HOTAS - What do you use and why?

Interesting in hearing what you use and what you think of your HOTAS setup.

So this is asking for those that use a dedicated Throttle and Joystick HOTAS.


I’ll go first…

Thrustmaster AirBus Officer Pack.

If using an Airbus this is great and works well within MSFS, it works okay with other models as you can remove the throttle indents if required.

Downside, Even though advertised as a 1-to1 replicate, it is not, smaller that real, but still okay. Throttle also more plastic when compared to stick.
Main issue I’m finding is finesse of axes at times.

Have been thinking of buying another unit for things like Helicopter user, but is it worth it! like Warthog or Virpil !!

I’ve got a vkb gf3+200mm extension with no springs/centering cam , a virpil throttle, virpil pedals, pro flight trainer collective, and a honeycomb yoke

Dcs is my main sim, and my setup is primarily optimized for helos. The honeycomb yoke is there for times I prefer more stability than an unsprung stick will give me

older pic of my setup. pedals have changed and ive removed the MFD frames:

Hi DaveG587.

I had a Thrustmaster stick at first, and it did me fine for my first couple of hundred hours in MSFS. But like you mentioned I found that the precision, feel in use and build quality was a bit poor. I asked around on this forum and others, and I tried out as many joysticks / hotas setups as I could find in computer shops or whatever my gaming friends owned before I settled on the VKB Gladiator, later adding some extra modules and the VKB rudder pedals.
I decided to go with a joystick / hotas as that is best suited to the way I prefer to play, and the desk space I have available is limited. I work from home and play from the same desk which I can’t easily mount a stick or yoke on, so it was important to have something fairly substantial but which could also be easily moved aside & back into play when needed.
I could have changed the desk to allow for a yoke & throttles but as I largely fly in trainers, GA craft like the DA62, mil jets and warbirds (plus the occasional A320 and helicopter outing), I prefer to go with a joystick.
In side by side comparisons between the VKB and the Logitech & Thrustmaster products I tried (Warthog, 3D Extreme, T16000 and X56) there really is no comparison - the VKB gimbal design is much, much better in use and feel than the cup-and-ball gimbals of the others. It also has contactless sensors, ballraced bearings, changeable springs and adjustable dry clutches for damping.
The basic Gladiator NXT Evo stick has a throttle built into the base for stand-alone use, plus 4 x 8-way hats, 6 x buttons, 2 x triggers and 2 x rotary encoders. It’s a modular system, and over time and as budget allowed, I have added VKB’s side module (includes flaps, landing gear, start button, some rockers and extra buttons) plus 2 x throttle modules (3 additional axes & 8 more buttons each), the WWII throttle grip and finally their GA panel, which covers all autopilot and light functions . In all, this gives me the desired substantial hotas with great feeling flight controls and loads of buttons / axes which can be used for any aircraft in the sim, whether in pancake mode or VR. Here it is:

I got the Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS and the Thrustmaster Boeing Yoke and throttles.

The Warthog is amazing quality but I prefer the cheaper Boeing Setup.

I mostly fly GA and Airliners. Not really into fighter jets.

For years I used a Thrustmaster T.16000M stick/throttle/pedals setup. Looked gamey, but worked really well.

Then I updated to the Airbus stick and throttle, with expansion. Dual throttles were nice, but it wasn’t a great setup for DCS/IL-2.

Currently using a Winwing HOTAS Orion (F16EX stick, F/A-18 throttle) with Turtle Beach pedals and it’s great for both MSFS and combat sims. Heavy, metal, tons of functions and lots of four-way hats. Been using various HOTAS setups since the 1990s and this is by far my favorite.

Was looking into the Orion 2 Max, but buy, shipping and import tax to UK makes it too high, also not sure I like not having easy support close by, at least in EU if not UK.

The one reason I’m looking at the Warthog at the moment. As the other I was looking at Virpil is even more costly and still no easy support either.

I liked there sticks, just do not like (for me) the throttle, and have no room for your lovely setup. I’ve got room on my desk (office also) for a stick and throttle that I can push back when not in use.

Good old Saitek X52. Have had it for practically forever. Thing is built like a tank. Could use a bit of contact cleaner for the throttle pot, but it works fine anyway. Great joystick and throttle.