A good handful of us dreams to be a pilot at one point of our lives so that we could fly a helicopter, a plane or a jet to hunt our enemies down. However, this can never really happen for most of us. It’s a fantasy that we all have been living with, but it can’t be fulfilled because of all sorts of different reasons. However, gaming joysticks will allow us to live our dreams and especially due to the growth in games based on space or flight simulation. We’ll be going through plenty of features that are being offered because playing with the mouse and keyboard just won’t do. So here we have a list of best gaming HOTAS joysticks.
|Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Flight Stick and Throttle||Latest Price||55||13.2 lbs.|
|Logitech G Saitek Pro Flight X56 Rhino||Latest Price||36||5 lbs.|
|Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X Flight Stick||Latest Price||12||4.7lbs.|
|VKB-Sim Gladiator Mk.II||Latest Price||29||3.5lbs.|
|Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick||Latest Price||12||2.5lbs.|
1. Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Flight Stick and Throttle
The Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog set is the real deal as it is made out of metal and it is a replica of the U.S. Air Force A-10C flight stick. Unlike other joysticks, this joystick does not feel cheap and provides an immersive experience, which gives it little to complain about. The throttle is really smooth which is great for flight simulations.
- Comfort – The Warthog is built ergonomically and the level of comfort this joystick provides is unbelievable. The high-quality buttons and switches provide a realistic feel and have decent sensitivity for pressing very deep or as little as you’d like. All55 buttons are programmable, but it does take a fair bit of time to set things up because there are loads of customization options available. The control panel provides plenty of controls like the friction wheel, which allows the users to adjust the throttle manually depending on what they prefer. The throttle control panel consists of 5 programmable LED’s that will help you in low-light conditions.
- Build quality– The throttle handles, joystick and bases are made completely out of tough metal, which also includes the triggers. This is why the joystick remains steady on the surface even after heavy usage. All the buttons are responsive and durable.
- Aesthetics– This joystick is an accurately sized replica of the real flight stick and features a slick black matte finish with brand logos in white.
- Adaptability –It will definitely take some time getting used to this 14lb joystick due to all of the buttons and configurations, so if it’s your first time, then it might look a little intimidating.
- Price – This beast of a joystick is priced $437, which is a little pricey for a joystick, but if you’re seeking that realistic feel then it doesn’t get any better than this.
2. Logitech G Saitek Pro Flight X56 Rhino HOTAS
The number of space simulation games have increased in the past few years and space simulators can provide a great immersion experience – this is where the X56 Rhino outshines other joysticks. The only thing that may not appeal to everyone is the neon blue color they’ve used, due to this, it might not appeal to everyone.
- Comfort –This joystick comes with 4 different springs that provide different levels of resistance, which means you can change the springs and making it heavier or lighter depending on your preference. A hand rest is also featured to position your hands and wrists while using the stick. This joystick is good for medium to large sized hands due to the stick being slightly longer, so this makes it very hard to reach the buttons that are on top of the stick.
- Build quality – The X56 Rhino is built entirely with a high-quality plastic that feels smooth to the touch and doesn’t affect your gameplay even when you have sweaty palms. The plastic is very durable and does not bend easily, which offers assurance that it will not break anytime soon. Despite all 36buttons being made out of plastic, they still feel very responsive and sturdy for the most part. The gimbal is also plastic, but still smooth and doesn’t compromise with the overall feel and control of the stick.
- Aesthetics – A black and light blue color scheme gives the Rhino a very appealing, futuristic, and smooth look, especially when you adjust built-in RGB backlights to something flashy and bright.
- Adaptability – If you’re upgrading from X55 then it’s pretty much the same, which is good. If it’s an upgrade from a different joystick, then it might be overwhelming due to all the switches, buttons, hats and analog keys. Don’t worry, once you understand what profile settings, springs, and key binding suits your play style, you’ll be conquering a ton of realms.
- Price – The price of this joystick may be on the higher side of our wallets. The $249.99 price tag is higher than normal, but the level of precision, quality, and rigidness you get makes it worth every penny.
3. Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X Flight Stick
The T-flight makes an excellent mid-ranged joystick because it’s so easy to use plus it’s affordable. This type of joystick is perfect for casual flight simulation, as there aren’t millions of buttons to sort through hand there is an internal memory to save all of your settings, even with the joystick disconnected. The throttle is light and the stick is smooth, but it’s not insanely accurate like the Logitech Warthog, but it still gets the job done just fine.
