Playing video games at a high level is never an easy task. It is enormously fun, yes, but also very demanding and not easy at all. That is why it is necessary to get hold of the equipment with the highest precision and quality possible, as the best gaming joystick for PC. Such a joystick should give you a lot of versatility and agility, as well as a lot of comforts when playing and being the winner in any video game.
However, it is not easy to find one that gives you all that but is also inexpensive. That is why we will explain everything in this complete guide.
What is the best gaming joystick for PC?
There are undoubtedly many widely recommended models on the market and they have excellent specifications, but that does not mean that any PC gaming joystick is suitable for all gamers. Everything will depend a lot on your style and abilities in front of the computer.
There are some simpler ones designed like old arcade game joysticks, while others have advanced controls that will really make you feel on a plane. Therefore, we have made a comparison with what we consider the best models to buy:
Logitech Extreme 3D PRO PC gaming joystick
Lots of comfort and control
Aside from being quite ergonomic and comfortable, this model has a fairly precise rudder control, as well as 12 ready-to-configure buttons and an 8-position view selector. It also has an integrated throttle and a very nice design.
Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS PC Gaming Joystick
High precision magnetized
This highly realistic model has a flight lever and separate 5-axis throttle, 16 action buttons and an 8-position visa selector. It connects via USB and is compatible with Windows Vista onwards.
Thrustmaster WARTHOG PC gaming joystick
This HOTAS style model is one of the most advanced and complete you will get, with metal construction and a realistic weight of 6.5 kg. It has 19 buttons, a view selector, a high-precision magnetic sensor and a high-quality throttle.
Lioncast gaming joystick
Simple and compliant
This joystick thought of arcade games of yesteryear not only works with your PC but with the PS4. It has lock buttons, turbo, options, and more, as well as a compartment to hide the 2.5 meter USB cable.
Logitech Saitek X52 Pro Hotas PC Gaming Joystick
Has it all
An advanced piece. It has illuminated buttons, an intuitive LCD screen, a throttle with progressive resistance and detents, a 5-position handle, and ergonomic design. Wear it with your virtual reality headset to feel inside the cockpit.
Mayflash Arcade F500 PC Gaming Joystick
Easy to use
You can use it with PS4, PS3, Xbox One, 360, PC, and even Android. It also has turbo settings, speed settings, and you can change the X / Y analog axis. It is very convenient that it supports background music output and online chat.
What is a PC gaming joystick?
The joystick is one of the primary controls in an airplane cockpit, and in the video game world, joysticks are specialized controls to make you feel like you’re in command of an aircraft. That is why they are the flight simulator controllers par excellence.
They usually resemble the airplane’s stick and add a series of configurable buttons to get the most out of every flight simulation game. In fact, the most complete models usually include an accelerator so that you feel all the adrenaline and have complete control of the aircraft.
What you should consider buying the best PC gaming joystick
As with any other product, and especially with those focused on the area of computing and video games, it is important that you have a number of considerations in mind before making the purchase. You should not only look at the brand or how cheap your new PC gaming joystick is, but also how many buttons it has, how realistic it feels, its quality or even if it is compatible with PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC and Android or other systems.
When you buy a new computer joystick it is important that you have a critical eye and really feel the quality of the device in your hands. Remember that they are components that you will use practically every day and that – let’s be honest -, in many cases, with the adrenaline of the game, you will not realize that you are using the joystick with little care or really pushing it to the limit.
In many cases, you will come across models that appear to be perfect, with many different controls, advanced sensors, and enviable construction and design. The thing is, then when you finally try it, it doesn’t settle in your hand, and you don’t get familiar with the device. That is why it is super important that you listen to your hand and, if the device is not completely comfortable, you better find a different one that is suitable for you.
As a general consideration, give priority to models that are a bit heavier, as they will feel much more realistic, like driving the real plane on your computer, portable game console, or any other device.
Compatibility with other devices
The more compatibility your new joystick has, the better. So you could not only use it on your PC, but you can also enjoy it on your PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 games, and more.
What you really need
Some people spend more money on models that include more buttons or features like the helm control, but is it really worth spending more money if you don’t need it? Take a look at your true needs before buying.
To have better speed adjustments, the ideal is to have an accelerator, which can be integrated or as an addition to your joystick. By having it separately you can have your hands in a more natural position, without having to join them as much, in addition to having some more buttons than in models with the integrated accelerator. The bad thing is that these models are usually a little more expensive.
There are 4 configurations: HOTAS, in which one hand controls the accelerator and the other the joystick; HOSAK, where one controls the joystick and the other the keyboard; HOSAM, like the previous one, but the mouse is used instead of the keyboard; or HOSAS, in which both hands operate separate joysticks.
The position and number of buttons is essential for each game, as well as the configuration and where each component is placed. In general, having the throttle apart is usually the most comfortable and realistic.
Z-axis and view selector
The Z-axis is the ability to turn the joystick left or right to control the yaw or turn. Some models do it with pedals, only they usually cost more. Finally, other joysticks come with a view selector so you can switch between different cameras in-game.