and acts as a floppy disk drive, the A: drive in DOSBox. We won't need this for Gunship 2000.

conf folder

Stores the DOSBox-X/Staging configuration(s) specific to a game, in this case Gunship 2000.

docs folder

Stores any game related documents, so manuals, reference cards, addendums, hints & tips, strategy guides, release/patch notes, etc. will be here.

patches folder

Stores any patches I've downloaded from the internet for a particular game.

icon folder

Store an icon image (in .ico format) I use for a DOSBox shortcut for the game. I normally find the box art and convert it, giving me a very nice box art shortcut. This is entirely optional and based on personal preference.

misc folder

For anything else game related I want to keep.

So for Gunship 2000 we'll have a minimum of: hdd, cd, conf and docs folders within a D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000 folder.

This is all subjective and based on personal preference so feel free to use a folder/naming scheme that works for you.

Initial DOSBox Setup

If you haven't run DOSBox-X or DOSBox Staging before, start them up, there will be a shortcut on your desktop. This will create default configuration files which we'll use next.

Next we'll want to copy the default configuration to the game configuration folder. The default configuration for DOXBox-X is:

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\DOSBox-X\dosbox-x-<version number>.conf

While the default configuration for DOSBox Staging is:


You may have to set the file explorer to show hidden files and folders as AppData is hidden by default.

So in my case I'll be copying dosbox-x-0.83.15.conf and dosbox-staging.conf to the D:\dos\games\Gunship 2000\conf folder.

I normally change the name of the config file to something more descriptive, like gunship2000.conf. If you're trying DOSBox-X and Staging you might want to call them something like gunship2000-x.conf and gunship2000-staging.conf.

We now have a games specific configuration(s).

Next we want to Copy and 'Paste shortcut' (not Paste) the DOSBox-X/Staging shortcut on the desktop, we can also change the shortcut text to Gunship 2000, Gunship 2000 in DOSBox-X, Gunship 2000 in DOSBox Staging or whatever you prefer.

Now our new shortcut will still be using the default DOSBox config, so we need to tell it to use the game specific one. We need to go into the shortcut properties and in the Target box add a -conf option followed by the game config folder and game specific config.

So for me the DOSBox-X Target becomes:

C:\DOSBox-X\dosbox-x.exe -conf "D:\Games\Dos\Gunship 2000\conf\Gunship2000-x.conf"

And for DOSBox Staging:

"C:\DOSBox Staging\dosbox.exe" -noconsole -conf "D:\Games\Dos\Gunship 2000\conf\Gunship2000-staging.conf"

Because I have a space between Gunship and 2000, I need to use double quotes around the config.

We now have a game specific shortcut using a game specific config. If we start it up we won't see any difference because our game specific config is identical to the default one. Now it's time to make our game specific config suitable for Gunship 2000.

DOSBox Configuration

So find your config and open it in your favourite text editor. It looks daunting, there's a lot there but most of it you don't need to worry about so we'll keep it simple for now.

The config file is split into sections, each section has a header:


an explanation of the various options in the section, as comments:

#          fullscreen: Start directly in fullscreen.
#                      Run INTRO and see Special Keys for window control hotkeys.
#             display: Number of display to use; values depend on OS and user settings.

and the options themselves:

fullscreen          = false
display             = 0

We'll describe the options to check/change by specifying the section and what the option should be, eg:

fullscreen          = false

Display settings

This bit could be a number of posts in it's own right and very much down to personal preference, but we'll keep it simple for now.

For DOSBox-X:

You'll probably want the output to be openglpp for a pixel perfect display or if it looks a bit squashed opengl. You can spend hours/days reading various articles on what is best and how to achieve it!

And I always go with aspect correction enabled, as most DOS games were created for 4:3 aspect ratio displays, but feel free to try things out, it's all personal preference!

If you want to run things fullscreen, set the fullscreen option. I tend to leave fullscreen off as it's easy to toggle between windowed and fullscreen, so...

fullscreen          = false	# or true
output              = openglpp

aspect             = true

For DOSBox-Staging:

Since the release of DOSBox-Staging v0.81.0 the work done to clean up the display options and the confusion it caused has progressed to the point the default 'out of the box' settings provide an excellent game play experience for most games and players. The release notes are definitely worth a read.

That being the case here are the settings to check:

fullscreen          = false
fullresolution      = desktop
windowresolution    = default
output              = opengl

aspect             = auto
integer_scaling    = auto
viewport           = fit
glshader           = crt-auto		# or sharp

If you really don't like the CRT effect produced by the crt-auto option, the sharp option uses the old default without a CRT effect.

CPU Settings

Quite an important one as DOSBox will try and guess how fast it should run stuff. For Gunship 2000 we need to tell DOSBox to set the cycles to 10000 and leave it there. However, if you feel it's too fast you can change the cycles up or down as you play. With 100 cycle increments this'll give you fairly fine grained control.

cycles    = fixed 10000
cycleup   = 100
cycledown = 100

Midi Settings

Here's where DOSBBox-X and Staging differ, but we specify the same things so no big deal. We tell them to use an MT32 midi device and where to find the roms and that's it. I keep my MT32 roms in a D:\MT32\MT32 folder, so...

For DOSBox-X:

mididevice      = mt32
mt32.romdir     = D:\MT32\MT32

For DOSBox Staging:

mididevice = mt32

romdir      = D:\MT32\MT32

Soundblaster settings

Gunship supports the Roland MT32 for midi music and a Soundblaster card for digital audio. DOSBox picks standard settings for Soundblaster which work for the vast majority of games including Gunship 2000, so just check these are correct.

sbtype                       = sb16
sbbase                       = 220
irq                          = 7
dma                          = 1
hdma                         = 5  

Autoexec Settings

Who remembers the old DOS autoexec.bat file? For those too young to remember (consider yourselves lucky) this is DOSBox's version of it. It's also where we tell DOSBox where to find the folder that will act as DOSBox's C: drive and where to find cd images that we will mount in DOSBox as a D: drive.

As I'm using my folder scheme I described above, the folder that will act as a C: drive will be D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000\hdd. So I need to add a mount command:

mount c "D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000\hdd"

Now I need to specify the cd image to use, with the image mount command, imgmount.

My particular cd image is made up of a single iso file (CQ-SKIES.iso), that I have stored in D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000\cd. I specify it like so:

imgmount d "D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000\cd\CQ-SKIES.iso" -t cdrom

The -t tells DOSBox it's a cd-rom image type.

If my cd image was made up of a cue file (CQ-SKIES.cue) and a bin file (CQ-SKIES.bin), I only need to specify the cue file in DOSBox, like so:

imgmount d "D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000\cd\CQ-SKIES.cue" -t cdrom

This gives me the following autoexec section in DOSBox:

mount c "D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000\hdd"
imgmount d "D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000\cd\CQ-SKIES.iso" -t cdrom

If we start DOSBox from our Gunship 2000 shortcut you should see the following commands and messages:

Z:\>mount c "D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000\hdd"
Drive C is mounted as local directory D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000\hdd\
Z:\>imgmount d "D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000\cd\CQ-SKIES.iso" -t cdrom
MSCDEX installed.
Drive D is mounted as D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000\cd\CQ-SKIES.iso

We can go to the D: drive and see the files on our cd rom image! If we go to the C: drive, we find it very empty, as we haven't installed anything and that's next!

Installing Gunship 2000

I'm assuming that there is some DOS knowledge, at least enough to change drives, get a directory listing, find and run the installer.

So we want to find and run the Gunship 2000 installer. Where it is and what it is called will depend on the cd image you are using but the installer will normally be called something sensible like install.exe.

Because I'm running from a compilation cd, the commands I used are:

d:			- go to the cd drive
dir			- look at the cd files/folders
cd gs		- go to the Gunship 2000 folder
dir /w/p		- look at all the files in that folder, find install.exe
install		- run install.exe

During the install you'll be asked some questions:

Install onto which drive [C]

The default C drive is fine.

Install to which directory on drive C? [\MPS\GS2000CD]

The default directory is fine.

Copy objfile, 226173 bytes (221K) required (Y/N)?

These days we have huge amounts of disk space so just answer Y.

The second part of the installer will now ask if we want to run the secondary installer which allow us to run the entire game from hard disk without the cd.

