Author Topic: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !  (Read 9196 times)

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The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
Hey all,

Great community here and I attempted to read all the joystick threads, but most were outdated by half a decade.  I have been watching this forum off and on for years and have never played Freespace, but keep getting drawn back with the enthusiasm here.  Like others I have played so many of the other space combat/sims and miss them.

So my question.  What is the best joystick for using Freespace2 (all updates of course) on WIN7.  By best I dont mean most buttons, coolest, or best hardware.  By best I mean the joystick most likely to work with no problems.   Ideally I want a throttle combo (dare I even think rudder pedals?), but what one is likely to work with the least messing around.   And if that means less buttons, but the joystick works flawlessly with just a couple of buttons, I will take it.

I used to live for hacks, and file edits, and doing whatever it took to make a mod work.  Now I hack my lawnmower to get it through another summer  :D , so when I sit down to game, I prefer it to work with minimal efforts.

Thanks ahead.

Scott

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
Are you specifically averse to flying with mouse/keyboard? I ask this not because I want to put down joysticks, but just so you know that it's completely possible to play and enjoy the game (even at the highest skill level) without a stick.

 

Offline Parias

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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
I still swear by my Saitek X52. Makes the game much more immersive (combined with TrackIR) and has all the buttons I need.

 

Offline Trivial Psychic

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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
I too have an X52, though I wish I had the Pro for the stronger center-spring.
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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
I tried keyboard and mouse on Freelancer? and it was ok, just that the joystick always feels more like "flight".  Are you pleased with the feeling of control you have?
And yes, heard lots of good on those Saiteks... so no major setups problems and your control feels right?
Thanks!
scott

 
Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
Oh, you use trackir?  I saw a youtube video with fso and trackir, so it works well... looked pretty great.

 

Offline rubixcube

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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
I use a dualshock 3 controller for my freespace gaming needs, for the most part, it works quite well, so if you also have a gaming console, give your controllers a try and see if it works for you
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Offline MatthTheGeek

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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
I tried keyboard and mouse on Freelancer? and it was ok, just that the joystick always feels more like "flight".
Freelancer gameplay is entirely different than FS gameplay. Really. Just try it.
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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
Moreover, do you really think 23rd century ships are going to be flown by joystick?
REALLY? :x
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Offline Macfie

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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
Do you really think they will be flown by a keyboard and mouse?  I'm pretty sure the current technology does not reflect what we'll have in the 23rd century.

As to Joysticks, I've had good luck with the Logitech Extreme 3D PRO.  It has lots of buttons and a nice light action.  I don't remember how long I've had it but its on the third computer now and I've only had four computers since I got FreeSpace 1 in 1998.
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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
Actually "keyboard", maybe (in so far as something along the lines of a touch screen).
Conventional mouse almost definitely not, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were something like trackballs used.
Joystick never.

This being under the assumption that some sort of mind control isn't 'the way', or it being done completely by AI with us just 'guiding' them.

Motion control / joystick though just seems so unlikely because it's unwieldy.
In any case I was just musing at 'realism' being the reason for a joystick being the choice to make.
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
Reminds me of those Voyager episodes where Tom Paris modified the Delta Flyer to use control sticks instead of the usual derpy Star Trek touchscreens. :p

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
Reminds me of those Voyager episodes where Tom Paris modified the Delta Flyer to use control sticks instead of the usual derpy Star Trek touchscreens. :p

Why do joysticks make you think about such terrible ****  :blah:

 

Offline Rhymes

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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
I find the Saitek X52 pro works great as a plug-and-play stick, and setting it up with the profiler software isn't a whole lot more time-consuming than configuring the controls in FS2.
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Offline Swifty

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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
Actually "keyboard", maybe (in so far as something along the lines of a touch screen).
Conventional mouse almost definitely not, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were something like trackballs used.
Joystick never.

This being under the assumption that some sort of mind control isn't 'the way', or it being done completely by AI with us just 'guiding' them.

Motion control / joystick though just seems so unlikely because it's unwieldy.
In any case I was just musing at 'realism' being the reason for a joystick being the choice to make.

Joysticks are associated with flight vehicles of today and yesterday. The OP just said he just wants the feeling of flight and he didn't mention anything about it being realistic. This is a game about unrealistic space fighters that were unrealistically derived from the modern fighters of today which do use joysticks. I don't think it's much of a stretch to assume that.

And besides, what other device is out there that allows a user to have sustained analog control over their flight surfaces? I'm just curious because a stick that ties displacement to f(0.0f - 1.0f) is the simplest device I can think of in my mind. I'm sure there are human interface experts out there that can think of something better but there seems to still be a good reason why we still use joysticks on cranes, construction vehicles, airplanes, and even space vehicles.

 

Offline jg18

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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
I think I'll move around the "realism" question and instead go with "is playing FS2 with a joystick fun?" I vote "yes".

But as Battuta said, many people are happy playing FS2 either with a keyboard or with keyboard+mouse, so definitely don't feel like you have to get a joystick to play. You might want to try playing without a stick first and see what you think. I still like keyboard-only quite a bit, although I personally never liked the mouse.

Great community here and I attempted to read all the joystick threads, but most were outdated by half a decade.

Actually, questions about joysticks have come up pretty frequently in the recent past, even ignoring the tech support-related questions. Might be worth another look.

As for specific joysticks, definitely not a complete list:

  • The Logitech Extreme 3D Pro is fairly inexpensive and a lot of people around here seem to like it.
  • The Saitek X52 and X52 Pro have a lot more features, including a throttle, but they cost quite a bit more.
  • I use CH (Flightstick Pro to be exact, sometimes also Pro Throttle), which are plain-looking but have an excellent reputation for reliability, performance, and support. But they're expensive. The Combatstick and Fighterstick have a lot more buttons (especially the Fighterstick) but are bigger. The Flightstick Pro fits my hand better.

Hope that helps.


Reminds me of those Voyager episodes where Tom Paris modified the Delta Flyer to use control sticks instead of the usual derpy Star Trek touchscreens. :p

Why do joysticks make you think about such terrible ****  :blah:

I'm embarrassed to have seen as many Voyager episodes as I have, although luckily it's only in the single digits.

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
Guess I'm the only one who actually enjoyed Voyager, then. :nervous:

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
The only motivation behind my anti-joystick agenda is in dispelling the myth that you need a joystick to enjoy space sims, which I think is an obstacle to the community's growth. On the other hand, the truth that playing space sims with a joystick can be a really fun option is great and should be shouted from the rooftops.

 
Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
Great, great comments, thanks so much.
I am a PC gaming snob, so no, no controllers for me :).
I liked Voyager when some crazy thing was happening with the Borg.

Someone mentioned "joystick - FS2 equals fun".  I think that will be my camp, but since I am currently Joystickless, I will give it a try with keyboard and mouse first (cant imagine it, but I will try).
The CH has always been a favorite of mine, but the Saitek just has a look and feel I like, at least when I try them in the store.
Actually I have a massive old Microsoft Forcefeedback2 laying around, I might try.

Cant wait to play.
Thanks all
Scott


 

Offline Swifty

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Re: The "Best Joystick" question - new for 2013 !
The only motivation behind my anti-joystick agenda is in dispelling the myth that you need a joystick to enjoy space sims, which I think is an obstacle to the community's growth. On the other hand, the truth that playing space sims with a joystick can be a really fun option is great and should be shouted from the rooftops.

Everyone and their mother has an Xbox 360 controller. Maybe I just need to implement Xinput support so we can get out of the box 360 controller support such that newbies can jump right in.