Best controller?

I’ve been looking into what the best controllers are. I’m hearing keyboard and mouse from many. I’ve never been a huge HOTAS fan–it makes your wrists sore after like 4 hours if you play a longer session. I’m also left handed which makes it feel strange using right-handed joysticks or it limits to choices to a few models. I noticed Chris Roberts uses an xbox controller in the crowd funding video.

So what are your thoughts and experiences? What’s your favorite controllers and why?

I can’t really speak as far as mouse and keyboard. I tried it for a whole of 5 minutes and just didn’t like it for flight sims.

I’ve gone the HOTAS route myself and am glad I did.

If I went the controller route, I’d be using this:

And with that attachment I would strap on my phone and use this:

The main complaint I’ve heard with controllers is the lack of buttons. If you had your phone attached and running Power Grid, that would help the problem a great deal. And for those of you that say Madcatz is crap. It truly depends what you’re using of theirs. I own a CTRL R as it comes with the MOJO (android box). I use them fairly heavily on our living room TV for emulators and streaming. The MOJO is having occasional issues after 3 years of heavy use. the controller however has taken many beatings and apart from liking to eat batteries up it is perfectly fine.

Ok first off all the differences between common setups:

M&KB:non-intuitive to fly, precise aiming with gimbaled with quick practice

Hotas: intuitive to fly and best for fatigue, precise aiming comes with dozens and dozens of flight hours.

Homas & dual sticks: both of these I can’t really say for sure, but the first thing that makes things difficult is fatigue. Your hands and arms can get tired and sore quickly due to using a stick to keep up speed and strafing, where as with a throttle you can use leave the throttle to a speed and rest your hand/arm and strafe with a “8-direction thumb knob”.

Game controller: lack of buttons. There are dozens of buttons that you’ll need to use while maintaining focus on your flying and taking even one hand off your controller is not good. Don’t know about anything else.

Stick & KB: why not? The only thing that I’d find as a negative thing is the speed/throttle management during and off combat.

I’ve heard about left handed sticks that are used by left-handed people and dual stick people. You should ask around.

I recommend hotas, because it is simple and effective, works great in combat and out of combat, intuitive, has enough buttons to do things quickly and without interfering with flying. With a stick you need just practice. For additional buttons I use keyboard for the keys that are not neccessary in combat and maybe a touch pad in the future.

You mentioned fatigue. It is very important with any setup that your chair is good for you and it is adjustable to different heights. You should have support to your lower back and you should have a 90 degrees angle for your elbows while the elbows MUST BE RESTING on the armrest. Hotas’s hand placement is usually 8-15cm higher than M&KB so your chair should have adjustability to get yourself higher. You can also figure out a way to lower the hotas for example not having it on the table but rather ona built rack or stand. You can also make the hotas stand attached to you chair, which is what I’m going to be doing soon.

About fatigue from using a HOTAS after a few hours. What exatcly are your symptoms?

I’ve never had any problems with my setup. If what you are experiencing is due to needing tension in your wrist because of using joystick twist for yaw I’d recommend getting a pair of flight pedals. That will relax your joystick hand and wrist a lot.

Well, it’s been a few years since of used HOTAS, but basically sore wrsts after a couple hours. I think I would have to find a way to mount it lower between my legs or something. Thoughts on fixing that?

Well you have few options:

  1. lower the surface your hotas is on
  • by lowering your table or
  • by using a separate standing hotas stand or
  • by attaching hotas stand to your chair or
  1. raise the surface you are on
  • by raising your arm rests and/or
  • by raising your chair.

I will attach my hotas stand to my chair in the future, in order to have the hotas in the same position all the time, should my chair move or twist.

Google gives more ideas: … 44&bih=947

I’m left-handed too, Welcome to the CLUB!! I used an X-55 w/ ADI’s XML (custom mappings)

“Wrist fatigue” is linked to improper positioning.

