If you are looking to buy a new joystick to enjoy Star Citizen, then this article is for you. Below you will find a selection of some of the best joysticks on the market that will give you a more immersive flying experience.
The Top-Rated Joysticks for Star Citizen
|Top Pick||CH Products Fighterstick||91%|
|Runner Up||Thrustmaster T16000M||88%|
|Budget Pick||Logitech Extreme 3D Pro||85%|
|Luxury Pick||Thrustmaster Warthog Flightstick||94%|
|Also Great||CH Products Flightstick Pro||89%|
|Honorable Mention||Thrustmaster T-Flight Stick X||85%|
Top Pick: CH Products Fighterstick
- USB programmable joystick
- 3 axis and 24 buttons (three push buttons, one mode switch button, three 4 way hat switches and one 8 way point of view hat)
- Total of 132 programmable functions with the new Control Manager software (included)
- Realistic F-16 handle
- Compatible with Windows 98, 2000, Me, XP, Vista & Windows 7 or Mac OS 8.6 and above
The CH Products Fighterstick is the most recent iteration of one of the most well-known joysticks in the flight sim community. CH has been making high quality flight sim products for more than 30 years and this one is no different with an all plastic build that feels solid and will last for many years. The buttons also feel solid and easy to press.
The stick itself is modelled after an F-16 handle and thus is very ergonomic and comfortable. It has enough resistance to not be flimsy and a very wide range of movements with great responsiveness, making it very precise. The base is also hefty enough to not move around when using the joystick. The stick unfortunately does not offer a twist feature.
The Fighterstick comes with a plethora of buttons to map all the important functions of our ship. These include three 4-way hats, an 8-way POV hat, and a mode switch button. With the included software you can program up to 128 different functions on the joystick.
Runner-Up: Thrustmaster T16000M
- The T.16000M FCS is compatible with PC via USB in Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista (32-bit and 64-bit).
- The T.16000M FCS offers you a precision level greater than current systems, which will not decrease over time, thanks to the joystick's H.E.A.R.T technology (U.S. patent US08471815).
- Fully ambidextrous joystick: 3 removable components allow the joystick to be perfectly tailored for left-handed or right-handed use.
- The joystick includes 16 action buttons with braille style physical button identification and one 8-way Point of View hat switch and 4 independent axes including twist rudder
- The T.A.R.G.E.T software allows you to load and create specific mapping profiles for each game.
The Thrustmaster T16000M is an acclaimed joystick in the community and is often recommended for its great value for money and useful features. Its all plastic build can feel cheap but it holds up for the price.
The key selling point of the T16000M is its ambidextrous design, which makes it one of the cheapest solutions for left-handed users. It can also be used for dual joystick purposes, either paired with another one or a more expensive one. The strong return to center action takes away from the overall precision of the stick, but it can be easily modded to increase accuracy.
The number of inputs is another plus for the joystick, as it features twelve programmable buttons on the base, which gives you plenty of options. There is also a single 4-way hat, a weapon trigger and 3 extra buttons on the stick. Some buttons may be hard to reach for some users, though.
Budget Pick: Logitech Extreme 3D Pro
- 12 action buttons, an eight-way hat switch, and a rapid-fire trigger
- Button customization and multiple controller configurations
- Its USB driven
The Logitech Extreme 3D Pro is an older but very reliable entry level joystick. It has been the first joystick for many users and for good reason, as it offers most of the things you need plus the reliability of Logitech for a great price. At this price point, the cheap plastic build is a given, but it should be able to last you at least until you can afford a better one.
The joystick is very comfortable to hold and has enough resistance to avoid accidental movements. The center has some play to it which can hamper precision, but you should be able to get used to it. The stick can also be twisted for yaw.
The Extreme 3D Pro offers an excellent selection of buttons that are easy to reach. There are five buttons, a trigger and an 8-way POV hat on the stick itself and six programmable buttons on the base. There is also a throttle slider that is easy to operate and responsive.
