View Full Version : Which Joystick to Purchase?

05-10-2005, 12:59 AM
Hey all! So far ive been enjoying Pacific Fighters and the IL2-Demo with a microsoft sidewinder wheel - pedals for elevator and wheel for banking, x and z for rudder. Ive played a lot of sims in my time (lost my joystick when i lent it though) so i am quite good with this setup, but seriously, i want something more accurate.

Anyways im after a good, but not incredibly expensive, joystick/hotas setup. I live in Australia, and dont really want to spend in excess of $100 AU, though if it fetches something far better, i will stretch to 200.

Currently im being swayed by the Saitek Cyborg Evo. I want to know, anyone who used this, how good is it? Is the force feedback cyborg evo worth it? Is the Saitek x45 or even x52 system so much better than this that its worth the extra? Any other alternatives?

I also want to know whether its better to aim for rudder twist control such as on the cyborg, or whether the pedals of a wheel for cars such teh MS sidewinder, even though not rudder pedals, will be much better.

All opinions are very welcome.


05-10-2005, 01:11 AM
The EVO is a good choice for newbie pilots on budget, for HOTAS the X-45 and X-52 will do just fine.
(A note on X-52 though: Search the forums and also check saitek support-forum - early examples have a deadband/sensitivity issue.)
A step up in $ is the CH-Products controllers, they are said to be reliable, durable and precise.
Whether you use twist or rudder is a matter of personal taste - personally I use twist.
Got no experience with FFB.

TgD Thunderbolt56
05-10-2005, 06:02 AM
To spend less than $100 and get a decent HOTAS, you would almost be limited to the Saitek X-45 (or for a few clams more go with the X-52).

A stand-alone Joystick that could fit the bill nicely would be the Microsoft FFB2...if you can find one that is. it has a few buttons, twist rudder and force-feedback. is quite solid and used to run about $100. For one that's still on the market (but without force-feedback) the Saitek EVO is said to be a nice solid stick, though I have no experience with them.

I use CH exclusively at this point and can strongly recommend them. The best thing to do would be to grab a CH Combatstick and rudder pedals now, then possibly snag a throttle later on. TrackIR is nice too.


05-10-2005, 07:30 AM
I use a "microsoft forcefeed back 2", and I like it. Its cheap and good enough. The only drawback would be it doesâ´nt have very many buttons, but I think it has enough for this game.
I recommend it!!!

I also have a racing-wheel+pedals which I use as an elevator trim-wheel and rudder, I recommend that too http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

And trackIR is super-nice also http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I recommend that VERY much!

05-10-2005, 07:58 AM
Unfortunately, there is simply not a cheap alternative out there. The cheaper sticks break down faster and you will be lucky to get more than a year's use out of 'em and then when you consider that they don't reliably react exactly the same way each time, you come to realize that CH is truly the cheaper alternative in the long run while also being a better stick day to day.

05-10-2005, 08:03 AM
I'd go with TGD Thunderbolts suggestion. I use an all CH set-up as well and am very pleased with it....once I learned how to use it, till I learned I was very displeased, but really all the problems was me not knowing what I was doing. Then it kinda clicked and I realized what I was doing wrong and now ..I am very pleased with the product, software to run it could be better or better explained, but once you understand it a little, it's not too bad.

Depends on if you think you will stay with flight simming. If you see yourself still playing sims years and years down the road, then CH is diffinently the way to go as it is probably the only HOTAS set up that will still be working like new years and years down the road.

I have a flight stick, pro throttle , peddals and a flight yoke (you don't need a yoke at all). In the US, you can get each for @$100 a piece. You can get just the fighter stick now and use only that with a keyboard, or get a pro throttle (or rudder peddals) now and use that with your sidewinder stick.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

05-10-2005, 10:20 AM
Your needs, in order of importance, appear to be Stick, HOTAS Throttle/button bay, and pedals. With your cost limitations, I'd recommend a 3 step program-start with a CH Combatstick to go with your steering wheel/rudder pedals setup, and then add a Pro Throttle and Pro Pedals in that order as your budget allows.

Since you already have a useable rudder pedal setup, going to a twist rudder would be a very bad idea: you're already spoiled, and the transition would be counterintuitive and frustrating. So save the new pedals for last, and use the wheel for elevator trim or flaps.

If you're serious about this sim, and the upcoming Battle of Britain sim that 1C has in the works, CH controllers are the way to go. I've had my set for over two years of 15+ hours of use every week without a glitch, so I figure that my cost per hour of use is way lower than if I'd used and worn out a series of $30 sticks over the same period, and I get a much better quality of control to boot.

There are systems that have more buttons/axes, and there are systems that cost more, but none have the overall quality and survivability of CH Products (****, if I'm gonna promote them like this, I oughta buy some of their stock).

The only drawback is initial cost, so shop around. The Combatstick can be found for around $80 US, and it will give you 10 buttons and a POV hatswitch. The Pro Throttle and the Pro Pedals are generally a bit pricier, but can still be had for quite a bit less than the manufacturer's suggested retail.



05-10-2005, 10:58 AM
If you want a really good stick for under $40, go get that Saitek Cyborg EVO right now.

Save yourself the headache and don't buy a Logitech stick, they are notorious for incurable input spikes.

05-10-2005, 07:31 PM
A very diverse range of opinions here thanks everyone. Im no newbie, but ive never been one who needed the utmost to enjoy a sim - Grand Prix Legends springs to mind.
CH products are very well renowned, however, they are hard to find in Australia, and I dont need something that serious.

