Rise of Flight United

Rise of Flight United

133 ratings
DLC buying guide by Trupobaw
By Jorri and 1 collaborators
This guide helps you decide if and how to spend your money on the DLC packages for Rise of flight.
Trup's DLC buying guide
With so many DLCs there is lot of room for confusion as of which one to buy, whether you need them all or any at all. The way the planes are bundled is little confusing (like, why D.II in Bloody April pack if D.III would make more sense). So I took a look on each pack - as single product if possible - and try to tell you why would you want to buy it or why don't you need it and what does it add to your game. I am not going to review each plane in particular - if you want to learn more about them, I suggests Benders excellent (if not always up-to-date) guide here:

NOTE: The transfer of steam version fromRoF:Channel Battles edition to RoF United made parts of this guide obsolete. I will update it as I fugure out how the new DLCs exactly work...


If you don't want a long read, here are some flowchats showing succession of planes and DLCs in career:
German Career Flow Chart v 1.01[dl.dropboxusercontent.com]
British Career Flow Chart v 1.02[dl.dropboxusercontent.com]
French Career Flow Chart v 1.02[dl.dropboxusercontent.com]
American and Belgian Career Flow Chart v 1.02[dl.dropboxusercontent.com]
British and German multicrew planes Career Flow Chart v 1.02[dl.dropboxusercontent.com]

You can also find these flowcharts at the bottom of this guide.

My experience is mostly with single player career mode, but I've seen enough multiplayer to add comment from both points of view. Multiplayer is every plane for itself, anyway; you really want the plane, you buy the pack it's in. It's career planning where people need different planes in succession, and question which planes you need to run which careers for each nation that I'm after.

The seven plane packs offer extra planes and their non-standard modifications. The first two (Bloody April and Furious Wings) bring out the career span to full length (first for Britons, second for other Allies, both or just second for Germans). The other two (Birth of Warbirds and The Ultimate Best Fighter) flesh out the very beginning end very end of career, mostly for Germans, and bring utility two-seaters. The last three are mostly oddball stuff to be run alongside (or regardless) of "mainstream" career tracks - alternative fighters, fighting two-seaters, strategic bombers, seaplane and odd utility two seater.
The free to play content.
With basic game now free to play, let's have a look at what exactly is given for free and how the DLCs work.

Free to play version has all features of complete game, with exception of planes and Channel map. The game works on "have the plane - can fly scenarios it's in" basis - you get almost full complement of maps, campaigns and careers in free to play version, but can't use it if you don't have the planes needed to fly it. As soon as you buy the plane, all content the plane stars in becomes playable.

The free to play game starts you with three planes:

Albatros D.Va - the new pilots friend and old pilots powerful tool, jack-of-all trades German fighter. The best trainer in the game, excellent plane for career and one of most capable planes in multiplayer.

Spad 13 - fast and stable, if not very maneuvrable French fighter, very good in diving attacks. Excellent Boom and Zoom plane for advanced pilots. King of multiplayer when used right, easy meat if used wrong.

Nieuport 17 RUS - Russian version of famous French fighter. Very maneuvrable if you can handle it. Does not appear in basic career mode and so far is rarely used in multiplayer, but appears in PWCG (see below).

Game modes include:
-quick missions (pick your plane, your target/opponent and let bullets fly)
-campaigns (series of linked, scripted scenarios following a pre-written storyline),
-career mode (in which you join historical squadron and fly generated missions with it, earning promotions, getting new planes and moving to new airfields as the war progresses).
-multiplayer (very varied, depending on settings and scenario).

There is also a free, third-party career generator (PWCG), with very different experience. One of differnces is, PWCG is experimenting with Eastern Front careers and Russian Nieuport 17 (official career is Western Front only so far).

All of this works on "have plane-can fly" basis. Wnat to play campaign that uses Fokker D.VII? Buy DLC that contains Fokker D.VII. Wnat to join Red barons Fokker Triplane squadron? But DLC with Fokker triplane. Want to fly Sopwith Camel in multiplayer? Buy a DLC with Copwith Camel. The free planes are well chosen when it coames ot career, as they are late-war machines - you can join an Albatros or Spad 13 squadron and fly it withour reaching the "buy more planes to continue" wall.
Channel Battles (Channel map, Fokker D.VII/Dr.I, Sopwith Camel, S.E.5.a, Nieuport 17/28, Pfalz D.XII, Felixstowe)
The "classic experience" DLC, it brings the iconic late-war planes to Rise of Flight. It used to be part of basic "starter" pack for steam RoF, and I can't recomment it to much. In fact, it will be hard to write about other packs assuming you don't own this one.

