Best Joysticks And Flight Sticks For PC Gaming

OVERVIEW

Joysticks are simple stick-like structures with keys and buttons, used as an input device to a computing unit. The idea of joysticks is taken from the control handle used in aircraft for controlling the aircraft.

They make it easy to control the aircraft because of its structure, which is built on a stable base and the stick pivots on the base, which helps to control the speed, altitude, and direction of aircraft.

These days joysticks are mostly used in simulation games. Many of you might think what is the use of a joystick when we already have an input device called a mouse? 

The simple answer to this question is that a joystick offers more control over the maneuvers. With more simulation games coming up which require complex and quick maneuvers, joysticks are becoming a necessity for gamers, providing them with optimal solutions.

The electrical two-axis joystick was invented by C.B Mirrick at the United States Naval Research Laboratory, in the year 1926. Now, you can get varieties of joysticks basing upon the games you play, the handles you use, the compatible devices used and so on.

In this article, after researching and testing the joysticks available in the market, I have jotted down the 10 best joysticks in a list.

So now let us have a look at the best joysticks which are available at your disposal. 

BEST JOYSTICKS AND FLIGHT STICKS

1. THRUSTMASTER T-FLIGHT HOTAS X FLIGHT STICK

best joysticks

The top spot for the best joystick in this list belongs to the Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X flight stick. This stick is very popular because of its very high precision.

It is relatively cheaper than all the other premium joysticks and if you are looking for high performance, without putting a toll on your budget, this is exactly what you are looking for. The best feature of this stick is the detachable throttle.

This stick also includes keyboard syncing and z-axis rotation as well. It also gives you plenty of programmable buttons. It also has a hand rest which will allow you to lower the pressure on your hands. 

The stick comes with adjustable resistance and thus instead of simple linear resistance, you can customize the resistance according to your needs.

It comes with internal memory, 12 buttons and 5 axles which can be programmed according to the needs. This stick is a perfect choice if you are looking for versatility. 

This joystick is perfect for casual gamers. It feels a bit cheap and has some dead zone. But, the sturdy build and low cost make up for most of its downside characteristics.

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Dimensions of 7.5 x 5.3 x 1.2 inches.
  • It comes with adjustable resistance.
  • 12 buttons and 5 configurable axes.
  • It comes with internal memory.

Pros

  • Significantly cheap.
  • Detachable throttle.
  • Comfortable to use.

Cons

  • Lack of premium materials.



2. THRUSTMASTER HOTAS WARTHOG PC

best joysticks

If you have the cash to splurge and you are a professional in the field of gaming, spend long hours on games and participate in tournaments, and want the best product, Then the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog PC is simply the best you can get.

The joystick is filled with metallic design and weighs more than 6 pounds. This joystick has it’s designed replicated to that of the United States Air-force A-10c aircraft.

It comes with a removable stick connected on a metallic base and gives high precision control. It consists of two throttles thus giving you a choice to use the two different or as one. 

Mechanics are used to adjusting the resistance and are done by a small friction wheel. Thrustmaster’s HEART system provides 16-bit resolution and high precision.

This has 19 buttons and an 8 way POV HAT switch as well as 5 LEDs. You will also be able to control the brightness using the software. This is a “must-have kind of thing” for professional gamers for aviation and space games.

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Dimensions of 18.1 x 9.8 x 12.6 inches.
  • Inspired by U.S. air force A-10c.
  • Full metal design.
  • Magnetic joystick with 19 buttons.

Pros

  • It allows the use of two throttles.
  • Realistic array of buttons.
  • T.A.R.G.E.T. software allows full control of features.

Cons

  • ​No Z-axis.



3. THRUSTMATSER T16000M FCS HOTAS

best joysticks

I can clearly understand now, why Thrustmaster rules the joystick manufacturing industry. Making it to the third spot is yet another Thrustmaster, The Thrustmaster T16000M FCS HOTAS.

This joystick is sleek in design, comfortable to the hands as well as the pocket and very precise. This stick is recommended both for beginners as well as professional gamers.

These best joysticks boasts 16 action buttons, which include 12 programmable buttons on the base and 4 non-programmable buttons on the sick. 

It also features an 8-way HAT switch, rapid-fire trigger, twist rudder control, up to 6 degrees of movement and 4 axes of control. With the help of T.A.R.G.E.T. software, you can get the best out of this amazing joystick.

This is a complete package and is not very hard on the pocket, thus beginners can also use it easily and get optimum results.

These sticks are best for space simulation games. The drawback with this joystick is that the LEDs are annoying and it lacks tactical feedback. 