Would you like to perform secondary install [Y/n]?

Again we have huge amounts of disk space so answer Y and the installer will start decompressing and copying files to the C drive. Once complete it'll say:

Secondary Installation complete.

Type GS2000 to play.
First Install
First Install
Secondary Install
Secondary Install

DOSBox setup

Right now if we wanted to play Gunship 2000 we would start DOSBox from our Gunship 2000 shortcut, then we'd have to go to the C drive and then we'd have to change directory to the Gunship 2000 installation directory. Then we can start Gunship 2000 or run the setup.

Having to change drive and directory each time would get a bit tiresome after a while, so we can tell DOSBox to do this for us by adding some commands to the end of the autoexec section in the DOSBox config. After doing so my autoexec section becomes:

mount c "D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000\hdd"
imgmount d "D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000\cd\CQ-SKIES.cue" -t cdrom
cd \mps\gs2000cd

Where c: changes to the C drive.

And cd \mps\gs2000cd changes to the \MPS\GS2000CD folder.

As DOS is not case sensitive lowercase or uppercase commands will both work.

Running the shortcut now takes us to the correct drive and folder to run Gunship 2000 or the setup utility.

As we have made a full install of Gunship 2000 and don't need to the cd to run it, we could remove the imgmount command, but it doesn't hurt to leave it where it is.

Getting the documentation

Now for something completely different. At this point it's probably a good idea to grab any documentation. This bit is entirely optional but I find it useful.

The manual

Gunship 2000 Instruction Manual
Gunship 2000 Instruction Manual

As I'm using a iso cd image I can mount this image using the Windows Explorer, once mounted I can go to the virtual cd and examine the cd contents. Fortunately there is a Manual folder on the cd and within this folder, the Gunship 2000 manual in pdf format.

I can now copy this manual, GS2000.PDF to the docs folder I mentioned earlier D:\dos\games\Gunship 2000\docs.

If my cd image was in a different format (eg. bin/cue), I could use the DOSBox Gunship 2000 shortcut to mount the cd image, go to the D: and search for documents. If I found any, I could use the DOS copy command to copy them to the C: drive. In my case, like so:

cd manual
copy gs2000.pdf c:\

Then use Windows Explorer to copy the manual GS2000.PDF from the D:\dos\games\Gunship 2000\hdd folder into the D:\dos\games\Gunship 2000\docs folder.

If you have a paper manual then you can use that or search for a manual in pdf format.

Other documents

It's worth checking the installation directory for any useful documents. You can use Windows Explorer and go to the Gunship 2000 installation folder.

In my case this is D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000\hdd\MPS\GS2000CD. In this folder there is a READ.ME text file and a GS2KHINT.TXT file. I'll copy both of these to my D:\dos\games\Gunship 2000\docs folder.

Creating a shortcut

When playing a particular sim I like to keep the docs close at hand. To do this I'd copy the D:\dos\games\Gunship 2000\docs folder and 'paste it as a shortcut' on the desktop, making it easy to find. Open the shortcut and all the documentation is there!

Setup Gunship 2000

To set up Gunship 2000 we run Gunship 2000 shortcut then the setup utility. Run the command:


Confirm the version, it's shown at the top of the page and should be Version 469.085.

  • Set the Flight Control: Keyboard.

  • Set the Sound Source: Roland & SndBlstr

  • Check Digitized Sound: On.

  • Check Music: All Music On.

  • Open the Details Level menu

  • Check all options are On.

  • Open the Miscellaneous menu.

  • Set the Proportional Collective: Off at present.

  • Check Digital Sound Address: 220h

  • Check Digital Sound IRQ: IRQ 7

  • Check Digital Sound DRQ: DRQ 1

We don't set any HOTAS or joystick controllers at present for reasons explained later.

Gunship 2000 Setup

Running for the first time

We can now run Gunship 2000 with the command:


First flight in the Defender
First flight in the Defender

The purpose of this first run is to check things out, let the intro run and see if the midi music sounds ok. Once complete check the music in the office area. If it sounds ok you can continue, otherwise you may need to change the MT32 roms or check the setup options. Make sure your mouse works as well, you don't use it for flying but you can use it to select options.

Now we need to start a training mission, if this is the first time you've played, you may want to have the manual handy to consult as needed.

