If you are looking to upgrade your flying sim rig with a brand new switch panel, then this guide is for you. Listed below, you will find some of the best options for a switch panel that will add more versatility to your gameplay.
The Top-Rated Switch Panels For Flight Sim
|Editor's Pick||Switch Panel||Score|
|Top Pick||Logitech G Pro Flight Switch Panel||91%|
|Runner Up||Logitech Heavy Equipment Side Panel||90%|
|Great Alternative||Razer Tartarus Pro Gaming Keypad||88%|
|Premium Keypad||Razer Orbweaver Chroma Gaming Keypad||90%|
Top Pick: Logitech G Pro Flight Switch Panel
- Realistic landing gear control with LEDs indicating actual gear status from Microsoft FSX. Fully Customizable for All Flying Conditions.
- Start your aircraft engines and access other cockpit functions with ease. Compatible with most major simulation software and games, including:Flight Simulator X,Prepar3D 2.2+,X-Plane 10
- Modular and interchangeable. Saitek's range of Instrument Panels can be situated one on top of another or side-by-side. Want the Multi Panel above the Radio Panel? Done. Want your Switch Panel to the left of your Yoke? Go for it. Easy-to-use mounting brackets provide the means to arrange your flight simulation setup in a configuration only limited by your imagination.
- Compatible: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 or newer
The Logitech G Pro Flight Switch Panel is part of Logitech’s line of modular panels whose purpose is to add realism and functionality to your flight sim games. This is apparent in the design of the Flight Switch Panel, with screw holes on top and the sides to mount it wherever you prefer in your rig. You can also attach it via the included Velcro straps.
The Flight Switch Panel is compact and lightweight, so it will fit very well even on smaller desks, but without any compromises on the build quality and functionality. The panel is made of high quality plastic, which helps keep weight down, and the switches all have a nice clicky feeling and enough resistance to last for a long time and avoid accidental flips.
There are many different switches on the Flight Panel. The large knob is responsible for engine start and the two red switches are for battery and alternator. Rounding up the top row are a bunch of switches for different aircraft functions, including avionics and the fuel pump. On the bottom row there are switches for your various types of lights and cowl flaps. Finally, on the right side, you will find light indicators for your landing gear and a lever for gear control.
Runner-Up: Logitech Heavy Equipment Side Panel
- Side panel loader control Stick, with 6 axes TO operate so that even complex logging machines are rendered simple to operate
- Set and forget cruise control speed dial and 37 programmable buttons, give you the flexibility to control your entire farm from just the one controller
- Durable clamp featuring saitek's proven screw-thread adjustment, ensuring your controllers stay locked in place on your desk
- Open game compatibility offers the ability to use the side panel in more than just farming simulator. Elite dangerous, Star citizen, Euro truck simulator – just A few of the other titles in which you can easily use the side panel for control.
The Logitech Heavy Equipment Side Panel is a controller used primarily for farming sim games. However, with the addition of a software plug-in, Logitech has made it compatible with a variety of sim games, including flight and train sims! This gives you the ability to use it as your main switch panel, or a secondary one for extra inputs.
The Heavy Equipment Side Panel is rather compact, but with a substantial weight and a clamp mechanism to mount it on your desk. It is made of quality plastic and its buttons and switches have good tactility and are built to last. On the main interface of the controller, there is a joystick which can be used for camera control, a rocker wheel that can be pressed and 4 additional buttons.
Above those, you will find the main arrangement of buttons. Those 20 programmable buttons give you several configuration options depending on your case. They are also color coordinated, which can be very useful if you want to assign some related functions, like your various lights, to a specific color.
