Whether you’ve just started messing around for fun or are an experienced flight simulator pilot, one of the peripherals that’ll add a lot more realism to your game is a throttle. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the five best throttles you can purchase for flight simulators.
The Top-Rated Throttles for Flight Sim
|Top Pick||Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog||94%|
|Runner-Up||CH Products Throttle Quadrant||90%|
|Also Great||Logitech G Pro Flight||88%|
|Honorable Mention||Thrustmaster TWCS||83%|
Top Pick: Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog
- Dual replica throttles 3D magnetic sensors on the 2 throttles allow you to enjoy surgical precision that stays razor sharp over time; USB connection with upgradable firmware
- Dual throttles, featuring a Metal hand rest, Locking system, Adjustable friction system, Realistic IDLE detent with "Pull & Push inches system, Realistic and disengage able AFTERBURNER detent, and Realistic pressure on buttons and switches.
- There are 17 action buttons in total plus one mouse hat with push button plus one 8 way "point of view inches hat; a weighted base (over 6.5 lbs.) is incorporated underneath the throttles
- Programming software: T.A.R.G.E.T. (Thrust master Advanced programming Graphical Editor) is available for free at Thrust master's support website. It lets you test, configure and program Thrust master controllers using the "Drag and Drop inches principle
- U.S. Air Force licensed A 10C dual replica throttles + built in replica control panel, for use with PC flight simulation software and games; Officially licensed by the U.S. Air Force; PC compatible (Windows 8/7/Vista/XP).
If you read our guide to the best joysticks for flight sim, you’ll almost certainly remember the Thrustmaster HOTAS as being an excellent choice (though an expensive one). Well, we can happily say that, if you already have a joystick but are looking for a throttle, you can purchase the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Dual Throttles separately now.
This peripheral is second to none in realism, build quality, accuracy, and all in all just pleasure to use. Thrustmaster makes use of H.E.A.R.T. technology (HallEffect AccuRate Technology), which utilizes magnetic sensors located on both throttle controls, to ensure long-lasting precision and incredible accuracy. Each throttle can record up to 16,384 values, making your every movement count.
The HOTAS Warthog is modeled to perfectly replicate the A-10 aircraft, up to the incredible control panel which boasts a backlit display, 15 programmable buttons, 5 programmable indicator lights, and the TRIM wheel. If in reading this you thought “but I want to fly a civilian aircraft!”, have no worries. This thruster allows you to easily switch to a civilian configuration in a matter of seconds. If it weren’t for the steep price, we’d recommend all flight sim users go and purchase this product.
Runner-Up: CH Products Throttle Quadrant
- Six axis and 12 buttons: X, Y, Z, R, U, and V axis for engine control / 6 bi-directional flip switch buttons
- Total of 176 programmable functions with Control Manager software (included)
- Large, sturdy mounting base with adjustable clamps for desks 3/4-Inch to 2 1/4-Inch thick
- Plug and Play driverless USB installation with 7 foot USB cable for both PC and Macintosh
- Compatible with Windows 98, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 and Mac OSX
Needless to say that, even at first glance, the CH Products Throttle Quadrant is clearly not at the same level as the number one pick of our list. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to love about this product however. Let’s start with the fact that, being a quadrant, it has a lot more on it. There are six axes and 12 buttons for you to make use of, and over 176 programmable functions (though you will need to make use of the proprietary software that is included).
The build quality is also not bad, designed to be durable over being pretty. It also comes with adjustable clamps which make it easier to fix to your desk.
One of the biggest advantages is the sheer level of compatibility of this quadrant. From Macs to old Windows systems (all the way back to Windows 98!) this quadrant will work on almost all your machines.
It has a low price point, and it’s missing some of the more modern features that other throttles have built up to, but the CH Products Throttle Quadrant is still a solid choice for many users out there.
Also Great: Logitech G Pro Flight
- 3 axis levers add even more options for control in your favorite flight simulation
- 3 two way rocker switches add further controls to your simulation setup
- Quadrant can be mounted either on top or in front of your desk, pilot or co pilot side so that the controls are always where you want them
- Additional quadrant lever heads let you create your preferred configuration of throttle, flaps, mixture and prop pitch
- Compatible with: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
If you’re already building up a healthy Logitech ecosystem then the Logitech G Pro Flight Throttle is an especially good addition to your flight sim set-up.
It’s not as customizable as other entries on our list, offering a more basic set-up: there are three axes and three two way rocker switches. This may not seem like much, but that’s because the G Pro was never meant to be a standalone buy. It’s modular and interchangeable, which allows them to be stacked side by side, allowing you to stack this excellent product. Interchangeable heads also make it easy to not only tailor the feel you want the specific throttles to have but also their aesthetic, making them easily distinguishable at a glance.
There’s a lot to love about the G Pro Flight Throttle. It’s precise, it looks good, it’s easy to install, and it’s inexpensive, allowing you to eventually buy more if you feel like you need to expand. If you have or plan on having an extensive Logitech ecosystem you should give this product a look.
Honorable Mention: Thrustmaster TWCS
- The TWCS (Thrustmaster Weapon Control System) throttle is the new component of the Thrustmaster flightsim ecosystem. It is compatible with PC via USB in Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista (32-bit and 64-bit).
- The TWCS throttle, thanks to its “low” position, enables seamless and precise actions under the hand and at the fingertips.
- The throttle’s S.M.A.R.T (Sliding Motion Advanced Rail Tracks) technology delivers a unique system of slide rails for perfectly smooth sliding motion and precision.
- The TWCS throttle features 5 (+3) axes, 14 action buttons + one 8-way Point of View hat switch.
- The T.A.R.G.E.T software allows you to load and create specific mapping profiles for each game.
The Thrustmaster TWCS Throttle Controller is magnificent. Let’s start with how it looks. It’s perhaps the most elegant throttle there is on the market, looking like a luxury buy. And this is mirrored in the specs too. Thrustmaster makes use of its S.M.A.R.T technology to give you not only a very smooth sensation when using the throttle, but hyper-precision. The throttle itself is also very customizable, with 5 axes, 30 buttons, and two 8-way PoVs. If you make use of the T.A.R.G.E.T advanced programming software you can program up to 256 buttons in and create, save, and load personalized mapping. The software is free but has to be downloaded separately.
For less than a third of the price of the HOTAS, the TWCS is an ergonomic, precise, elegant, and customizable throttle. Oh and did we mention Thrustmaster has also been building up a great ecosystem of peripherals for flight sims? So the TWCS not only is a precious, inexpensive little jewel, but it fits right in!
Luxury Pick: Throttletek
Admittedly we’re kind of cheating here, as this isn’t a pick, but a website. But Throttletek has no equals if you’re ready to spend a ton.
Perhaps you’re in need to train with a specific aircraft, or maybe you’re stuck inside and miss being able to fly your plane. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be in control of an aircraft, but fear you won’t be able to for some reason or another. Throttletek has you covered. They faithfully reproduce a vast variety of throttles found in real planes in order to give you the most realistic experience possible. Not only this, but they’re also quite easy to get accustomed to, as all of them are plug and play with a simple USB port.
Perhaps you’re in the market for something even more niche. Maybe you want your own, never before seen, custom throttle. Throttletek will have you squirming with joy as you design it and they produce it for you. They’ve even worked on major blockbuster movies!
This is almost certainly a product not very many flight sim users need, but it’s always fun to window shop, especially when peripherals are made by people impassioned with what they do.
Last Updated on January 23, 2021 by Thomas Bush