The aim of this training mission is to check the digital sound effects provided by the Soundblaster emulation and to check the speed and fluidity of the game.

Take-off, fire the cannon, rockets and a missile or two, fly around for a bit, hopefully everything sounds good and if not check the DOSBox config and run the setup utility again to check the settings.

The last thing to check is the game speed and this is very subjective. It'll depend on your hardware and how you feel about the gameplay experience. It's assumed you'll want a fluid experience and the 10000 cycles option set earlier is a good starting point.

If it feels a little too fast/slow you can use the following:

For DOXBox-X:

F11 + - Decrease cycles

F11 + = Increase cycles

For DOSBox-Staging:

Ctrl + F11 Decrease cycles

Ctrl + F12 Increase cycles

We really want to be happy with the speed before we start dealing with controllers as the DOS/game calibration is very speed sensitive. Changing cycles whilst playing with a controller will cause significant drift at best or make the game unplayable at worst.

If you have to change speed after setting up your joystick/HOTAS, run the Gunship setup utility again and recalibrate your controllers.

Setup Joystick/HOTAS Controllers

If you're following along step-by-step then STOP HERE. The next section is very involved and you'll want to read it first and understand the issues and how it might apply to your particular controller set up. To be honest I need to break this up into a number of different posts!

I obviously can't cover every setup out there, so I'll explain the issues and how it relates to my setup, which I think is a fairly involved one. Hopefully your setup is either easier or by reading this it'll give you pointers on how to achieve a similar result.

We'll be discussing controller axes as assigning buttons to functions is fairly straight-forward by comparison.

The Golden Rules

There are a few of rules I'd advise you to follow:

  • You don't have to set everything up all at once. I almost never do. I usually set up the joystick and throttle and only later, once I'm happy with the config, will I start on adding rudder pedals into the setup. If you're not confident, start with your stick, then later add the throttle and finally add the rudder (pedals).

  • Change one thing and test. Don't try and change too much, there are a lot of parts to all this, trying to figure out what's gone wrong after changing a lot of things will get very frustrating very quickly!

  • Calibrate your controllers! Or least check they are well calibrated, lets eliminate one source of problems before we start on this journey!

  • This process is going to depend on your particular pc and controllers, so it'll be different for everyone!

Remember it's probably going to be an iterative process, tweaking settings and discovering issues during the first few test flights!

The first time you do this, it may be a bit of pain, but it does get easier once you've done it a few times and you understand DOSBox and your controller setup.

Modern controllers and retro sims

In the old DOS days of yore you might have a joystick, sometimes a joystick and throttle and if you were very lucky a joystick, throttle and rudder pedals. One controller would act as a 'hub' and the rest would plug into it (usually with some proprietary cable) and a gameport cable would run from the hub controller into a gameport socket in your soundcard. You might have had 2 or 3 controllers but as far as your pc was concerned it was a single gameport device. You'd plug it all in, calibrate the controllers in the game and away you would go.

Fast forward a few years and the gameport has gone, to be replaced by usb. Later usb controllers like the Saitek X45 or Logitech X52 Pro would continue to use a similar design. One controller would be the hub and the rest would plug into it (still with a proprietary cable). Now a usb cable runs from the 'hub' controller into a usb port. But as far as your pc was concerned it was still a single usb device.

These days we'll often find that the mid/high end controllers are usb devices in their own right. My Warthog stick, throttle and rudder pedals are each a usb device, this has some important implications for retro flight sims.

DOS Flight sims and DOSBox

Most (if not all) DOS flight sims will support a maximum of 4 axes. Those will be:

  • The joystick X/Y axes.

  • The throttle (collective for helicopter sims) axis.

  • The rudder axis.

What DOSBox would really like to see is a single device with 4 axes or fewer. It'll be ok with a single device with between 4 and 8 axes, but it's definitely not a fan of multiple usb devices.

If I just try and use DOSBox-X with my joystick, throttle and pedals connected. It'll happily ignore the stick and pedals and only pick up the throttle as a 4-axis device.

Windows 10/11 (I'm assuming that's the platform most of us are using) has a limit of 8 axes per usb device.

Controllers, devices and axes.

