Seems overkill TBH, considering you called out space flight vs. serious flight sims. I think I would go (note: I’m also working with an old X52, which is fine but not great) with a simpler setup for a space sim because the dogfighting and control complexity isn’t there, and then if the serious sim bug grabs, you won’t be out that much stepping up. But then you mentioned other uses, including flight sims, so it sounds like you’re on the peak of the “buy once, cry once” distribution curve. Maybe look at what is recent and relevant and retains value if you want to resell? Those are quality pieces of mechanical work so they won’t lose value as rapidly as most other computer gear. Again, still using a 15yo HOTAS just fine, I just wish the springs were better tuned.
I can recommend VKB, they make quality products. I’ve owned a Gunfighter Mk 2 with the space combat grip for years, and I love it. I believe the Gladiator uses the same grip, while the base uses the same contactless sensors as the Gunfighter.
I use a Winwing throttle, which I can also recommend. It’s well-made, and big. The Virpil throttle might be a better fit for my small hands, but they didn’t have a USA distributor when I was shopping around, and shipping cost from the EU was expensive.
edit: I have the Winwing Orion 2 throttle with the F/A-18 grip. Link to their site:
I’ve owned an X36 and an X52, and I can agree with the second part of your statement.
2nd edit: I always liked the design of Saitek’s hardware, it was the build quality that disappointed. They felt cheap, some of the hats were flaky in operation, and the pots started spiking early and often. It’s a shame too, because there are so few good options for a mid-priced setup.
I was for most of my career a VR, AR and XR developer as well as other tech in the scope of building permanent media installations, actually.
That’s one of the reasons I don’t own VR devices as I always had some provided to me.
I’m currently waiting on everything arriving (mounts and still picking a throttle) and once that settles, I’m likely going to lease a VR headset temporarily.
VR is very cool but I have some issues of feeling incredibly lonely after some time in it due to it’s very clean and lonesome nature as well as I get spatial issues lasting half a day. Takes a few hours to wear off that I don’t bump into door frames and such anymore.
You don’t get that with a flight (or space) sim. You get wtf-awesome immersion. Try it… you’ll love it :D
As for the loneliness, there’s machines out there that are much better when operated by a crew, such as an Apache or a strike eagle. Back-seat driving (or front seat in the apache) doesn’t require a hotas, and xbox controller often will do, so maybe an idea for local multiplayer if you happen to have a fellow nerd nearby.
Missed this earlier, sorry. I’ve been interested in a dual-stick setup before, but not enough to spring for the second stick.
If your old stick still works, you may want to play around with dual sticks right now to get a handle how it works for you, and try different control mappings for the axes.
If you decide on as HOSAS setup, I would recommend another VKB stick for the left hand, assuming you would want to use one of the axes for throttle control. You can remove the spring from the Y-axis cam to stop the stick from self-centering, and tighten the damping on the dry clutch so that the stick will remain where you position it instead of flopping around. See this Youtube short for an example of what I mean: