Is there a need for force feedback joysticks anymore?

I76 had great Force Feedback, but it was also the pack-in game so no surprises. I believe, but am not certain, that in order to be Games for Windows certified you have to support the Xbox 360 controller. But not to use DX10. (I mean, who would stop you from using DX10 and not supporting the controller?) You also have to support Widescreen and the Media Center remote control.


The new Saitek X52 Pro is “about” to be fully Vista compliant… though it’s not force feedback. That’s the throttle/stick combo I was thinking of getting when I have enough money. But with sucha huge investment (for me)… I’d better make sure it’s the right thing… for a loong tim.

The most expensive FFB joystick is still cheaper than a Sybian.

Much more painful, though.

Be sure to get your hands on one somewhere before buying. While I think it has been modified in that reagard from the non-pro X52 that I have, I initially hated the very long throw and weak resistance of the stick.
I came from a very old Suncom F15 Talon stick that had a lot less travel and a much stiffer centering spring , so the X52 felt plain wrong, to the point that I’m still thinking about converting the old one to USB some day.

Wow, I forgot what great sticks Suncom used to make.

Saitek makes sticks that can best be described as “good quality, average parts.” That is, they’re high end sticks, but still made out of (more or less) the same parts the 15$ sticks are constructed of. I have the X52, and it’s been nice - i like how easy it is to program, and the huge number of buttons, wheels, and sliders. But i already know someone whose X52 has died. Mine still works fine, but the main “glow” light is already flickering as if it doesn’t have much life left, and i expect the LED screen’s backlight to die any day now. Buy it from a retail store like Best Buy if you can get a 3-year BB insurance on it (i’m not certain you can), if you go that route.

I don’t like F-16 style sticks personally, but CH makes very dull but by repute excellent build quality sticks.

The death of the Sidewinder FF sticks makes me sad. My brother has an FF2, and I have an FF pro, which Microsoft rather callously orphaned for WinXP. Both sticks still work great (of course, the FF Pro only works under XP if the game directly supports it, as did X2: the Threat for instance).

Interesting. I’m not a pilot, but I would have thought FF in a flight sim would be as important as in a driving game. The stress/buffetting on the control surface should be transmitted to the stick (and pedals). Wouldn’t the amount of FF do a good job indicating the amount of airframe stress from pulling too hard a manuever, and then transitioning to zero FF when you are in a stall.

Well, all this would apply to normal planes…I’m not sure how the fly-by-wire planes should be modeled.

In a real airplane the stick pressure is incredibly important. It makes things like trimming very easy since you just trim until the pressure is gone. It also plays a huge part in noticing an imminent stall or slow flight since you can feel when the controls start to go mushy on you.

My experience is only with planes that use linkages/cables for the stick and rudder, though I understand in a plane with hyraulics and/or fbw they simulate the same forces since they are so critical to piloting the plane.

Lack of good FFB is one of my biggest gripes with flightsims. (The other huge one was visibility but TrackIR has done a lot to help that).