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Dimensions of 9 x 10.4 x 10.7 inches.
  • Ambidextrous design.
  • 4 independent axes with 16 buttons.
  • Loads of compatible accessories.

Pros

  • Helical spring precision.
  • 16-bit resolution.
  • Loads of buttons.

Cons

  • Complex button layout.
  • No tactical feedback.


4. LOGITECH EXTREME 3D PRO

best joysticks

If you are looking for joysticks which are best suited for beginners, then you can check out the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro. The Logitech brand was once the benchmark for joystick manufacturers as it ruled the market for years. This joystick provides durability at a cheap cost.

You should not get deceived by its cheap look, this stick provides great control and comfort. It offers features like 12 programmable buttons and an 8-way rubber HAT switch the joystick gives you utmost control. 

The rapid-fire trigger and the twist handle will definitely exceed your expectations and will enhance your gaming experiences. The software could have been better but looking at the price, you could not ask for more. 

It is very easy to use and is recommended for beginners. It is one of the few joysticks that provide a Z-axis rotation.

This LOGITECH EXTREME 3D PRO has some drawbacks as well, including the jittery throttle controls, the stiff stick and old software. But even after all these drawbacks, and are highly recommendable for beginners because of the realistic design and precise controls. 

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Dimensions of 9.2 x 8.8 x 8.4 inches.
  • Twist handle rudder.
  • 12 programmable buttons.
  • Rapid-fire trigger.

Pros

  • Old school performance.
  • Durable.
  • Precision twist control rudder.

Cons

  • Only for beginners.
  • Software could be much better.


5. LOGITECH G X52 FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM

best joysticks

Another joystick from Logitech added to this list of the best joysticks is the Logitech G X52 Flight control system. This stick comes with 105 programmable commands. The stick features illuminated buttons on top. 

The joystick is designed ergonomically which means you can use it for long periods of time, without feeling hand fatigue. The design of the handle is very sleek and futuristic. These joysticks come with a couple of wheels that can be used for navigation or any other function. 

An LCD display is also added to the throttle. Vertical switches at the back of the throttle can be programmed or can act as vertical thrusters.

These joysticks are recommended for flight simulation games and it is very durable, sometimes gets into dead zones, but can be used for long years. 

The LED lights might be a little annoying but this product still a great choice for gamers. The pinky switch has also been complained about but it can be configured using the original software. 

This joystick has a couple of 8-way HAT switches which give you the choice to configure in any way you want to. It has a stick twist mechanism for all the rudder control needs and is great for all flight and space games.

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Dimensions of 14.33 x 10.04 x 8.98 inches.
  • Futuristic design.
  • LCD multi-function display.
  • Throttle resistant adjustment.

Pros

  • Built-in LCD.
  • Outstanding compatibility.
  • Lots of buttons.

Cons

  • Pinky switch might need configuration.
  • Does not have force feedback


6. LOGITECH G X56 HOTAS VR JOYSTICK

best joysticks

This Logitech G X56 HOTAS VR joystick is a high technology joystick that is perfect for you if you play space-based games. Yes, it is expensive but it is worth it. If you have the cash to splash this should be one of your top choices.

It includes a couple of mini analog sticks and RGB lighting. You can adjust the accuracy and the friction of the throttles according to your needs and preferences.This joystick offers you the possibility to configure the axes. It features specials buttons to give an unmatchable experience to VR. 

It has a 16-bit elevator with hall-effect characters. It gives you an option to adjust the resistance using a 4 spring system. It consists of 189 programmable controls. The joystick also gives 6 degrees of freedom which means that you can maneuver it in any which direction and way you want to. 

There is absolutely no doubt that this stick is on the higher price side, but you can not deny the fact that this stick is one of the highest tech joysticks around including the RGB lighting. 

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Dimensions of 11.4 x 6.7 x 7.1 inches.
  • 6 degrees of freedom.
  • Adjustable accuracy.
  • Independent twin throttles.

Pros

  • Highly customizable.
  • Very stylish.
  • VR compatible.

Cons

  • ​Quality control.
  • High price.


7. LOGITECH G X52 PRO FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM

best joysticks

The Logitech G X52 Pro flight control system is another great joystick and one of the best HOTAS you will be able to find.

It is loaded with awesome features like a great throttle unit, two-stage metal trigger, four fire buttons, a couple of 8-way HAT switches, two fire buttons and a 3-D rudder twist. It is a very classy looking high tech joystick. 

There are illuminated buttons on the throttle as well as an LCD display unit, which provides you with flight statistics. It has a 3-D rudder control with a lock switch. You will feel very comfortable using this joystick as this has an adjustable handle with five positions. 

