Flight and space simulators have been around for a long time and have a very large following. Naturally, companies like Logitech and Thrustmaster have created peripherals to allow players to feel like they are actually at the controls of their favorite plane. The latest version of Microsoft’s 37-year-old Flight Simulator series has finally been released leaving a lot of new and veteran players looking for the best controls to create the most realistic experience possible.
Here is our list of the best throttle and flight stick kits for Microsoft Flight Simulator and most other simulators.
Thrustmaster has the most entries on this list which will be no surprise to longtime flight and driving simulator fans. The company has a reputation for making some of the best joysticks and steering wheels on the market, with some used by the U.S. Air Force. The Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog set is a joystick and throttle system based on the controls of the USAF A-10C attack aircraft. This is one of the pricier items on this list but the high-quality and durable design of the set makes it worth the higher cost.
The joystick weighs around 14 lbs and is made primarily out of metal. It includes 55 programmable action buttons and two four-directional hat switches with built-in push buttons. The included pull-and-push throttle system is designed for precision and advanced control. It uses a dual throttle system that allows for independent control of two motors. The throttle also has 17 programmable action buttons, an Afterburner detent, and two hat switches for slew control, mouse control, and point-of-view control.
Like the Thrustmaster Warthog, this HOTAS set by Logitech is a bit pricey and based on the controls of military craft. The stick and throttle were both designed for use with VR games like Elite: Dangerous. The devices can create an immersive feeling in most games including Microsoft Flight Simulator.
The stick features an analog stick at the thumb to allow for greater control over direction. The throttle features a dual throttle system that allows for independent control of 2 different motors. In total, the full set has five hat switches and 31 programmable buttons along with three different control modes. What makes this set very unique and popular with hardcore sim players is the adjustability. Both the stick and the throttle can have their tension adjusted to give players greater control.
The T.Flight HOTAS X is a good budget joystick and throttle with many of the same features of higher-priced kits. The kit comes in a single attached platform instead of having separate platforms for the throttle and stick. Luckily, the throttle is detachable and allows players to place the two separate controllers wherever they are most comfortable.
This stick set features z-axis rotation allowing for greater control. The station features a switch that allows players to switch z-axis control between the stick and the throttle. The full set features 12 programmable buttons and five programmable axles. Players can set up multiple control profiles and switch between them with a mapping button featured on the station.
Logitech’s Flight Yoke features 25 programmable buttons and switches and control over five axes. The system will seem very familiar to long-time flight simulator enthusiasts. The system was designed to simulate the controls of the most common commercial and private planes. The yoke was also designed to be modular making it compatible with all of the other flight accessories offered by Logitech G.
The shaft of the steering mechanism is made of stainless steel and precision bearings to give a smooth, realistic feel. The center of the yoke also has a stopwatch to allow players to time themselves. The throttle that can come with the yoke has three detachable and fully programmable levers with detachable knobs. More throttles can also be added as necessary.
This expensive system from Thrustmaster comes in a few different kit combinations all designed with combat or spaceflight sims in mind. The throttle has 14 programmable buttons and an 8-way hat switch. It has five axes of control and side rails to give players smooth and precise control.
The stick makes use of magnetic sensors to create a very smooth and friction-less feel to the controls. The stick also has a helical spring to create firm tension. The stick and the station it sits on have a combined 28 programmable buttons and an eight-way hat switch for point go view control. The stick is meant to be ambidextrous and features three removable pieces that allow it to be easily reconfigured.
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