Joystick For PC Windows 7/8.1/10/11 (32-bit or 64-bit) & Mac
Joystick For PC aren’t just great for flight simulators; it can work for a wide range of games, such as some FPSs where you can jump into a jet or helicopter. A dogfight in deep space might also call for better precision and a more realistic feel than a mouse and keyboard. A reliable and programmable joystick is an excellent investment for some gamers. Still, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basics of the controls, configurations, and features of joysticks and flight sticks before you buy.
A joystick for PC is a hardware input device primarily used for controlling video games and other applications on a computer. It typically consists of a handheld lever, also known as a stick or control stick, which can be moved in various directions and often features buttons and triggers for additional inputs. Joysticks offer a more immersive and precise control experience compared to traditional keyboard and mouse setups, making them popular among gamers, flight sim enthusiasts, and users of simulation software.
Modern PC joysticks come with a range of features to enhance gameplay and usability. Many joysticks offer customizable buttons and programmable functions, allowing users to tailor the device to their specific preferences and gaming style. Some advanced joysticks also incorporate force feedback technology, providing tactile sensations that simulate real-world interactions, such as vibrations or resistance when manipulating the stick. Additionally, some joysticks are designed to emulate the controls of specific vehicles, like flight yokes for flight simulators or racing wheels for driving games.
When choosing a joystick for PC, users should consider factors such as the number and arrangement of buttons, the sensitivity and precision of the stick’s movement, compatibility with their PC operating system, and any additional features like ergonomic design or wireless connectivity. Whether for casual gaming or professional simulation, a well-suited joystick can greatly enhance the overall experience of interacting with PC-based applications.
An enormous advantage to any joystick is a throttle. This lever can be pressed forward or pulled backward to speed up or slow down the vehicle you are piloting. Throttles can either be integrated into the joystick’s base or come as a detached control.
Having a separate throttle control can be beneficial in several ways. Your hands do not have to be so close together; instead, you’ll have a more natural, ergonomic feel. With the best joystick for specific games, you may not need to use your keyboard or mouse at all!
With a detached throttle, you also usually get more buttons than if you were using a mouse or a throttle on the base of a joystick. The downside to having a detached throttle is that it’s much more expensive.
You can have various setups while playing your favorite game or simulator. Here are the most popular:
- HOTAS: Hands-on Throttle and Stick. This means that you are required to use one hand on the throttle and one hand on the joystick at all times (if you are to use all the buttons on the joystick). This can include detached throttles.
- HOSAK: Hands-on Stick and Keyboard. This setup may be beneficial if there is no throttle or more buttons are necessary than what is on the joystick setup.
- HOSAM: Hands-on Stick and Mouse. This configuration can be ideal for those who want more flight precision. If you’ve already found the best gaming mouse, you may feel more comfortable with an ambidextrous joystick.
- HOSAS: Hands-on Stick and Stick. This is similar to HOSAM but with more realism and accuracy. This setup will also give you plenty of buttons.
There is no hard and fast rule about which one is best. It is your personal choice according to which you feel most comfortable.
Button configuration and layout are essential for many games, especially for flight simulators. Many gamers enjoy having a separate control for the throttle as it offers more versatility at your fingertips. Though many people still prefer the best gaming keyboard for PC games, a specialized stick and throttle set for flight and space simulators can mean all the difference in a dogfight!
Z-AXIS AND HAT SWITCH CONTROL
“Z-Axis” means twisting the stick to the left or right. This controls the yaw in flight and space simulators. Many people use pedals if a joystick does not have this functionality. Although they’ll cost extra, pedals can have the added functionality of strafing (moving sideways) or forward and backward. “Hat switch” is a directional control much like the D-Pad on console controllers. They commonly provide point-of-view control so you can switch between different camera angles.
