Before the analog stick or directional pad, there was the joystick. These primitive rudders may look simple by today's standards, but they are the granddaddy of all the modern operating systems we have today. Over the years, joysticks have expanded into different types of controllers, including the standard gamepad, flight sticks, andgiant sticks. Some joysticks have even become specializedgame muzand PC keyboards.
The right stick makes you feel like a Mavericktop gun- you won't be feeling those G's just yet - or maybe Kara ThraceBattlestar Galactica. Other joystick implementations offer a surprising amount of innovation, with some devices, such as vertical mice and fighting sticks, giving people better and more customizable ways to play.
Whatever you're looking for, we've rounded up and organized the best PC joysticks below. And be sure to read the end of the article where we wrote what to look for when buying a controller that falls outside our recommendations, andclick here to find them in Great Britain
TL;DR – These are the best joysticks for PC
- Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog-pc
- Logitech Extreme 3D Pro
- Thrustmaster TCA Airbus-editie
- Thrustmaster T16000M FCS
- Honingraat Aeronautical Alpha Flight Yoke
- Lexip Np93 Alfa
- RALLY Verticale Gaming Mus
- Mad Catz's ego
- Razer Tartar Pro
Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog-pc
Best joystick for flight simulation
For the ultimate flight simulation you need the ultimate flight stick. It turns out to be Thrustmaster's Hotas Warthog PC joystick. You won't find cheap plastic or fake buttons that give it an authentic look. Instead, you get a joystick that's almost all metal and weighs 14 pounds. This thing is a beast, and as far as authenticity goes, the Hotas Warthog PC Joystick is perhaps unsurprisingly modeled after the A-10C Warthog and officially licensed by the US Air Force. However, as with military aircraft, this joystick may take some time to work. master.
The joystick and dual-throttle system of the Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog PC has 55 action buttons and controls, divided between switches, hats and triggers. All of these controls not only look like the A-10C Warthog, but feel like it too: the pressure used to actuate the joystick buttons and triggers is actually identical. And each of these 55 controls is programmable, so you can customize your flight configuration to your liking. Finally, when it comes to the flight itself, you get precise control via the joystick's magnetic Hall effect sensor with 16-bit precision and a realistic push-pull throttle system with a switchable afterburner. So if you want to rule the sky, this is a worthy ally.
Logitech Extreme 3D Pro
best budget joystick
Not everyone needs a real flight stick, especially if you just want to jump in the cockpit and start flying without having to master dozens of controls. Logitech's Extreme 3D Pro is just what the doctor ordered in that regard and will only cost you about $30. Perfect for beginners or those on a budget, this joystick is comfortable to hold in the air for hours on end. Of course, you won't have as realistic an experience as with the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog PC, but it's definitely better than using a traditional controller or mouse and keyboard combo.
The emphasis here is on simplicity, although Logitech's Extreme 3D Pro still offers a dozen or so programmable buttons and an eight-way hat for steering your ship without resorting to the keyboard. The trigger has a rapid fire mode to catch even your smallest movements and punish your enemies, while the Z-axis rotation allows for easy helm control. And while you're immersed in the gaming action, the controller sits securely on a wide base to prevent tipping and sliding.
Thrustmaster TCA Airbus-editie
Best joystick for flight simulation
If you have some room in your budget, you can switch to the Thrustmaster TCA Sidestick Airbus Edition. This joystick has it all, and that's because it's practically authentic. Thrustmaster modeled this after the side jack and quadrant of the Airbus A320. It is a 1:1 replica and is officially licensed by Airbus, so perfect if you want to go deeper into itMicrosoft flight simulator. The joystick is incredibly realistic and precise, while the double dampers put you in the middle quadrant of the cockpit of a commercial airliner.
You have a lot of control between the joystick and the dial. The joystick has 17 buttons and controls, while the dial has 16, most of which are programmable. This means that you can map out a wide range of functions so that they are easily within reach and perfectly suited to your flying style. You can also replace some of the main joystick buttons to suit your needs. The joystick uses a durable Hall effect magnetic sensor system for more nuance and a better feel in the air. You also get rudder control thanks to the joystick's ability to rotate and lock. And the dial offers a counter pressure mechanism. While this joystick is a bit pricey at just under $200, you really do get a lot of bang for your buck with this option.