First, it comes with Channel Map. The third (along with Wester and Eastern Front maps from free to play) theatre in game, it comes with second career mode - buying it will allow you to fly planes you own in new careers over the Channel. The ground based Channel careers are more action-packed and intense than Western Front ones, but all happen over small path of land next to French / Belgian coast. The off-the-front careers - patrols over sea, or British Home Defence flights, are completely different experience.

You can buy seaplanes without owning this DLC, and use them in multiplayer operating from rivers, but in career you obviously need sea to ue them.

The eight planes included in this pack are late war classics, including British planes missing from free to play game:

Sopwith Camel - the most famous British fighter of the War, powerhouse turnfighter (if it does not get you killed first) in career in MP
S.E.5.a - the best British fighter. Not as easy to score victories in as Camel, but much easier to go back home alive in.
Nieuport 17 - legendary French turnfighter, maneuvrable but undergunned. Very similar to free Russian version, this is the one that appears in career and is featured in multiplayer.
Nieuport 28 - The first American fighter, predecessor to Spad XIII. Generally outperformed by Spad XIII.
Fokker Dr.I - the legendary triplane Red Baron got himself killed in, German "expert" plane historically assigned only to best squadrons. Powerful and difficult turn fighter, not unlike the Camel.
Fokker D.VII - historically the best fighter of the war, this DLC fetures the weakest engine variant in game.
Pfalz D.XII - "German Spad", high altitude fighter. Just like Spad, it's a king if flown right nad easy victim if not.
Felixstowe - a two-engined flying boat and heavy bomber.

In career, you need this one to:
Play British fighter career to the end (most squadrons end up in Camel or S.E.5.a).
Play German career to the end (most squadrons switch to Fokker D.VII at one point or other, even if they keep Albatroses, most of these switch to Fokker Dr.I first).
Play American career from the beginning (most squadrons stert with Nieuport 28).
Play any Belgian career (they all take place on Channel map, and use Nieuports and Camels).
Play any Channel career, for that matter.
You technically can play full-length French career without this one, but you'll lose a lot without Nieuport 17...
Play Felixstowe career, patrol the seas in hunt for U-boats.

The catch. Yes, there is one. As this pack contains more content than anyy other (8 planes, including huge flying boat, and new theatre), the field modifications (gunsights, extra instruments) and weapon modifications (bigger guns, wing cut out that let's you see better in fight) that normally are included in DLC, here are split into separate one. That's right, if you want to have bullet counter in your Fokker Triplane, you have to buy it with Ace Pack. The modifications range from nice to have (Fokkers, S.E.5.a, perhaps Camel) to essential (Nieuports, Pfalz).
Ace Pack
The Ace pack includes extra instruments, gunsights and weapons for planes found in Channel Battles DLC. Depending on producer, your factory standard planes come fully equipped or have only tachometer (and maybe compass); less-essential instruments had to be obtained privately by pilot and fixed by his mechanic. Most DLCs include planes along with their field modifications, but Channel Battles includes so many planes that their mods were split off into Ace pack. In single player and on some multiplayer servers you can turn on "simple gauges" which give you the same instruments in HUD form, you only need these instruments if you want full realism. Weapon mods range from very useful (Sopwith Camel wing cutout, Nieuport 28 balloon guns) to curiosities (two overwing guns for N.17).

If you buy Fokker D.VII and Nieuport 28 via battle of St. Michell DLC, you need this DLC to get field modifications for them, too.

Without simple gauges, you need these instruments for both Nieuports, and Pfalz. Both F.okkers and S.E.5a benefit from them somewhat, while SPAD and Camel benefit mostly from extra gunsights that every plane receives. If you fly without icons and like the Camel, you want this one for wing cutout mod alone, or you won't see your opponent from under your wing. Depending on your plane and settings preferences, you may want this DLC badly or skip it.
Furious Wings (SPAD 7.C1, Albatros D.III, Halberstadt D.II, Nieuport 11.C1)
This is early-mid war pack, easily the second most useful one for flying fighters in maximal length Career mode, unless you fly only British squadrons when it is just helpful. It has most French-build fighters (used by Americans and Belgians, too) that don't appear in free to play version or Channel Battles DLC.