So the question we need to ask is:

Given the controllers I wish to use, how many devices and axes is that?

If it's a single usb device with 4 axes or fewer then DOSBox should find them all. There may still be to be some configuration but they are available.

If it's a single usb device with 4 -8 axes then DOSBox should find the device but you may have to tell it which axes you want to use.

If it's multiple usb devices and/or 8 axes or more then we need to take a detour on our journey and take a look at virtual controllers.

With my Warthog stick, throttle and rudder pedals I have a total of 3 devices and 10 axes (I think). In my case I need to create a virtual device for my Warthog devices and rudder pedals.

Virtual Controller

A virtual controller, also known as an enumerated device, is a single controller which is seen in Windows as a single device which replaces one or more usb controllers. The virtual controller can be configured with a variable number of axes and button assignments.

If you have profile software for your HOTAS device(s) it may create a virtual controller when a HOTAS profile is applied.


I'm fortunate enough to have a Thrustmaster throttle, stick and pedals supported by Thrustmaster's profiling software Target. With this software I can assign the 3 axes I want to use to axes across all 3 of my controllers, but I will briefly cover an alternative below.

Using Target I can leave the X and Y axis assignment of my stick at it's default. Change the throttle to use a single Z axis on the main throttle axis (disabling the rest) and add an X rotation axis to my rudder pedals, as shown below.

My T.A.R.G.E.T profile
My T.A.R.G.E.T profile

I have now used a virtual controller to turn 3 usb devices with many axes into a single 4 axes controller. When I run the profile, my 3 usb devices used in the profile are disabled in Windows to be replaced by a single virtual controller.

This is my default DOSBox profile in Target which I can use as a basis for a more specific game profile, I have the axes, now I can copy it and add button assignments as needed!

You may have you own profiling software from your HOTAS supplier which may allow you to do something similar.

Joystick Gremlin

If you can't use your suppliers profiling software, may be it doesn't support one of your particular device, or provide functionality to disable axes, or you are using controllers from multiple suppliers then there is an open source alternative, Joystick Gremlin.

Joystick Gremlin provides similar functionality as Target but supports devices from any manufacturer, their website is definitely worth a look. Joystick Gremlin will create your HOTAS profile and then use vJoy to provide the virtual controller.

Now to be honest I have dabbled very very briefly in Joystick Gremlin and there may be a bit of a learning curve and as I was starting out with Target I put Joystick Gremlin aside. So if you want to try this route I would suggest taking a look at some tutorials, websites and videos so you know what might be involved. Make sure you are comfortable in trying it out.

I have seen comments where Target users have tried Joystick Gremlin and vowed never to go back! Maybe one day I'll take another run at it and become a convert, but for now I'm finding Target sufficient for my needs.

One last point if you have created a virtual controller, check the calibration in Windows to make sure it is well calibrated and has all the axes you expect!

Setup DOSBox

Now it's time to setup DOSBox. We'll want to take a look at the joystick section:

joysticktype                = auto
timed                       = true
swap34                      = false
deadzone                    = 10

These settings will take some trial and error as they'll depend on your controllers and on your personal preference.

You need to try some test flights, to see if they need to change.

I set my joystick type to 4axis.

If you experience controller drift as you fly you might want to try setting timed to false. After a few tests flights my controllers were ok so I left this setting at the default.

If the throttle/collective acts as the rudder and the rudder acts as the collective you can swap these axes. During my first test flight, this happened so after quitting the sim and DOSBox I had to swap axis 3 and 4 by changing swap34 to true.

I also prefer a smaller deadzone but that's just personal preference.

In my case I ended up with the following settings:

joysticktype                = 4axis
timed                       = true
swap34                      = true
deadzone                    = 1

In DOSBox-X the deadzone option doesn't exist, instead there's a mapper section immediately following the joystick section, with a deadzone option for each joystick and axis:

joy1deadzone0- = 0.60
joy2deadzone7+ = 0.60

I tend to set mine to 0 but you can tweak them to your personal preference.

DOSBox Keymapper

DOSBox Staging mapper
DOSBox Staging mapper

Also known as just the Mapper in DOSBox Staging. This utility allow you to assign buttons to keys and shows you which of your controller axes are mapped to the 4 axes in DOSBox. If you aren't using profiling software, this utility will allow you to rebind DOSBox axes to your controller axes.