Thrustmaster T16000M FCS
The best left-handed joystick
The Thrustmaster T16000M FCS is another solid budget joystick made from the same DNA as Logitech's Extreme 3D Pro. Only with this model you get magnetic Hall Effect sensors for greater accuracy and durability. Its best feature, however, is a treat for left-handed gamers. The joystick is completely ambidextrous; By interchanging three components, you can play it with your left or right hand.
The ergonomic joystick of the Thrustmaster T16000M FCS has 16 buttons, an 8-way hat switch and z-axis rotation. You even get an ergonomic trigger to take out your opponents with ease. For a more authentic flying experience, you can also press the throttle, which offers 14 additional buttons and an eight-way switch. A sliding mechanism on the throttle provides extra precision and friction can be adjusted with turnbuckles. That takes a lot of control.
Honingraat Aeronautical Alpha Flight Yoke
best flight yoke
You don't have to feel like you're piloting a fighter jet or a spaceship if you don't want to. The Alpha Aeronautical Honeycomb Flight Yoke prepares you for a slightly more realistic flying experience. Real pilots and aerospace engineers developed it and even used aerospace-grade internal components in its production. The design mimics a real aircraft, giving you the feeling of flying a large commercial airliner or a smaller private jet, while the yoke-based controls are designed for use with FAA-approved simulations.
The Alpha Aeronautical Honeycomb Flight Yoke is centered around a yoke that sits on a steel spindle with dual linear ball bearings. It has a 180-degree turning radius that is centered for good power, consistent feel and smooth control. You also get 13 different switches and buttons, all of which are customizable, so it's possible to configure these controls to control multiple motors or have them control flaps or prop pitch. Another unique feature is the adjustable cockpit backlight, which immerses you in the atmosphere of a flight. The system is also sturdy enough that you don't have to worry about screwing it on before taking to the air, but it does come with clamps if you're worried about the yoke shifting.
Lexip Np93 Alfa
best joystick for mouse
The Lexip Np93 Alpha is here for you when you need some of the control of an analog joystick while needing the precise control of a mouse. It's also extremely affordable to get started at just $40. And don't worry, the Lexip Np93 Alpha looks and performs like your typical gaming mouse with flashy RGB lighting, long-lasting Omron switches, and adjustable weight, but if if you look at the side of the mouse, you will find an analog thumbstick under the mouse. two thumb buttons.
The unique analog stick allows you to aim or move with a controller, for example while flying in an airplane, but you can still use the 12,000 DPI optical sensor in the mouse when needed. You can also configure the analog stick to work with macros or button assignments. And the entire mouse glides smoothly on special ceramic glides, which should last a while and have better durability than the Teflon found in other mice. The braided cable of this mouse should also be able to take a beating.
RALLY Verticale Gaming Mus
The best vertical mouse joystick for gaming
You don't normally see a joystick on a gaming mouse, let alone an already more expensive vertical mouse, but the ZLOT Vertical Gaming Mouse makes good use of its joystick. However, the joystick on this peripheral is more of a four-way switch than an actual joystick. Sure, you can set any of the cardinal directions as WASD, but you don't get the diagonal motion controls of a typical joystick. Still, you can use it in your PC games to quickly switch weapons, activate character traits, and enter other commands.
Aside from the joystick, the vertical tower design of the ZLOT Vertical Gaming Mouse reduces wrist and finger strain and improves reaction time while eliminating fatigue. Despite being lightweight, the ZLOT mouse uses a Pixart PMW3325 IR sensor with five adjustable resolution settings from 1,500 to 10,000 DPI and includes 11 macro-compatible programmable buttons (including joystick), whose settings are stored in the internal memory of the mouse. . This means you can navigate the action of a game using a peripheral that's perfectly suited to it. And of course, this wired mouse in true gamer style is equipped with fun RGB lighting to finish it off.
