Whether you are looking to upgrade your flying sim rig with a new HOTAS, or start building one for Star Citizen, then this guide is here to help you. Here you will find some of the best HOTAS that will add to your overall pleasure in your flying adventures.
The Top-Rated HOTAS for Star Citizen
|Top Pick||Logitech G X56 Rhino||90%|
|Runner Up||Logitech G X52||88%|
|Budget Pick||Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS X||85%|
|Luxury Pick||Thrustmaster Warthog||94%|
|Great Value||Thrustmaster T.16000M + CH Pro Throttle||89%|
Top Pick: Logitech G X56 Rhino
This visually appealing HOTAS that is packed with input methods should please most users.
The Logitech G X56 Rhino has a unique modern design with a black color scheme. It is constructed of plastic, which feels durable with no squeaks or creaks. Also, its buttons, switches and triggers seem solid and have a very consistent response.
The stick of the X56 is very ergonomic with a rubberized finish, giving it a smooth feel. It is detachable for better storage and transportation and you can also change the spring connecting it to the base with a stiffer one to suit your preferences. There are a plethora of input methods on the stick, including three 4-way hats with distinct patterns, an extra pinky trigger and a very useful analog thumb stick. There is also a twist feature used for yaw.
The throttle has a split, dual throttle design that can also be locked to a single axis. There are two 4-way hats and an analog thumb stick for thruster control. Also, the great number of buttons and switches on the throttle and its base allows for increased customization. It has a consistent tension when moving it, and the amount of tension is also adjustable. However, the throttle base can move slightly if used with a lot of force, but you can remedy this by attaching it on your desk using the included holes.
Runner-Up: Logitech G X52
The joystick of the X52 is made of soft plastic and feels very nice in the hand. The stick has a twist for yaw and you can also adjust its grip to fit your hand size. It comes with two 4-way hats on the stick along with an adjustable pinky trigger and a standard dual stage trigger, both of which are consistent. There are also three extra buttons, one of which sits behind a cover, and three rockers giving you access to an abundance of functions on one hand.
The throttle also feels nice and has adjustable stiffness, so you can achieve the perfect resistance for you. It is equipped with a single 4-way hat, a pointer to be used for mouse control, and a few rotary dials. Overall, the inputs on the throttle are lackluster, but the addition of an LCD screen on the base allows for easy access and shifting between different settings for different scenarios in Star Citizen.
Budget Pick: Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS X
This well-built, affordable HOTAS might be all you need if you don’t want to spend too much money.
The Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS X is an entry level HOTAS, designed as one unit for lap use. However, it can be separated into a stick and throttle to mount on your desk. It is fully made of plastic, which might look cheap at first, but has the endurance needed to be used for some time. It also has enough weight, so it doesn’t move around in the heat of a space battle in Star Citizen.
The stick of the T.Flight offers a smooth and secure grip with ample wrist rest space for added comfort. You can also tune the resistance of the stick to your liking. The joystick has a twist for yaw feature, a welcome edition at this price, and is equipped with a single 4-way hat, three additional buttons and a good quality trigger for weapon firing.
The throttle performs well-enough, with a good amount of resistance and solid return to center action. It has an ergonomic button layout with easy one hand access to its four thumb buttons and the two buttons and two triggers on the back. However, the small amount of overall inputs necessitates the use of button combinations or reaching for your keyboard for some in game functions.
Luxury Pick: Thrustmaster Warthog
If money is not an issue and you want the best of the best, then this fancy HOTAS may be just right for you.
The Thrustmaster Warthog‘s unique design is inspired by the A-10 Warthog, an aircraft which belongs to the United States Air Force and is manufactured to be an exact copy of the equipment used by the A-10. With its excellent all metal build and large weight, it is a great investment that should last you for many years.
The joystick of the Warthog is one of the best on the market, partially thanks to the innovative Hall Effect magnetic sensors it is equipped with. These sensors provide superior accuracy in game, giving you an edge over your opponents in Star Citizen. There is also an extensive array of buttons, including two 8-way and two 4-way hats with distinguishable patterns. It doesn’t come with twist for yaw, however, which could dissuade some users.
The throttle feels very good with great feedback. It is a dual axis design, split in the middle for different controls. The two 4-way hats, three 2-way thumb switches and analog pointer stick give you access to many functions on hand. It also comes with a host of flip switches and buttons on the base for endless combinations.
Great Value: Thrustmaster T.16000M + CH Pro Throttle
This combination of stick and throttle provides a ton of buttons and impressive performance for a great price.
The Thrustmaster T.16000M and CH Pro Throttle is an excellent HOTAS setup that is praised by people in the Star Citizen community for its plethora of programmable buttons and overall good value for money.
The joystick’s plastic build is not of the highest quality, but it is one of the cheapest ambidextrous sticks on the market, which is a big plus for left-handed users and potential dual joystick use. It comes with a single 4-way hat, 3 buttons and a weapon trigger, as well as an extra twelve buttons on the base for a sizable amount of button configurations. It also features a twist for yaw, adding to its overall value. All this makes it one of our top joysticks for Star Citizen, and for space sim in general!
The throttle has the signature of CH, which has been on the joystick market for many years, and offers a premium plastic build with a nice overall feel. It has a smooth operation with good resistance for precise control of your space ships. It also has a good number of well-placed buttons, including three 4-way hats, one 8-way hat and four extra buttons. Overall, the variety and sheer number of buttons on this HOTAS ensures you will have most if not all of your ship functions on hand.
What to Look for in a HOTAS
When you are in the market for a new HOTAS, there are a few things to keep an eye for:
Number Of Inputs
When playing space sim games like Star Citizen, you need an ample amount of different inputs like switches, hats, buttons and sliders, so you can configure all of your ship’s functions. This is necessary, as it avoids distractions from having to look down on your keyboard for a button, thus ensuring a full immersion.
One of the most important aspects when looking to buy a HOTAS is its build quality. A cheaply made HOTAS might not cost you too much upfront, but it can break quite easily, whereas a good quality one can last for many years making it a worthy investment.
Twist vs No twist
This is an important factor to consider, as a lack of a twist feature, basically requires the purchase of additional flying pedals, adding to the overall cost. However, having twist on your stick can cause wrist strain over time. Also, sticks that feature twist, are usually poorly made and can break easier.
Last Updated on April 12, 2021 by Thomas Bush