on 25 November 2014
The world of joysticks and flight controls is a complicated one where all devices are not born equal. You can spend tens of pounds or thousands of pounds depending on your desired function and your obsession with the game that you intend to use it for. When I was younger I was an avid gamer and have spent a lot of money over the years on kit. Now I'm a little more 'mature' and have children I rarely have the time to game for hours on end. However, I need my kit to perform and I do not tolerate cheap rubbish.
When I decided to buy a HOTAS setup it was because I joined the beta for Elite Dangerous, a game who's development I'd followed keenly and was close to my heart given my gaming past. Given the time I had to spend playing I didn't want to spend hundreds on a joystick, however I wanted solid functionality. This is where the T-flight steps in.
It is solidly built with a finish that is surprisingly good for the money that it cost. The joystick and throttle parts can be used separately or joined using the (included) allen-key. Installation was easy, with Windows 7 detecting it and installing it without a hitch.
It has a good number of buttons, although I feel that it could always do with a few more, especially for games where a million key bindings are the norm. If I had a single criticism it would be that the accuracy (or sensitivity) in the central area of the joystick is a tiny bit lacking. It's a small point, and one that didn't warrant a review star being lost given the excellent price position that this unit sits within.
For the money, I can't see a better option. Highly recommended.
on 10 January 2015
LIke a lot of people I bought this exclusively for and because of Elite Dangerous, and despite a few teething problems it is so far pretty worth it (in fairness, I bought this when it was £35, not £55 as it is at time of this review). Setup is exceptionally quick under Windows 8.1 (plug it into a USB 2.0 port, Windows installs the drivers automatically... a few seconds to a minute later and you're good to go) but fine tuning to get the best experience can take a bit longer.
There are a few minor issues. Some people, myself included, have found the throttle initially works in reverse - just invert the binding for that. Some people, myself again included, have found one or more axes to be insensitive and/or sluggish - in this case it is well worth calibrating the device by going to Control Panel, Devices & Printers, right click on T-Flight HOTAS and select Game Settings. In the window that opens select Properties > Settings > Calibrate and run through the instructions. You should then find the stick responds more effectively and precisely in game.
Another slight issue I've had is the units shifting on the surface - during times of vigorous use such as combat (and a few particularly hairy dockings) I've found the stick unit can shift a little, but this will likely depend on surface and during combat in particular I keep the throttle at a single setting so I can free my left hand to steady the stick unit. I've also found the throttle is a slightly odd, clunky shape but I adapted to it very quickly.
Overall I'm very happy with it. In ED I used the various combat training scenarios to test and fine tune the stick and throttle and get used to it, and after maybe two hours I'm comfortable and happy with it - and I've already noted a significant improvement in my combat ability compared to pure keyboard use, particularly my use of yaw (the stick twists to yaw quite easily and comfortably, and the throttle has a rocker switch that is equally easy to use) and how frequently I hit the target.
This is a well made, well designed and user friendly way of enhancing your game experience. Given the option I would prefer more buttons and a slightly more ergonomic throttle but all things considered it is a good device for the price.
on 1 February 2014
I brought this for Elite Dangerous and is performing perfectly. Installation easy and setup a breeze.
It feels very solid and you forget it's there after a few hours of play.
on 7 May 2010
Possibly the worst thing about this joystick is the name! Surely they could have come up with something a little snappier?
Still, thats the worst thing I have to say about this stick.
I bought it a few weeks ago as a replacement for my Saitek X-52, which I'd had for a couple of years, but was developing faults in some of the switches. Also, the drivers played havoc with other parts of my computer, most notably the mouse.
Considering I paid under £30 for this (although it was advertised under a slightly different description for over £40) I really can't fault it. Incredibly simple to use - just plug it in, let Windows find it and install the drivers and away you go (unlike the Saitek!) Configuring the buttons to use with games such as Lock On and MechWarrior is a breeze. The only thing you have to be careful with is in making sure the "mode" selector is on the right setting. This stick can be used with a PC or Playstation 3, but trying to use it in the wrong mode can cause a good deal of frustration!
