The last Joystick I owned was a very long time ago and it was a very nice Microsoft one. As I love Elite: Dangerous I’d like to take my gameplay to the next level, at present I’m using my Old 360 controller. Which is great as I already had one from upgrading my 360 to a XB1 as I didnt trade it in.
H.O.T.A.S (Hands On Throttle And Stick.)
At present there is nothing that will improve my gaming more than a HOTAS, or that’s what I’m telling myself. I’ve been window shopping both before Christmass and looking at the new year sales. Amazon has been sending me emails about HOTAS as well, tempting me.
So at the top of the pile is the Thrustmaster Warthog probably the most shiny bit of kit on the HOTAS market. Also if you are eagle eye’d you might spot this stick in a few Hollywood movies or TV series where they need to fly a spaceship. It’s a replica of a USAF A-10C stick. This is a very exspensive bit of kit costing £369.99 but this is the ‘Ferrari’ of the HOTAS world for people like me that want to be space jockey’s. I could save up for this bit of kit, but i’d have to wait till next year.. Eugh! The only slight problem with this stick is it has no twist for rudder control, with this stick they expect you to buy a set of rudder controls. There is a way round this by using a button to alter flight mode within E:D.
A lot cheaper option from Thrustmaster is the T.1600M FCS for £109.99, the throttle is a little different or Weapon Control System uses a slide motion on rails.
This bundle re-invigrates the T1600m by upgrading it to a full HOTAS setup. The T1600M actually comes with a throttle slider, but the intersting thing about the stick is it can be refitted for left-handed use, which is a great design feature. But the throttle is left-handed and all the POV/Hats are all used via the thumb on the lefthand. As the T1600M is sold as a standalone Joystick it has a number of buttons on the base and a throttle control. The throttle has no buttons on the base and has only controls attached directly to the slider. This HOTAS system is well within my price range so it something that will be added to the list. The joystick alone can be bought for £44.99.
This is just a feeling and is based on nothing but a hunch, the throttle is linear as you push the throttle on a track. I’m thinking I’d prefer a throttle that rotates so you get that feeling of pushing the throttle forward and over the top… 🙂
This post spent so long in my drafts folder that I got around to buying this HOTAS, I was originally just going to get the X52 at £130 but due to having an extra £50 due to a refund. I spent the extra money on the X52 PRO so I got this stick at £170 I had decided to not go a model higher to the X56 Rhino due to the overwhelming bad reputation that stick has for build quality. The X52/PRO has a twist rudder on the stick and 2 stage finger trigger for games where this is an option (Flight sims.) The stick looks and feels good it has a slight rubberized feel and is not just shiny plastic. The Joystick/throttle has a large number of buttons and even with a shift control to double that number I ran out. the Joystick has a 3 mode switch which allows you to triple that number you can still find yourself either short on buttons or can’t seem to remember where you re-mapped a certain control too. (True story!) The HOTAS has made flying ships in E:D amazing and I’ve enjoyed playing some warthunder as well. I will mention that driving an SRV in E:D is weird and have remapped the controls to my XBox 360 controller. The HOTAS has improved the experience of playing E:D, I had no problem with using the controller but wanted to take it to the next level of immersion. Worth every damn penny!!!
See you on the other side…