Best Flight Simulator Controllers & Joysticks
Flight sim controllers are more important now in 2020, more than ever. As simulator enthusiasts, we have the pleasure of a wide range of flight simulators available to play this year.
With Microsoft’s Flight Simulator recently launching, and a whole host of other flight games available such as Ace Combat 7, and soon Star Wars Squadrons. Now is the perfect time to pick up your virtual joystick or yoke of choice.
This guide will run you through the best flight simulator controllers, yokes and joysticks available. And I’ll give you our recommendation for the best flight simulator controller.
- Best all round flight sim controller
- Best budget flight sim controller
- Best high end flight sim controller
Best Flight Simulator Controllers, Joysticks and Yokes
Can you believe it has been a long 14 years since Microsoft last released a Flight Simulator (not including 2012’s Microsoft Flight).
But now Microsoft Flight Simulator is officially back, there is a whole wave of new and returning players taking to the sky. And with the influx of virtual pilots, come those looking to enhance their experience with a full cockpit setup.
As someone who always dreamed of taking to the skies as a pilot when I was younger, I have fully embraced this years flight sim. I’ve also had the pleasure of testing out a wide range of flight controllers.
The best all-round flight simulator controller
If you are looking for the perfect flight controller for Microsoft Flight Simulator, then Logitech has you covered.
Logitech produce a full flight yoke system which tries to replicate the controls found in many passenger planes. This controller bundle includes a full throttle quadrant and precision rudder and braking controls.
Everything you can see on the yoke and throttle module is fully programmable, with over 25 buttons and switches in total. These allow you to tailor your flight sim experience to your own requirements.
The yoke itself is constructed of different forms of plastics, but does feature a stainless steel elevator and control shaft, giving it a semi-high end feel.
With the whole controller setup coming to under £270 / €300, this is a relatively affordable controller setup. By adding this to your flight simulator setup, you will instantly elevate your precision and immersion.
Best budget flight sim controller
If you are looking to add a layer of immersion to your flight simulator experience, but don’t want to spend the world to get there, Thrustmaster has a decent budget controller ready for you.
The Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS X (to give it it’s full name) is an excellent option for anybody looking to get away from a console controller or mouse and keyboard.
For the small cost of this joystick you can really change up your flight experience.
The joystick itself is in a different league to the HOTAS Warthog, and is finished in plastic throughout. It does feel much more like a toy than a machined piece of equipment. But when you are purchasing something that is a tenth of the price of the Warthog, you need to expect a cheaper construction method.
That isn’t a gripe against the HOTAS X, as it is a fantastic joystick for the price. You just need to be aware that it is a different quality to the much improved Warthog.
The HOTAS X itself gives you a wide range of controls, including a few buttons on the joystick and throttle module. And it also features a detachable throttle module for a little extra customisation which is a nice touch.
As you play using the HOTAS X you will notice a few unpleasant noises from the low quality plastics. But overall, the experience with the HOTAS X is unmatched for under £60 / €65.
If you want a plug and play low cost controller, then look no further than the Thrustmaster HOTAS X. It is a superb controller for the price point.
Best high end flight sim controller
The Thrustmaster Warthog is one of the best engineered game peripherals I’ve ever had the pleasure of using.
It’s super weighty body and frame make this joystick feel like it was never meant to be used on a desk. And instead it should be destined for us in an actual fighter jet. After all, this is a replica of the joystick setup found in an A-10C jet.
Looking at the joystick alone, this replica gives you an awesome feeling of piloting your own aircraft, and features over 19 programable buttons. The sheer weight alone of this joystick lets you know that you are using a high end controller.
However the real pleasure is with the throttle control panel. From the outside, this system looks like it means business, with its host of switches and toggles, and an almost completely metal finish.
The control panel itself features 15 programmable switches and buttons, along with a dual control throttle system. It really is a joy to use.
Just like the joystick, the control panel is a hefty piece of kit. But luckily both joystick and control panel feature holes allowing you to hard mount them to your desk or rig.
Despite being a little on the older side, the Thrustmaster Warthog remains the absolute pinnacle of flight sim controllers. And despite its hefty price tag, this is a peripheral which is well worth the investment.
If you are really dedicated to flight simulations, you may also be inclined to look at the Thrustmaster TPR Pendular Rudder system.
This is one hefty piece of kit, but will complete any flight sim rig perfectly. The pedals will give you full control and precision over your rudders, and can be customised in a number of ways to fit your own preference.
Grab Your Flight Sim Gear Here
Shop for Logitech Flight Sim Controllers
Shop for Thrustmaster Flight Sim Controllers
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