Mad Catz's ego
best fighting stick
Sure, your regular gamepad or keyboard can work just fine with fighting games like Mortal Kombat, but you'll get the best possible experience if you play these games with a fighting stick. ThatMad Catz's egoIt's a phenomenal opportunity that gives you an advantage over your opponents. You can connect it to your PC via USB, but it also works for Xbox, PlayStation or Switch. All you have to do is connect the relevant controller for that platform to the Ego. We love that this fighting stick bridges the absurd platform compatibility gap while also standing out with high quality parts and ready for gamers to play with.
The Mad Catz Ego offers a solid, compact build with easy access to the interior to customize the fighting stick with your own adjustments; It even comes with a screwdriver to make opening it easy. But you already get a reliable Sanwa Denshi eight-way joystick with ball and eight responsive action buttons that give you the edge over your opponents and make fighting a breeze. So if you are looking for a competitive quality fighting stick that is ready to use at a reasonable price, this is one of your best options.
Razer Tartar Pro
The best gaming keyboard
The Razer Tartarus was already a pretty useful accessory. It gave you some special keys for playing games, while also giving you a handy directional pad for your thumb. With the Razer Tartarus Pro, the possibilities now go even further, bringing you closer to joystick-like control. That's because these keys have optical analog switches this time around that can detect how far they've been pressed, rather than the typical binary input you get from keyboards.
On the Razer Tartarus Pro, you get a set of 20 RGB-backlit keyboard buttons. In addition to the pressure-sensitive response, the keys can even be configured to sense at different actuation points or have two actuation points, each of which has a different action. In total there are 32 modified entries. In addition to the keys, the Razer Tartarus Pro includes a clickable scroll wheel and an eight-way pad that allows your thumb to do much more than just jump. You also get a removable magnetic palm rest, which can come in handy as this peripheral can be a bit fiddly to handle at first.
Where to Buy the Best UK PC Joystick?
Are you still surprised by the brilliance ofMicrosoft flight simulator? Well, maybe it's time to step up your game and invest in a new PC joystick. There are plenty of brilliant options to choose from, and our favorites include the lovely mid-range.Hori HOTAS flight stick, of deThrustmaster TCA Sidestick Airbus-editie.
endangered wild boarpersonal computer
Best joystick for flight simulation – available
What to look for in a PC joystick
Joysticks are not common gaming accessories. They are specialized gadgets with their own language and functions. For example, right from the start, you have to decide whether to use just a stick or a stripped throttle. HOTAS (Hands on Throttle and Stick) setups attempt to authentically simulate more amazing aircraft and spacecraft. Having the throttle and stick in your hands can feel authentic and greatly increase immersion.
Bonus points: some throttles are also split so you can control two engines separately. On the other hand, you can sacrifice realism with a cheaper joystick with a rudimentary throttle built into the base.
The number and configuration of buttons is also critical; More controls mean more realism and fewer reasons to tap the keyboard in-game. But 30 buttons each with three programmable modes can mean 100 or more different commands, which can be far more than a casual gamer has the patience to learn. If this sounds intimidating, you can settle for a simple keyboard with a dozen buttons and switches.
Once you get past these basic functions, there are many smaller details that set joysticks apart. Axis tension is important to the feel of the game and is something you can only really appreciate when you try it out in person. Some joysticks fail because they are too stiff, but this is probably preferable to a joystick that is too loose, which feels cheap and fake.
Some joysticks rotate back and forth; this is called "z-axis rotation" and allows you to simply apply rudder or yaw. In general, this is what you want, especially in flight and space simulators. And don't forget that in the heat of battle it's nice to have a joystick that stays in place. Some joysticks guarantee stability thanks to their mass. Others have suction cups, clamps, or screws to keep them from slipping.
Dave Johnson has been writing about gaming and technology since the days of Palm Pilot. Watch him scream into the Twitter void@davejoh.
Danielle Abraham is an unpaid freelance writer and music historian.