View Full Version : Good Joystick for PF

07-01-2006, 12:21 PM
I have an old Logictech Wingman that needs replacing and was wondering what a good replacement might be.

What I would relly like to see is a Joystick with thumb wheels for rudder, aleron and elevator trim tabs. I have the hardest time trimming my aircraft out. Every time I make an adjustment, using the Ctrl key with the corresponding trim key, it goes too far the other way and a thumb wheel or even a slider would perfect for more fine tuned trim settings.


07-01-2006, 12:26 PM
X-52 from Saitek. It has all the bells and whistle you mentioned needing, and then some if you use the SST programming.

07-01-2006, 03:10 PM
X-45 is really nice too. It's 1/2 the price, if you can find one, and I find it has better button placement.

Texas LongHorn
07-01-2006, 03:55 PM
If you're really on the cheap, check out the Saitek 290 Pro. I just moved and can't even FIND my good stick, heck I'm lucky I found the computer. (Can you imagine two Semi trucks full of boxes with lousy labeling?} Anyway. the 290 was only twenty bucks at WalMart and works just fine, it doesn't have all the adjustments of my Cyborg but for twenty bucks, what the heck, I'm in the air again. All the best. LongHorn

07-01-2006, 05:19 PM
Saitek 290 Pro. I like it and feel I got a good controller. It realistic enough for jets and WWII and I think it'll do for WWI. I once liked a controller for one game but not another.

07-01-2006, 08:17 PM
to select a joystick for PF is really hard i think, 'cause the joystick requirement of PF is too high. the only way is to find a Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback 2 on eBay. even though this joystick has never been produced since 2003 but i think there's no one can replace it now.

07-02-2006, 12:29 AM
I use an X52 and will never use anything else!!!

07-03-2006, 04:16 PM
I recommend a Saitek X-45, X-52 or CH gear. Whatever you get you want to think toewards the future... If you plan to get rudder pedals... which are more than worth the $$ IMO.. then you might consider the X-45... they are getting hardewr to find though because the X-52 is the upgrade. The thing OI dont like about the X-52 is that it has a twist rudder. I prefer the rocker of the X-45 because I use the rocker for flaps. You want your rudder either on a twist handle, or pedals. I have never used the rocker for rudder so I cant speak on it. Dont go cheap.... You dont have to make price your only guide.. just remember you get what you pay for. The Saitek series is well made and has the features you mentioned.

07-03-2006, 06:51 PM
If money is not an object (and it almost always is), IMHO the very best possible sim setup is a Thrustmaster Cougar and Simped rudder pedals.

The combination is pricey, but first class. The Thrustmaster has no plastic parts in it (except the pots, which like all joysticks, are plastic but can be replaced with an easy Halls-Sensor mod).

The Saitek and CH joystick/pedal combinations are fine, and especially so because they cost less -- but you'll buy the Cougar/Simped setup only once, for all sims.

Whatever you choose, best of luck, and

Blue skies!!

07-04-2006, 01:57 AM
Avoid the cougar at all costs as even modded is a very un-reliable set up.
After spending over $750.00 US on one and having the ANT pot fail right away and than having a spring on the new gimble mod break I was very disapointed.
I was told this is normal and that it happens, so new spring on the way and new ant pot shipped as well I am not looking forword to tearing this stick apart again.
For the money I spent on it it should be bullet proof reliable, it's not and never will be. The metal that is used on the cougar is cheap pot metal at best.
Everything on it is the cheapest they could use right down to the screws.
I thought I had about 50 hours stick time on the cougar but after really thinking about it I have less than 15 hours and here it sits broken down waiting for parts.
I also own a ch hotas and in comparison I had over 2000 hours stick time on it before any problems manifested (bought it late 2001)a pot was going bad or a wire was loose on the throttle (would go up to 109% and needed a jiggle to get to 110) and one of the hat switches on the joystick would stick from time to time (bailout button, used most).
I called up ch and they said if I would pay for shipping to and from they would repair it free! I had to do a double take as I asked the guy on the phone, "no charge" just shipping.
There are a ton of issues large and small with the cougar hotas to recomend no one touch this hotas with a ten foot poll, plain and simple.
Based on what you posted though I would recomend the Saitek as it has rotaries and will suite your needs the best.

07-04-2006, 12:58 PM
Sorry about your problems with the Cougar, Targ, but your opinion is in a distinct minority (http://cougar.frugalsworld.com/). It is the stick many folks wish they could have. Perhaps you should sell it. Put it on e-bay ... you won't have it long, and someone will appreciate it.

I should add, CVE, that a good stick, or a bad one, won't make you a good pilot, or a bad one. The quality of the stick simply adds to the enjoyment of your flight time. To each his or her own .... if everyone liked the same things equally it would be a boring world indeed.

07-05-2006, 07:00 AM
Well I have two guys in the 332nd.. and both of them have Cougars.. and both of them have had the same issues.... Listen to Targ.... Cougars are nice and sturdy and all that.. but from what I hear the price to headache ratio is not in your favor.

07-05-2006, 07:34 AM
And do NOT NEVER EVER buy a logitech joystick.

TgD Thunderbolt56
07-05-2006, 07:41 AM
I've had and used almost every HOTAS joystick made over the last 15 years (Cougar, CH, Saitek, Logitech, Microsoft). I desperately wanted to like the Cougar and it certainly has some shining points. CH, though, is more versatile, more durable and offers better customer support (both directly from the company and through the CH hangar) than Thrustmaster could ever possibly envision. I've spent countless hours over at Frugal's World and have enough experience on my own to comfortably say...CH is hands-down the best controller manufacturer on the market today, and they don't pay me to say that.

