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Author Topic: HOTAS Flightstick/Throttle Reccomendations  (Read 395 times)
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Crawley
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« on: March 29, 2015, 05:16:04 PM »

Hi guys,

Was looking for some opinions on various HOTAS setups. I initially was going to get the Saitek X55 Rhino but all the quality control issues, and some reports of the stick being a bit uncomfortable, have made me second guess getting one. I hear the Saitek X52 Pro is also good but apparently the newer ones also suffer from quality control. The $400 Thrustmaster HOTAS is out of my price range. But given the quality issue of the Saitek/Mad Catz products it has me looking at just getting the cheaper Thustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X setup and waiting for something newer and better built to come out.

So looking for some opinion on any of these sticks.

Basically I'm looking to use the game with the following games currently:

Elite: Dangerous
X-Wing series
Freespace Series

I hear on games like X-Wing series the throttle is recognized by the software always. But would be looking for a solution where I could just boot up the game and not have to bother with the keyboard other than launching the game or moving around the menus.

Feedback?
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wonderpug
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2015, 10:25:06 PM »

I highly recommend the CH Products stick and throttle. I think it'll run about $200 to get them both, depending on sales you can find. They're not as flashy as the Saitek stuff, but they're built like tanks and they've been in the business with great reviews since the early PC sim eras.

It has an analog joystick on the throttle which is great for fine control of lateral thrust in Elite Dangerous. It does not have twist for yaw on the joystick, which can be a negative, but twist on joysticks is also a common point of failure so the lack of one is tied to its better reliability.
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Crawley
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2015, 07:57:56 PM »

Yeah, that's the HOTAs one that's out of my price range at $400. Plus without the stick twist I imagine you would want the rudder pedals which is another $200.

Thinking I should just get the cheapie Thustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X and forget about the Saitek ones for now. But keep thinking I should just roll the dice and get the X55-Rhino or X52-Pro as I have almost $200 in Amazon gift cards built up so it won't cost me much to try.

So still looking to hear experiences on those three setups on the games mentioned.
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Blackjack
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2015, 08:31:13 PM »

While I gave up on flight sticks ages ago (I think a Logitech Extreme is mothballed in my closet somewhere, that was my last purchase) I do swear by the durability of CH flight sticks in the day. I have fond memories of playing stuff like Dynamix' WWII combat flight sims and various Star Wars games in the 1990s.

I could never quite in my mind justify the prices on Thrustmaster's various offerings but I always enjoyed reading about them.  icon_smile
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wonderpug
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2015, 09:04:50 PM »

Quote from: Crawley on March 30, 2015, 07:57:56 PM

Yeah, that's the HOTAs one that's out of my price range at $400. Plus without the stick twist I imagine you would want the rudder pedals which is another $200.

I was trying to say the combined price could be about $200, depending on sales.  That's about how much I paid for my setup.  Rudder pedals certainly would be nice, but I've been making do just fine using throttle buttons for my middle finger and ring finger to do rudder controls.
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Crawley
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2015, 05:56:43 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on March 30, 2015, 09:04:50 PM

Rudder pedals certainly would be nice, but I've been making do just fine using throttle buttons for my middle finger and ring finger to do rudder controls.

Ah I didn't consider that you could map yaw to one of the joystick buttons. I read a bit about it and that does seem to be viable solution if you don't have pedals.

So it has me reconsidering spending the extra $200 on the Warthog again.

So now my question is comfort. With the stick in particular. It looks taller than the others and this thing would just be sitting on my desk. I'm not going to get a dedicated "flight chair" where you can mount the throttle/stick at elbow level.

Is this thing still comfortable if sitting on top of a desk playing for an hour or two at a time?
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wonderpug
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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2015, 06:03:09 PM »

It'd probably be nicer if I could somehow situate the stick lower, but I haven't had any comfort issues even during long sessions.  Which other stick option do you think looks lower profile, though?  They all have comparably hefty bases from what I can see.
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Crawley
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« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2015, 05:55:01 PM »

Looks like it sits higher the X52 (which I know has adjustable base) and X55. But difficult to tell form pics and a few videos that didn't focus on it. But good to hear your not having problems with it sitting on the desk.

Ugh what a difficult choice to pluck down another $200 or not for this.
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Caine
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2015, 11:32:07 PM »

I have a x52 setup and it works great in ED.  There is a mod to improve it's centering response.
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Gratch
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« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2015, 04:49:03 PM »

Quote from: Caine on April 03, 2015, 11:32:07 PM

I have a x52 setup and it works great in ED.  There is a mod to improve it's centering response.

I have an x52 as well, and would give this a +1.  The only complaint I have is that the toggle buttons on the stick side (T1-T6) are very fragile.  I already had to send one stick back for replacement, and I'm nervous about pushing them too hard and breaking them.
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Crawley
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2015, 02:15:17 AM »

After hemming and hawing over this I finally pulled the trigger on the X55. The price of it on Amazon kept fluctuating between $200 and $179. Had $250 in gift cards by this time so it kinda became a no brainer to at least give it a go.

After some initial issues with getting the drivers to install (unplug the throttle/stick before launching the driver install) was up and running. Not sure if Saitek improved their quality control but it seems like I got a good throttle/stick. Everything works so far and both the throttle and stick feel pretty decent - but will be trying some of the other stick springs.

This is the first HOTAS I've owned so using the throttle and stick together took a bit of getting used to. Only played ED and that was pretty great. Love entering/leaving the docking bays with this setup. I'm still getting used to combat and using the right amount of power to get behind them. And there's just a ton of buttons, switches, and knobs to figure out what they heck they do.

I can see where the stick could become uncomfortable after long sessions. I wish it had an adjustable base.

But other than that happy with it so far.

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