The Saitek X45, Cyborg Evo and Cyborg Evo Force, and even the X52, however, are very reasonable and from all accounts quite reliable.

I can get the Cyborg evo for $70 AU, the Cyborg Evo Force for $105 AU, the X45 for $135 AU and the X52 for $200 AU - these seem to the best prices ive found in Australian stores (ebay is another option). Thus it comes down to

Cyborg Evo vs Cyborg Evo Force and

Cyborgs vs X45 HOTAS without twist rudder and FF vs X52 also without FF but with twist rudder

To make that decision i gotta ask those who have used these - how reliable are the Cyborgs and X45/X52 (major difference?),

is FF worth it enjoyment wise and does it reduce reliability? (i had an FF wheel and didnt like it - is it similar?)

Is there something else about these that makes a big difference? (do you really need a seperate throttle? never used one so no idea!)

Thanks all for the very valuable advice - btw is it just me or do Saitek produce very good and reasonably priced peripherals?

05-10-2005, 07:50 PM
First i had a m$ precsion pro joystick good stick it was but the usb connection got worn and became unrealiable required pluging in and out for computer to pick it up. Cant get those sticks any more.
Then i got a logitech extreme 3d pro, it looked good and felt great and i loved it for the first few weeks but the resonses begain to worsen, hold it centerd and it would spike in directions i was unable to play lomac with it as i could not old the plane steady while i worked the targeting systems, roll left slightly and for a second it would go full right. It also lost calibration all the time.

I have a cyborg evo now im very happy not as comfortable as the logitech and a little bit more awkward thats the price for left hand right hand support i suppose but it works and dosnt cause me any greif.

05-10-2005, 11:18 PM
I'm very happy with the Cyborg evo although it's a bit light and tends to slide around the desk. A bit of gaffer tape fixes that.

05-10-2005, 11:41 PM
I had an x45 right before I made the move to all CH set-up. I bought it for Lomac and when I had it and it worked correctly, I thought it was fairly good. Lots of buttons you can map and for about a month the rocker switch on the throttle was ok for using as a rudder. Then that rudder switch, which is pulled back with springs from what I understand, started resetting off-center, no matter how it's calibrated. The plane would always drift to the left, couldn't trim it out, cause once I trimmed it, it was fine, but once I used the rudder again, the drift was back. Very annoying. Other then that, everything else on the x45 was ok and since you have rudder peddals already, you probably won't mind this eventual problem.

Ok, I said other then the rocker switch, it was fine...which is kinda true because at that time I didn't have a real HOTAS to compare it to and had forgotten how accurate my MS sticks were compared to an x45, because till Lomac, I haven't touched a combat flt sim in years, where an accurate joystick is noticable in aimming your guns.

The flight stick on the x45, well, it's hard for me to explain. Lets say to aim the nose at a target, you want something that goes +/- 1 with every input you do. To me, it felt like the x45 was giving +/- 10 for every input. I was always correcting, overcorrecting and correcting again. With the CH stick, I fly very solid and the flight stick feels a world more accurate then the x45.

05-11-2005, 05:56 AM
hold on, are you saying the Microsoft joystick was more accurate than the X45?

I am a very tolerant person and very adaptable. I am looking for a good compromise controller, reliable, accurate but not paying for what is superflous (I still dont know why I need a seperate throttle).

Given such slamming comments on the X45, i find it hard to evaluate these joysticks comparatively.

How much better are the X45/X52 than the Cyborgs?

Is force feedback worth the 50% increase in price?

Does twist rudder or racing pedals give better control? (keep in mind you can depress both pedals on a racing wheel set at the same time)

Is a seperate throttle really necessary? (i dont care that much about authenticity)

Sorry to pain everyone so much, but its very hard to tell these things because ive been satisfied with an old 5 buck gameport thing, yet most seem to be saying top of the line CH is almost a necessity - what gives?

05-11-2005, 08:36 AM
I'd definately recommend CH Products, I've tried other sticks from Saitek, Thrustmaster etc but CH have proven to be the most reliable, accurate and versatile.

05-11-2005, 10:22 AM
Buy the X-52. It's so programmable that you only need to use the keyboard to type in text. You can start the engine, adjust the flaps, armour flaps, prop pitch, everything using it and never have to touch the keyboard if you're using Teamspeak!

BUT make sure that you get a stick with a serial number that ranges from S00245477 and higher.

These sticks have a new firmware chip, that eliminates the early versions built in deadzone, that could mean a 2cm movement before the stick made anything happen, no-matter what settings you made in the Control Panels.

X-52 with the new firmware is awesome. Enjoy!

05-11-2005, 08:28 PM
no doubt that CH are the most accurate and reliable, X52 the most feature packed and comprehensive, X45 the best compromise for a HOTAS.

If i had the funds, i think id go for an X52, but the Cyborgs really do fit my needs better.

I can get the Cyborg Evo for $70 AU while the Cyborg Evo force costs $105 AU.

Has anyone used the Cyborg Evo force? Can you switch off FF and still use it as you would the normal Cyborg Evo? Is Force feedback worth the 50% increase in price? Does it reduce reliability?

Well thanks everyone for all the advice, its great to see such support for the manufacturers that slave away to bring the best controllers out there - its a tough market to target.

If anyone can answer those questions too it would be really great, I really appreciate all the advice so far, i used my old stick for so long i wasnt aware what other sticks were out there. Thankyou everyone!

05-11-2005, 08:43 PM
Cyborg Evo, best $/button ratio out there.