The stick always comes back to its original neutral position because of a dual spring system. To enhance the gaming experience as well as to keep you protected at all costs, it also gives additional resistance kick after you start the afterburners. 

This classy set from Logitech is ideal for games like Elite Dangerous. It doesn’t have a great software configuration and may have minor defects. But, overall this stick is a great joystick and gives good results.

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Dimensions of 14.6 x 9.8 x 9.1 inches.
  • Adjustable handle.
  • LCD display.
  • Adjustable throttle resistance.

Pros

  • LCD display.
  • Centering system.
  • Separate throttle.

Cons

  • Software issues.
  • Quality control.


8. THRUSTMASTER HOTAS WARTHOG FLIGHT STICK

best joysticks

Yet another Thrustmaster making it to the list of the best joysticks is the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog flight stick. This is very similar to one of the Thrustmaster stick mentioned earlier in the list.

This stick is replica of the United States air force A-10 Thunderbolt 2’s handle. But this joystick is very expensive but it guarantees a great gaming experience, especially for flight simulation games.

This stick features four HATs, four buttons, and ten switches, a throttle with a couple of HATs and three buttons.

The stick boasts 86 programmable features and a two-stage trigger. These are some of the main features the joystick provides you. It is made to adhere to all your needs and preferences, as it gives you complete technical support and has super classic looks. 

This Joystick is not recommended for beginners as it is difficult to master the buttons.The only thing missing in this great piece is the force feedback. Though it is an expensive joystick it gives a realistic experience to flight simulation gaming.

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Dimensions of 13.5 x 11.3 x 10.1 inches.
  • Realistic design.
  • T.A.R.G.E.T. software.
  • Sturdy and durable.

Pros

  • A large number of buttons.
  • T.A.R.G.E.T. software.

Cons

  • No Z-axis.
  • Throttle is heavy.

9. SAITEK AVIATOR DUAL THROTTLE JOYSTICK

best joysticks

At the time of its launch, the Saitek Aviator dual throttle joystick was the first and the only joystick with a dual throttle. This is specially made for flight simulation gaming. 

The Aviator Dual throttle is designed in classic military style and is a rugged and robust stick. The stick features a rapid response trigger, an 8-way POV HAT switch and a missile fire button that had safety cover.

The dual throttles can be locked down and used for single-engine aircraft, and also gives greater control over the aircraft. It provides you with a 3D twist which gives you better and accurate rudder control. The programming software by Saitek enables you to program the Aviator dual throttle joystick separately into 8 different commands.

Though it's is an old school joystick it gives you proper control and real-time simulation like experiences. This joystick is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

It is recommended for flight simulation games.

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Dimensions of 8.4 x 9.2 x 10.6 inches.
  • Rapid-fire trigger.
  • Dual throttle.
  • Military-style design.

Pros

  • Rapid-fire trigger.
  • 8-way POV HAT switch.

Cons

  • Old software.
  • Less buttons.

10. FLASHFIRE COBRA V5 HOTAS FLIGHT SIMULATION

best joysticks

The last joystick to make it to the list of the best joysticks is the Flashfire Cobra V5 HOTAS flight simulator. As the name suggests it is ideal for flight simulation gaming purposes. 

The joystick possesses hall sensor technology which gives you optimal control, accuracy, precision as well as reliability. The 4 axis feature and the adjustable throttle resistance enable you to customize the throttle and stick settings according to your needs and preferences.

The in-built rudder control gives utmost control for an amazing flying experience. The best features of the joystick are the 23 programmable buttons and the 8-way HAT switch, which enhances your viewing experience.

The trigger is specially designed for aerial shooting games and the stick is equipped with 32 bit ARM processor which enhances performance.

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Dimensions of 15.9 x 11.4 x 7.7 inches.
  • Hall sensor technology.
  • 23 programmable buttons.
  • Adjustable throttle resistance.

Pros

  • Hall sensor technology.
  • 8-way HAT switch.

Cons

  • Software can be better.
  • Sturdy throttle.

CONCLUSION

So this was my list of the best joysticks available in the market. The list contains the features, characteristics, pros, and cons of the best joysticks, thus I hope it will be really helpful for you, whenever you decide to get yourself a joystick, according to your needs, requirements, and preferences.

Tell me which one is your favorite joystick in the comment section.

Martin
 

Hey, this is Martin from San Diego. I am a tech enthusiast and I love to test and review all the gadgets. I have reviewed 100s of products in my lifetime. I just want to ensure our readers to buy the best product for the money they spend.

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