Today we'll be looking at the best flight stick controllers money can buy in NZ to suit a range of games such as Flight Simulator or other flying simulators. Compatible for a range of consoles such as Playstation 5, Xbox and of course Windows PCs, they are versatile and turn a boring game into something truly realistic.
What is a flight stick controller?
A flight stick controller is a type of game controller that is designed to be used with flight simulation games. It is shaped like a joystick and typically has a number of buttons and switches on it, which can be used to control various aspects of the game. Some flight stick controllers may also have a throttle control, which allows the user to control the speed of the aircraft in the game.
Flight stick controllers are often preferred by players of flight simulation games because they offer a more immersive and realistic experience, as they allow for a greater degree of control over the in-game aircraft. Some flight stick controllers may also be compatible with other types of games, such as space simulation games or driving games.
The 7 Best Flight Sticks
1. Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog
This whole set includes a joystick, a control panel and software to program in functions. This HOTAS (hands on throttle and stick) is equipped with 3D magnetic sensors and 14-bit resolution for focused and accuracy movements.
There are dual throttles which have a “Pull & Push” system and a fiction system which has firm, linear and fluid options in addition to several attack and position buttons.
The metal handle can be removed as well as the metal plate to provide different playing options. The control panel has 15 action buttons which provide tactile feedback.
There are 5 programmable LED and the whole display is illuminated by lighting. There is a TRIM wheel with several position switches that are permanent and momentary.
To configure the throttles and joystick, the T.A.R.G.E.T software can be used and be placed at basic, advanced and script settings.
2. Logitech G Pro Flight X56 Rhino
This product is specifically designed to be played with space simulation games. The model has 16-bit sensors, 16-bit x and y axes and 10-bit throttle axes to allow precise movements.
The dual throttles allow the option to fly single-engine and double-engine aircrafts. The control panel has analog sticks that can be modified at 6 stages to suit personal preferences and allow more movements.
There is also a friction system in addition to a spring force control which has 4 settings. The whole setup is decorated with RBG lighting which has 16.8 million colour effects and options.
Buttons on this product are uniquely formed to allow the gamer to pinpoint controls without looking down. This model is specifically designed to be played with VR games with 231 VR configurations available.
The H.U.D configuration software enables command controls, response curves and other settings.
3. Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick
This Logitech joystick is ideal for playing flight simulation games. There are 12 programmable buttons where commands and shortcuts can be placed.
Commands configured into the buttons can withstand simple actions or complex stipulations involving several keys. An 8-way hat switch allows quick adjustments to be made.
The rubber handle on this product is designed to be both comfortable and accurate with the highly advanced twist functions to accommodate quick reaction times and one-handed manoeuvres.
The trigger at the top of the handle is made to be sensitive and meet every physical press. At the bottom is a sturdy base designed to withstand jerky and sudden movements to prevent the joystick from toppling over.
Logitech software is compatible with this product and is needed to put in certain commands. There is a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
4. Thrustmaster T Flight HOTAS 4
This hands on throttle and stick package is suitable for many types of flight ranging from space travel to civil flight.
The handle of this product can be rotated or set using a progressive tilting level in order to function, which is known as a dual rudder system. The handle has an in-built locking system and the throttle can be removed from the main body.
Friction and resistance levels can be modified to suit various flight types and personal taste. The gear includes 5 axes, 12 action buttons, 1 fast trigger and 1 hat switch that can change from navigation to panoramic perspectives.
The base of the joystick provides a stable establishment, keeping everything in place. There is also a hand rest to accommodate long gaming sessions.
There is software online that allows connection to PCs but this product is most compatible with PS4.
5. Thrustmaster Flight Stick X
This joystick has can be used with both PC and PS3. There are 12 programmable buttons and 4 axes which can be controlled and configured to fit in simple and complex commands.
There is a dedicated mapping button to move settings from one button to the next. The handle has an in-built locking system and works by rotating to allow seamless command and control.
The handle is supported by a durable foundation to provide even balance and withstand intense motions. Trigger options include airbrake or rapid fire using the hat switch. Personal touches can be put into this device with resistance settings.
There is also a dedicated armrest to support the wrists and prevent muscle strains in addition to fatigue. This joystick comes with buttons and commands already programmed in, meaning that it can be used right away by plugging it in.
6. Logitech Pro Flight Yoke System
This flight yoke system is equipped with a stainless steel rod with several directional controls for focused aileron movements.
The throttle quadrant can be controlled by levers which can be switched and removed easily to personalize controls that fit best. This also allows various propeller switch and quadrant setups.
This system only comes with a single throttle quadrant but more can be bought separately to work with airships that have many engines.
There are 25 buttons that come out preconfigured but can be adjusted on the computer using Logitech software. Overall, there are 75 available settings due to the 3-position switch.
This product can be placed anything using the mounting clamps and brackets. The control panel also comes with an exclusive stopwatch to calculate landing times.
This model is compatible with PCs and PlayStation.
7. Logitech X52 Professional
This hands on throttle and stick is designed towards gamers who enjoy various flight simulations. There is an LCD display which shows flight information as well as backlit buttons on the joystick itself.
There is dual-spring centering technology to provide stability and help the joystick move to the normal position when let go.
The throttle is designed to provide full control and there are resistance levels which can be modified and suit personal taste. The rudder control can be rotated to function or turned off using the locking system.
Another way to work the rudder control is to use the X and Y axes. Rubber pedals can be used in conjunction with the X and Y axes but need to be bought separately.
Logitech software can be used to program 19 buttons, the LED lights, the 7 axes and 3 HATs.
How to choose the best flight stick controller?
When choosing the best flight stick controller, there are a few key factors to consider:
Compatibility: Make sure that the flight stick controller is compatible with your gaming system or computer. Some controllers may only be compatible with certain systems or may require the use of additional adapters.
Button layout: Consider the layout of the buttons and switches on the controller. Some controllers may have more buttons or a more intuitive layout, which can be beneficial for certain types of games.
Ergonomics: Look for a controller with a comfortable grip and a natural feel. A controller that is comfortable to use for extended periods of time can help improve your gaming experience.
Precision: Consider the level of precision offered by the controller. Some controllers may offer more precise control than others, which can be important for more complex flight simulation games.
Price: Determine your budget and look for a controller that offers a good balance of features and value. Controllers range in price from $90 up to $900 depending on specs.
It may also be helpful to read reviews and ask for recommendations from other gamers before making a purchase. Trying out a few different controllers in person, if possible, can also be a good way to find the best fit for your needs.
Which flight simulator games are flight sticks compatible with?
There are many different flight simulator games that work with flight sticks, ranging from simple arcade-style games to highly realistic simulations. Some popular flight simulator games include:
Microsoft Flight Simulator: This is a long-running series of flight simulator games that offers a high level of realism and detailed aircraft and environments.
IL-2 Sturmovik: This is a World War II-era flight simulator that offers a variety of historical aircraft and missions.
X-Plane: This is a highly realistic flight simulator that offers a wide range of aircraft and detailed environments. Similar to Microsofts Flight Sim, but cheaper.
Ace Combat: This is an arcade-style flight simulator game that features fast-paced combat and a variety of futuristic aircraft.
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.: This is a combat flight simulator game that offers a variety of modern military aircraft and missions.
FlightGear: This is an open-source flight simulator that offers a wide range of aircraft and detailed environments.