Whether you’ve just started messing around for fun, or are an experienced flight simulator pilot, one of the peripherals you’ll quickly find will add the most realism to your game is a throttle. Purchasing a joystick (if you’re more into war sims) or a yoke (if you fancy civilian aircrafts more) wholly changes the experience from when you used to pilot on a keyboard and mouse, and throttles will only add to that. It’s for this reason that we’ve compiled a list of the five best throttles you can purchase in 2020 for flight simulators.
Top Pick: Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Dual Throttles and Control Panel
Our top pick for joystick released a standalone purchase option for the incredible thruster, and we love it.
If you read our guide on best joysticks (which you can find here) you’ll almost certainly remember the Thrustmaster HOTAS as being an excellent machine (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 HOTAS throttle 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 “yea 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.
Second Place: CH Products Throttle Quadrant
Nowhere near the same quality of the Thrustmaster, the CH products throttle allows for more programmable functions and has a cheaper price point
Needless to say that, even at first glance, the CH 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.
Third Place: Logitech G Pro Flight Throttle
If you’re looking for a less crowded throttle-quadrant which will easily synergize with other Logitech products, you’ve found the one!
If you’re already building up a healthy Logitech ecosystem then the 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.
Budget pick: Thrustmaster TWCS Throttle Controller
Just because a pick is inexpensive doesn’t mean it’s bad. Quite the contrary, the TWCS is elegant, precise, and highly customizable.
The 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: Throttleteck
Admittedly we’re kind of cheating here, as this isn’t a pick, but a website. But Throttleteck 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. Throttleteck 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. Throttleteck 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.
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