Now, that's just my opinion. Others' have and do differ. Why, I don't know. Usually it's trying to justify their choice but if you want to know, without reservation, for yourself, spend $1000+ and a few years and make your own assessment.


07-05-2006, 10:03 AM

I've tried the X-45 (liked the throttle and rotaries, hated the stick), the X-52 (too sloppy and didn't like the feel of the rotaries), the thrustmaster (very cool looking, very heavy - too much spring for my arms, but no obvious technical difficulties while I had it) and the CH fighterstick, pro throttle and pedals set up.

Of all of them, I strongly recommend the latter - CH customer support has always been excellent in my experience, and the equipment is well-built, sturdy and reliable. I've had some spiking on my throttle (which I've programmed out using the CH control manager and scripting utility) but that is it. The stick I've now had for what must be 4 years and it is as solid and reliable as the day I got it (second hand!). The pedals are IMHO the only sensible pedal option available - though I have yet to try the new Saitek jobbies - and also very sturdy. No problems with those either.

If you want to keep costs down a tad - get the CH fighterstick and pedals and the X-45 (put the stick under the table in disgrace) and use the throttle.

You'll only buy CH stuff once - it's expensive perhaps, but you'll neither need to nor want to replace it in the future.



BTW - Ch also sell replacement pots and what-not at very reasonable prices on their site. The only reason I haven't fixed the throttle is that programming the issue away was so easy.

You've got a very knowledgable and lively forum at http://www.ch-hangar.com for help, too.

07-05-2006, 10:10 AM
Someone needs to make a modular HOTAS system. Two 'root' bases (one stick, one throttle), then a some different handle choices (F16, generic, X45-style, whatever).

The handles would have various positional mounting points where you could plug in buttons, hat switches, rotories, triggers, toggles, and other stuff with USB couplings.

With the right design and enough different types of modular parts, you could build any joystick you wanted.

07-05-2006, 02:30 PM
I have a saitek st290 pro which initially had a problem that it wouldn't be completely centered (it would sometimes cause the airplane to roll, extremely frustrating) but then I installed the official drivers from saitek and it runs without any real problem (though I have to jiggle the throttle occasionally to get it to 100% 110% or 0%), though I hope to get a quality joystick and pedal assembly one day in the future. But something I am curious though is, WWOD, what would Oleg do? Does anyone know what kind of joystick he uses?

07-05-2006, 07:11 PM
I've got an X-45, and although I'm generally happy with it, it does have one major flaw. The stick grip is too large for many people's hands. I have to move my hand up the stick in order to fire guns or drop ordinance. It would be nice to be able to have my hand rest on the lower part without having to do this. About the only other gripe is that the spring which provides tension to the stick is too stiff when centered. It just doesn't feel natural. Aside from these negatives it's a great stick. Highly programmable with enough buttons and rotaries to keep anyone happy. Plus it's affordable if you can still find one. I think I paid about 80 dollars (US) for mine.

07-07-2006, 09:27 AM
CH is by far the best. I have had mine for 3 years and a pot in my Fighterstick started to act up ( I play Il2 all the time so I am not surprised that something finally started to act up on the stick) and sent it in for a free repair. When I got it back it was still acting a little funny on my elevator axis so I called them on a Friday afternoon explaining to them that I needed a reliable stick by Sunday so that I could fly online with my squadron. THEY OVERNIGHTED ME A BRAND NEW FIGHTERSTICK FROM CALIFORNIA TO PENNSYLVANIA ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON AND I GOT IT FIRST THING SATURDAY MORNING!!!! That must have cost them a fortune but they wanted me to have a good stick just so I could fly. Now that is the best customer service that I have ever experienced in my life. They sent UPS out early the following week to pick up my other stick at no cost to me. THESE GUYS ARE GREAT.

GET A CH!!!!!!!
Keep in mind that I have 3 sons who play on these things as well so three years of constant abuse by 3 sons plus my flying time equals a lifetime of use by one single responsible person...

07-07-2006, 04:25 PM
I've had a few sticks over the years. I liked the setup and feel of the Thrustmaster FFB 2, but eventually the pots went sloppy after six months of PF FB use. When looking over the forums for comment on a replacement, it soon became clear to avoid Logitech sticks at all costs. Cougars too expensive and CH gear while excellent and highly recommended were unfortunately outside my budget. That pretty much left the Saitek X52. Burnt by prior experiences, I was initially sceptical of this unusual looking joystick. Can honestly say that after about a year of daily use, its the best stick I've ever owned. It wasn't too costly, has stacks of programable options and useful features, very solid, is nice and direct, no sign of sloppiness and is ever reliable. Won't let you down. However, I don't use the twist grip for the rudder and have the lock on. For the rudder, have connected an old Thrustmaster Wheel and Racing Pedals, which seems to work well in this function. Goodluck in whatever you pick.

Regards, Warg

07-08-2006, 12:15 AM
Originally posted by TgD Thunderbolt56:
CH is hands-down the best controller manufacturer on the market today

You are probably correct.. I have yet to hear a complaint about CH.. All I have are thier pedals. However in the lower end... Saitek is hands down the way to go. If money is not a major issue..(It's always a factor...) then CH is probably yourbest bet.. but if things are tight.. you cant loose with Saitek. In fact I recommend that you try one by going here (https://order.store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/wg-order?unique=f4d50&catalog=saitekusa&et=44af5458&basket=b%3D5C3d42bfd100415944af4d505da0d3c42bfd1f0 8c3244cee7769ec6ae177d907a%26l%3D%26s%3Dzi9jsXlybq rC312NoU_PXUAt7qE-) first. As of right now they do have some in stock. You cant beat it for that price.