Best Flight Sticks for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2021

Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog

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Thrustmaster makes some amazing joysticks, and it’s a name you can trust if you need a HOTAS stick. The Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog is made entirely of metal, with flight grade switches, adjustable stick and throttle weight and pressure and Hall effect sensors for extremely accurate command input readings. All the advancements in computer flight stick technology have been brought to it. However, it is not without its drawbacks. Because the A-10C’s cockpit controlled its double-tailed rudders with pedals, there is no torsional axis control in the HOTAS stick. It is also precise.

With a total of 19 buttons including an 8-way POV hat, this flight stick has enough hats and push buttons to appeal to almost anyone. This stick is constructed from metal, so it’s built to last, and as an added bonus, the grip is detachable so you can use it with the Cougar. We also like the stability of this stick at over 6 pounds, so it won’t slip off you although there are also handy holes at each corner for mounting. From the magnetic sensor system to those pinkie pushbuttons, you really can’t go wrong with the HOTAS Warthog if you want an accurate stick that outperforms the rest. It comes with a 2 year warranty, and there is a Warthog set with stick and dual throttle available if you’re looking for a matching set.

The design of the Warthog Flight Stick comes from the similarly dubbed A-10 Thunderbolt II, which helps create an ergonomic feel in the hand, while also being grounded in realism. The construction is high-end, lining the plastic stick with metallic accents you won’t find on cheaper alternatives. It also includes a detachable metal base that helps on the desk, while also adapting to fit into a cockpit setup. And weighing over 3kg, this joystick won’t move anywhere even if you don’t use the included mounting solution. Thrustmaster’s HEART technology seen in top flight sticks supports the Warthog, using magnetic sensors for high precision 16-bit resolution, while also being durable for multi-year use. The company also claims its five coil spring system, which it claims offers tension and consistency without dead spots.

The Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog offers the full flight simulator experience, being a replica of the configuration used in a US Air Force A-10C attack aircraft. This stick and throttle control setup provides the most immersive Flight Sim experience possible and is in a class of its own. The result is a consistent and sturdy stick for all forms of flight, including the new Microsoft Flight Simulator in 2021.

Thrustmaster T16000M FCS HOTAS Controller

Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS Controller...
  • The T.16000M FCS HOTAS is compatible with PC via USB in Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • 16 action buttons with braille - style physical button identification
  • Exclusive precision:Hall Effect accurate technology 3D (Hall Effect) magnetic sensors located on the...

When looking to enhance your Microsoft Flight Simulator experience beyond the entry level experience, Thrustmaster’s T1600M is one of the more affordable options. The T1600M FCS will not leave you indifferent when it comes to interaction. The flight stick itself can move around four independent axes, including a rudder to rotate your plane. The 16 action buttons with tactile braille markings can be reconfigured to suit your most critical needs. The stick also has an 8-way hat switch and a quick release button. The T1600M FCS is designed to be ambidextrous. The advantage of buying a Thrustmaster brand flight stick is that you can easily expand your flight control system with their other products. Thrustmaster also sells accelerators and pedals which use the same TARGET software and are compatible with the T1600M FCS.

One of the highlights of this gaming joystick are the buttons as well as the general layout. Thrustmaster used a braille-like system that makes the keys easy to identify and there are 16 strategically placed around the stick. It also has four independent axes with a rudder. The comfortable low-profile throttle features 14 additional buttons and an adjustable slide rail system with 80mm of travel. The Thrustmaster T.16000M might look a bit cheap, but it feels great in the hand and is sturdy although a bit light compared to similar combos. The location of the button on the stick isn’t for everyone, but it’s perfect when playing VR games.

The Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS is a staple from a revered manufacturer of simulation equipment, ticking plenty of boxes for those with a taste for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The joystick axes provide high-precision control over pitch and roll, with stick twist also managing the yaw for horizontal adjustments. It mostly boils down to internal HEART technology, providing precise 16-bit resolution for stick inputs and voltage that feels right. The internals almost mirror its enthusiast-tuned Warthog joystick, nailing that same rugged functionality at a more palatable price tag.

The flight stick offers a comfortable and ergonomic design when in hand, with a variety of inputs to enhance functionality. This includes an eight-way hat switch placed on top, which is essential when looking outside the cockpit with the stunning backdrops of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Other inputs include a rear-mounted trigger and 16 other assignable buttons, ideal for mapping essential functions a few inches from your fingertips. The Thrustmaster aesthetic isn’t for everyone, with its full black and orange plastic accents and backlighting, but helps create a centerpiece for your flight setup.

The T.16000M remains a bestseller thanks to the launch of Microsoft Flight Simulator for a reason. This HOTAS configuration covers all the necessities of virtual pilots, with robust and precise control, with an abundance of assignable buttons and switches.

Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick

Logitech G Extreme 3D Pro Joystick for Windows -...
  • 12 action buttons, an eight-way hat switch, and a rapid-fire trigger
  • Button customization and multiple controller configurations
  • Its USB driven

The first thing you need to know about the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick is that it’s really old. It’s been on the market for almost seven years, so you can imagine how outdated its technology is now. It might seem like a reckless decision if you’re playing something as advanced as Microsoft Flight Simulator 2021.

The design of the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Precision hasn’t changed for over a decade, with a comfortable grip for long-haul flights and six buttons around the base. Unlike some other starter sticks, this one has full axis control, giving you rudder twist as well as pitch and roll. No out of the box options for converting to a HOTAS setup, but it’s good to start and decide if you want to do everything. It’s not flashy, but it’s pretty much all you need if you don’t care about the other half of your Cessna cockpit hotkeys on the keyboard in front of you.

The Extreme 3D Pro comes with a rudder, 8-position hat switch, quick trigger, and 12 programmable buttons. All controls are contained in a comfortable and ergonomic construction with a large weighted base that adds stability. This joystick is just as comfortable as the best flight sticks that have been developed more recently. The Logitech Extreme 3D Pro is a great entry-level joystick that gives you what you pay for. While not quite in the Pro class, you’ll be surprised at how well this one performs given the price.

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