  1. You want your hand position on the Stick/Hotas/Controller at or below the current level of your Mouse. (assuming your mouse is in a “good” spot already)
  2. You want your elbows hanging down by your side in a relaxed position.
  3. If you’re reaching for the controls put them closer to your body.

** These are all general guidelines – YMMV **

just a suggestion on a stick…

I recently got the thrustmaster T.16000 (I got with the throttle unit too, but you can also buy just the stick without the throttle)

The stick is fully ambidextrous so you can use left or right handed. They have removable rubber grips on it that can be replaced with left hand grips which come with the stick.

It is also one of the best bang for your buck sticks out there I have seen. Extremely accurate (honestly I could set 0% deadzone and have no issues with it. I have my dead zone set at .01 (1%) just as a precaution since it is a new stick. For throttle you aren’t going to get a right hand throttle.

It’s like with cars…you are not going to find a car the majority of the world uses with the shifter on the left… just not going to happen. (sure there are a few backwards countries like UK, japan, etc with right hand drive left hand shift, but 95% of the world uses left hand drive right hand shift) Just something you will need to adapt to. If you ever plopped into a real fighter plane/jet you would find the stick either on the right, or between your legs, and the throttle on your left.

They don’t make a F-16 just for lefties lol Lefties have to get used to using the stick with their right hand and throttle with their left.

If you have ever driven a stick shift car, its the same type of deal. You will adapt to it and after using it for a long time it will become second nature to you and muscle memory. You won’t even think about or notice it anymore with enough practice.

Besides there are a lot more controls to operate on the throttle than there is on the stick anyway.

I know with my HOTAS I have a mini finger stick on the front of the throttle, a paddle in front, 2x D-pads and a hat on the side, an up/down pad on the front, 2 extra buttons on front, and 1 extra button on the side…So you can use your left index finger for precise aiming or looking around, however you set it. There’s a lot of buttons/controls to figure out and get used to. both hands definitely have their work cut out for them. You really won’t be using a single hand more than the other if you are an effective pilot.

Thanks for the comments everyone. I’ll likely try dual thrustmasters and/or an xbox controller with a gaming laptop so I have the controller in my hand a full keyboard right in front of me for other keys. I’ll try both to see what works, but I’m starting to think a controller might be the way to go for simplicity if I switch from piloting to combat. I could see joy sticks being better for dog fighting, but I suppose the best way to know is to try both.

something else I have been using a lot lately which is very helpful is voiceattack anna.

It will require using a headset/mic which you should have anyway for mumble.

But you get your computer trained to your voice so it doesn’t misinterpret you (this is done via built in microsoft tools in control panel) then read what the commands are, and you can basically say what you want it to do and it will do it for you.

Makes flying 1 handed a whole lot easier!

It costs $8 last i checked for the license to the voiceattack software, then just download and apply the anna profile.

Basically just say something like “nearest target” and it will lock onto the nearest target, then tell it “match speed” and your speed will automatically be matched.

Then you can say lock 2 missiles and you will get double missile lock, then say “fire” or “missile away” and it fires them.

You can also say flare or chaff, or countermeasures to deploy countermeasures, you can say “go dark” to shut down all systems for low EM and power up systems for turning everything back on. landing gear down, up, etc…there are literally almost 2000 commands (many of them being duplicates of doing the same thing but with different spoken wording.) She has different personality modes too so she can be cheeky or flirty or just a bitch and trash talk you LOL. it’s like having an AI co-pilot to operate systems for you…She tells jokes too! :smiley:

Whenever they re-enable it in game, it will also re-direct power to systems and set shield balance, etc. well worth the $8! I find myself not using my throttle much anymore since I can just speak a command and it happens.

Yeah, I use it and comes in handy. Make sure you run as an administrator. Also if it recognizes what you say as something else a lot, then just add that phrase to the command. Like if it detects you saying “launch missile” as “lunch missed cell” then program it to launch missiles with that command. Never actually done it myself since it updates enough that any customization get redone. If you use it then I suggest watching some of the optimization videos on youtube.

