Setting up a unrecognized Joystick

I have a Saitek ST290-PRO that I’ve used for years and now I cant seem to use it for this new flight simulator. Any tips or input would be great!

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Hi, does the joystick get recognized by MSFS as input device?
I had to configure my flightstick manually but no issues aside from that.

i am the same…

Yes it is recognized but the controls arent smooth when they are set up

There are quite a few peripherals that do not have default control Profiles (bindings) in the current version of the sim. To help answer your question, we need to know a couple of basic things first (as noted by @SteepFarez):

  1. Is your controller recognized by the sim? You should go into Options > Controls and see if your controller is listed somewhere across the top of the screen (you might have to scroll left and right). It may just call it something generic or may have the actual make/model. If the sim recognizes your peripheral, then we can go to the next step.
  2. Click on the controller at the top and now look at the bottom part of the screen. If this is a peripheral that doesn’t have a default bindings Profile, then the middle part of the screen will be blank. This means you will need to manually assign the input bindings to get your joystick to work.

There are a lot of Saitek threads already in the Peripherals section of this Forum and you may find some specific help there. In general, here are some resources and guidelines to help you work through the process of setting up controller bindings. These are the ones I recommend:

In addition here are some general hints and tips. I know the Control setup interface seems intimidating, but it actually works well once you understand the process and is really powerful in helping you set up your controls exactly the way you want!

  • The Control Filter at the bottom of the left part of the screen defaults to “Assigned” which only shows the commands that are currently bound to the selected controller. If the controller doesn’t have default bindings, you won’t see anything! To see all the commands, change the filter to “All”. To see a recommended set of starting commands select “Essentials”. The “Search By Name” will let you narrow down the (very long!) list of commands. Helpful Name searches are “Axis” (see below) and the various views “Cockpit”, “Instrument”, “Drone”, “External”.
  • To bind an input (button, switch, slider, axis) you don’t need to know the actual input number for your controller. MSFS can recognize the input just by activating it during binding. When you click on a command, it will bring up the “binding window”. Click on the space that says “Search By Input” and it will light up. Now physically activate the input on your controller. The space should fill in with the input number. Click “Validate” to complete the binding.
  • All “linear” controls need to use the “AXIS” commands, not the basic commands. That is the issue you are having with your control inputs. This includes control surfaces, engine controls (throttle, etc), brakes, etc. Basically anything that needs proportional input will use the “Axis” version of the command.
  • Unless you have a complex throttle quadrant with multiple throttles, make sure you bind your Throttle to the “Throttle Axis” command and not any of the numbered Throttles. This will control all throttles on multi-engine aircraft simultaneously.
  • A lot of the MSFS default controller profiles use the “Cockpit Quickview” commands which snap back to center. The secret to smooth panning around the Cockpit is to use the “Cockpit Look” commands. Make sure you delete any currently assigned Cockpit View commands for the Hat and then create new bindings using “Cockpit Look”. Depending on your hat, you can map 4 or 8 directions.
  • You can actually access and change Control bindings while inside the live sim (use Esc to get to the main menus). This is helpful if you are trying to fine tune or debug things.
  • You can create multiple binding Profiles for each of your Controllers. This is helpful if you want to map your controls differently for different aircraft. It is also useful if you need to adjust the Sensitivity settings differently for different aircraft. Just make sure you select the correct Profile for each session by using the little scroll bar under each controller in the Controls screen…
  • I have not used any external controller management or calibration applications or drivers. If you do, your mileage may vary! For sure any control input assignments you make outside MSFS will not carry through inside the sim. The CH Manager application has caused problems for some users of CH products.
  • Adding an Xbox Game Controller (wired or wireless) makes controlling the Drone Cam and Slew really easy and intuitive! MSFS immediately recognizes it and sets up all the bindings by Default.

If this doesn’t get you started on the right track or if you have other problems that aren’t addressed here just let us know and we will try to help! Rick


It seems the controls are stiff and jumpy when I set the config to the old stick. Is that just for older models or all models?

I’m not sure your exact issue but did you use the Axis commands for your flight controls (e.g. Elevator Axis not Elevator Up / Down)? Also are you running external controller configuration or management software?

I had the same problem and found that the buttons were in a long list, but none of the axes show up when selected/used, I had to manually select them from the bottom of the long list. I am good with that, except that it doesn’t let me use my ‘throttle’ axis, which is on the back of the joystick, I don’t see a selection for it. I already programmed the ailerons, elevator and rudder to the other axes but don’t see one for the throttle axis.

Answered my own question, the throttle axis is L-Axis Z, then had to reverse the direction, now trying to figure out why the buttons being depressed don’t show up in the list for “binding” keys.

Hi. does anybody know where does MSFS keep controller(s) assignments? In FSX it used to be “joy.cpl” . Thanks in advance.