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#3818404 - 08/05/13 12:19 AM Joysticks vs HOTAS . . . do some flight sims just not need that many buttons?  
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letterboy1 Offline
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Moderators, please consider this thread as not being a hardware question because I find it to be more of a gaming philosophy question.

I was recently admiring the retro-look of the Saitek (Mad Catz) Aviator joystick and considered getting it for the upcoming flight sim Battle of Stalingrad.

My Saitek X-52 is starting to show signs of aging and I will be in the market for a new stick. I am experienced in both modern (jet) and prop aircraft combat sims and understand why a HOTAS with its multitude of button combinations can be preferred over a single stick. But I am also curious as to how people who use single sticks compensate for the lack of a second control unit. Do you use the keyboard? Do you use voice command software? Other hardware?

I am so used to the X-52 that it has become second nature to me, but I am also interested in the possibility of simplifying my gaming experience with less hardware. Any input?


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#3818408 - 08/05/13 12:33 AM Re: Joysticks vs HOTAS . . . do some flight sims just not need that many buttons? [Re: letterboy1]  
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Nodak01 Offline
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Why not use both. Use the throttle and the new stick, put the old one somewhere handy in case you use some of the buttons on it for something like a bomber control stick. You still have a fairly handy HOTAS even with the simple stick. Assuming your throttle is still usable.

Using a single stick is probably doable, but its still going to suck. Been there, done that.

#3818412 - 08/05/13 12:41 AM Re: Joysticks vs HOTAS . . . do some flight sims just not need that many buttons? [Re: letterboy1]  
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I used a Saitek Cyborg X for quite some time for flying Rise of Flight (before the centering started to fritz out), and I use my Warthog for DCS. I've had an AV8R for a while too as a loaner and haven't had any issues with it. They're good to go in a pinch IMO and work great for aged airframes. DCS, not so much.

For the record yes, with the twist stick I use the keyboard for most things like a neanderthal. It has worked for years and years and will continue to do so smile


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#3818414 - 08/05/13 12:56 AM Re: Joysticks vs HOTAS . . . do some flight sims just not need that many buttons? [Re: letterboy1]  
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letterboy1 Offline
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Wow, the input is already interesting and useful. Thanks! smile


The issue is not p*ssy. The issue is monkey.
#3818427 - 08/05/13 01:27 AM Re: Joysticks vs HOTAS . . . do some flight sims just not need that many buttons? [Re: letterboy1]  
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ArgonV Offline
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I went for years before buying my first HOTAS (Which was a Saitek X36 gameport). Sadly I switched back to a Microsoft SideWinder 3D Pro joystick and then a Microsoft SideWinder Precision 2 joystick when my X36 stopped functioning correctly. Now my main stick is a HOTAS Cougar with Elite pedals. I upgraded to that because I wanted something that looked more realistic and I wanted to graduate from a twist stick rudder to actual pedals. In fact I do have a Saitek AV8R also for a backup stick and for those games that do not require such a complex joystick system (like the Battlefield series). One of the key factors in getting a HOTAS was that sims were becoming more complex, and required more hands on button pressing. The keyboard was just becoming more cumbersome...


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#3818431 - 08/05/13 02:00 AM Re: Joysticks vs HOTAS . . . do some flight sims just not need that many buttons? [Re: letterboy1]  
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I've got the aviator that works on pc and 360. Poor quality (IMO) and a horrible layout for the buttons--some blocked by your own right hand. Didn't care too much for my X52 (base, not pro) but at least it had good buttons.
For a good but inexpensive stick, I love my Tmaster T-HOTAS X. Might even find for $20. Stick and throttle can be joined or separated, there is a tension adjustment on the stick--which isn't too tall like the Saiteks. Yaw can be twist stick or a handy rocker on the back of the throttle. You can lock the stick if you want to lose the twist. BARGAIN.


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#3818470 - 08/05/13 04:09 AM Re: Joysticks vs HOTAS . . . do some flight sims just not need that many buttons? [Re: letterboy1]  
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coasty Offline
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I still use my old force feedback stick


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#3818473 - 08/05/13 04:24 AM Re: Joysticks vs HOTAS . . . do some flight sims just not need that many buttons? [Re: letterboy1]  
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and my trusty FFB2


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#3818474 - 08/05/13 04:29 AM Re: Joysticks vs HOTAS . . . do some flight sims just not need that many buttons? [Re: letterboy1]  
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Flogger23m Offline
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Both for a flight sim. A more basic flight stick would be fine for a simpler flight game. Though I think I would prefer to use a controller for simplified flying and driving games. For example, assuming a PS2-era Ace Combat style game were made on PC I would use a controller or basic flight stick. For DCS/FC I will use my X52 Pro.

#3818486 - 08/05/13 06:57 AM Re: Joysticks vs HOTAS . . . do some flight sims just not need that many buttons? [Re: letterboy1]  
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It depends on what you're flying.

F-16C or A-10C? You'll be pulling your hair out without a proper HOTAS, particularly the A-10C. (And even then, you'll probably need to set a button as shift/modifier for the rest if it's anything less than the HOTAS Warthog.)

WWI/WWII planes? Even a simple MS SWFFB2 will be fine with its mere 8 buttons and a single hat switch. If anything, they're more dependent on additional analog axes for mixture, prop pitch, flaps, radiator, trim, etc., so you'd want a throttle quad of some sort to handle that.

I use the Warthog throttle at all times, but the older aircraft (and the Ka-50, and probably the UH-1H Huey and any other helicopters that wind up becoming DCS World modules) really benefit from the SWFFB2's force-feedback far more than the Warthog stick's extra switches.

#3818633 - 08/05/13 04:39 PM Re: Joysticks vs HOTAS . . . do some flight sims just not need that many buttons? [Re: letterboy1]  
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My HOTAS is overkill for ROF, except the rudder pedals (which are not usable separately). For Il-2, I also could just as easily use the keyboard for most of the commands I mapped to the stick because they're not needed for combat. However, the throttle/stick/rudder I find useful for controlling the plane.

Only in modern (radar-equipped) planes do I find I need all the buttons/hats/axes, and I can't imagine using a simpler stick for them.

So if you're sticking with WWII and earlier planes, I could see not using a HOTAS and not suffering from it at all. Flying A-10C with only 6 buttons and 1 hat will have you typing like a 50s reporter trying to beat a deadline.



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#3818635 - 08/05/13 04:41 PM Re: Joysticks vs HOTAS . . . do some flight sims just not need that many buttons? [Re: letterboy1]  
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You better believe it. Before I ended up buying a Warthog out of necessity I had every A-10 stick and throttle 4 way control and whatnot mapped to keys and color coded keyboard diagrams so I could remember what did what. It was a massive pain in the ass and I gave up on DCS until I got the hog a couple years later.


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#3818729 - 08/05/13 07:29 PM Re: Joysticks vs HOTAS . . . do some flight sims just not need that many buttons? [Re: letterboy1]  
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letterboy1 Offline
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Looks like I'll just get another X-52; familiarity is a factor. smile


The issue is not p*ssy. The issue is monkey.

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