- Comfort– The joystick has adjustable resistance, which can be set to high or low depending on users need. The throttle has a wide-hand rest for good ergonomic comfort. The T-Flight is also quite convenient because the joystick base can be detached from the thruster base, but doing this may increase the wobbling of the joystick and may provide discomfort during intense gameplay. There is a slot underneath the base for cable management, which does help to keep all the cables from fighting each other when you are not paying attention.
- Build quality – The entire joystick is made out of plastic, but that includes the buttons and the bases. The ergonomic build provides a tight and firm grip as well as the rubber under the base that helps give the joystick some decent stability.
- Aesthetics – The T-Flight has a basic design and the black plastic gives a nice sheen. Although, the combination of black and red lets this joystick does help with its overall appeal, which depends on your preference.
- Adaptability – The buttons are straightforward and placed strategically, so someone who is new to this can also use it with ease without getting lost or overwhelmed. There will be no driver problems using this joystick because it is plug and play, which makes it so much easier to use and there are no requirements to go through all the complicated manual or software.
- Price –For a price of $48.15, this joystick offers a considerable number of features compared to other brands in this price range. If you don’t want to spend a large amount on a joystick and still enjoy a good gameplay experience for a cheaper price, then this is a good option.
4. VKB-Sim Gladiator Mk.II
The VKB-Sim Gladiator was designed as a replica of the famous KG12 grip that is found in the WWII fighter planes and Korean War era jets. It uses high precision sensors and sturdy construction to give the user a smooth movement with precise action. People who are used to high resistance will find it difficult getting used to this. The Gladiator has 29 buttons, and one of the triggers can fold up, preventing misfires, which is a very good safety mechanism.
- Comfort – The grip is firm and buttons are laid out with adequate space to distinguish between them. Control binding for this joystick is fairly easy. The Gladiator is loaded with buttons and options to maneuver those oncoming missiles with ease. The wrist-support provides great support to the hand without getting the way.
- Build quality – The gimbal is made of reinforced plastic containing glass fibers, which is sturdy. The throttle has precise movement. The joystick is made of high-density plastic; a base is made of a thick metal plate with 4 high-quality rubber pads. So moving it accidentally while playing will not happen.
- Aesthetics – The whole thing is completely black and looks quite expensive, which could be because of the unique design of the joystick.
- Adaptability – The joystick is plug and play by default, but there is also access to advanced controls. Download the WIZZO software and it allows a lot of customization that can be done to the joystick.
- Price – $99.00 price tag is slightly higher than other average joysticks, but the quality and precision they offer makes this a steal.
5. Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick
The Logitech Extreme 3D Pro is one of few popular joysticks today and this is due to the fact that it’s a good budget joystick. The Extreme 3D provides a great level of precision and is great for those intense gaming situations such as dropping bombs at a distance, firing guns in a dogfight, and dominating enemies.
- Comfort –Logitech Extreme 3D provides a comfortable grip for both hands, but the buttons are on the left side and it makes them hard to reach when you’re using your left hand on the joystick. The rubberized base is great and provides good stability when placed on a flat surface. The joystick resistance is non-adjustable; however, the resistance feels on the lighter end and the base doesn’t lift up when you fully move the joystick forward. This joystick is definitely simple and only has 12 buttons, which is still a decent number of keys for most flight simulator games.
- Build quality – The buttons feel soft when pushed in and they are made out of plastic as well as the entire joystick assembly – minus the rubberized base. Although, the existing issue of this joystick is the loose trigger switch and if Logitech could fix that issue, then it would improve the overall quality of this joystick.
- Aesthetics –The overall joystick color scheme is a simplistic black and silver matte finish, which gives the joystick a great look, although it’s not too special.
- Adaptability – The Logitech Extreme 3D isn’t that complicated; in fact, it’s one of the most straightforward ones. The trigger and buttons on the stick do most of the work without even reaching for the keyboard.
- Price –This price for this joystick is $59.00 and it’s perfectly justified. When we think about the quality and precision provided by this joystick, you can bet that it’ll do the job it.
Whether you’re after a realistic feel or you’re just after the basic functions of HOTAS gaming joystick, we’ve covered various products in this review. While the majority of these joysticks are made out of plastic, this doesn’t mean that the abuse of intense dogfights will break them instantly. It’s also important to know that your preferences will dictate what you want, but know that certain features come at a premium. These are the best Hands On Throttle-And-Sticks in 2018.