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View Full Version : POLL: What to buy first? Flight Sim Hardware Hierarchy



Led-Zebulon
05-22-2007, 12:37 PM
Your friend wants to slowly upgrade his controllers one-by-one until he eventually has a quality joystick, throttle, rudder pedals, and trackIR.

His only gaming controls as of now are a mouse and Logitech Wingman joystick. On the bright side, it is the Wingman EXTREME. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif 7 buttons and one slider.

He is on a budget. Pedals and TrackIR pretty much cost the same whatever you buy. Joysticks and throttle have a wide price range. He can either go for a high quality joystick, a high quality throttle, or a less expensive combo for his first purchase.

What order would you recommend he buy the equipment to maximize his gaming experience?

What say ye? Brand recommendations are also welcome. Also, anyone have experience with refurbished products from Saitek?

Thanks!

ploughman
05-22-2007, 12:42 PM
If I could buy anything it would be Track IR, apart from pedals most other stuff is incremental but from what I hear Track IR revolutionises the user interface.

Oh, of course he should already have a joystick, even if it's a relatively cheap one (just make sure it's got something like stick twist for rudder input). No joystick=no point.

horseback
05-22-2007, 01:06 PM
I was torn; the two most transforming purchases I have made were rudder pedals and TIR3. Both made a HUGE difference in the way I was able to play, but if push comes to shove, then pedals (my CH pedals cost less than 2/3rds what my TIR4 did) come first. They added more control to my flying, and whetted my appetite for further improvement. TIR was more like the icing on the cake, but cost more.

If your 'friend' is married to a wife who's skeptical of 'games' and their place in his life, he has to build the cost quotient carefully and quietly. Pedals are cheaper, and don't require odd looking doodads placed on one's head.

cheers

horseback

nickdanger3
05-22-2007, 01:07 PM
I agree - Track IR, but since the game can;t handle 6DOF yet, I'd buy behind the curve and get a 3 or even a 2 - my TrackIR 2 still works great and you might be able to snag one for cheap, saving money for the next purchase....

I'd vote for pedals, then throttle, and try using ebay - I got all my stuff from ebay except Track IR.

Sidewinder Force Feedback (used)
Ch Pedals (used - came with Microsoft FS2004 as an added bonus)
Saitek X-45 (new)

Probably saved about $100-200 total.

Bearcat99
05-22-2007, 01:41 PM
I'd say pedals first... if he's a little guy with a small package then CH (http://www.provantage.com/ch-300-111%7E7CHPP002.htm) will suffice.. but if he has any kind of extra meat (or fat) between his legs he'll be rubbing his nuts together everytime he turns and the Saitek pedals (http://saitekusa.stores.yahoo.net/proflrupere.html) will be better due to the wider stance. Plus I think they are smoother.. but that's me. Then grab a TIR4.. might as well get TIR even if 46 doesn't support 6DoF.. BoB will.... and it will be here before we know it.. and even in 46 TIR4 is the way to go. Don't waste any money on a TIR setup that is anything less than a 4...... by that time his Logitech will have cr@pped out or be in the process of cr@pping out... and I would go with the X-52 (http://saitekusa.stores.yahoo.net/x52flcosyre.html) (Unfortunately the reconditioned pedals and sticks are out of stock... ), or maybe even an X-52 Pro (http://www.gogamer.com/viewproduct.htm?productId=8283071&extid=200159)... CH stuff (http://www.provantage.com/ch%7E110CHPU.htm) is good mind you ... but IMO... The Saiteks are just as good and offer more bang for the buck, but CH stuff is good.. very good. The only thing I know from experience is @ the pedals.. but I have yet to hear anyone say a bad thing about the sticks & throttle.

BrotherVoodoo
05-22-2007, 04:39 PM
Track-IR without a doubt. IMO it is just as important as the joystick. I would then go for rudder pedals, then a new HOTAS.

Led-Zebulon
05-24-2007, 09:22 PM
Originally posted by BrotherVoodoo:
Track-IR without a doubt. IMO it is just as important as the joystick. I would then go for rudder pedals, then a new HOTAS.