10 BEST JOYSTICKS AND FLIGHT STICKS
THRUSTMASTER HOTAS WARTHOG JOYSTICK
The Best Joystick For Flight Simulators
Thrustmaster makes some excellent joysticks, and they are a name you can trust if you need a HOTAS stick. Our top option from the company is the HOTAS Warthog, a high-end flight stick replica of the A-10C.
With 19 buttons, including an 8-way POV hat, this flight stick has enough hats and pinkie push buttons to please almost anyone. This stick is constructed from metal, so it’s built to last, and as a bonus, the handle is detachable so that you can use this one with the Cougar. We also appreciate how sturdy this stick is at over 6 pounds, so it will not slide around on you, although there are handy holes on each corner for mounting.
From the magnetic sensor system to those pinkie push buttons, you can’t go wrong with the HOTAS Warthog if you want a real stick that outdoes the rest. It comes with a 2-year warranty, and a Warthog bundle with the stick and dual throttle is available if you are looking for a matching set.
- 3D magnetic sensors
- 19 action buttons
- 8-way point of view hat
- Outstanding build quality
- The style isn’t for everyone
LOGITECH EXTREME 3D PRO JOYSTICK
The Best Cheap Joystick For PC
Whether you need a mouse, keyboard, or controller, Logitech generally has something in its arsenal for everyone. That includes folks looking for an excellent gaming joystick like the Extreme 3D Pro, an affordable alternative with an 8-way hat switch.
Logitech put a lot of thought into the design of this stick, and consumers found it comfortable and precise. There’s an 8-way switch and 12 programmable buttons in crucial positions, and a rapid-fire trigger to help raise your kill count. The button placement is excellent, and the twist handle rudder is also a nice touch.
The Logitech Extreme 3D Pro is a great entry-level joystick that provides a lot of bang for your buck. While not quite in the “Pro” class, given the price tag, we think you will be surprised by how well this one performs.
- 8-way hat switch
- Throttle control
- Budget-friendly price tag
- 12 programmable buttons
- Some software issues
THRUSTMASTER T.FLIGHT HOTAS 4 FLIGHT STICK
The Best Joystick For Elite Dangerous
Thrustmaster has a stick with a price point and style for everyone. In this case, the T.Flight Hotas 4 is a mid-range system with a neat trick. While it functions similarly to our other throttle & stick systems, this one has a detachable throttle.
The T.Flight HOTAS 4 gives you the feel of being in the cockpit with a real-size throttle that snaps loose from the stick. There are 12 action buttons and 5 axes, making it an excellent option for games like War Thunder, EVE Valkyrie VR, or Star Citizen. Other features include a dual rudder system and a small switch that lets you go from PC to PS4 mode.
This is an excellent setup for beginners with its large handrest and multidirectional hat switch. The PC/PS4 switch is also a perk, and it’s stable whether both pieces are together or placed separately. On the downside, the connecting cable isn’t that long, so keep that in mind if the placement is critical in your gaming setup.
- 12 buttons
- Break-away design
- Multidirectional hat switch
- PS4 switch
- Cable length
- Some compatibility issues
MAD CATZ V.1 STICK
The Best Joystick For Lefties
Mad Catz is another fan favorite regarding controllers, and they cracked our list of the best joysticks with the V.1 stick. It’s reasonably priced with some exciting features and is one of the few joysticks that is comfortable for both right and left-handed gamers.
One of the highlights of the Mad Catz V.1 is the POV button which allows you to switch cockpit views instantly. There’s also a throttle lever and twist-action rudder, a programmable pinkie switch, and a small LED light. As for the buttons, there are only five of them, although they are easy to access with either hand. It’s a comfortable stick, just a little lighter than other models due to the design.
This flight stick is one of the easier ones to use straight out of the box, and its ambidextrous design is a prominent perk for lefties or dual-stick flyers. Just keep the weight in mind, along with the number of buttons you require, and you will have a joystick that will last for years!
