5+ Best PC Flight Controllers For Flight Simulators

Can you believe it's been over 30 years since the original Microsoft Flight Simulator launched? Well next shortly the 2020 edition of the series will be out, and is now easier than ever before to learn how to fly a plane online.

One thing you will need to get your hands on, is a flight controller, so today we're looking at 5 of the best flight controllers available to buy in Australia.

These work with PC's which is the platform of choice for Microsoft's Flight Simulator 2020. You will need a good graphics card and RAM though! 

1. Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS Controller

  • 4 axes and 16 buttons
  • 8-in-1 point of view
  • S.M.A.R.T technology

This set is made up of a flight stick and a throttle which can be played with in Windows Vista, 7, 8 or 10. The joystick is equipped with 4 axes in addition to 16 textured buttons which allow the user to locate each one with just the feel.

Additionally, to change the perspective on-screen, there is an 8-in-1 hat switch as well. The controller is embedded with H.E.A.R.T HallEffect AccuRate Technology which brings in 16-bit resolution for accurate movements.

Overall, the joystick can be used on either hand and adjusting the rudder can be easily done by rotations and shutting it in place.

The throttle has an 8-in-1 point of view hat switch in addition to 14 buttons. There are 5 axes but 3 more can be added with other Thrustmaster products.

The resistance can be modified to find a motion that works best for the user by using the adjustable screw. S.M.A.R.T Technology enables seamless throttle movements, with minimal concern over drag.

This joystick and throttle set has several features to mimic real-life aircraft control. Thus, it is recommended for more well-seasoned simulation gamers. This product comes in a black and neon orange finish.

2. Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X

  • 5 axes, 12 buttons
  • 8-bit resolution
  • Good for beginners

The T-Flight Hotas X is an ideal product for both beginners and experienced gamers with simple, yet customizable controls. There are 12 programmable buttons and 5 axes in total which can also be configured.

This product features a dedicated “MAPPING” button to move commands around. There is also a “PRESET” button to quickly alternate between commands. This hotas comes with internal memory, allowing all functions and commands to be stored, even with detachment from the joystick.

The joystick has several friction settings and a multi-directional hat to change the field of view. Depending on the game, an 8-bit resolution can be expected.

The joystick and throttle can be detached from each other, allowing flexibility in gameplay. This hotas has been designed with an extensive hand rest to provide comfort during long gaming sessions.

Everything is supported by a heavy foundation which allows the product to stay upright despite minor bumps and knocks. The hotas can be played on PC, with Windows Vista to 10 compatibility.

However, it is recommended that this product be used with Playstation 3. This is a beginner-friendly item as there are already pre-programmed functions out of the box. The hotas comes in an all-black finish with minor red details.

3. Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick

  • Very affordable, simple option
  • 8 direction, 12 buttons
  • Good for beginner flyers

This joystick from Logitech is equipped with 12 programmable buttons, a fast trigger and an 8-direction hat switch to alternative between views and weapons. The hat switch is positioned so that it can be easily located and controlled just by using the thumb.

The rudder can be easily adjusted through rotations, saving time from having to look down at the joystick during game sessions. The joystick has a smooth surface and adheres to the contours of the hand for a firm yet comfortable hold.

The joystick is held in place and supported by a leaden foundation to prevent it from toppling over, even with fast and jerk motions. 

This product can be customised and configured using Logitech Gaming software. The buttons can be programmed using the software, to add in regular functions as well as endure heavy commands involving several keys.

This device can be plugged in to PCs running Windows Vista, 7, 8 or 10. It is a beginner-friendly equipment that can easily handle games like Flight Simulator.

With the fast trigger, it can handle successive presses during game time, delivering each shot. It comes in a modern black and white colourway.

4. Logitech G Pro Flight Yoke System

  • Most realistic flight controller
  • 5 axes, 25 buttons
  • LED lights for added effects

This yoke system from Logitech is designed to replicating controlling all aircrafts from commercial planes to private ones. It has 25 programmable buttons to place in several functions, as well as 5 axes.

The flight throttle quadrant includes levers which can also be configured and moved around physical to find the position for gameplay. This yoke system has a shaft, constructed out of stainless steel for both accurate and balanced motions.

There is a digital watch which can be used to time landings. Overall, the controls and customisable features on this yoke system make it ideal for experienced simulation gamers who want to fly a variety of aircrafts.

There is a USB hub integrated with this Logitech for more port placements. With Logitech software, up to 75 controls can be configured in through 3 profiles. There are LED lights to truly add a realistic touch to this product.

This yoke system comes with mounting clamps to allow freedom on where it is placed and ensure strength during intense gaming sessions.

Two-engine planes can be controlled and more throttle quadrants can be bought separately and added to this product for more versatility. It works with Windows 7 to 10 and comes in a black colour.

5. Logitech H.O.T.A.S X56 Controller

  • Up to 189 functions
  • 5 axes, 31 buttons
  • RGB lighting

This controller is ideal for multiple combat and flight games but is also ideal for VR games. The X56 can be programmed with a maximum of 189 functions, allowing a wide range of control and shortcuts to be put in place.

There are 16-bit sensors embedded and analog sticks which can be used as additional buttons or axes. The actions on the joystick include the basic up, down, left and right yet also pitch, back, forward, roll and yaw to truly allow for full movement.

With the sensors in place and an adjustable tension system, precise and accurate motions can be enabled. The throttles are designed for both single engine and double-engine aircraft. The resistance of the throttles can also be modified to suit personal preferences.

Logitech software allows the 31 buttons, 5 axes and 5 switch hats to be configured with simple or heavy commands. There is RGB lighting throughout the X56 for a more immersive simulation experience.

Due to the many customisations and programmable options available, this gaming equipment is suitable for professional and serious gamers. It comes in a polished black and silver colour scheme. For PC gaming, Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 should function well with connection via USB.

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Caleb McLaughlin

Last Updated: December 3, 2021 by Rhys