DCS World > General Discussions > Topic Details
yusupov Feb 10 @ 7:48pm
beginner joystick
was wondering if someone could recommend a joystick that would allow for fulfilling gameplay (not looking to spend $500 for full-sim realism). im also looking into dropping $200 or so on a wheel & would prefer something well under that, like in the $50 range if possible, but if need be i could switch priorities. thanks
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the Kernal Feb 10 @ 7:54pm 
saitek x52 pro is a nice stick. I had one for years before i upgraded to a TM Hotas Warthog.
El Jefe Feb 10 @ 7:55pm 
I like CH Products. I have the fighter stick, pro throttle, and rudder pedals.
http://www.chproducts.com/Consumer-Products-v13-p-124.html#5
yusupov Feb 10 @ 8:27pm 
so im assuming something like this http://www.amazon.com/Thrustmaster-T-Flight-Hotas-Flight-Playstation-3/dp/B001CXYMFS/ref=pd_sim_e_4 would be too simplistic for DCS?
[GCA]Apo Feb 10 @ 8:47pm 
Nope, many use that one. I myself started with nearly the exact joystick, the version without the Hotas (throttle). I must even say, for the price that thing is not bad, only real gripe was the lack of software to make it work with older games and the sensitivy of the throttle. Formation flying and A2A refueling is a bit tedious.

Here a pic of my old profile for the A10C... http://i.imgur.com/He2Lq.png
You need to make a set up like that and a printed out document or a picture on a laptop / second monitor will go a long way to help in the beginning.
ARGH Feb 10 @ 8:52pm 
Get a Thrustmaster T.16000M - this stick is fairly cheap ($50) but has the precision you need to feel confident about flying. Otherwise, you'll always be second guessing if it's you or the joystick that's not operating properly.
El Jefe Feb 10 @ 8:57pm 
You could use that. I think you can even use a gamepad. It's just a matter of how often will you need to reference the keyboard vs. keeping your hands on the throttle and stick. I had a Saitek x45 as my first one, but the hardware crapped out over time. Then I decided to up the ante, got a nice quality stick, throttle, and pedals as I've gotten more into the sim. The key thing with both the saitek and ch products (I can't say for thrustmaster, but they've been around for a while too, so imagine they're at least comparable) is that they have software that allows button presses on the sticks to emulate a keyboard press: they're programmable and customizable. You can even download profiles from other users and try them out without having to program it yourself. You could start out with that and just have it control your axes, and supplement it with the keyboard. But for a better experience I would get a programmable one (programmable as in, emulates a keyboard in addition to axis controls).
yusupov Feb 10 @ 9:46pm 
thanks a lot for the input guys, i may just go with the recommended stick above for starters. one more question though, would a x52-pro mean barely having to use the keyboard?? i've gotta confess ive not yet even attempted this sim but with the sale they have going now its very tempting to splurge.
[GCA]Apo Feb 10 @ 10:05pm 
You wouldn't us the keyboard much even with a very cheap joystick. What you normally do is work with modifiers, now when you press button 8 + POV HAT you use trim for example. Button 9 + POV HAT for slew control, Button 9+10+POV HAT for china hat, POV-Hat without modifiers for looking around etc.

That way you have everything on your joystick, see my post above for reference how that might look. All the normal HOTAS functions plus some extra like landing gear, push2talk, center TrackIR. :)

With more expensive joysticks you get more POV-Hats, switch buttons etc. so that you don't need to use as many modifiers to use all the functions of a complex aircraft like the A-10C.
Duke McFishy Feb 10 @ 10:12pm 
Everything has been said by the nice people above me, but I started this game a while back with a non HOTAS stick and after a while I realy felt the need to get a HOTAS one with multiple hats and buttons. I bought the X52 a half a year ago-ish and so far it has been working great.

When you got heavy hands, if you know what I mean, I can certainly see you get in trouble with the X52 though and break it. It is something you have to consider before buying the X52 for like 100 dollar/euro. It is a very precise stick but there isn't a lot of resistance. I think many people for this fact alone don't like it, but I personally think its a good stick for its price.
Ubiquitous Feb 11 @ 2:55am 
If you want to fly either helicopters or the P-51 then I would recommend trying to find a used "Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback 2" stick. Not only were these sticks high quality, but the force feedback adds materially to the experience in those DCS modules.

Firstly, in P51, the force feedback helps you to feel when the plane is about to stall, which is a big help when trying to squeeze as much as possible out of it in a dogfight. In helicopters the forcefeedback simulates the forcetrimming of the aircraft. Basically, to have the helicopter fly forwards you need to hold the nose below the horizon, which involves holding the stick in the forward position. In a long mission this makes your arm hurt! The forcetrim basically let's you set the stick so that instead of returning to center it returns to the forward possition, which is much more comfortable and makes for more stable flying.

For the A-10, force feedback is less important, and you would benefit more from having plenty of buttons and hat switches to control the vast number of aircraft systems. That said, I am flying the A-10 with my MS SW FFB2 stick and am very happy doing so.
fearlessfrog Feb 11 @ 9:00am 
I really like the MS SWII just for the helos, but they are getting hard to find I think.

Is the X55 out yet? It looks interesting..
Madfish Feb 11 @ 9:17am 
Entry level:
- Thrustmaster T.16000

Medium:
- Saitek X52

Advanced:
- Saitek X55
- Thrustmaster Warthog

Expert level:
- Custom build / real replicas and advanced gear (really an open end here up to building a complete copy of a cockpit of your choice)

The rest you can just forget about. CH products was nice in the past - but these days you want HALL sensors and not potentiometers. The only thing I would recommend from them is the rudder pedals (if you like the fact that they are really slim)

Personally I have a TM Warthog but also a T.16000 and often I find myself just grabbing the T.16000 since it's much easier to handle unless you place all your gear in a dedicated sim pit.
StoneCold313 Feb 11 @ 10:56am 
I started flying with the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro, but then the hooks got deeper and deeper and decided to get 'The Hog'(Thrustmaster Warthog).

3D works fine, for a 30€ joystick, but be prepared to set up modifiers and write down all the important keybinds/combos. I had this huge list of keybinds and whatnot written down to remember what does what.. xD

@Madfish,

From what i've seen, people who build custom pits still use Warthog hotas just because the quality of the joystick is OUTSTANDING.

As for the last paragraph, you don't need to build all custom pit for the hog hotas. You can use speaker stands if you want, it's just the height that matters. I kept mine on my PC table for a while before doing some ghetto fixes and got them about 10cm lower.
Rusty_M Feb 11 @ 11:03am 
I think a lot of people liked the Thrustmaster T Flight HOTAS X
Jack9579 Feb 11 @ 1:17pm 
I bought an x52 off craigslist for $40, I suggest looking on craigslist, you may be able to buy a nice stick for the price of a cheap one like me :)

I started with the xbox 360 controller, it was terrible IMHO, at least a cheap joystick is needed IMHO. The Logitech extreme 3d models are always fine, pretty universal.
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