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Top 5 Best Joysticks for Flight Simulator Games

Updated on January 22, 2016
neosurk profile image

When not spending hours playing Flight Simulator X, Roberto enjoys planespotting as a side hobby and likes to keep up with latest tech news.

Are you looking for the best joysticks for Microsoft Flight Simulator or the X-Plane? Need to get the best yokes for flight simulation games? Flight Simulator games are boring without realism, and a keyboard and mouse does not bring any sense of reality. Look no further, you will find some of the latest, best, high rated and easy-to-use controllers for your simulation games. Flight Simulation games are boring without realism and a keyboard and mouse does not bring any sense of reality.

Although you can use your mouse to play the aviation simulation games, the realism comes with joysticks and dedicated throttles, yokes and all system controllers.

Below are the best-rated gadgets from personal users. See the reviews, see the features and if you want, you can buy straight from the links provided—fulfilled with free shipping. Be sure to leave a comment on what you think makes a great flight sim joystick.

What is your favorite flight simulation game?

Which Flight Simulator?

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Selecting The Best Joystick for Yourself

In the content below, you will be able to see the best joysticks for flight simulators rated by their type, game play level, and their compatibility and realism with real-life sticks and yokes.

  1. Joysticks by Game play level (are you a beginner gamer or a seasoned professional flight simmer?)
  2. Joysticks by Type (sticks or HOTAS and flight controllers)
  3. Joysticks that most-resemble the real-life Boeing's yoke and Airbus' side-stick

Beginner Joystick for Flight Simulator

1. Logitect 3D Pro for Flight Simulator

Logitech Extreme 3D Pro is perfect for beginner gamers and flight simulator users.
Logitech Extreme 3D Pro is perfect for beginner gamers and flight simulator users.

It is very much recommended as a first joystick. A beginner-type joystick will help you know what it feels to play with a stick. Fully programmable and compatible with leading flight simulators including Microsoft Flight Simulator X, fs2004, Lock on Platinum, Hawx, X-Plane 10. This is the best product FOR THE PRICE.

Logitect Extreme 3D Pro for Microsoft Flight Simulator X

See reviews and buy: Extreme 3D Pro Joystick for Windows

  • Dedicated buttons for different functions like landing gear up/down, flaps up/down, changing your window view, rudder yaw, elevator trimming and ailerons. The supports on all four corners provide great stability and you will not have any difficulty in playing.
  • You won't have to carry it in your hand, just rest it on the floor. The precision rudder control is engineered for even the slightest movements and pilot instincts.

2. Mad Catz V.1 Stick

Mad Catz

See reviews and buy: Mad Catz V.1 Stick for PC

  • Priced at just #30, this mad stick is best suited for fsX, which has over 28,000 airports. With more than 25,000 airports worldwide, there is a 100% chance that Microsoft fsX will also have your local airport. Choose from over 50 airplane designs and even download new aircraft when they release.
  • 2015's Featured Stick for Flight Simulator by Amazon
  • Over 70% of the reviewers have rated it 4 stars or more


All System Controllers

New Flight Controllers 2015 - Saitek X52 Pro Flight Controllers and More...

The flight simulator gamers might already know this, but Microsoft has discontinued developing more Flight Simulator Series games. Yes, shocking but true :( As of 2009, Microsoft Studios made it official and they are no longer creating advanced versions of flight simulator. That is, we won't be able to play Microsoft Flight Simulator 11, 2013 etc.

Nevertheless, they have released a new "FREE" video game - Microsoft Flight. The game is free to download and play. However, we need to pay for additional aircraft and scenery, if we want extra from the default airplanes and locations they provide. The following are the official Microsoft-recommended joysticks for the *Flight*, and are really powerful gaming toys from Saitek and Cyborg.

Saitek X52 Pro Flight System Controller

There is a reason this X52 Pro is called system controller. It controls most of the systems you would use in the game. One of the best functions I like is its multi-function display (MFD) which shows vital game stats in the controller itself.

