The one-two punch of Star Wars: Squadrons and Microsoft Flight Simulator are making flight sticks a surprisingly hot market in 2020. HOTAS controllers on both PC and consoles are selling out, including the Thrustmaster Warthog stick-and-throttle combo. Some controllers are available through preorders or backorders, though, so if you’re okay with waiting for your new flight controller, that’s definitely a good option.
Thankfully, Star Wars Squadrons creative director Ian S. Frazier has said the Star Wars flight game should work with “any” HOTAS setup. However, it can still be hard to find a quality flight stick and even harder to find one that you can put your money down on. That’s why we’ve collected the best flight sticks you can order right now. We’ve also curated a selection of gaming headsets that feature excellent audio quality for better immersion as well as comfortable headbands and ear pads.
Also, if you’re planning on installing the game to your Xbox One, you may not have enough room. That’s where external hard drives come in handy, so check out our guide to the best external hard drives you can buy right now to make sure you have enough space for Microsoft Flight Simulator’s incredibly huge file size.
Note: The prices shown below indicate a product’s standard list price and may not reflect any current discounts or other fluctuations.
There are many different options for flight sticks, and right now, Logitech’s popular X52 and X52 Pro models are available for back-order. These are most commonly seen in military aircraft as well as Airbus planes. Some sticks come with throttles as well, making for a more complete experience without the need to buy anything extra.
The Logitech X56 RGB HOTAS controller features RGB lighting and extensive customization options. It’s designed to be as close to military-grade space and aircraft controls as possible. It also boasts incredible ergonomic detail that makes it easy to tell where your hands and fingers need to be without having to look at the stick–this is particularly useful in VR.
The Logitech G X56 HOTAS controller features RGB lighting and extensive customization options. It’s made to be as close to military-grade space and aircrafts as possible with ergonomic detail paid for it to be an effective HOTAS for VR.
The Logitech X52 is a great flight stick and throttle that features illuminated buttons, an LCD screen that shows button configurations, and adjustable grip. The stick and throttle both feel accurate and comfortable, whether you’re piloting an airplane in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 or a spaceship in Elite Dangerous.
If you’re looking for a more entry-level flight stick, the HOTAS 4 offers much of the functionality of more expensive sticks for a lower price point. It features a dual-rudder system, detachable throttle, and adjustable resistance to let you customize how flying feels.
If you want an immersive experience, then a comfortable gaming headset is your best bet. You’ll want something that you can wear for long flights and gaming sessions that also sound great.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha is one of the best gaming headsets you can buy for $100 or less. It features an incredibly comfortable and sturdy headband as well as great-sounding audio from its cushioned ear pads. It also has a detachable microphone, line-in audio control, and connections for both consoles and PC.
Creative is a lesser-known entity in the gaming headset market, but its SXFI-equipped headphones are among the best we’ve tested. Its gaming-focused headset, the SXFI Gamer, puts the excellent surround-sound technology through its paces, and being able to hear everything around you delivers an incredibly enjoyable and immersive experience.
Razer’s new BlackShark V2 gaming headset is one of the most comfortable pairs of headphones we’ve tested, and it delivers great sound as well. It boasts 7.1 spatial surround sound and sounds great when paired with THX’s Spatial Audio app. Its great audio and extreme comfortability make it an excellent option for people looking to wear them for extended gaming sessions, especially for Flight Simulator.
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