The best flight controllers can make your experience with games like Microsoft Flight Simulator and Star Wars Squadrons significantly more immersive. The resurgence of Microsoft Flight Simulator on PC and then Xbox Series X|S made extremely specialized flight stick attachments a bit more popular. As a result, major accessory brands have released new flight controllers designed specifically with Microsoft Flight Simulator in mind. Whether you’re looking for a flight device for Xbox or PC, you’ll likely find what you’re looking for in our roundup of the best flight devices.
Most of the products here are HOTAS (or Hands-On Throttle and Stick), the industry standard for joysticks, and will simply give you much more control over your flying experience while also significantly increasing immersion. It’s best to stick with reputable brands like the ones mentioned above, although some flight stick options can cost hundreds of dollars, because you can be sure of the quality and durability of the flight stick.
Editor’s note: article updated on August 10, 2022
Thrustmaster T.Flight Full Kit X is a great all-in-one option for those jumping into Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox Series X|S or PC. The bundle brings you the T.Flight HOTAS One, Thrustmaster’s entry-level thumbstick that has been a popular choice for some time, along with the T.Flight Rudder Pedals (TFRP).
The T.Flight HOTAS One features a compact design with a detachable throttle and joystick along with five axes, 14 action buttons, a quick-fire trigger, and a multi-directional switch for navigation/panning. It also has real Xbox buttons that let you easily navigate menus and more, and the device will be instantly recognized and configured when you connect it to your console. Rudder pedals further enhance your flying experience by giving you precise control over the rudders and brakes. They’re designed with industrial-grade aluminum slide rails that give you a wide range of smooth motion.
For experienced flight simulation users (or even real pilots) who want a rigorous and realistic simulation experience, the best yoke you can buy right now is the Thrustmaster TCA Yoke Pack Boeing Edition. You get a yoke and throttle that resemble real Boeing 787 airplane controls.
The TCA yoke is made from pure metal to give you a premium feel and performance. It has a whopping 35 action buttons and interchangeable throttle sticks. With adjustable springs and resistance, you can adjust the yoke to the setting you want.
At $500, it’s pretty expensive, but you really can’t beat the TCA Yoke Pack if you’re a serious flight sim player. It even has the autopilot feature of the 787, so you can sit back and enjoy the scenery in Microsoft Flight Simulator.
For those who don’t want to go all-in on the T.Flight Full Kit X, you can purchase the HOTAS One Flight Joystick separately for $90, which has all the above features designed specifically for Xbox and PC. Although rudder pedals greatly increase the immersion and level of control you have in a flight simulator, beginners looking to try the genre for the first time may want to start with a standard joystick like the HOTAS One.
This one is hard to find in stock, but it’s worth mentioning here: the Hori Ace Combat 7 HOTAS Flight Stick for Xbox is another great option for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The Designed for Xbox product retails for $200 and features a separate joystick and throttle with full HOTAS controls. You can adjust joystick sensitivity and throttle resistance to customize your flying experience, and this set also has a built-in 3.5mm headphone jack.
If you’re looking to emulate the cockpit of a Boeing aircraft, then Logitech’s Flight Yoke System for PC is a good choice. It has a flight yoke and a three-stick throttle, as well as 25 programmable buttons, five axes, and a built-in USB hub.
This flight control system from Turtle Beach is officially licensed for Xbox Series X|S and PC and was designed specifically for Microsoft Flight Simulator. It features a highly realistic 180-degree yoke with built-in rudder controls, a modular throttle quadrant with an integrated trim wheel and custom sticks, and a management screen that gives you real-time alerts and other details as you fly. It connects easily via USB and is available for $380. It’s certainly expensive, but it’s one of Turtle Beach’s best products in years.
An upgraded version of the original X52, Logitech’s G Saitek X52 Pro Flight Control System comes with a separate joystick and throttle and features illuminated buttons as well as an improved LCD screen that displays game data. It also has a precision dual-spring centering mechanism that ensures the joystick returns to the neutral position when released, and its progressive throttle includes a tension dial to adjust resistance. The handle is also highly adjustable with five positions and contoured finger grips to customize your grip style. Although not supported by Xbox at the moment, Logitech G Saitek X52 Pro is another great option for Flight Simulator on PC.
Microsoft Flight Simulator was originally released for PC, and controlling it with a mouse and keyboard will likely feel more natural than a controller. For that purpose, Microsoft recommends the Razer Turret, a wireless keyboard and mouse set that connects to your Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One with a 2.4 GHz connection and adaptive frequency technology. The mouse pad is built-in and slides out from the right side of the keyboard, while the mouse features Razer’s 5G Advanced Optical Sensor with 16,000 DPI. The keyboard is a tenkeyless layout with Razer mechanical switches. The Razer Turret also works with a handful of other Xbox games, so you can potentially take advantage of it well beyond just piloting it in Flight Simulator.
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