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Five best Flight Simulator Joysticks

Five best Flight Simulator Joysticks

By: Jeremy (FlightsimWebshop)Comments: 0

Five best Flight Simulator Joysticks

A joystick is the ideal controller for when you like to fly helicopters or for combat flight simulators, such as Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) or IL-2. With a stick you have your hands on more precise controls than with, for instance, a keyboard and mouse. Moreover, it's a lot more realistic.

A joystick is the ideal controller for when you like to fly helicopters or for combat flight simulators, such as Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) or IL-2. With a stick you have your hands on more precise controls than with, for instance, a keyboard and mouse. Moreover, it's a lot more realistic.

When you are planning to buy a joystick and google for 'best joystick', you quickly find yourself on flightsim forums or on websites where other people are asking the same question.
To help answer your question, we have compiled a top-5 of joysticks that are available on our website. Scroll to the bottom of the article for an explanation of the points we have taken into consideration for our top five list.

Top-5 Joysticks

01.Thrustmaster Warthog
02.Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS
03.Logitech Extreme 3D Pro
04.Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas
05.LogitechG Saitek X52


#1 - Thrustmaster Warthog

Thrustmaster Warthog

According to many, the best joystick is the Thrustmaster Warthog Flight stick. And we can't do anything besides fully agreeing with this.

The Warthog is made of metal, which not only makes the stick heavy (6.5 kg), but also gives you the realistic feel of a real stick from a fighter plane. And that is partly true; the Warthog Flight stick is in fact inspired by the A-10C Thrunderbolt used by the U.S. Airforce.

The joystick is known as extremely accurate and has a smooth, linear resistance without dead zones thanks to the 5-spring suspension system. No less than 19 different buttons can be programmed completely at your own discretion.
The only downside to this stick is that it does not have a twist function, which means that you will actually have to purchase pedals to operate your rudder.

The flight stick is sold separately, but also available as a HOTAS-set. And with the Warthog Dual Throttles, Thrustmaster has also used the magnetic sensors. The resistance of the throttle is adjustable to your own preference. The Warthog Throttle also provides enough action buttons to have all functions within reach.

The TM Warthog is pricey, but if you have the budget for it, this HOTAS is more than worth it!

#2 - Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS

Thrustmaster T.16000 FCS Hotas

We placed the Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS Hotass at number two in our top five because, in our opinion, this is the HOTAS set with the best price/quality ratio.

The FCS Hotas, just like the Thrustmaster Warthog (number one in our list), has magnetic H.E.A.R.T. (HallEffect AccuRate Technology™) sensors. These high-end durable sensors are currently the most accurate technology available. Because the coil spring in the stick provides a powerful, linear and even tension, it is possible to control your aircraft with extreme precision.

the power very precisely. Just like the T.16000M FCS stick, the Throttle falls into the Thrustmaster Flight Ecosystem, allowing you to setup your joystick completely to your liking, using the advanced TARGET software.

#3 - Logitech Extreme 3D Pro

Logitech Extreme 3D Pro

The only stick without a separate throttle in this top five is the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro.

Although the stick does not look spectacular, the Extreme 3D Pro joystick has a well thought out design. The broad, heavy base of the stick ensures that your stick does not tilt while doing maneuvers.
In addition, the stick has everything you would expect: a stick twist to control your tail rudder, twelve programmable buttons + one rapid-fire trigger and a hat switch.

#4 - Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS

Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS

When you are just starting with flight simulation, the Thrustmaster HOTAS is pretty much the ideal starter model. The set is competitively priced for a 'Hands On Throttle And Stick’-set that has stick twist, a full-fledged throttle and 12 buttons.

We have included this starter model in our top five because it is the only joystick that works on PC as well as on consoles (Playstation 3 / Playstation 4 and Xbox One).

#5 - Logitech G Saitek X52

Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS

One of the most popular flight sticks at this moment is the Logitech G Saitek X52. This robust HOTAS-system has a comfortable, adjustable grip and a constant spring tension allows for a smooth flight. Because of stick twist, you can also control your rudder pedals with this joystick.

The resistance of the throttle is adjustable to your own preference. On the throttle you will also find the Multi Functional Display (MFD) with a timer function and the possibility to check your radio frequencies (plugin required).


It is important, when you want to buy a joystick, to take the four points below into consideration. These points are the base of our Top 5 Flight Simulator Joysticks.

The right platform

If you have a windows system, there are plenty of joysticks to choose from. Pretty much every joystick has drivers or software which is suitable for this platform.
It gets a lot more complicated when you fly or play games on a Mac. More often than not, there are no drivers or additional software available. This doesn't mean that the joystick isn't working, but you can't, for instance, use the displays or variable background lighting of a stick. Also, there often is no mapping software available.

Some joysticks also work on consoles. If you also have a playstation or an xbox, these joysticks are certainly worth considering when buying a new stick.

Buttons, switches, sliders

With a joystick (or joystick and throttle, or maybe even two joysticks) in your hand(s), of course you prefer to have your most used actions withing reach. Especially when you don't have time to find the hotkey on your keyboard, for instance during a dogfight.
For that reason, it is important that you have enough buttons on your set so you can take action quickly when you need to.


In the previous paragraph we already mentioned the term 'throttle'. A throttle is used to control the thrust of your airplane. Often, a throttle is present in the form of a slider on the stick but some joysticks have a separate throttle. This combination of joystick and throttle, where you fly with one hand on the throttle and on your stick, is called HOTAS (Hands On Throttle And Stick).

Stick twist

Apart from an x-axis and a y-axis, a number of joysticks also have a z-axis. The z-axis is controlled by turning the stick to the left and to the right (twisting) and can be used to control the rudder.
When a joystick does not have a stick twist, it is common to use rudder pedals for this function. Rudder pedals provide a more realistic approach and can also be used when your stick does have a twist function.

Make your own choice?

Would you like to check out all joysticks, including the ones that aren't listed here? You can on ourFlight Simulator Joysticks page. There, you can also create a filter for all the functions you find important.


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