FYI, I went with the Saitek X52 today. Why? You may think TrackIR is just as important as the joystick, until your joystick breaks. The point was moot, X52 it was. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

triad773
05-24-2007, 09:50 PM
Ah- another Logitech customer in the way I used to be! Yeah I had a Logitech twisty stick for a while but it lost center and never recovered. It was built well, but it lost centre without being abused! I got a Saitek EVO Force and it suited me well. Tho in the poll I voted for the HOTAS set up. If only there were FFB HOTAS.

If I can't handle my stick right, then pedals or TIR won't make a lick of difference to me IMHO.

Best of luck LZ!

Cheers

Triad

Copperhead310th
05-24-2007, 09:53 PM
yeah you'll be happy with those. that's what a majority of ppl around here have is x-52.
and the New Saitek Peddles (or so i've been told) are the shiznet. that would be my next buy. then tir. then build the pit.

Akronnick
05-24-2007, 09:59 PM
If you had ANY other stick than A Logitech I would say get trackIR, but since the logicrap POS has a 50% chance of failing before any new purchase could be ordered and shipped, I'd say go ahead and get an X52, Saitek kicks @ss if your on a budget.

GAU-8
05-24-2007, 11:09 PM
i voted to get the HOTAS. to me, that is most important. with a good HOTAS, you can do everything all at once. pitch, roll, YAW (rudder pedal elimination) buttons (keyboard elimination) and viewpoint/hatswitch control (eliminates trackIR )

with the X52, you can do ALL of the basics for a CHEAP price. (and get the hang of flyin) later he can upgrade to his next liking! preffferably trackIR http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif which is my next recommendation.

TgD Thunderbolt56
05-25-2007, 07:17 AM
1. TrackIR 4 Pro
2. Rudder pedals (as they can be used on concert with ANY stick)
3. GOOD joystick (CH fighterstick comes to mind)
4. Throttle

I list them in this order for a few reasons, but if you've never used a TIR, then it is one of the single items that can and will increase your immersion (and in most cases...effectiveness). Secondly, Pedals can be used with just about any other control setup and will make you twisty-stick-proof. Once you have TIR and pedals, there is no need to have to look for (or limit yourself to) a twisty. Adding a nce high-end joystick you're fairly set. Throttles are optional though they DO increase your input and programming options.

Good luck.


TB

Korolov1986
05-25-2007, 12:13 PM
You guys pimping TIR are forgetting one thing:

You can look with TIR, but you can't fly. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Therefore, given the original poster's question and shoddy joystick, I say a affordable HOTAS or a good stick is a much better starting point. Then get TIR if you must, but take care of the basics first.

DKoor
05-25-2007, 12:29 PM
TiR FTW http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

No real comparison there.

Chef-Scott
05-25-2007, 12:36 PM
Leo's BU0836 (http://www.lbodnar.dsl.pipex.com/joystick/index.html) http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

tagTaken2
05-25-2007, 05:54 PM
My hierarchy:

GOOD joystick.
Personal preference- I'd die without force feedback- but as long as it's consistent, and you can make the fine adjustments required for shooting. Twist or rocker rudder required w/out pedals.

TrackIR.
Expensive, but sensational. Not just an instant acemaker, but immersive. When SoW:BoB comes out, with 6d0f, this will become essential.

Pedals.
Immersive, and will make you a better flyer/shot with time, but a bit of a luxury.

Throttle.
It's good to have sliders, but this is last because it won't help you fly or shoot better.

badatit
05-25-2007, 06:01 PM
Originally posted by BrotherVoodoo:
Track-IR without a doubt. IMO it is just as important as the joystick. I would then go for rudder pedals, then a new HOTAS.

Exactly.

badatit
05-25-2007, 06:08 PM
Originally posted by Korolov1986:
You guys pimping TIR are forgetting one thing:

You can look with TIR, but you can't fly. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Therefore, given the original poster's question and shoddy joystick, I say a affordable HOTAS or a good stick is a much better starting point. Then get TIR if you must, but take care of the basics first.

Good SA should come first.

skarden
05-25-2007, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by badatit:

Good SA should come first.

Yeah i gotta go with that too.I have an x-52(which is bloody great by ther way http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/metal.gif) but I'd happly play with a crappier joystick then play with-out Trackir.

