After purchasing a yoke, rudder pedals are the next most important peripheral in flight simulator games. These allow you a higher degree of control, realism, and precision. The difference cannot be made clear enough. From taxi-ing, to taking off and landing, rudder pedals change the way you interact with the game. Given time tasks such as crosswind landings no longer become an annoying and taxing reality of the simulator. Rudder pedals make these intuitive, easy to master, and you will truly feel as though you’re a pilot. Finally, it should be mentioned that it is imperative to purchase rudder pedals if you plan on piloting a helicopter.
The Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals present themselves as a high quality and high budget choice for the more expert flight sim users out there. This review will examine whether or not they hit the mark, or whether they stall and fail.
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, there are certain key factors that 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 Pro Flight Rudder Pedals
The Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals are high-quality pedals meant to satisfy even the most exigent sim pilot on the market.
For the most part, this is quite accurate, as the pedals do a great job in most of the aforementioned categories. They, unfortunately, don’t seem to fare quite as well as the Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder Pedals (find our review here) or the Logitech G PRO Flight Rudder Pedals, however. These other models are either as precise or more precise and usually come at a cheaper price-tag.
The Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals are clearly marketed towards more expert sim users, and we reckon that’s probably a wise choice. They are too expensive for those who have gained familiarity with the subject, and rudder pedals, in general, can be too complicated for complete beginners.
Saitek does a great job of building a precise and customizable set of pedals. Unfortunately, their price and lack of Mac compatibility can’t but be a bit of a letdown.
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 Pro Flight Rudder Pedals.
Though the step from joystick to rudder-pedals takes some time to adjust to, the Pro Flight Pedals make it worth it. The high precision of movement to game translation makes it an absolute pleasure to master the controls. Moreover, the independent toe brakes add immensely to the experience.
The Saitek does a great job. This can be seen from the most simple things such as adjustable foot-rests so that all feet may comfortably fit, to more advanced levels of customization such as tension adjustment to allow you to perfect how you want the pedals to feel. Obviously, customization in rudder pedals can’t be as extensive as with yokes, but the Pro Flights do a good job! Moreover, proprietary software allows sim users to adjust controls when plugged in.
From the fact that the pedals are self-centering, which reduces a major hassle, to the fact that the footrests include non-slip materials, it’s clear that thought and care have gone into these rudder pedals.
If you only plan to use these pedals in flight simulators, then feel free to skip this paragraph. If, however, you plan on plugging them into other games in which you can fly but aren’t primarily flight sims (certain modern shooters come to mind) then you might need to find patches online.
This is by far the biggest shortcoming of the Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals. They are excellent, and all they do, they do well. Nevertheless, the can cost more than double some of their direct competitors, making them a difficult pick.
If you’re interested in the Saitek Pro Flight 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.
Thrustmaster TFRP Rudder
Thrustmaster is a mainstay in racing sim peripherals, and their foray in the flight sim world is equally as impressive. These relatively inexpensive pedals are inexpensive, incredibly precise, and have a very long range of travel. The only downside is a slightly flimsier build quality, but they are well worth a look. See our full review here.
Logitech G PRO Flight Rudder Pedals
The G PROs are a mainstay in the flight sim community and it’s clear to see why. They are precise. They are realistic. They are customizable. They are a direct step-up from the Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals. Though not cheap, they definitely deserve a look.
A minimalist set of pedals for those lacking space. Though compact they do not lose any quality. They have an incredible build quality, an ultra-High Resolution sensor to give you precise control, and are super responsive. They are different, but very much worth your consideration.
Rudder pedals change the way flight sims are played. No longer is your focus solely on what your hands are doing, but your entire body is key in how well the plane flies. The Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals does a great job of giving you the power to make or break your experience. These are a great set of pedals that are a joy to use. We’re not sure whether they are the best choice given cheaper or more advanced alternatives, but you should still check them out.
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