Flight stick questions and Vs

Hi everyone,
I’ve decided to get a new flight stick…
I know that there’s a lot of experience in here so please add to this to share yours.

I want something solid that I’ll keep forever, that’s easy to repair (hopefully I’ll never need to), adjust and has good compatibility. I’m not interested in anything other than space Sims (I understand there’s a difference between space and modern aircraft sticks) and I’m not fussed about price. I don’t have big hands and I’m currently using a desk top mount (right side).
I don’t need a throttle as I’ve a modded x56 and I’m not looking to part with it.

Which brand is best??

What base?

What stick?

What’s the difference between flight sim and modern aviation sticks?

What should I watch out for and what should I consider?

If there’s anything I’m not asking then let me know.

There is a ton to consider and budgets are individual…one layer of complication I can throw at you is having a pre made profile. I am currently supporting the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog and Thrustmaster T-16000

there is not the best setup, everybody has their favorite

I switched over to virpil some years ago and i really like their stuff. Very high quality material, easy to adjust with different springs and cams. You can change the Stick and base seperatly. I started with a Delta Stick and a Warbrd Base and swithed only the stick to the new Alpha.

You could also fit the Warthog stick on the Virpil bases. Virpil is expensive but really great stuff

But other brands would maybe fit for you as well, like VKB

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My personal preference is a warthog grip on an fssb base, but as Waterwalker said, it depends on personal preference.

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An important consideration when choosing a stick is whether you want it to have twist or not. For me a stick needs to have twist as I can’t stand pedals. I believe that the Warthog does not have twist.

I personally like the VKB Gladiator NXT a lot. Space sim grip, high quality, reasonable price. Ergonomics are nice, I have small hands and can reach everything with ease. For people with larger hands, the palm rest can be adjusted.

If you have the money, the high end VKB & Virpils are amazing.

Space sim grip here means that it’s not a replica of an existing stick, but it’s just a generic design with lots of buttons and HATs that can be assigned in the game.
VKB calls their space sim grip the Kosmosima and I believe the Virpil one is the Constelation Alpha.

As far as bases are concerned, I like a traditional joystick base with buttons and sliders and things. Other’s prefer the pure gimbal bases like the Warthog or Virpil. Personal preference.


100%, if you need JUST a stick and are not looking to bust the bank, the VKB Gladiator NXT is amazing. contactless sensors and one of the top grips for space sims, available for both left and right hand. $150 USD for a stick and base.

If you want to go top end, there’s a few choices, but the one I chose was the Virpil Constellation Alpha and the Warbrd base. It has sooo many buttons, a brake lever, and an analog stick. Probably around $400 usd per stick+base.

The difference between space sim sticks and the flight sticks is often whether or not its a replica, and the location of certain hats or buttons.

Both are easy to adjust. I’m not wholly sure about virpil repairability but I know they get a lot of praise for customer service. The VKB one is probably repairable, as they give you several different buttons and what not standard with each grip for you to replace the ones preinstalled if you want. Virpil cams are pretty easy to replace, but I don’t know about the actual grip interiors.

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FYI - VKB currently does not have a throttle but it is in development. Maybe someone closer to the project can give a report on its status or review the VKB forums for an update?

Virpil will run you the most for a complete system.

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I also think the VKB gladiator NXT Premium is the best stick for the money. Their throttle is in the works and when it’s released it will show up under the news feed here: MCG Ultimate – Back Again from March 11, 2021 – VKBcontrollers.com

Their last post about the throttle: VKB TECS: MODULARITY FULL AHEAD - VKB-SIM

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If money is no object, then a TM Warthog with FSSB3 module is the way to go. You will spend the better part of a decade of practice to get your skills to a point where you can outfly that setup.

I’d stay away from VKB and Virpil (less so) designs, due to the fact they are soviet era fighter clones (or near clones) with poor ergonomics.

Oddball suggestions if you can find one: Saitek X65f - this is another FSSB mass produced joystick, and is often a lot cheaper than a Warthog w/FSSB module. These can only be found on the second hand market, but IMHO it was the best mass produced HOTAS made in the last 15 years.

The truth is most people will take 1500-2000 hours of flight time (Logitech X52) to get to the point where the HOTAS they’re using is the limiting factor. If you take care of your stuff, even an entry level HOTAS is more than enough.

Also, remember you are going to have to spend a lot of time building a customized HOTAS profile in whatever HOTAS you pick, VKB and Virpil don’t have high end customizable software like Thrustmaster and Logitech/Saitek have.


Not sure where you’re getting this from. The constellation Alpha isn’t based off any real flight stick, and has great ergonomics. The customization software is also very advanced. By contrast, the warthog is considered old and aging, and doesn’t have a twist axis IIRC.

But with that said, any of these sticks-- warthog, VKB, Virpil-- will be great and last a long time, with their own individual quirks. Best thing to do is watch a few hours of reviews on every stick you’re interested in!

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The Constellation Alpha is based on the MongoosT-50 which is based on the flightstick from the russian fighter jet Suchoj T-50.

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Oh, gotcha. Yeah, they do look similar. Still, ive only heard the complaint that the pinky button on the stick is in a strange position for multiple hand types.

I like the pinky button. I use it to lock on missiles.

Im planning to use it as PTT so i can talk on mumble or ingame while flying :rofl:

PTT is a good think for the pinky, i use it exactly in that way

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I have a pair of Virpil ( VPC ) controllers and they are stupid good. They are built very solidly and have incredibly responsive and easy to use buttons, switches, dials and rotary encoders. Specifically, they are:

The WarBRD base (which is required for a stick - the base is not included with the stick, they must be bought separately). This base is not only compatible with Virpil products, but also Thrustmaster products. So, if you ever consider trying DCS (you should, it’s great and it’s free) then you can get a replacement F16c Viper, F/A18c Hornet or A10 Thunderbolt II Warthog stick, and it will work on the WarBRD base.

Secondly, I am using the constellation alpha R stick. It’s a wonderful stick with plenty of buttons, a very comfortable feel and sturdy construction. It comes with adjustable cams and springs, and is user serviceable to a degree. The stick is made mostly of plastic, but it is a very high quality and superior feeling plastic to that of other sticks which are much cheaper. Most of the buttons and controls are easy to reach and handle, but some can be a little hard to reach if you do not have a big hand. There is also an adjustable palm rest that you can move up or down for comfort.

Lastly I use the Mongoos CM3 Throttle. It’s an amazing piece of engineering with an insane amount of buttons on it, from regular buttons, to rotary encoders (a rotary dial that is NOT an axis but instead pressed one button for each click CW, and another button for each click CCW, and also has a push function) as well as switches and a flap axis. It’s made of similar materials to the stick, and is super comfortable to use. It comes with a number of detents that you can install and configure to your liking, including a COSMOS detent which centers your throttle, and it’s great for games like Star CItizen.

If you have any questions specifically about them, feel free to PM me.

Another great and much cheaper alternative is the Thrustmaster T-16000 M which is a fantastic bit of kit for the money and should still last you a long time. Though not as many buttons and features as the Virpil, and at about a third of the price, it is still a GREAT system and works fantastically with SC.

I made a video highlighting its setup and use, which you can find on my Star Citizen playlist on YouTube (SSP Gaming).

Hope this was helpful!


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