- POV switch
- Removable legs
- Ambidextrous design
- Five buttons
- The trigger could be better
- It’s light
LOGITECH G SAITEK X52 PRO FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM
A Programmable Pro Level Flight System
Our second pick from Logitech is at the opposite end of the pricing spectrum. The Saitek X52 is a high-tech flight stick with a dual-spring system that will look classy on a desktop and can do things other sticks only dream about.
This combo set has illuminated buttons and an LCD built into the throttle that can give you stats in an instant. It has an adjustable throttle dial, while the stick has 3D twist rudder controls with a lock switch. It’s safe to say it’s pretty comfortable, considering it has an adjustable handle with five positions. The build quality is excellent, and the dual-spring system ensures the stick returns to neutral every time.
This slick set from Logitech is ideal for games like Elite Dangerous and has a solid system overall, aside from some quality control issues. You may also have problems getting the proper drivers for your system, so keep that in mind if you are a game that finds itself easily frustrated.
- Adjustable handle
- Centering system
- Separate throttle/resistance control
- Software issues
- Quality control
LOGITECH G X56 VR COMPATIBLE HOTAS JOYSTICK
The Best Joystick For Space-Based Games
If you play space-based games, you don’t want a replica stick and need something that can handle the rigors of space warfare. The Logitech G X56 fits that bill, and while it’s expensive, it has features you won’t find on other joysticks. This is an updated version of an older G X56 joystick.
This two-piece system is packed with high-tech features, including RGB lighting and a mini analog stick on both the throttle and joystick. They give you extra control in your favorite space sim, and the button placement is also ideal for virtual reality games. The real stick has a 16-bit elevator and an aileron axis with hall-effect characters, and the buttons are configurable on both units. The throttle unit has a tension adjuster, and both have large bases to keep them steady on your desk. We also like that you can adjust the resistance on the stick through a simple 4-spring system.
While we don’t have a total count on those buttons, there are plenty of them, and the mini analog sticks will add a new dimension to your gameplay. The Logitech G X56 is a solid stick overall, but the quality control can be an issue and jittering in some cases due to its power-hungry nature. Considering the price tag, it’s a stick you’ll want to test drive thoroughly out of the box.
- Mini analog sticks
- Customizable buttons
- Adjustable stick tension
- Slick design
- VR compatible
- Quality control
- Ghosting/Jitters (power hungry)
GLADIATOR JOYSTICK, FLIGHT SIMULATOR CONTROLLER STICK
A Sturdy KG12 Replica Stick
Replica sticks are a great way to go when you want to get that authentic feel from your favorite games. The Gladiator is made to resemble the classic KG12 control stick, and we’re pleased to say it lives up to the hype in more than one regard.
Sometimes the best things are simple, and they didn’t have sticks with an LCD or RGB accent lighting in WW2. This well-designed joystick has controls for the throttle and flaps on one side and twelve buttons across the front. Pedal access is available through a jack in the back, while the stick has axes for roll, pitch, and twist. It also has a solid base and hall-effect sensors.
This quick gaming joystick is an acquired taste as it’s not what you’ll want on your desktop for Star Citizen, but it is an excellent option for simulators and flyers that don’t require as many bells & whistles. It’s well-made with a streamlined design and one of the few joysticks on our list that plays nice with the Mac OSX.
- KG12 Replica stick
- Hall-effect sensors
- Ease of use joystick For PC isn’t just great for flight simulators; it can work for a wide range of games, such as some FPSs where you can jump into a jet or helicopter. A dogfight in deep space might also call for better precision and an m
- Nothing significant
THRUSTMASTER T.16000M FCS HOTAS
The Best Joystick For Star Citizen
At first glance, the Thrustmaster T.16000M looks like it belongs in a different tier than other stick-thruster combos with RGB lighting or metal frames. It would be a mistake to overlook this flight stick if you like buttons and are looking for a HOTAS with hall-effect tech.
