Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Javito1986

Must have flight sim controllers?

Recommended Posts

Howdy ho fellow OFFers!

 

I was assigned to write an article about eight must-have flight sim controllers. So as I'm sitting there brainstorming, I thought I'd come over here and ask for you fine gentlemen's opinion. What do you all think? Joysticks? TrackIR? Thruster pedals? Input is most welcome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Javito,

 

assuming a joystick is a given, here's my list in order of preference:

i)TiR

ii)Rudder pedals

iii)Throttle quadrant

iv)Ok I will mention a stick - a FFB stick (good luck finding one !)

 

All the best

RS

 

Sorry, Javito,

 

you said 8 must have controllers, but I'm stuffed if I can think of another four to go on my list.

 

Oh, Well, maybe a VRF TFS (tactile feedback system)which is quite good in simulating engine vibes but is a bit

of a sob to set up imo.

 

Hth

 

RS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who thinks you must have 8 controllers for flightsims? Some marketing suit at a joystick company?

 

If you're a serious simmer, whether online or off, you MUST have a fully programmable stick/throttle HOTAS system with enough buttons and hats to have every essential command for combat at your fingertips in 1 click. Thus, any "all in 1" stick with only a few buttons and a slider for the throttle is a non-starter. And because Saitek STUPIDLY quit putting a rocker bar for the rudder on their throttles (best rudder controller ever) a couple generations ago, you also now need a separate set of pedals. Twisty sticks for rudders just suck, end of story. So that's 3 pieces of gear--stick, throttle, pedals--although some brands sell the stick and throttle as a set so if you go that way it's only buying 2 items.

 

If your game supports TrackIR, then that's also a required controller. It's the greatest thing since canned beer. Scratch that; it's the greatest thing since bottled whiskey. There has never been a better way to do views in a flightsim. Which, unfortunately, a lot of developers now use as a crutch and implement assinine view systems totally unworkable in combat without TIR (OFF's base of CFS3 is a classic example).

 

That's all the must-haves. Top-end HOTAS stick, top-end HOTAS throttle, rudder pedals, and TrackIR. Everything after that is just conspicuous consumption. The market provides extras like separate throttles for multiple engines and/or mixture and pitch controls. There are various gizmos that are just extra buttons, which you don't really need if you have a decent stick/throttle HOTAS system. And if you go online, a headset with a mic is pretty much required, although that's not technically a controller.

 

The only way to must-have more than this is if your teacher is talking about control axes instead of controllers. In that case, obviously you need 4 axes at a minimum: yaw, pitch, roll, throttle. But having 3 more for trim of elevator, rudder, and aileron really helps, which any modern HOTAS will also provide. For #8, a built-in mouse CAN be helpful if you're into sims of modern aircraft with MFDs on the instrument panel you actually have to use. However, usually you don't need this because there are keyboard commands for all the MFD fucntions, which you can program on your HOTAS without having to mouse the MFDs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a start, I don't think there are 8 must-haves. Let me see...

 

1. a good joystick as described by Bullethead, plus: a very fine-graded sensitive response*

2. rudder pedals - especially essential for WW1 aircraft**

3. TrackIR - puts you in the cockpit!

4. a good graphic card, that allows quick head movements without producing white jaggies, or stutters

5. a fast enough CPU that allows the immediate generation of plenty of fighting aircraft around you

6. a 16:9 or 16:10 monitor - the higher the resolution, the better

 

That's it IMHO - only 6 essentials.

 

* since I always had problems with aiming and shooting, I have now bought me a stick

with much finer sampling than most others - and the improvement is incredible!

The stick is the THRUSTMASTER T16000 M from the Guillemot team, who also build

the great (but far more expensive) THRUSTMASTER HOTAS WARTHOG.

The sampling matrix inside the stick has 16000 x 16000 dots!

The accuracy you get is absolutely stunning!

 

** pedals are not a must-have to be able to control the aircraft - they are a must-have, because

they give you the right and much more real impression of how it was to fly these craft.

Edited by Olham

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd agree with Bullethead for the most part. There are human factors issues with 'twisty sticks' for rudders as well.

 

I'd also agree that rudder pedals are a must to maximize your immersion...even the most modern aircraft still use them, mainly because that's one less thing your hands/fingers have to do and you can be quite precise because of the wide range of motion.

 

The only thing I might add would be for aircraft newer than Korean War vintage, to have something like a touch screen or a tablet tied in. Especially for modern MFD fighters, it can really add to the experience and allows you to keep HOTAS for the more critical, time sensitive functions.

 

FC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not exactly hardware, but I like to keep a damp hand cloth, a dry cloth, and some squirt hand sanitizer nearby.

My hands sweat when the action gets heavy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about 'uppers' and 'downers'? :dance2:

 

Naw!!! That would ruin the effect of adrenalin flow!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for the tips guys, it's a big help! I had a really hard time coming up with 8 on my own, but thanks to you chaps I have my list ;-). Helps to include Olham's CPU/GPU/High Res monitor! And Bullethead, you're the man as always.

 

Le'sigh. I miss Flanders Fields. Think my install got corrupted, I'll tinker with it over the weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..