Only 3 choices left for a good joystick?

I just broke my stupid, damn, THRID “Top Gun AfterBurner Force Feedback Joystick”. I was able to replace the two previous ones through CompUSA warranty extended service plan… but they won’t let me do it again. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr, damn piece of crap.

OK, so I’m looking at the options and it appears if you want a decent joystick and/or throttle you only have 3 choices:

  • Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar (no thanks Thrustmaster)
  • CH Products Fligtstick and throttle (once again way too expensive)
  • Saitek X52 (heard complaints its way too loose and inaccurate… and it looks huge - my hands are little)

So, are there other options out there I’m missing? Is Logitech ever going to do a nice joystick/throttle combo again? Why did force feedback joysticks die out?

I think joysticks died out because games that really used them died out. Only the sad remnant of the once vigorous flight sim community still uses them.

I know I always used to buy them for the space sim games. Things like Freespace and the Wing Commander series really required one.

For what it’s worth, I have a Saitex X45 and my brother has the X52. We got them for BF2 and we’ve both been fairly satisfied with them. I’ve never used the Thrustmaster or CH stuff though, so I have no idea how they compare.

For me, the weird thing about the Saitek line is the warning to wash your hands if you touch any of the cables (something about lead I think). Is there something weird about Saitek that people should know about?

As for me, I tried the Saitek 45, and I have a Thrustmaster, but the stick I keep coming back to, regardless of what type of sim I’m going to play, is my logitech digital extreme. Sure it doesn’t look like an actual flight stick, but it’s been the more comfortable stick with the best feel to it.

I like the x52. For me it’s selling point is the mini-mouse button on the throttle (sort of like the eraser nub mouse control they used to put into laptop keyboards).

The x52 had some centering problems in it’s first run but these issues have been overcome - i got mine almost a year ago and haven’t seen any problems.

It’s a “twisty stick” for the rudder - i’m adept at twisty stick usage, but it might bother some. You can lock the twist down, though, if your already using pedals. The x45 used a ‘rocker’ which sounds horrible.

The stick uses an outside spring to give it resistance and return it to the center position - this might start to wear over time but so far it’s been ok.

It’s got a ton of buttons and programmable functions, and so it’s quite useful for me, flying in IL-2 Sturmovik. At the most extreme, i can program a custom profile virtually every plane in the game. And each profile can have up to 6 “sub” profiles, so you can have the control bound for different states; ie., take-off and landing, bombs vs. rockets vs. heavy cannon, ground attack vs. free hunter, ect.

Hmmm, so how stuff is the rudder twist? I liked having a rocker for the rudder as it meant no accidental rudder movement.