French can use this DLC to play a full length Nieuport 11-Spad7-Spad 13 career (Nieuport 17 from Channel Battles DLC can be skipped). Belgian pilots flew Nieuport 11s for almost a year, and some switched to Spad 7s afterwards, so you need both this and Channel Battles for long Belgian career. Some American squadrons flew SPAD 7 instead of Nieuport 28, so you can have long American career without Channel Battles DLC with htis one. Same of British, who flew SPAD 7 as early as winter 1916/1917 - you can have long alternative British career using this DLC, concluded by planes from Channel Battles or Battle for St. Michell DLC.

For German pilots, Halberstadt and Albatros D.III are enough to start career in fall 1916 and play until 1918. More importantly, every German squadron in the game flies Albatros D.III exclusively at some moment (may 1917?) so you need this plane to "bridge the gap" between early planes and Albatros D.Va.

In multiplayer, players want this one to fly planes other than N.17 on early 1917 servers. In particular, servers that don't host Albartos D.Va usually host D.III or Halberstadt. Since the last flight model update the D.Va is somewhat stigmatised as "easy mode" plane, and German players are seen switching to almost as good but less condamned D.III. Halberstadt is unique among German planes, small agile machine that can beat Nieuports at their own game. N.11 is slower but even more agile varianat of N.17, and SPAD is quality of its own.
Bloody April: (Albatros D.II, Sopwith Pup, Nieuport 17.C1 GBR, Sopwith Triplane)
Third in my ranking of most useful packs, it does to Britons what Furious Wings does for other nations. Three fighters in this pack close the gap between 1916 and Sopwith Camel / S.E.5 From Channel Battles DLC, and at least Pup is flyable from fall 1916, so you can fly full-blown British careers by buying just Channel Battles and this one. Albatros D.II is a powerful 1916 plane; most German players will want to fly it in career instead of / alongside Halberstadt D.II. The only long-running French squadron on Channel map uses British plane types before switching to SPAD 7, so you need both this and Furious Wings to play that unique unit.

In multiplayer, you need this one if you want to fly British planes on early/mid war server that does not have Camels / S.E.5. British N.17 trades a littlle speed and comfort for rate of fire and is my favourite N17/11 variant in game. Pup is a very maneuvrable if undergunned figher. Triplane, unforunately, lost much of its potency with 2015 flight model fix. Albatros D.II is likely mostpowerful plane in this pack, and best german plane in scenarios before Albatros D.III.
Birth of Warbirds (F.okker E.III, Airco D.H.2, R.E.8, Roland C.IIa)
The early planes and utility two seaters, another Brits vs Germans pack. If you play fighters, it's great addon to Channel Battles and one or both DLCs above. The E.III an D.H.2 are very early German and British fighters, allowing you to start the career from the very beginning. They are not easy planes and are quickly replaced with planes from Bloody April / Furious Wings, but are very characterful and fun to play. You skip just few months if you run career without them, but I always keep one German career on E.III stage and spent more career months on D.H.2 than on any other British plane.

It's also one of two pack with utility two-seaters - R.E.8 and Roland, British and German. If you want less action packed careers involving photo recon, artillery spotting or bombing missions, I suggest these two. You may use these two seaters to bypass the Bloody April / Furious Wings era planes - fly on E.III, transfer to Roland squadron then switch to Albatros D.Va as it becomes available.

In multiplayer, E.III and D.H.2 are useful mostly against each other and to show how badass you are by flying them aganst later types. They shine in always-welcomed "early" missions, alongside F.E.2s, Strutters and Rolands.

Roland and R.E.8 are recon planes of choice on many multiplayer servers, often required if you want to do something else than go up and shoot people.
Ultimately the best fighter (Airco D.H.4, Breguet 14.B2 , f.kker D.VIIF, f.kker D.VIII)
Late German fighters and two allied two-seaters. You can skip this one if you fly only fighters and don't fly as German. You can play full length German career without it using Channel Battles or Battle for St. Michell planes, but you don't want to. D.VIIF is D.VII on steroids and does everything that basic variant does, only better; D.VIII is probably best vertical fighter in game (and surely my single favorite fighter in game) and great fun to fly. Breguet and D.H.4 are late-war two seater bombers; Breguet is the main multi-crew French (and American) plane we have.

