Trackball for a non-trackball person (for flight sims)

I need to get a trackball mouse that I can set on a small barstool chair so I can do some mousing while I’m in VR for my flight sims. I’ve never had or used a trackball before and I’m not sure what I would adapt well to. Any suggestions? So far I’ve looked at Kensington and Logitech’s but have no idea what would be best.

I use their (Logitech) wireless one for MAME.

This has been my preferred device for many years:

This was my setup for awhile.

It’s the Kensington Slim Blade. A high-end trackball from the company that has focused on them longer than any other. The reviews are stellar, and I completely agree.

(Don’t know why my Amazon links aren’t converting to previews. Annoying.)

I use both the Kensington and Logitech above every day and mostly prefer the Logitech by a tiny amount. It’s just so easy to pick up and move. I don’t game on either though, I only use a mouse for that.

The build quality on the Kensington is considerably higher than the Logitech though. My first 570 lasted 5 years before the buttons stopped responding well to clicks, the replacement is 2 years out from that milestone but working fine so far. The Kensington is a tank and shows no wear at all, but isn’t used as much.

I’m not sure what the new ERGO variant of the Logitech trackball offers over the M570 one above I have but I’m intrigued by the claim that Kensington’s has better build quality.

The M570 is a solid mouse. I’ve had one for, I dunno, maybe 10 years? I use it as a travel mouse. I used to use it as a main mouse, but then I eventually replaced it with a Logitech MX Ergo.

The Ergo is more solidly built, but honestly, all of these things are virtually indestructible. The Ergo has higher precision though, and some additional buttons.

I played shooters with a thumb trackball for years. Once you get used to it, it’s very nice.

For me it would mostly be for menus, click stuff in the cockpit, and maybe some mission editing. Being able to get to switch quickly and accurately to do a click would be most important (and finding and using the device while technically blind) is also the issue while being in VR.

I’ve never used it in VR, but I suspect the trackball would have some advantages once you got used to the trackball aspect.

Mainly, it can be in a single location, and doesn’t require you to move or know where the edges of a mousepad are.

One thing though, if you are looking at doing this in a flight sim… if you are looking to click on stuff in the cockpit, I think you can set things up so that the center of your view controls the cursor and lets you click on stuff… probably depends on the flight sim, I guess.

That’s exactly why I’m doing it.

What’s the flight sim you are trying to use though? I feel like there may be an easier solution just using the headset itself if you’re just looking to click on objects in the cockpit.

I know from some pilot training systems I worked on, looking at stuff and then clicking a button was the easiest way for the pilots to interact with cockpit controls in VR.

DCS World, MS Flight Sim, Il-2 Sturmovik, Elite Dangerous.

DCS World and MSFS have a ton of things you have to do with mouse clicks.

Answered in the sim topic, but given your use case, I would avoid the smaller “side” balls like the M570 and go with a larger, centered ball like the Kensington Slim Blade or Expert. Easer to find with goggles on, and the larger ball makes precision movement easier for clicking panel switches, etc.

Ohhh excellent!

Shoot. I never dreamed anything would fit me better than the M570 and now I need to go buy this. There is an ergo and…of course an ergo plus that can tilt even more. hmmmm.

I have…multiple M570’s and I’ve never had a complaint.I find a trackball is much easier on my elbow than a mouse. I never warmed to the feel of Kensington’s products, but tastes vary.

So after using an Ergo for a bit…It IS more solidly built than the m570. I wish the other buttons were integrated into other software besides the browser.

It’s got this weird thing where you can slightly switch the angle that it sits at? You know what…being able to change that IS nice.

The downside is that the thing is self charged through a cable an not battery powered. I don’t know how long a charge lasts, but using it on a laptop means another thing that has to stay with the laptop (just in case) which is a pain.

Holy shit, that’s a new sneaky one. Quote OP but insert your spam/phishing link in the OP’s quote, making it appear trusted.

Fuck you spammer.