Luxury Pick: Thrustmaster Warthog Flightstick
- Joystick replica of the U.S. Air Force a 10c attack aircraft flight Stick
- Stand alone HOTAS warthog joystick, from the creator of the original HOTAS concept and the worldwide benchmark flight SIM controllers: the HOTAS Cougar and the HOTAS warthog
- Detachable handle, crafted entirely of metal; also compatible with the HOTAS Cougar (and vice versa); replica shape of the a 10c flight Stick
- 19 action buttons in total + one 8 way "point of view inches Hat: 1 x 8 way "point of view inches Hat; 2 x 8 way HATs; 1 x 4 way hat with push button; 1 x Metal dual trigger; 2 x Push buttons; 2 x Pinkie push buttons
- Usb connector and upgradeable firmware; super stable, weighted joystick (over 6 lbs.)
The Thrustmaster Warthog Flightstick is one of the best joysticks money can buy. It is designed to be an exact replica of the A-10 US aircraft and the build quality is there to match. The all metal design, large weight and fantastic quality buttons make it a worthwhile choice that will last forever.
The stick’s excellent design and build make it very ergonomic and comfortable to hold. The handle is also detachable, so you can swap it for another model if it breaks or you want a different one. The magnetic sensors of the stick ensure you won’t face any problems when it comes to tracking precision. The heavyweight base also prevents the joystick from moving around.
The Warthog is equipped with numerous different inputs. There are two 8-way hats, a 4-way hat with an integrated push button, and an 8-way POV hat. There is also a high quality dual stage trigger and a pinky trigger. Like most high end joysticks, the Warthog lacks a twist for yaw feature.
Also Great: CH Products Flightstick Pro
- 3 axis and 12 buttons (four push buttons and one 8 way point of view hat)
- Total of 22 programmable functions with the new Control Manager software
- Comfortable grip designed for both left and right handed operation
- Quality components and construction
- Compatible with Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista & Windows 7 for PC and MacOS 8.6 with Input Sprockets 1.7x for Mac
The CH Products Flightstick Pro is another excellent joystick that has stood the test of time. If you can score a good price for it you won’t be disappointed, as it has the great build quality you come to expect from CH Products and a number of helpful features. It also has good weight to it, especially the base, allowing it to not move when you use the joystick.
The Flightstick has a very ergonomic design that is also ambidextrous, making it another awesome quality option for left-handed users and people who want dual joystick setups. The stick features a good amount of resistance to avoid accidental movement, but the action on all the axes is very smooth and precise.
The joystick comes with an 8-way POV hat, a trigger and three push buttons, which is enough for basic functions. The stick also comes with a side wheel to control throttle.If you want more functions there is the included software that gives you access to 16 extra programmable functions.
Honorable Mention: Thrustmaster T-Flight Stick X
- Wide hand-rest for optimal comfort
- Programmable: The 12 buttons and 5 axles are entirely programmable
- Dual-system, aerodynamic control: By rotating handle (with integrated blocking system) or by progressive tilting lever
- Internal memory: To save all of your programming, even with the joystick disconnected
- High-precision joystick with adjustable resistance
The Thrustmaster T-Flight Stick X is another budget option if you just want to test the waters before making a big splash for a high quality setup. It features a simple plastic design that has enough heft to not move around during rigorous gameplay and last for a while.
The joystick itself is very comfortable thanks to the ergonomic design and the wide wrist rest. It provides great feedback and resistance, that can be adjusted using the knob on the bottom of the stick. The joystick is also twistable, which is very useful for yaw, but can be locked if you don’t want to use it.
The T-Flight has several different buttons, including a single 4-way hat, three buttons and a trigger on the stick, as well as a few programmable buttons and a throttle slider on the base. There is also a MAPPING button to change the functions of each button on the fly, as well as a PRESET button to cycle between different configurations.
What to Look for in a Joystick
When shopping for a new joystick to enjoy Star Citizen, you should keep a few things in mind:
One of the most important features to look for is great precision and accuracy. Of course you get what you pay for, and more affordable joysticks won’t have the precision of high end ones, but you need at least adequate performance to be able to enjoy your game without problems.
Another important factor is the number and variety of buttons. You need as many different input methods as you can get, so you can configure all the essential functions of your ship. Some joysticks also come with different preset modes, which is also helpful for different in-game scenarios.
When you are using something for long periods of time, you want it to be comfortable and ergonomic to not cause any long-term injuries, and a joystick is no different. Also, one more thing to consider, especially if you are a left-handed user, is buying an ambidextrous joystick, as you might not be able to operate some buttons on a regular one.
Last Updated on March 1, 2021 by Thomas Bush