A lot of joysticks that you can buy, especially to joysticks reviewed on this site can range up in the minimum of $150 mark. However for most casual gamers spending up to $300 trying to get a decent HOTAS with rudder setup is a price that is hard to swallow. However this is where the Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X comes in perfectly.
This is a fully featured HOTAS which means you get a throttle together with a joystick all for a low price of under $50. Sometimes if you are getting into flight simulation it helps to dip your toes in first and there is nothing wrong with spending money on a cheap joystick so you can get a good feel for whether or not you should invest more into flight simulation.
The Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X is a big controller, and this becomes very obvious the moment you get the product box right in front of you. Even for a cheaper joystick sometimes having size makes an impression.
This HOTAS controller can be found bundled with Tom Clancy’s HAWX game and in fact it may be a good idea to get the bundle. This controller connects directly to your PS3 or PC through a simple USB plug. Tom Clancy’s HAWX is more of an arcade combat Sim and coupled with a Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X is actually the perfect welcoming kit for the avid casual gamer. Coming bundled together, also means you can plug the joystick in without having to worry about assigning controls and all that kind of mess.
Even though the joystick does not share the same price as a lot of its highly placed competitors, make no mistake the T.Flight is a solid world piece of hardware. Even though it is made from plastic, when its gripped tightly in your hands the plastic doesn’t flex or make strange noises under pressure.
Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X Features
- 12 buttons and 5 axis (the same as you would find on a PS3 controller)
- Easy plug and play installation, no need for drivers on the PC
- Throttle unit is detachable
- Resistance on the joystick can be tweaked, if you prefer a joystick that requires a little bit more muscle to move or prefer a lighter resistance than you have the option.
- The base of the unit is weighted which gives it better stability.
- Comes with internal memory that says your button configurations, highly convenient if you like to remove your joystick when you don’t use it as the internal memory means you do not have to keep reassigning your buttons.
- Has a special mode switch called the “MAPPING” button. This allows you to access secondary functions on each button.
- Buy now at Amazon
Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X Review
The Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X is pictured as one controller. However the joystick and the throttle unit can be separated. That way you can get a much more natural placement and customization in where you want to locate your controllers. The only unfortunate thing, is that the throttle unit has to stay connected to the joystick via a small cable. This limits your placement options unfortunately, given the price it’s a concession that has to be made. If you are looking to spend up on a proper HOTAS, you will normally have enough cable length to place the throttle unit on your left side while you joystick will sit comfortably either on your right side or in between your legs.
This controller is PS3 compatible, it has all the PS3 buttons and axis that you expect to find. Thrustmaster does not really add additional buttons above and beyond this. So for those that are looking for china hats or boat switches or something a little bit more specialized than you should probably look up at getting at least the Saitek x52 pro. The T.Flight is also compatible with your standard PC, a small selector switch located on the back of the unit allows you to mode toggle between PS3 or PC.
This is a very basic HOTAS controller, on the left side you have a throttle which you use to control the power of your engine. As it is designed to be hands on operated at all times there are also some buttons and switches conveniently located on the throttle itself. On the right side you have your joystick and all the buttons that you would expect to allow you to fire all your weapons and do your in game targeting without having to reach for a keyboard.
For controlling the rudder on your plane, which is used to yaw (that is slide the nose of your plane from left to right) you have two options. The joystick is twist capable, which means that in addition to being able to push forward, backward, left or right you can also twist to handle of the joystick. By twisting the joystick you have rudder control, alternatively on the throttle unit there is also a small rocker switch which functions the same.
Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X Review Conclusions
If you are still wondering whether you need a HOTAS and are still asking if it really make a difference in the flight game? I must say, it makes an absolute world of difference. Using even a simple HOTAS unit as the Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X makes flying around in Tom Clancy’s HAWX world so much more engrossing and even a little bit easier compared to using a control pad. If you are on a PC than a HOTAS controller will beat using a keyboard and mouse any day.
The only thing that is missing from this HOTAS unit is a little bit of force feedback or vibration, however most true flight simulator fans are split regarding where the force feedback is really necessary or even that realistic? Also as prices is a major factor, being how cheap this unit is, some things you just have to live without. However, if you really need force feedback than I should point you in the direction of the Logitech G940.
- Low price of entry,The cheapest workable HOTAS controller on the market
- Works on both PC and PS3
- Throttle unit and joystick can be detached
- Perfect fit for the casual gamer, adds more enjoyment to your flight games all without breaking your bank.
- Only 12th buttons and five axis. By comparison fully fledged HOTAS controllers will give you four times the amount of buttons. This is more important on PC combat simulators where you need access to a lot of different air plane functions within easy hand and finger reach.
- No vibration or force feedback
- The joystick and throttle can only be detached and separated within limits of its short cable
Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X User Reviews
Check out what other users had to say…
I have a soft spot for my Logitech 3-D Pro that has served me well for many years but I never really cared for their throttle design, and I guess thst’s what attracted me to the Thrustmaster Hotas. After waiting 6-months to give the manufacturer a chance to make another production run (and hopefully overcome the faults I found on my first one) I ordered another and found that it worked flawlessly. I am now a happy “camper”. If joy sticks are your thing, look no further, THIS IS THE ONE.—- Extremely well made, solid professional feel,smooth control actions that allow precise take-offs and landings, heavy weighted, priced right[...] Read the rest of the review >
They really thought of just about everything for this stick. The throttle module is actually detachable via an included Allan wrench, so if you prefer “cockpit accurate” distance between the stick and throttle, it’s there for you. There’s even a knob on the bottom of the stick that lets you adjust how much resistance the spring gives you! Pretty much the only thing you don’t get is force feedback, but that’s hardly shocking since this is an under $50 stick. It’s even lap friendly, which is dandy if you don’t have a coffee table or your desk is too crowded. Overall, this is a very good stick, and is great for PS3 users or people looking for an entry level stick for their PC. For under $50, you’d be hard pressed to find a Hotas model as good as this one, and I’d much rather use this for my PS3 than a Saitek Aviator due to it’s more solid build quality and hands-on throttle. Unless you’d rather drop $100 on a fancier model, Thrustmaster’s console-friendly offering will serve you very well. [...] Read the rest of the review >
Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X Links
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