In multiplayer, D.VIIF is the titular ultimate best fighter and reason enough to buy the pack; it outperforms late war German planes found in Channel Battles and St. Michell. It won't outturn the Camel (or Dr.I) and it won't outrun the SPAD, but it can fight them all and it's forgiving to pilots errors. It's probably next best plane not included in free-to-play starter, and certainly next best after planes from free-to-play and Channel Battles. The D.VIII is less straightforward but still very capable. Breguet and D.H.4 are great planes, both have followings of aggresive pilots using them as gunships in addition to their bomber role. (if only their wings didn't fall off in high-G maneuvers). .
Battle of Saint-Michell (Nieuport 28, Fokker D.VII, Halberstadt CL.II, Sopwith Dolphin, Pfalz D.IIIa, Bristol F2B)
Aaah, the oddball DLC, made even stranger by move to Free to Play model. It comes with two planes already found in Channel Battles edition (Nieuport 28 and Fokker D.VII) as well as two oddball late war fighters and two combat two seaters. For career players, it's an alternative to Channel Battles; it shares two planes needed to play campaigns, and has two more planes that let you play late war German / British career, offering very different experience. You can easily live without them if you have Channel Battles, or live without Channel Battles - less easily - if you have this. Pfaltz is intriguing alternative to Albatros D.Va, sturdy, able to dive at speeds that would make Albatros fall apart and stable gun platform, but not as noob-friendly and less capable when turning fights start. Once you are comfortable with Albatros, you may want to switch to this one. Ofter overlooked Dolphin is an jack of all trades like D.VIIF, quite unique for Allies whose fighters are often specialised. It's pleasant to fly but not forgiving to unexperienced pilots. Halberstadt is a two-seater ground attack plane, daddy of Ju-87 Stuka and IL-2, grandgranddaddy of A-10 and my single favorite plane in game, be it fighter or not. Cl.II career is full of low-altitude bombardment of front lines, truck convoys and occasional parked aeroplanes. Bristol is a green mean two-seated gunboat that can be used to bomb things like utility two-seaters and dogfight with single-seat fighters - often in the same mission.

In career, Pfalz runs pretty much parallel to Albatros D.Va and Fokker D.VII succeeds it. If you have Bloody April DLC, you can continue your career from early Sopwitches to Dolphin by transferring to Nieuport 17 or Bristol squadron. If you have Furious WIngs, British squadrons flying Spad 7 re-equip with Dolphins in 1918, so you can fly a British career with this two DLCs completely bypassing Bloody April / Channel Battles planes. Halberstadt career is something different, and something to behold. Nieuport 28 lets you fly full Americcan career, folowed by free Spad 13. All planes in this DLC run till the end of the war or are replaced with free to play planes - you don't hit the "buy more planes to continue" wall when flying them in career.

In multiplayer, Pfalz is in decline since last fix made it less super-Albatros and more of top cover plane; you may want it just to avoid "easy mode Albatros" stigma. Dolphin players are somewhat rare but those I see do well. Halberstadt often appears in realistic missions in support of utility two-seaters. On dogfight servers where people normally bring only fighters, Halberstadt and Bristol are seen over enemy airfields, braving ground fire and bombing fighter pilots from tree-top level.
Legendary bombers (Gotha G.V, Handley Page 0-400, DFW C.V, Brandenburg W12)
Another oddball pack, full of big multi-crew planes, three of them German. The Gotha and Handley-Page are two-engine strategic bombers capable of flying over British channel to bomb stuff on other side. DFW is *the* German utility two-seater, with longer service span than Roland. Brandemburg is Bristol wannabe with floats - a two seater fighting machine that can't, in fact carry bombs.

