Author Topic: Joystick suggestions  (Read 4766 times)

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I have been fine up until now using a mouse and a keyboard, nothing wrong with that. But lately I’ve been getting that old nostalgic pull of banking and turning and strafing with a good joystick in hand.

At this point in time with the current version, are there any joysticks in particular that I should avoid? Any that work just fine on a good budget? And are there any that, for a little extra money, will deliver a noticeably superior performance?


Offline Trivial Psychic

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My current stick of choice is a Saitek Cyborg EVO, and its the second one I've used.  At one point I used a Saitek X52, which have a huge number of button features and with software is fully programmable, but it is quite pricey, even with more advanced Saitek models out there.  For me, the Cyborg has always been my budget stick of choice, but that's because I found both of them at Value Village for under $10 each on 2 separate occasions.  It's a solid stick with a decent number of buttons, twist axis, and throttle, but I doubt it can often be found at the same price I did.
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Offline Novachen

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Actually i can recommend the Logitech G940... because it is a HOTAS with Force Feedback :).

Other wise... i would still prefer a Force Feedback Joystick, not only for Freespace, but for flight sims also. The extra price is absolute worth it IMO.

But if you can imagine to buy a used one... even older FF joysticks like the extreme durable Sidewinder Force Feedback 2 are not very expensive.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 04:14:20 am by Novachen »
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Offline Herra Tohtori

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For an affordable, entry level single-unit controller, get the Thrustmaster T.16000m. It has the same sensors as the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog, and although it isn't nearly as sturdy mechanically, it will do the job. Has throttle and twist handle axis.

For something a bit more involved, the HOTAS version of the T.16000m comes with a throttle, and can be expanded with Thrustmaster's rudder pedals - although they are not the best of pedals, having quite a narrow base.

This would be perfectly sufficient for most space sims there are, including FS2 and Elite:Dangerous. However, with older games like FS2, you need to ensure that your controller setup is handled as one logical controller, because the game can only handle one controller at a time.

For flight sims, you would ideally want to have a passable set of rudder pedals with nice wide base for comfortable use, some kind of throttle, and a decent joystick. Personally, I use Saitek's Combat Rudder Pedals (which are not the best, but good enough for me), old Saitek X52 throttle (with stick disconnected), and CH Fighterstick USB joystick. Almost any combination works with almost any semi-modern flight sim, but this particular configuration does not work in FS2 because it's seen as three separate controllers, though, so just keep that in mind.

If I had all CH gear (CH pedals, CH throttle, and CH joystick) I could combine them into one controller with the CH Control Manager. But I don't really like the style of CH's pedals or throttle...

The *ideal* setup for me would be something like Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog joystick + throttle, and SLAW Device pedals (either the Bf 109 or F-16 version)... but that all gets seriously expensive.
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You can get multiple controllers working on FS2 with UJR + vJoy combo. UJR allows you to merge multiple controllers into single virtual vJoy controller that the game sees.

I have the Thrustmaster T.16000m and it is great. But the throttle is really awkwardly placed and not so good so I use another (broken) joystick with better throttle for throttle alone.


Offline jr2

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Here's an overview (with links in the description to in-depth reviews) of Saitek X-52, X-52 Pro, X-56, Thrustmaster t16000m FCS, and Warthog (same sensors on the t16000m and Warthog).

Description for your convenience:

Magnets & Miracles Gaming
Published on Feb 12, 2017
T16000m review:

Another t16000m review:

X-56 Review:

Warthog Review:

Warthog Gimbal Repair:

Music: Parasail by Silent Partner from YouTube Audio Library


Offline AV8R

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I've been using this Thrustmaster HOTAS X setup for a few years on all of my space sims and really like it. Very solid/stable, never drifts and all buttons are still working fine. Programmable too (you can swap button assignments, program scripts, etc). Also, it's relatively inexpensive compared to the ultra-high-end HOTAS models.

« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 09:08:16 am by AV8R »


Offline pyker

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AV8R, that stick is the one I have also. Do you have any suggestions for setting up the buttons etc.?

I'm new here and just getting back into FS2.



Offline deathspeed

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I'm still using my Sidewinder Force Feedback 2.  When it dies I will probably look into the Thrustmaster T.16000m, or maybe the HOTAS version of it.  I will truly miss force feedback though.
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Offline Mongoose

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For what it's worth, there's a pinned thread with a whole list of resources on this topic.  But we all know no one reads those anyway. :p

Personally, I've been using a Saitek Cyborg EVO for years, though I was never a super fan of how stiff it is, and honestly it's too big for my little babby hands.  My true love from my Descent days is my ancient and well-loved Microsoft Sidewinder 3D Pro, though it doesn't have quite enough buttons for FS as far as I'm concerned, and the throttle is pretty dinky.  I'd love a HOTAS setup if I had anywhere to put it.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 10:37:47 pm by Mongoose »


Offline Davros

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If you want cheap (and I think you do based on your two choices) there is the Speedlink Black Widow (cant vouch for how good it is)

ps: I have the logitec stick and it's perfectly fine
pps: I think your really missing something if you dont use a forecefeedback joystick
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 01:51:27 pm by Davros »


Offline AV8R

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AV8R, that stick is the one I have also. Do you have any suggestions for setting up the buttons etc.?

I'm new here and just getting back into FS2.


Here's the settings I use, keeping in mind that I switched a couple of buttons around: the SE and ST buttons on the base of the throttle were switched with the left and right positions of the rocker/slider switch on the back of the throttle so the rocker could be used as 2 extra buttons and NOT an axis (I believe FS only supports 3 axis):

On the Joystick:
1 - Fire Primary
2 - Fire Secondary
3 - Cycle Primary Weapon
4 - Cycle Secondary Weapon
Hat Right - Transfer Energy Laser to Shield
Hat Left - Equalize Shield
Hat Up - Augment Forward Shield
Hat Down - Augment Rear Shield
Joystick Twist - Roll Ship

On the Throttle:
5 - Target Next Hostile Ship
6 - Target Ship in Reticle
7 - Target Next Bomb/Bomber
8 - Target Subsystem in Reticle
9 - Launch Countermeasure
10 - Cycle Secondary Weapon Firing Rate
Rocker Right - Afterburner
Rocker Left - Equalize Energy Settings

Unless you trade the rocker/slider switch left and right positions with the SE and ST buttons (which are useless in game due to their remote location on the throttle anyway) you will not be able to use the rocker switch at all (again, total axis limitation). Instructions on how to swap the buttons is in the manual included with the joystick. Also, remember to put the joystick in PC Mode (Home button above SE/ST buttons on throttle must be GREEN). This way your PC (and thus the game) will see all of the axis and buttons. If the Home button is red you're in console mode and you'll have to uninstall the device from device manager, switch the Home button to green and reboot your PC to get Windows to recognize the joystick in PC Mode).