  • Best rated by real pilots for Airbus planes
  • Also for combat flight simulators with aircraft like F-16 and F-22

Saitek X52 Pro Flight System Controller
Saitek X52 Pro Flight System Controller

The Saitek X52 Pro Flight Controller controls every function of your flight. It is a throttle, controller, navigator, radio all-in-one. Especially recommended for right-handed players, it installs properly in Windows 7. However, reviewers have had issues installing it on Vista.

The main difference one can notice between X52 and the X52 Pro System Controllers is the strength of the stick. Pro seems to be more stiff and very reactive, and sensitive. Plus, the spring is also stronger and more centered for the inner dead center.

The powerful new LCD display is another thing, but how can one forget the ability to make profiles for different gaming options? Works well in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7.

Compatible also for Windows 8. Not compatible for Macs.

 
The cockpit of Airbus A380 showing the side-stick as the flight controller
The cockpit of Airbus A380 showing the side-stick as the flight controller | Source

Flight Controller Yokes and Throttles

Perfect for flying Boeing and Cessna planes

Best Yoke for Flight Simulator - Saitek Pro Flight Yoke System - What could be better?

Saitek Pro Yoke with Flight Levers!
Saitek Pro Yoke with Flight Levers!
Saitek CES432100002/02/1 Pro Flight Cessna Yoke System
Saitek CES432100002/02/1 Pro Flight Cessna Yoke System

N.B. The obvious use of the throttle controllers (with mixtures and propeller control) is for turbo-"prop" engines and not turbojet or turbofan engines. With that being said, these controls are a boon to gamers who enjoy flying their Cessna prop or the stylish Beech King. However, the controllers are also equally useful for jet engines as that of Boeing 737 and other turbofan engines. They also do have mixture controls, plus the fan speed control as well.

 

Seriously, what could be better than the real aircraft yoke and levers? The Saitek Pro Flight Yoke has this yoke like a real aircraft which can be easily attached to your table. Contains 3 USB hubs for connecting the flight yoke and throttle with the PC.

Perfectly compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and the new Windows 10.

Saitek Pro Rudder Controller...to pair up with the Yoke and Throttle

Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals
Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals

Now comes with toe brakes - brake like a professional pilot, turn like a professional pilot and fly like a professional pilot with Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Controller. This rudder is designed to be played in conjunction with Saitek Pro Yokes and Throttle controllers. Rated 4 out of 5 stars! Change the level of resistance you want with a simple knob - easy as that.

These rudder pedals act as a steering wheel for your aircraft. Pressing the right one turns the rudder to the left and thus, the plane is turned towards right. Opposite for the left rudder.

In case you have to play other games (apart from FS), these can act as accelerator and brakes.These rudder pedals act as a steering wheel for your aircraft. Pressing the right one turns the rudder to the left and thus, the plane is turned towards right. Opposite for the left rudder.

In case you have to play other games (apart from FS), these can act as accelerator and brakes.

 

Flight Simulator Epic Setup

What is your favorite flight simulator joystick?

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    • neosurk profile image
      Author

      Roberto Eldrum 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for your input.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I will buy the logitech 3d one. And microsoft flight only have a few airports, a sharp contrast to fsx's 28000. And if you think flight is better than fsx, you are totally wrong. Even I who never played flight can judge by the user reviews. That's why many people still opt for FSX. Flight is only for children under 10 and casual gamers.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      You feature Microsoft Flight. I believe this project has been abandoned by Microsoft since December 2012. It was considered to arcade-ish by serious flight simmers and the poor pay-to-play model didn't win anyone over either. I think the market is ripe for well designed flight simulator less complex than X-Plane but with the inclusiveness of FSX (planes, terrain, etc.).

      As far as joysticks I've owned most of your list, right now I'm happy with the Logitech Freedom Wireless 2.4--handles FSX well, and can jump to an FPS without problems.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      I'm ready to play.

    • am23g23 profile image

      am23g23 4 years ago

      Nice lens, I think 3D is a nice option for me.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      I would like to have Logitech 3D Pro! It looks very nice :)

    • neosurk profile image
      Author

      Roberto Eldrum 4 years ago

      @PBJasen: Haha, not now :p

    • PBJasen profile image

      PBJasen 5 years ago

      If someone want to donate one Saitek X52 Pro Flight System Controller...

      For now I have old trusty Saitek Cyborg 3D :)