As you may know, Flight Simulator can be played using a variety of controllers. However, if you want to replicate the feeling of flying a plane, then you will need to use a joystick.
Joysticks have been around for some time, but have been steadily replaced by controllers, and now most of the joysticks that exist are for flying games anyway.
That is where they got the monickers of “Flightsticks”, and we’ve decided to make a list of what we think are the best joysticks that you can use for flight simulators.
Note: Deals are subject to change. Keep in mind that the price tag often varies. We recommend going on the vendor’s website to check the price. Some of the products may be out of stock by the time you’ve made your purchasing decision. So, hurry up and hit the buy button.
Extreme 3D Pro
It is a universally acclaimed joystick and comes with plenty of buttons for you to bind commands and make flying feel like an adventure.
- 12 action buttons
- An eight-way hat switch
- A rapid-fire trigger
- Button customization and multiple controller configurations
- It’s USB driven
- Is a bit stiff
Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X
It can store your settings so you can always log in with your preferred profile anytime anywhere, and the detachable throttle control will make you feel like your actually controlling a plane high in the sky.
- Wide hand-rest for optimal comfort
- Programmable: the 12 buttons and 5 axles are entirely programmable
- Dual-system aerodynamic control
- Internal memory
- High-precision joystick with adjustable resistance
- Detachable, real-size, ergonomically-designed throttle control
- Feels cheap at times
Thrustmaster T16000M FCS HOTAS
Not only is it ergonomically designed to fit into your hand perfectly, but the programmable buttons are great for flying games where fighting is an option.
- 16 action buttons with braille – style physical button identification
- Exclusive precision
- 4 independent axes, including twist rudder
- 14 action buttons + 8-way POV hat
- The occasional quality control issues
Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog
It is a joystick replica of the U.S. Air Force a 10c attack aircraft flight stick and comes with 19 action buttons so you can always have your most-used keybinding at hand.
- Joystick replica of the U.S. Air Force a 10c attack aircraft flight Stick
- Detachable handle crafted entirely of metal
- 19 action buttons in total + one 8 way
- Metal dual trigger
- 2 x Push buttons and 2 x Pinkie push buttons
- The USB connector and upgradeable firmware
- The price tag
- No Z-axis rotation
Logitech G X56 HOTAS
It feels right in the hand, and the RGB backlight make it a wonder to behold during gaming sessions, while still maintaining a certain degree of authenticity thanks to the design and ruggedness.
- Military-grade space and flight sim precision
- New mini analog stick control surfaces
- RGB backlighting
- Ideal for VR
- Fully featured HOTAS
- Suitable for big strong hands
Closing thoughts on joysticks for flight simulators
As mentioned before, flight simulators can be played with pretty much any type of controller, or even using a mouse and a keyboard.
But for those of you that like authenticity, going for a good old-fashioned joystick is a huge step forward. It will allow you to feel just what it’s like to control a 5-ton machine that is flying miles up in the sky.