Is there a need for force feedback joysticks anymore?

I haven’t used a real joystick for flight sims lately because… well I haven’t sat down and played (for real) a flight sim in a long time. I tried running my old Thrustmaster FF Afterburner joystick and it’s dead… and useless since it can’t center right.

So I’m looking around and I wanted to get something decent… and I don’t see any really good FF joysticks. But the joysticks from CH and Saitek look really nice - but of course they don’t have FF. How much is FF utilized nowadays for flight sims? Is it basically ignored or under-developed? Will I be missing out on a lot by not having FF?

The days of FF are gone, sorry. I don’t believe there any manufactured today.

Was there ever a need for them in the first place?

Freespace 1/2 made FF flightsticks necessary enough.

Will FF have a resurgence now that Microsoft is supporting 360 controllers on the PC? DX10 games are encouraged or required to support the controller fully, aren’t they?

Doesn’t IL-2 use it too? Or is it a pretty base implementation?

Can someone talk about WHY this would go out of style? FF was so huge/popular I just can’t understand why it’d die out. Aren’t all the current console peripherals FF?

I think they mean force feedback on the stick itself (resistance to being pushed), not just rumble.

FF went the way of the dinosaurs because games that use joysticks went the way of the dinosaur.

Also, Microsoft and Thrustmaster both left or are leaving the joystick peripherial market, pretty much consigning to whomever is left to make 15$ trash joysticks and the hardcore throttle combos of grognards like CH and recently Saitek.

Maybe I’m stupid, but I still don’t understand. All the Lucasarts X-Wing games were phenomenally successful and the latter ones had FF. The only game I know of that didn’t sell well (space combat sim) was Freespace. But I thought that was because of the competition. So how could Freespace kill the market all on its own?

FF thrives in wheels, where it makes much more sense. Most FF joysticks seemed to be too expensive for the $15 crapstick crowd but too featureless for the crazy rivet counters.
And while FF on a wheel tends to make you drive better, the stick shaking while you open fire on another plane isn’t as helpful…

The Logitech Force3D seems to be a good compromise:,CRID=2221,CONTENTID=10714
but it lacks awesomeness compared to a non-FF Saitek X-52 setup.

The older version of the Logitech FF joysticks have been on clearout for past year for $5 CAD at XS Cargo. That’s how sad things have been for years.

Gravis ceased to exist, MS Sidewinder ceased to exist etc.

bleh. Quite honestly, my Microsoft Sidewinder Pro forcefeedback really wasn’t worth the hassle. It was huge, heavy, needed to be plugged into a power outlet and hummed all the time. I’d unplug it whenever I wasn’t using it to get rid of the noise, which was often of course when you use your PC for school and work. I much prefer my little usb Cyborg Evo which has tons of buttons, works well and is easy to stash out of the way. Also, I’d say the precision is much better than the MSW and cost three times less.

force feedback of any kind is one of the most pointless gaming concepts i have ever encountered. just let me play the damn game.

i’m one of the lucky bastards who has a still working microshaft forcefeedback 2 stick. its precise and has very nice feedback. it has saved my bacon countless times in il2. the slight rumble that announces the fact that you are just about to get kicked in the teeth by your ride is a most important queue.
So imo ffb is NOT as useless as the previous poster made it out to be.
its also kinky. made many a gf go EEK! as she fired the guns on a p39 in il2 :D

This is a fine example of a force feedback keyboard.


schurem - see that’s what I was afraid of. Losing that kind of tactile feedback from a flight sim going non-FF. Is it still supported in IL 1946?

You could always get a Buttkicker – does a good job of rumbling your whole chair by way of the bass. In my case though, my downstairs neighbor might want to kill me – casters vibrating on a hardwood floor? Not good.

I disagree with that. It has really grown beyond a gimmick and into something useful in the racing sim genre. It’s not just shake the wheel when you crash anymore. It gives you a pretty decent feel for the car; you can feel when you’re starting to lose grip and things like that. Anyway, I’ve been racing with it for 5 or 6 years now, and I can’t see myself going back to a plain old centering spring in my steering wheel. The new G25 has some really fantastic FFB.

To be fair, there are some guys who will only use the high end wheels that don’t come with FFB (the $300 G25 is about the highest-end FFB wheel you can get, whereas some wheels will run you over a grand), and they will tell you FFB is worthless and just a gimmick. I disagree with them, but then I don’t have to justify buying a $1200 wheel ;)

The G25 is awesome, I’m 93% cooler since I got one