Also there’s the basic voice command software, and then there are voice packs that setup all the commands for you. I suggest getting one after picking your favorite voice actor. William Shatner and Brent Spinner are just a few of the options. Otherwise you have to manually program all the commands and don’t have the cool voice responses attached. Of course if you roll your own, you don’t have to worry about it getting rewritten.

Wow–voice controls, that’s high tech! So I’ve tried a few different set-ups and I’m actually loving an Xbox One controller with my keyboard in front of me. I may mess around with the phone app suggestion that was made. I find I don’t use most controls, though that may change in the next few patches. We’ll see. For now I’m loving the controller route.

Update: I bought an xbox 360 controller and have my keyboard on my lap. For now this seems to be a great solution, and also probably my preference. I went to a friend’s house and tried his HOTAS setup, not to be extremely lazy but it felt like it’d get tiring after several hours of gameplay. That’s purely my opinion but I thought I’d post a positive review for my setup in case anyone is finding themselves in the same position. Most keys I use in combat can be accessed via controller and the rest for landing and such are on the keyboard.

Greetings, I’m also using xbox controller and keyboard. I’ve only been playing a month. You still using xbox controller? Any keybinding changes that worked really well for you?

Actually realsimulator does carry a left handed f16 and fa18 grip compatible with bot the thrustmaster and realsimulator bases

Just like they make left handed shifters for cars right? And they also have left handed sticks for the F16 and F18 right?

Just take the time to train your muscle memory to use a standard HOTAS setup.

VKB has left and right sticks. And this Q4 they are releasing various modules to connect with the gladiator NXT. I have a link in a topic titled such.

So lefties will be able to get a comfortable HOTAS.

I am currently k/b mouse with a junk stick. Going to upgrade to HOSAS then both HOSAS/HOtAS when the new vkb modules come out. There should be enough buttons I wont need the k/b for flight/vehicles anymore.

The best you say, well that depends on how crazy your budget is, but the HOTAS WARTHOG with a FSSB is a smooth pressure sensing option that is great for longer sessions as you don’t move the stick, you use pressure. The pressure can be set as low as 1 lb. The FSSB is also extremely accurate and great for both Star Citizen and flight simulators. You will also want to upgrade the slew to an analog option for strafe (see links below).

regarding sore wrists - it is vital that you have the controllers mounted correctly, in the proper position and at the proper angles, for you. I built a bracket for my basic armless office chair to put the joystick and throttle exactly where my hands naturally go and at the proper angles such that both wrists are naturally in a rest position the majority of the time.

I’ve had many multi-hour flight sessions with no fatigue issues with this setup. I do have pedals as well. It’s obviously not as ideal as a full cockpit, but the ability of the chair to rotate becomes a non-issue after you get used to it. The only fatigue issue I had was with the primary trigger on the warthog stick. By default it’s a dual sp
ring, a primary strong spring and a secondary lighter spring. There is no reason for it to be as stiff as it is (other than fidelity to the real stick, I suppose). For our purposes, for the amount of time you can be using the trigger, it was beginning to cause me pain. Opening the stick and removing the primary spring has completely resolved the issue. The lighter secondary spring is ideal for our purposes.

And as CaliJoshua has already said, the FSSB is a fantastic device. I’ve had mine since 2012 with no regrets. You can go from full deflection one way to full deflection the other way almost instantaneously, much faster than with the warthog stick traversing physical axes. I spent 6 weeks earlier this summer with my stick returned to stock configuration while my FSSB was being updated to current specs, and the difference was night and day. It is a significant investment, but unlike ram or cpu or gpu, it will never depreciate. Same goes for pedals. I used CH pedals for almost 20 years, they work but I was never really satisfied with them, and now that I’ve moved up to Crosswinds I wish I’d done it years ago. Much better feel and resolution.

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This can align up your arm support with the right position for you HOTAS

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