The only real faults with this stick / throttle combo, after being used to the Saitek's weightier and better designed controls, is that both the joystick and throttle feel very light...although you do get used to this with time. Also the throttle doesn't sit very well in your left hand and some of the buttons can be awkward to reach. This is where its lightness pays off, as you don't need to grip it very hard. Just move it with the palm of your hand, making it easier for your fingers to find the buttons. I probably found it easy to adapt to this stick as I owned a Thrustmaster Top Gun Afterburner some years ago which is almost identical to this. I would also recommend using it with the stick and throttle separated, as I found using them connected became uncomfortable after a while.
There are enough buttons to cover all the main functions you'll need with most games, including a very nice rocker switch on the throttle, which will really appeal to mech jockeys (torso twist!).
Pros: Price, ease of use, decent number of features, is both PC and PS3 compatible.
Cons: Controls feel light and not as ergonomic as more expensive sticks. Not as many features as higher priced sticks / flight controllers.
That said, I am very happy with this stick as it offers nearly all the features of my defunct Saitek stick, without the hassle of installing drivers and programming software, for a fraction of the price. You really can't go wrong with this.
on 2 September 2015
I've bought this flightstick with only one game in mind: Elite dangerous, and I haven't been disappointed. I have also had the occasion to test this with War thunder and Microsoft Flight simulator, with no problems.
While not really a must, joysticks of this type make flightsims and spacesims much more intuitive and enjoyable. You push the throttle stick forward, and you intuitively understand you've accelerated your ship.
Compared to other flightsticks of similar prices, this one seems to be the best choice. (To anyone comparing about the price, keep in mind that a wireless xbox controller is similarly priced.)
The buttons on the stick and throttle are all easy to reach, and the 4-way button on the right joystick maps nicely onto the power distributor in Elite. My one complaint is that for a game like Elite Dangerous, 10 - odd buttons are not enough for all the different ship functions you might want to access without losing focus of the game screen. You can however, map these on your keyboard.
The two parts clip in the middle, but can be detached and separated by about a metre (limited by cable length). This means you can keep them on the side of your desk, or exactly where your arms feel most comfortable, but also allows you to use it on the move (well, more or less), since you can clip the two parts together and put them on your knees (I've done it with a laptop). It is a little bit big to easily fit in a backpack though, so bringing it with you to your lunch break might be a challenge.
Another important factor is that it works right out of the box. No external drivers required, and the 3 games I've used it with so far all automatically recognise it and map the controls accordingly. Elite even has a specific controls layout for this particular flightstick.
Oh, and it came in a nice (if a bit bulky) box which, if you can figure out how to put the joystick back into it, will allow you to hide it from dust / transport it without damage / so on.
Overall, a must have for flightsim and spacesim players.
on 21 May 2015
Like many others, I got Elite:Dangerous a few months ago and decided I wanted to use a HOTAS controller.
Not knowing whether I would like E:D I didn't want to spend a lot, so I picked up a Speedlink Black Widow (the cheapest HOTAS I could find).
Well within no time at all it was clear that E:D had me hooked, and I started looking at possible upgrades from the Black Widow, which, while a decent enough controller for the price, is not particularly accurate, has a limited number of buttons and lacks yaw control on the stick (though it does have an analog rocker button axis on the throttle which I use for yaw).
I shortlisted the X52 from Saitek and the T-Flight from Thrustmaster. I spent a long time reading/watching reviews and trying to weigh up the pros and cons of both given that there is obviously a substantial price difference.
In the end I was swayed by many positive reviews to go for the cheaper T-Flight. This was a mistake, and I shall explain why:-
Whilst it is undoubtedly a good controller for the money, it is still very much an entry level HOTAS and as such is constructed of very inexpensive materials. Had this been the first HOTAS I bought, I would probably have been happy enough, but as I already have the Black Widow, it is just not enough of an upgrade and in some ways is inferior to that slightly cheaper stick.
The T-Flight has slightly improved precision over the Black Widow along with a few more buttons and the additional yaw axis on the stick itself, but when I compare the feel of the two, the Black Widow wins hands down. Whilst it is still plastic, it has a kind of soft-touch finish to it which is so much more comfortable than the hard plastic of the T-Flight. Also the buttons have a very cheap, loud, 'clicky' feel to them and the trigger is quite uncomfortable on the T-Flight whereas the buttons on the Black Widow are more 'cushioned', and the trigger is larger with more rounded edges. For me at least, this makes moderate to prolonged use far easier/more comfortable with the Black Widow.
