Author Topic: Joysticks - Extreme 3D Pro/Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS  (Read 1029 times)

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Offline SL1

  • 25
Joysticks - Extreme 3D Pro/Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS
I've just about had it with Extreme 3D Pros failing all the time. I've only had my current one for about three months, and already the trigger and two other buttons have stopped working, and just when I was starting to really get into Freespace again. I really love the feel of this stick, but this is ridiculous. They used to last at least a year or two, but apparently Logitech has been building them even worse recently. So, I'm reluctantly considering an alternative this time.

Right now, I'm looking at the Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X. I've never used a HOTAS before, so I'm curious about it, and it appears to be the only one you can get brand new for under $100. In fact, I've got a $75 gift card for Amazon, so I can basically get it for free. I'd be interested to hear you guys' opinions on it, especially if you've also used the Extreme 3D Pro, because a big concern of mine is whether or not it'll feel really different. I've also heard that the cables are pretty short if you want to keep the stick and throttle separated, so I'd like to know about that as well. Most importantly, I'd like to know if the Thrustmaster is more reliable than the Logitech, and if it can be counted on to work for a long time. After all, that's the main reason I'm thinking of making the switch. No point getting used to a new stick otherwise.

Thanks in advance for any help.

 

Offline wookieejedi

  • 28
  • Intensify Forward Firepower
Re: Joysticks - Extreme 3D Pro/Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS
I had the same issues with the Logitech stick. After lots of research I ordered the Thrustmaster T16000 (pretty much the same stick that comes with the HOATS you mentioned) and I really like it! It feels great, and is much more precise than the Logitech stick. The feel is similar, but the Thrustmaster is much smoother IMO. I’ve had mine for only a few months but from what I have read it seems like it will keep working well.

 

Offline SL1

  • 25
Re: Joysticks - Extreme 3D Pro/Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS
I had the same issues with the Logitech stick. After lots of research I ordered the Thrustmaster T16000 (pretty much the same stick that comes with the HOATS you mentioned) and I really like it! It feels great, and is much more precise than the Logitech stick. The feel is similar, but the Thrustmaster is much smoother IMO. I’ve had mine for only a few months but from what I have read it seems like it will keep working well.

That's actually a different kind of stick, which is also apparently made with better materials.

It really looks like the short cord would prevent the T-Flight from working well with my setup, so I'm leaning toward the T16000M HOTAS at the moment. I've watched a few reviews, and everyone seems to think it's quite good. It's more expensive, but with my gift card, it would only be $55, which would be worth it for a more durable stick and a chance to try out a good HOTAS system. Right now I'm trying to find out more about how long I can expect the stick to last.

 

Offline AV8R

  • 28
Re: Joysticks - Extreme 3D Pro/Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS
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.



 

Offline AV8R

  • 28
Re: Joysticks - Extreme 3D Pro/Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS
In case you're wondering, here are the button 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 (switch in front of base of joystick and 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 Windows will not see all of the axis of the joystick. To fix this you'll have to uninstall the device from device manager, unplug the joystick from USB and reboot the PC. Then, make sure the switch in front of the joystick is set to "PC", plug the USB connection back in and wait for Windows to load the driver. When the Home button lights up, it's ready to go. If the Home button is red, press it once to make sure green. Now you can test your joystick in the Windows calibration applet and then program your joystick within Freespace.

Hope this helps.

 

Offline SL1

  • 25
Re: Joysticks - Extreme 3D Pro/Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS
I ultimately decided on the T16000M HOTAS. The short cord on the T-Flight was a dealbreaker.

It got here yesterday, and I've tried just the stick for a few hours. I'm not sure I like it. It seems stiff compared to the 3D Pro, and the way it snaps back to the center position is a little weird. It's also a little big for my hand. It might just take some getting used to, though. After all, it's been over a decade since I used anything other than the 3D Pro, and I'm not very good at going outside my comfort zone. I'll have to try it with the throttle later, once I figure out how to set it up.

 

Offline AV8R

  • 28
Re: Joysticks - Extreme 3D Pro/Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS
Hmm. I'd think 24" of cable would be enough to separate the two parts (unless you're in a custom seat or simulator). Bummer.

Another nice feature of the T-Flight is the joystick stiffness is adjustable with a dial underneath the joystick base which allows you to easily tighten or loosen the feel based on preference (or previous experience). When my beloved CH Combatstick failed I wanted a replacement stick with a nice, light feel that the CH had - and the T-Flight delivered (once I dialed the stiffness dial ALL the way down).

Well, I hope you eventually get the feel for the T1600 and it works for you.  :yes:

 

Offline SL1

  • 25
Re: Joysticks - Extreme 3D Pro/Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS
Hmm. I'd think 24" of cable would be enough to separate the two parts (unless you're in a custom seat or simulator). Bummer.

It's not quite long enough for the way I do things, which is, from left to right on my desk:

Throttle ---- Keyboard ---- Mouse ---- Stick

FS2 has too many controls to fit completely on any HOTAS (and I use all of them, even "Target Target's Target") unless you used a bunch of modifier key combos that would probably be too convoluted to be worth the trouble, so I need the keyboard. FS2 (like most other games) also requires some menu navigation, so I want the mouse to be easily accessible, and I've found that it's more comfortable for me to have the stick on the far right than to have the mouse on the far right.


Well, I hope you eventually get the feel for the T1600 and it works for you.  :yes:

Thanks. I hope so too. Otherwise I'm stuck with having to constantly get replacement 3D Pros.

One idea I had was to get some kind of stands I could put near the armrests of my chair, and put the stick and throttle on those. The size of the stick might be more comfortable if I'm slightly above it. I'll have to look around and see if I can find something that'll work, and I'd certainly be open to any suggestions people might have.

 

Offline neoterran

  • 210
Re: Joysticks - Extreme 3D Pro/Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS
Main thing I don't like about the T16000 are the buttons on the stick.
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Offline niffiwan

  • 211
  • Eluder Class
Re: Joysticks - Extreme 3D Pro/Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS
yeah, I feel that you lose a bit there because the stick is designed to be left or right handed, i.e. it's too symmetrical with no buttons for fingers 3-5 on your stick hand.  Having said that, that's about the only flaw I can call on the T16000.
Creating a fs2_open.log | Red Alert Bug = Hex Edit | MediaVPs 2014: Bigger HUD gauges | 32bit libs for 64bit Ubuntu
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Debian Packages (testing/unstable): Freespace2 | wxLauncher
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m|m: I think I'm suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Bmpman is starting to make sense and it's actually written reasonably well...

 
Re: Joysticks - Extreme 3D Pro/Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS
How is aiming with either of these two joysticks?

 

Offline niffiwan

  • 211
  • Eluder Class
Re: Joysticks - Extreme 3D Pro/Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS
I can only comment on the T16000; and it's good. I play FSO with max sensitivity & smallest deadzone, very long range turret sniping with the Maxim is a bit tricky, but good for practically everything else.
Creating a fs2_open.log | Red Alert Bug = Hex Edit | MediaVPs 2014: Bigger HUD gauges | 32bit libs for 64bit Ubuntu
----
Debian Packages (testing/unstable): Freespace2 | wxLauncher
----
m|m: I think I'm suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Bmpman is starting to make sense and it's actually written reasonably well...