Each axis is split in half into a negative and positive area. Clicking on the box representing a joystick axis shows the current axis mapping.

Depending on your controller(s) you may want to rebind the axes if you're not using your HOTAS profile utility or you don't have one. You have the ability to delete the current binding and then add a new one. Once you click the add button, move the controller in the appropriate direction.

Setup Gunship 2000 again!

Controller Setup
Controller Setup

Before running the setup open up the joystick panel in Windows and find the centre point of your throttle, if you're going to set one up. The setup utility may ask you to centre the collective which is tricky to judge by hand.

Now it's to set up and calibrate your controllers for Gunship 2000 so start up the setup utility and you should see the following Controller Setup.

Now setting up the Joystick is simple enough, set Flight Control to Joystick. You'll be asked to move the joystick to top left and bottom right limits to calibrate it, follow those instructions.

If it keeps repeating the same instructions again and again, then it's having trouble calibrating your joystick, hit Esc to exit and check your controller and DOSBox settings.

Now go to the Collective/Rudder menu. The menu options may require an explanation:

Keyboard +/-: Keyboard +/- keys control the collective, no keyboard rudder control, this might be useful if you just want to setup up a joystick or you want to set up other controllers later.

Keypad Arrows: Keypad up/down arrows control the collective, left/right arrows control the rudder, again useful if you have a single stick or you want to set up a collective/rudders later.

Rudder: If you just have a joystick with a twist action or a third axis and no other controllers and you want to use this as a rudder then select this option. You'll be asked to calibrate.

Collective: If you just have a joystick with a third axis and you want to use this as a collective, or a joystick and throttle without rudder control or joystick and throttle with rudder control but you want to set up rudders later, choose this option. You'll be asked to calibrate the axis. I actually chose this option for my first few tests before I set up my rudder pedals.

Second Joystick: If you have a throttle/collective and rudder you wish to use, choose this option. When it asks you to calibrate top/left limits, move your throttle to the top AND move you rudder to the left before continuing. For bottom/right limits, move your throttle to the bottom AND move you rudder to the right before continuing.

If it keeps repeating calibration instructions, then it has a problem, use Esc to exit and check your controller and DOSBox settings.

You might want to move the throttle to the afterburner detent if you have one, when calibrating, rather than using the full range of the axis, to make the collective easier to use. It's something to try out and see which you prefer.

There's one final option you may want to set, under the Miscellaneous menu, there is a Proportional Collective option. I think this makes it easier to fly with a throttle as collective, so I set this to On, but it's personal preference.

First flights

So it's time to fire up Gunship 2000 and kick off a training mission. The aims of these tests will be to ensure the controller(s) behave as expected. So get up into the air (if you can) and test each of the axes you have configured. Might also be worth ensuring your disabled axes are actually disabled!

When I first set up pedals, the pedals controlled the collective and the rudder pedals controlled the collective, so I had to quit the game and swap axis 3 and 4 in my DOSBox config before trying again.

Once the testing is over you're done, now go enjoy all that hard work!

Final (optional) touches

These bits are completely optional.

You can get DOSBox to automatically run Gunship 2000 and then close the DOSBox window once you quit the game by adding the following to the end of the autoexec section of your DOSBox config:


So mine would become:

mount c "D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000\hdd"
imgmount d "D:\games\dos\Gunship 2000\cd\CQ-SKIES.iso" -t cdrom
cd \mps\gs2000cd

If you need to get to the DOS prompt to run setup again, you'll need to comment out those lines like so:

# gs2000
# exit

Shortcut Icon

As pretty as the DOSBox-X and DOSBox Staging shortcut icons are. I prefer to use some retro box art instead. After finding a suitable image, I use a suitable website service to convert it from it's original .jpg or .png format to a .ico format, used by Windows icons.

I think it makes for a nice flight sim collection!

Miscellaneous Notes

If you use DOSBox-X then when you quit Gunship 2000 you may see an error in the DOSBox window, seems like a minor incompatibility somewhere. If you use DOSBox Staging you'll see a Microprose advert splash screen.

Good hunting!


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