Good enough as a cheap, entry level HOTAS.
Not a good choice as an upgrade from the Speedlink Black Widow.
on 23 December 2014
Great quality product for the price (approx £22 at the time via ebay, thought due to launch of Elite: Dangerous, and thus lower stock, prices have quickly risen).
Works out of the box with Elite: Dangerous and various other games.
All keys can be remapped in-game or with other software easily.
Throttle stick has 4 buttons on the front and 2 on the back, also comes with paddle controls.
Joystick has 1 trigger, directional hat, button on the nose of the stick, 2 buttons next to the hat.
Base has a "home" button, two more buttons below which can be remapped, and some built in mapping keys.
Been using for over a week no problems or weakening in the resistance.
Has a resistance wheel on the underside of the joystick, nice feature.
USB cord has good length.
Can be used with PS3. ( make sure when using on the device of your choice to flick the switch on the back of the device before plugging in, to ensure correct drivers are recognized. )
Separates into two parts, however the strange rounded edges and short joining cable between the two sections make it difficult to for me to fit around my laptop.
Trottle stick feels flimsy, would be nice to have resistance like the Joystick.
Cheaper plastic will likely get greasy quicker than other more expensive materials.
Could do with another directional hat and some more buttons on the joystick.
on 16 December 2014
EDIT: I'd still say it is a nice joystick. Unfortunately mine developed an intermittent fault and after 5 weeks of occasional use, it won't stay correctly calibrated. Some days it won't turn right, other days it will. I enjoyed using it when it worked reliably though. I haven't heard of many other people developing faults on this stick either, so it is a shame, but I am trading up and hopefully will have more luck with a different stick.
Overall though, a great entry level Hotas joystick.
A bit creaky, plasticky and cheap feeling, but then it is made of plastic and it is cheap! In terms of all the joysticks I have tried, this one would get 2.5 stars, but at the price, it's a 3.
It isn't the world's most precise joystick, but it will do for a starter stick and will get you playing elite dangerous. I think after a while, if you like the genre of game, you'll probably want something better. The stick could also do with a second coolie hat and a few more buttons would be useful, but it easily covers the basics.
I play with the throttle and stick attached together, but taking them apart is easy enough. You wont want to keep separating and joining them though as it requires the use of an allen key which is discretely provided on the inside of the base.
Well worth the money (if it had kept working for a year) and the best option at that price-point in my opinion.
on 14 July 2015
A real bargain for the price. I was playing Elite Dangerous with my keyboard and a Logitech Attack 3 before buying this. The level of control with this hotas has been radically transformed for the better and my enjoyment of the game has increased tenfold. I know there are lots of other (much more expensive) options, but I'm so glad I tried this first. I'm not saying I wouldn't prefer one of the more expensive options (I'd love a Warthog), but this bargain hotas is more than enough for the moment. Having yaw on the stick and thrusters on the hat makes docking the ship a doddle and much quicker (useful if you're smuggling). I paid 50€ and I think at this price you get very good value for money. Seems to be solidly built with smooth movement, both stick and throttle. Plenty of buttons and a rocker switch on the front of the throttle. Heavy enough so it doesn't move about on my desk. Also you can separte the two parts wide enough to fit a normal sized keyboard in between (mine's extra-wide, so it's a bit tight)
on 30 December 2009
I use this with MS FSX on PC and been delighted with it so far. Large, heavy, solid item that fits your hands well. The picture doesn't really do it justice, and in reality it is a much more impressive item. There are 12 buttons in total on both the joystick and throttle control for other aircraft functions. The throttle control and joystick can also be separated, although I haven't felt the need to. Joystick twists for rudder control and has an equivalent rocker switch on the throttle too for the same or joystick switch-able separate function. I've also used the Saitech X52 throttle/stick combo and as far as I am concerned this stick is just as good in practice, if not better, and at a quarter of the price much better value. No drivers required, just plug in the USB and the stick appears in your game controllers control panel.
The only issue I have had with it is that if left plugged in, under XP on my Toshiba laptop, when the laptop is switched on, the stick is not recognised and the stick has to be unplugged from the USB and then plugged back in again. Other than that, it has worked flawlessly in use.