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The Best PC Joysticks 2017

Ready to take your gaming to the next level? From time to time the keyboard and mouse simply do not cut it and you want an interface that may be a little greater interactive. It might be time to strive out any such advanced PC joysticks that provide button customization, particular control and more. They may be ideal for flight simulators and a number of other games, too.

Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Flight Stick - PCLogitech 963290-0403 Extreme 3D Pro Joystick for WindowsThrustmaster T.Flight Hotas 4 Flight Stick for PS4 & PCCH Products USB CombatstickThrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS ControllerMad Catz V.1 Stick for PCSaitek PS28 X52 Flight Control System

Dynamic And Interactive

Whether you play video games or you're testing out a fancy flight simulator on your computer, something gets lost in translation when you're forced to use your machine's keyboard to control and interact with what you see on the screen. A joystick is not only easier and more comfortable to control than a keyboard, but the device delivers a much higher degree of precision and sensitivity to your in-game action, which is something you won't experience from an ordinary keystroke.

A joystick is an input device that makes it possible for a user to control either a character or object within a computer program. The main component of the device is a center stick that pivots on top of a base and reports both its angle and direction to whatever it controls. The device translates the individual movements of a user's hand into a digital format that a piece of software can interpret as a resulting action. The joystick resembles a control device you might find on older arcade style games, but with the inclusion of extra buttons for additional functionality and an ergonomically-designed profile that improves overall user comfort.

Two main types of joysticks include analog and digital. The digital joystick makes use of an electronic switch comprised of a printed circuit board and wires connected to several contact terminals, all of which are located underneath the joystick's base. Ordinary wires also extend from each contact terminal to the PC itself. The printed wires form a simple electric circuit made up of several smaller circuits. These smaller circuits ultimately carry electricity from one contact point to another. When the digital joystick is centered, all but one of these smaller circuits are broken. Each small circuit is also covered with its own dedicated plastic button and small metal disc. When the joystick moves to the left, for example, the corresponding plastic button and disc associated with this directional input will press against the joystick's main circuit board, thereby closing the small circuit, allowing electricity to flow through the corresponding printed and ordinary wires, and making the character or object on the screen turn left in the game or simulator. A similar order of operations will occur when you push one of the joystick's function buttons.

Analog joysticks detect the full range of motion, making them well-suited for use in flight simulators. This improved sensitivity to movement is accomplished through the use of potentiometers designed to measure the joystick's pivoted shaft position along both X and Y axes. The X-axis represents side-to-side (horizontal) motion, while the Y-axis represents up and down (or forward and reverse) movement. When the stick moves along either its X or Y axis, the corresponding potentiometer will either increase or decrease the resistance of the electrical current according to the stick's position along the shaft, thereby converting this position to an electrical signal that travels to the joystick port on the computer. Finally, several built-in springs in the device will also center the stick when you release it.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Experience


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There are several considerations to keep in mind when investing in a PC joystick, such as the device's overall durability. Look for an option with a heavy, sturdy base and molded handgrips for additional comfort. If you're interested in having the most realistic gaming experience possible, then a detachable joystick is a bonus, as it will allow you to mount the device on other objects like a gaming chair.

Multiple programmable action buttons are quite helpful, as they minimize your reliance on a conventional keyboard, which could otherwise detract from an authentic flight simulator experience. Consider joysticks with separate throttle controls and adjustable resistance for improved realism. Think about the joystick's ability to perform 3D rotational action with the presence of a Z axis control scheme. By allowing the rotation of the stalk clockwise or in reverse, 3D control space will mimic the operation of a real aircraft’s rudders.

Many joysticks also feature ambidextrous designs with removable components for accommodating both left- and right-handed users. This will come in particularly handy if you share the stick with friends and family.

If total in-game immersion is what you're after, then look for a device with an integrated hat switch, so you can always have a look at the world around you from different angles on the screen.