Like previous pack, these planes are great alternatives in career and don't require any other pack - their squadrons fly the same type for the whole war, be it strategic bombing, sea patrols or general utility flights (ok, some DFW squdrons start on Rolands) . In multiplayer, DFW is the default German two-seater; other three fall into "to fun not to have, to niche to miss if you don't" category.
Intrepid Flyers (F.E.2.b, Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter / Strutter B, Hanriot HD.1 / HD.2)
This DLC is another odball. It has three planes, two of which come in two variants. All planes are niche for some reason - a pure Belgian fighter, fighter-bombers, night bomber and a floatplane fighter. These specialisations, often narrow, are so different that taken together DLC pack offers very broad, varied and unique career experience.

F.E.2 is a British-only all-purpose fighter-bomber that is already obsolete when career starts. The double machine gun mount confuses AI gunner who spends most of the time switching between guns, and rarely get to shoot with human pilot. So, it's difficult in it's intended role of a fighter. However, it really shines at night bombing missions, which it flies at later stages of career. Night missions in RoF are stunning and F.E.2 is stable, pleasant to fly plane with good forward field of view. Dare I say "pleasure boat with bombs"? Most F.E.2 squadron switch to Bristols, so you want Battle for St. Michell to continue your F.E.2 career.

Strutter is a bomber that excells as a fighter ;) - much like the Bristol. A true working girl, you can fly it's two variants it in British, Belgian and French squadrons, as bomber, fighter or recon, from 1916 to early 1918, doing bombing missions with strong dogfighting element... or was it other way around? Buying it leads to very varied career experiences.

Hanriot HD1 is a fighter, alternative to Nieuport 17 and Sopwith Camel. It appears only in one (Belgian) squadron and not having it does not block your Belgian career that much; you'll more likely be playing this squadron to fly Hanriot then needing Hamriot to fly that one squadron .

Hanriot HD2 is floatplane fighter, used only by one French squadron. It's career is full of sea patrols, where you are shooting down any German planes that venture over sea rather than look for ships. This squadron flies only HD2s, so you don't need to look any other planes for full career.

Both Hanriots require Channel Battles DLC to use in career, as they only appear on Channel map.

Both Hanriots and Struttres are widely flown in multiplayer. The stars of Hanriot HD1 seems to be rising after last patch turned super-Camel into historical-Camel, with more and more Entente players flying it. Along with the Dolphin, HD1 is closest Entente has to jack-of-all-trades fighter as prefered by Germans.

Ilya Muromets
To be written later.
DLC flowcharts for career mode (Obsolete)
Click to enlarge these images.

German Career Flow Chart v 1.01

British Career Flow Chart v 1.00

French Career Flow Chart v 1.00

American and Belgian Career Flow Chart v 1.00

British and German multicrew planes Career Flow Chart v 1.00

Thanks to Trupobaw for writing this guide.
< >
Don Quixote de la Mancha Aug 21 @ 11:24am 
Thanks for making this! Just found this neat looking game, and this guide was a great help for comprehending what the DLCs will get you. All the best!
akmatov Jul 7 @ 7:50pm 
The French and British flow chart names are reversed. Great guide.
LUKEN Jan 13 @ 1:09am 
best guide ever
Glow Jun 10, 2017 @ 3:46am 
Thank you for the guide.

I'm going British carrer first:
- Channel Battles (map, 7 planes i.a. Sopwith Camel, Fokker D.VII and DR.1).
- Ace Pack for mods and guns to those planes.
- Bloody April (5 plains i.a.Sopwith Pup and Triplane)

Ultimately the Best Fighter goes on my wishlist. If someday I get to mp and things go serious.
dogshocker May 5, 2017 @ 11:22pm 
Invaluable guide this....many thanks.
Puppenhead Jul 11, 2016 @ 4:43pm 

When you see the login menu look down and there should be something like "activate key"

your welcome!
ken1776 Jun 27, 2016 @ 4:15pm 
Its not just the roundels its the charts that are swiched.
palmadaniel Mar 30, 2015 @ 3:50am 
Amazing amount of work you´ve put yourself through for us games. I would like to thank you with this wealth of info you´ve produced, now I know exactly the DLC´s I want to download to have the experience I was looking for. Godspeed, always...
Algernon Disraeli Mar 24, 2015 @ 11:38pm 
Great flowchart--better and more useful to me than anything I could find elsewhere, after hours of browsing. One thing threw me off: I think maybe the RAF and French AF roundels are switched in their chart boxes. Thanks for this deep-yet-engaging guide!
Monostripe-Zebra Dec 18, 2014 @ 3:49pm 
nice work, guys!