One of the highlights of this gaming joystick is the buttons, along with the overall layout. Thrustmaster used a braille-style system which makes keys easy to identify, and there are 16 of them placed strategically around the stick. It also has four independent axes along with a twist rudder. The comfortable low-profile throttle has 14 buttons and an adjustable sliding rail system with 80mm of travel.
The Thrustmaster T.16000M may look cheap, but it feels good in the hand and is sturdy, although light compared to similar combos. The button placement on the stick won’t be for everyone, but it’s perfect when you play VR games.
- 8-way POV hat
- Sliding rail tracks
- Mini analog stick
- It’s light
- Button layout
PXN-2113 GAMING JOYSTICK WITH VIBRATION FEEDBACK
A Joystick For Gamers On A Budget
You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on a flight stick; this joystick from PXN proves that. The PXN-2113 is in the mid-range class but has enough features to keep pilots happy and is compatible with various games.
Like a little rumbling for a controller during gameplay? If so, you’ll appreciate the rumble feature on this stick which can be turned on with the flip of a switch. The design is a bit bland, but it’s comfy and comes with 12 programmable buttons, a rapid-fire trigger, and precision throttle control. If you fly with a heavy hand, you’ll be pleased to know the PXN-2113 uses a sturdy suction cup system so that this stick will remain stuck during intense action.
This 8-way joystick is an excellent option for Flight Simulators and titles like OverWatch or War Thunder. While not as full-featured as other models on our list, the price is right, and performs as advertised. It comes with a 1-year warranty and is compatible with Windows 7/8.1/10/11 PCs.
- 8-way hat switch
- 12 programmable buttons
- Vibration function
- Build quality
CH PRODUCTS PRO THROTTLE USB
The Best Throttle For Flight Simulators
You can use a joystick in video games in countless ways, but you’ll need a great throttle to take full advantage of flight simulators. If you prefer flying jets to spaceships, the Pro Throttle USB from CH Products should be on your list.
The Pro Throttle may not look like much, but looks can be deceiving. It has a durable body with non-slip feet, and the button layout is easy to reach. A mini joystick gives you the X and Y axis, and there are 4-way and 8-way switches along with 3 push buttons and a mode selector. When you fire Control Manager, things open up considerably with access to over 100 programmable functions.
While the Pro Throttle USB has a dated design, we love the fact it works with the Mac OS along with older versions of Windows 7/8.1/10/11, including 98 and XP. It’s a bit light in the linear motion department, so it doesn’t have the same “feel” as other throttles, but the solid throttle is built to last nonetheless.
- 19 action buttons
- Excellent software
- Build quality
- No center detent
- Not very stylish
FLY TO VICTORY WITH THE BEST JOYSTICK FOR PC GAMES
There’s nothing like a joystick and throttle set to make you feel more in control during a flight simulator or spacecraft game. Are you looking for a simplistic joystick or a more authentic model flight stick? Perhaps dual-wielding joysticks may be your choice of arsenal? Whatever you like, there are options out there.
For a cheaper entry-level joystick, the Logitech Extreme Pro 3D Joystick or Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X Flight Stick are affordable choices. The Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS and the CH Products Pro Throttle USB are decent for mid-tier joysticks and throttles. For high-end enthusiast control options, you probably can’t beat the Saitek Pro Flight X-52 Rhino HOTAS or Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Joystick (while they may be more challenging to get your hands on, they can provide a more immersive, dynamic experience).
Author’s Opinion regarding the Joystick For PC Windows 7/8.1/10/11 (32-bit or 64-bit) & Mac
The Joystick For PC has powerful features while considering the security purpose; priority is very high. No VPN or RDP is required for the said purpose. In some cases, the emulator also works fine, and middleware software has a vital role in smooth functioning. Therefore, the author recommended the Joystick For PC for your personal use and has no issue regarding the installation on PC (Windows 7/8.1/10/11 and Mac). I hope you also use it without any trouble. If you have any issues, please mention them in the email, and we will provide you with proper solutions. Please like and share with others. We made a lot of effort while collecting the software for your download.