Personally,for me SA is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing to keep on top of,a good joystick is not much good if you dont know where the enemy is and the difference trackir makes to your SA can not be understated.IT really is that good http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

I know you'v bought the X-52 now(great isn't it http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif) but next purchase i definitely recomend you look into trackir.

good luck and see ya up there http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Dagnabit
05-25-2007, 07:13 PM
I voted for the X-52. The stick being your main means of control, is to me at least, a must have for flight sims. I like the X-52 because it just works so well with everything. I have used it on 3 different OSs, ME, XP, Vista.
It is easy to program your own profiles, and you can even use it on games not meant to be used with a joydtick. The throttle is great and works well with jets as well as prop planes. Ergonomics are good for most people, Unless your hands are overly large it shouldnt be an issue. Saitek also has very good product support or so I have read here recently, because I havent had any problems at all with mine in the nearly two years I have used it (4 to 5 times a week)
I hope this helps, and also that you get a good set up that pleases you.
Best of luck
Dag

tagTaken2
05-25-2007, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by skarden:
Personally,for me SA is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing to keep on top of,a good joystick is not much good if you dont know where the enemy is and the difference trackir makes to your SA can not be understated.IT really is that good http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif


It is that good, but joystick is still the most important. There's nothing more frustrating than bad control and sloppy response when shooting. How does his perfect SA help if he can't even take off and land without crashing? Why bother keeping an enemy in view if he can't hold the pipper steady over the vulnerable points? Why not have TIR and keyboard?

I LOVE my TrackIR, but remember, people have been enjoying simming for almost quarter of a century without it.

GOOD JOYSTICK IS FIRST! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

R_Target
05-25-2007, 08:15 PM
Pedals first.

skarden
05-25-2007, 11:22 PM
Originally posted by tagTaken2:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by skarden:
Personally,for me SA is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing to keep on top of,a good joystick is not much good if you dont know where the enemy is and the difference trackir makes to your SA can not be understated.IT really is that good http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif


It is that good, but joystick is still the most important. There's nothing more frustrating than bad control and sloppy response when shooting. How does his perfect SA help if he can't even take off and land without crashing? Why bother keeping an enemy in view if he can't hold the pipper steady over the vulnerable points? Why not have TIR and keyboard?

I LOVE my TrackIR, but remember, people have been enjoying simming for almost quarter of a century without it.

GOOD JOYSTICK IS FIRST! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

definitly a good point,but its just that the original posters decision was the exact one i had to make.I was useing a logitech 3d pro(I think I got lucky and had one that worked perfectly the whole time,still does! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif) and had to make the same decision between X-52 and trackir.

Went for the trackir and never regreted it once.plus once i got trackir i suddenly had a lot more buttons(hatswitch) that i could assign to other importent controls.also with programs like joycontrol i could get my 3d pro to be quiet accurate(pity it didnt help ME shoot straighter http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif)

Oh yeah btw,there's no doubt in my mind the in a quarter of a century trackir or whatever the current version will be at the time(so many posabilty's http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif)will be just as vital to flight simming as a joystick.

just my 2 cents though http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Dr2GunzOD
05-26-2007, 07:45 AM
If I was start out again, the first purchase would be trackir without a doubt.

Ive gone from logitech 3d pro - x52 - cougar and with each some improvement was noted. If needed I would fly today with the 3d pro, but I dont think I would fly without trackir.

tagTaken2
05-26-2007, 07:23 PM
It's beginning to sound like I'm the only one who started with rubbish sticks. I went through 4 bad ones before I managed to get a discounted Thrustmaster Afterburner II HOTAS (Oleg's choice! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif See the 1946 DVD office tour!), and I spent more time calibrating, fiddling with conf.ini settings and swearing at PoS sticks than I did ingame.