Great Alternative: Razer Tartarus Pro Gaming Keypad
- The #1 Best-Selling Gaming Peripherals Manufacturer in the US: Source - The NPD Group, Inc. U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Keyboards, Mice, PC Headset/Pc Microphone, Gaming Designed, based on dollar sales, 2017-2021
- New, Pressure-Sensitive Inputs: Razer Analog Optical Switches register various levels of pressure similar to an analog joystick-like experience on a keypad
- 32 Keys for More Hotkeys and Actions: Perfect for gaming or integrating into creative workflows with fully programmable keys
- Thumbpad for Improved Movement Controls: The 8-way directional thumbpad allows for more natural controls for console-oriented players and a more ergonomic experience
- Fully Programmable Macros: Razer Hypershift allows for all keys and keypress combinations to be remapped to execute complex commands
The Razer Tartarus Pro Gaming Keypad is a keypad made to increase your productivity and give you additional in-game functions at the palm of your hand. It packs the best features of a keyboard and a controller, in a small frame that will fit any desk space. The streamlined Razer design and Chroma RGB lighting will also add some flair to your setup.
The Tartarus Pro is designed for one-handed use and consists of a total of 20 programmable keys, a scroll wheel, a thumb button and a joystick which moves in four directions and is useful for camera control. There is also a very comfortable wrist rest. Some buttons can be hard to reach for users with smaller hands, but you shouldn’t have a problem with non-rigorous gameplay.
The main selling point of the Tartarus Pro is its analog optical switches. The keys are pressure-sensitive and can register a different function for a gentle press and a full press, giving you effectively double the number of inputs. You can also change the actuation point of each press to suit your preferences. This feature gives you the ability to use each key for analog inputs such as throttle or brake control.
Premium Keypad: Razer Orbweaver Chroma Gaming Keypad
- The #1 Best-Selling Gaming Peripherals Manufacturer in the US: Source - The NPD Group, Inc , U S Retail Tracking Service, Gaming Designed: Keyboards, Mice, PC Headsets, and PC Microphones, Based on dollar sales, Jan 2017- June 2020 combined
- Signature Mechanical Switch for Gaming: Razer Green switch technology provides a satisfying clicky sound with 50 G of actuation force
- 30 Mechanical Keys for More Hotkeys and Actions: Perfect for multitasking during gaming and everyday use with fully programmable keys
- Ergonomic Thumbpad for Improved Movement Controls: The 8-way directional pad allows for more natural controls (replace controls) for console-oriented players
- Customized Key Profiles: Map keys for any situation or loadout and save profiles (available with Razer Synapse 2)
The Orbweaver Chroma Gaming Keypad is Razer’s top of the line gaming keypad and is made to provide all gamers, including flight sim players, with a number of additional controls to make their gaming experience easier. With its decent weight and large rubber feet, it won’t be moving around once you set it on your desk.
The Orbweaver is built with comfort in mind and thus features adjustable components. The wrist rest can be moved further back and the high palmrest gives a more ergonomic grip. The thumb module is also adjustable to give you a perfect fit and consists of an 8-way directional stick, that can be used to look around your cockpit, as well as two very well placed thumb buttons with light actuation force.
The main array of buttons is formed in a way where you can easily reach all the keys with no wrist strain. The keys themselves are 20 in total, and feature Razer’s Green switches that have a clicky feel and a low actuation point. All the keys are fully programmable and you can also save different configurations for different games or in-game scenarios.
What to Look for in a Switch Panel
When you are shopping for a new switch panel for your favorite flight sim game, you need to keep the following in mind:
Number of Inputs
The main reason to buy a switch panel is to have additional in-game controls within arm’s reach. Thus, you should be looking to get as many switches and buttons as you can find. Another bonus is the ability to have different profiles with different button configurations for different aircrafts.
Not all people have acres of desk space available, and you need a lot of different components to build a realistic and immersive flight sim rig. Therefore, you need to get as much functionality as possible in a small, compact chassis.
Presuming that you don’t want to be buying new components for your rig every few years, then you should be looking to invest into some high-quality parts that will last you for a while. Since you will be flipping the switches and pressing the buttons on your control panel several times a day you want them to feel solid and not like plastic toys ready to break at any moment.
Last Updated on April 12, 2021 by Thomas Bush