From Joystick Practicality To Gaming


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One of the first electrical two-axis joysticks was patented in 1926 by C. B. Mirick at the United States Naval Research Laboratory as a possible support for the development of radio-controlled aircraft. The Germans developed a similar device in 1944 to control and steer bomber aircraft missiles toward their targets. By the 1960s, NASA employed the joystick as a control device for the Apollo missions.

The first joysticks for video games were invented in 1967 by Ralph H. Baer, and were capable of controlling both the horizontal and vertical positions of a spot on a television screen. By the year 1969, the Sega video game company released its first electronic joystick equipped with a fire button for its Missile shooter simulation game. One of the first digital joystick controllers followed in 1977 as a companion device for the Atari 2600 gaming system.

The 1985 release of Sega's third-person rail shooter game Space Harrier saw the development of the first true analog joystick, which could register a player's movements in any direction as well as the degree of push.

Since the 1990s, the analog joystick has become the standard design for the majority of video game console controllers due to its convenient thumb control, as well as its use of potentiometers for determining the exact location of the joystick along an axis.




#7.Saitek PS28 X52 Flight Control System


The World's most advanced flight controller The X52 Flightstick and Throttle combination give the most realistic flying experience ever. With the feature-laden Throttle and Stick split into two separate units, the X52 delivers ideal flying position. Programmability and illuminated Multi-Function Display expand the possibilities for Sim Pilots everywhere.


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#6.Mad Catz V.1 Stick for PC


I ordered this joystick for the sole purpose of flying jets in Battlefield 3. This is important to note because anyone who has used a joystick with BF3 will know that the joystick support for that game is absolutely horrible. Most joysticks, even MUCH more expensive ones, have at least one or two quirks such as the throttle not working or even as serious as the game not recognizing you have a joystick plugged in at all.


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#5.Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS Controller


Thrustmaster has devoted its 25 years of expertise in flight sim controllers to meet the growing demand from flight simmers in general – and space simmers in particular. The T.16000M FCS has been designed for advanced fliers looking for comprehensive, realistic controls as an alternative to using a mouse and keyboard.


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#4.CH Products USB Combatstick


For over 30 years, CH Products has continued to be a highly recognizable brand name in the Flight Simulation market and remains well known for its highest quality components, nearly indestructible products, and renowned customer support. CH Products, a pioneer in the precision analog joystick market, has sustained operation of its industrial and commercial joystick line, maintaining the design, development, quality control, sales, and support in its vertically integrated factory in Southern California. Consumer products are distributed and supported worldwide by a network of authorized CH Products distributors.


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#3.Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas 4 Flight Stick for PS4 & PC


Thrustmaster is proud to launch a limited edition pack for PS4. The War Thunder Starter Pack, with the T.Flight Hotas 4 is the first Plug & Play joystick for PlayStation 4. Enjoy a fun and realistic joystick designed to adapt to all types of flight situations (aerial combat, space adventure, civil flight, etc.).


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#2.Logitech 963290-0403 Extreme 3D Pro Joystick for Windows


When the pressure is on, your stick performance is the difference between victory and total oblivion. The Extreme 3D Pro twist handle joystick will never let you down. The 12 programmable buttons and 8-way rubber hat switch give you optimum control, personalized to your taste. Whether you're dropping bombs at a distance or firing guns in a dogfight, the stable and precise Extreme 3D Pro will have you dominating the enemy in no time.


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#1.Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Flight Stick - PC


The Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Flight Stick is a Joystick replica of the U.S. Air Force A-10C attack aircraft flight stick. This stand-alone HOTAS Warthog joystick comes from the creator of the original HOTAS concept and the worldwide benchmark flight sim controllers: the HOTAS Cougar and the HOTAS Warthog. It features a detachable handle, crafted entirely of metal which is also compatible with the HOTAS Cougar (and vice-versa). There is a detachable metal plate for desk or cockpit-style use.


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