Most (Most! I don't wish to hear about your $8.99 7-year-old-but-still-rocksolid 24 button UberTotenFreudeStock from Aldi) joysticks under a hundred dollars aren't worth their packaging, but these are the ones that beginners are failing to learn on.

fordfan25
05-26-2007, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by Bearcat99:
I'd say pedals first... if he's a little guy with a small package then CH (http://www.provantage.com/ch-300-111%7E7CHPP002.htm) will suffice.. but if he has any kind of extra meat (or fat) between his legs he'll be rubbing his nuts together everytime he turns and the Saitek pedals (http://saitekusa.stores.yahoo.net/proflrupere.html) will be better due to the wider stance. Plus I think they are smoother.. but that's me. Then grab a TIR4.. might as well get TIR even if 46 doesn't support 6DoF.. BoB will.... and it will be here before we know it.. and even in 46 TIR4 is the way to go. Don't waste any money on a TIR setup that is anything less than a 4...... by that time his Logitech will have cr@pped out or be in the process of cr@pping out... and I would go with the X-52 (http://saitekusa.stores.yahoo.net/x52flcosyre.html) (Unfortunately the reconditioned pedals and sticks are out of stock... ), or maybe even an X-52 Pro (http://www.gogamer.com/viewproduct.htm?productId=8283071&extid=200159)... CH stuff (http://www.provantage.com/ch%7E110CHPU.htm) is good mind you ... but IMO... The Saiteks are just as good and offer more bang for the buck, but CH stuff is good.. very good. The only thing I know from experience is @ the pedals.. but I have yet to hear anyone say a bad thing about the sticks & throttle. is it just me or is bearcat getting slightly .... creepy in his old age lol :P

Stiletto-
05-27-2007, 01:23 AM
Track IR in my humble opinion.

First of all, I am a racing enthusiast so I have always had rudder pedals, and to be honest, if you want cheap rudder pedals, just buy a 20 or 30 dollar non-ff logitech or microsoft wheel off of ebay. You will have 2 pedals ( I have 3 with my G25, the clutch pedal being used as a wheel brake) and if you like racing games at all it can suffice, much cheaper than CH or Saitek Pedals and pretty much just as effective. Also if you can find the original CH Pedals (I have 2) you used to be able to buy them new off of CH Products page for 30 bucks, but I'm sure you can find them on ebay cheap if you can deal with it being gameport, or can get a gameport to usb converter..

I had a CH Virtual Pilot yoke and some Logitech Wingman joystick I used to use with IL-2. I then upgraded with a TRACK IR2 (it still works great) and then a little later an X-52... The biggest change in performance bar-none was the Track IR, I simply cannot fly with out, while I think I could with a limited joystick setup.. I even tried the twist stick on the X-52 and found that it is not great but worked just find and was intuative enough after flying with rudder pedals for 10 years.

My point being, if you have a solid stick, you can fly with precision, you just have to hit ALOT of keyboard buttons. a HOTAS setup makes things alot easier for trim and mixture settings etc... But you can do these clunkly enough with a keyboard... Nothing is going to give you the situational awareness you need for flying on a full real server like a TRACK IR. I fly with 2 friends alot from the race sim world.. One just got an X-52 and loves it, one flys with a gamepad after his stick broke... He dogfights better than the guy with the X-52. Both need me to identify bandits for them and waypoints, landmarks, etc.. They never know what is going on behind them or above them or below their left wing. Great stick and crappy stick, they are both castrated in any given situation.

ytareh
05-27-2007, 05:01 AM
Track IR first without doubt

Not much point in fancy monster monitors if you cant see enemy 'dots' above 1024x768....

Joysticks???Lets talk about expensive joysticks...

Well Im sure some of you guys are sick of hearing it but I LOVE my cheap Logitech Extreme 3d Pro.Wanna know HOW much???!!!
Last week I bought a Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar and CH Pro Pedals rudder pedals.I spent hours trying to convince myself I liked them but eventually gave up!
Hence these are now for sale .Send me a PM if youre interested-serious bargain for somebody(and will throw in a X800XT -PCI -ex-if get a decent price)Be quick as these go on Ebay soon if no one here is interested.

tagTaken2
05-27-2007, 07:18 AM
Originally posted by fordfan25:
is it just me or is bearcat getting slightly .... creepy in his old age lol :P

Not only that, but as a CH user, I believe he just insulted my package.


Last week I bought a Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar and CH Pro Pedals rudder pedals.I spent hours trying to convince myself I liked them but eventually gave up!

Dude! Slow down!

You spent hours trying to convince yourself?! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

You're either seriously cashed up, or you have nooo persistence/attention span. New (expensive!) hardware will take weeks to get used to. Settings will have to be adjusted, and muscle memory built up.

Please, unless it's genuinely uncomfortable or causing seizures, give it a chance.