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Saitek Combat Rudder Pedals Review

Whether you plan on flying a civil aircraft with a yoke, or plan on dogfighting with a joystick and a fighter-jet, rudder pedals are a peripheral you should consider purchasing. They make the entire flight experience more complete, adding depth, and requiring skill. 

This review will look at whether the Saitek Combat Rudder Pedals are a worthy purchase.

What to Consider Before Buying Rudder Pedals

If flight simulators are a pastime to which you only ever dedicate a handful of hours then purchasing rudder pedals may be too advanced for you. This peripheral is meant for those who are not only passionate about the subject but have some experience with it. Rudder pedals control the ailerons on the wings and of the rudder and elevator to the rear. If you both understood what that meant, and understood the importance of being able to control them, then rudder pedals may be for you. 

As with all peripherals, certain key factors should be kept in mind when looking to purchase rudder pedals. The first, and perhaps most important is precision. Simply put, this is how well the rudder pedals translate your actions within the simulator. Second is customization. This allows you not only to replicate the feel of rudder pedals you may already know and be comfortable with but also make sure that you are able to fly comfortably and to the best of your abilities. Finally, realism. This is whether your purchase is comparable to something you’d be able to find in a plane or high-quality simulator. 

As a rule of thumb, price is also worth keeping an eye on. Simulator equipment can be expensive, and a good price-quality ratio is something that most would-be purchasers should keep in mind. 

The Saitek Combat Rudder Pedals

These dedicated flight pedals are modeled over the ones that could be found in modern fighter jets. They are easily installable on your PC and, once you get used to having to think about your feet positions, make flying a much more pleasurable experience. These Saitek Combat Rudder Pedals have a civil counterpart, the Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals which we reviewed here. They are perhaps not at the same level as Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder Pedals or the Logitech G PRO Flight Rudder Pedals (which we also reviewed here) but they very much hold their own.

All in all rudder pedals are recommended for those who are more comfortable with flight simulators in general. That being said, the Saitek Combat Rudder Pedals could easily fall under the more high-quality base rudder pedals. This means that they are suitable both for newcomers as well as more experienced simulator pilots that don’t wish to spend the money that luxury brand items require. 

Saitek Combat Rudder Pedals offer an inexpensive but high-quality entry into the world of rudder pedals. They are especially good for those looking to pair them with war flight sims. 

Features & Benefits

When looking to purchase any product, we often look at the most glaring boons and banes of what we’re reviewing in this section. Without further ado, here are the Features and Benefits (or shortfalls) of the Saitek Combat Rudder Pedals.

Good build quality

Not only do these rudder pedals look the part, but they also feel the part. The body is part hard-plastic and part metal, giving it a sturdy feel. The toe brakes are perhaps a bit on the lighter side, but it’s not enough that it takes away from the pleasure in using and feeling these rudder pedals under your feet. 

Realism

It really shows that the Saitek Combat Rudder Pedals are modeled off of the ones you could find in an F-16. They lack the heel-rest (may annoy some, but it’s not something you would find in a plane, so props for realism). They have two independent toe-brakes and the pedals themselves are interconnected. All in all a valiant and successful effort to aid with immersion and realism.

Customisation

The main thing that should be noted in this section is the adjustable resistance, which goes from very little, to insanely hard to move. This is coupled with the ability to change the angle at which these pedals sit. Whether you want them slightly more horizontal like you would find in civilian planes, or more vertical like you would in fighter jets, it’s completely up to you. These small details aid a lot. 

Price 

It’s always hard to make a judgment on price. Rudder pedals, in general, are not cheap, and the Saitek Combat Rudder Pedals are no exception. That being said, they also don’t reach the insane price-point that some luxury pedals do. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, perhaps search for an alternative. 

Software

Much like price, this is a mixed bag. On one hand, it’s very easy to install the software that comes with these pedals, requiring little more than pressing “next” a bunch of times. Some users have, however, faced compatibility issues with the program. 

Alternatives

If you’re interested in the Saitek Combat Rudder Pedals, but also want to know which other products you should look at, here’s a list. They can range from straight one-to-one alternatives to cheaper or more expensive models. 

Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals

Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals
  • Self-centring pedals with adjustable damping / Foot rests adjust to fit all sizes and include non-slip materials
  • Precise rudder and braking control / Tension adjustment - choose resistance to suit the way you fly
  • Partial metal construction for long life
  • Saitek Smart Technology programming software allows gamers to configure their controls to suit their preferred gaming style for flight and space sim
  • Connectivity: USB 2.0 Works with: Windows XP, XP64 and Vista (all versions) Windows 7

The civilian version of these pedals also shines as a good alternative. They have various customization options, are very precise, and have a lot of smart choices that add to the user experience. The main shortcoming, much like the other Saitek products, is the relatively high price point.

Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder Pedals

Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder Pedals
  • Designed for all users; Compatible on PC with all joysticks on the market; Also compatible on PS4 with the Flight Hotas 4 joystick (sold separately) and also T.Flight Hotas One joystick ; The first rudder to feature the S.M.A.R.T slide rails system for smooth steering
  • Ergonomic design allowing you to put your entire foot on the pedal, thanks to the heel-rests; Heel-rests are removable, for alternative ergonomic configurations: put your entire foot on the pedal, or rest the ball of your foot at mid-pedal
  • Differential braking: 2 large pedals (10 inches/25 centimeters); S.M.A.R.T (Sliding Motion on Aluminum Rail Tracks) slide rails rudder; System of 4 slide rails crafted of industrial-grade aluminum for perfectly smooth sliding motion
  • Versatile ergonomic design suitable for all types of flight (aerial combat, space adventure, civil flight, etc.); Two differential brake pedals; Large differential brake pedals: 10 inches/25 centimeters (12/45 shoe size)
  • USB and/or proprietary RJ12 connectivity; On PC (Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP), works with all joysticks on the market with available Thrust master drivers; On PC, compatible with all games supporting multi-USB and rudders

These pedals are an excellent choice if you’re looking for high precision, high customization, and a very approachable price point. They can cost close to half as much as the direct competition, making them not only a good set of rudder pedals but also very attractive to beginners. 

Redbird Alloy RD1 USB Rudder Pedals

Redbird Alloy RD1 USB Rudder Pedals
  • Rugged, all-metal design means enhanced durability and reliability
  • Self-centering rudder axis provides a realistic feel
  • Differential toe brakes allow for precise ground handling
  • USB connectivity ensures compatibility with The Jay and the Redbird TD/TD2, as well as other flight simulation software and devices
  • Built to the same demanding standards as Redbird's full-motion simulators

These pedals go the opposite direction from the TFRP. They are incredibly expensive but are an absolute wonder to use. All we really need to add is that Redbird assures all buyers that these pedals match the quality they expect of their products which they include in full-motion flight simulators. Expensive? Yes. Excellent? Absolutely. 

Conclusion

Rudder pedals give you better control over your aircraft, which is felt not only when performing the most advanced maneuvers, but also in simple things such as taxing and cross-wind landing. The Saitek Combat Rudder Pedals are perhaps a bit overpriced for what they do, but they strive to do everything well. They are precise. They feel good. They allow for decent customization. Whether or not this product is what you’re looking for very much depends on your personal needs, but we nonetheless recommend you give them a look.

Last Updated on April 12, 2021 by Thomas Bush