Joysticks can take gaming to the next level. All your controls and commands are right at your fingertips, making gaming easier and more effective. With modern day technology, there is a vast array of options in the joystick world, making selecting one a relatively hard chore.
Joysticks have become very complex and can vary in price, size and function. Every serious gamer can agree that you need the right kind of equipment to play at your very best. These joystick reviews will act as aides in helping you decide which joystick is right for you, and why.
Before making a decision, you must think of a couple things: what is your level of play? What do you need in terms of features? What about functionality? Also, you must make sure you pay attention to compatibility with your game and platform.
Below are the top 10 best joysticks in 2018 for the PC. Every one of them has great options and functionality. If you’re on the market for a new joystick, this list will help you sort through the many joysticks on the market and give you an exceptional list of exceptional products.
Table of Contents
- 10. Saitek Pro X-56 Rhino H.O.T.A.S. Video Game Flight Controller
- 9. Mad Catz V.1 Stick For PC
- 8. Thrustmaster T-16000M Flight Stick
- 7. Mad Catz F.L.Y. 5 Stick For PC
- 6. Logitech Attack 3 Joystick
- 5. Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog Joystick
- 4. Saitek X52 Flight Control System
- 3. Saitek PS28 X52 Flight Control System
- 2. Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X Flight Stick
- 1. Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick For Windows
- Which Joystick Should You Buy?
10. Saitek Pro X-56 Rhino H.O.T.A.S. Video Game Flight Controller
This joystick features military-grade space and flight simulation precision and delivers a variety of customizable options, including the control surface options that are require to the level of performance that combat pilots demand.
The new mini analog stick control surfaces offer controls that are separate from the spacecraft. The Pro X-56 Rhino is ideal for virtual reality as it places the controls perfectly under your fingers with button feel and shape help you navigate the controls with ease.
The stick is adjustable through advanced 4-spring systems and it also has twin throttles with friction adjustment and throttle lock.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Amazing controls
- Awesome color matching ED
- Customers report sticky analog switches
- A little pricy
9. Mad Catz V.1 Stick For PC
Mad Catz created a wonderful joystick that is suitable for both left-handed and right-handed gamers. It has five buttons ready to be configured and played and the POV switch assists you in keeping alert during the game.
Its shape is ergonomic and designed to fit easily in your hand with the controls close by your fingers. The pinkie switch operates as a normal control or can be used as a shift button to double up control functions.
The throttle lever produces smooth, realistic engine control and the joystick features unique removable legs, allowing for easy storage. Its price tag isn’t too shabby either!
- Great price tag
- Easily stored
- Ergonomic design makes it comfortable to use
- No frills: great for the basic gamer
- Lightweight design may reduce gamers to holding it down with other hand during heavy use
8. Thrustmaster T-16000M Flight Stick
This joystick is fully ambidextrous and features H.E.A.R.T. (Hall Effect Accurate Technology). H.E.A.R.T. offers greater precision because of magnetic sensors that allow for friction-free action. These magnetic sensors make precision levels 256 times greater than other current systems.
There are 16 action buttons, 12 on the base and 4 on the stick. There is a helical spring located in the stick, providing firm and smooth tension. The joystick is made up of three detachable parts, which allow it to fit into any type of hand.
- Plug and play offers simple and fast installation
- Extremely affordable
- Great precision
- Customers complain about the quality of the buttons
- Only very substantial customization
7. Mad Catz F.L.Y. 5 Stick For PC
Mad Catz is at it again with this awesome joystick. It features a tilted head mechanism that allows users to position the buttons where you need them. There are adjustable head buttons, handle height and handle angle. The look of this joystick is very modern and sleek.
It has a twin throttle lever that offers control of separate engines or can assign one throttle to the engine and assign the other lever to another function. The tilting head mechanism positions the buttons exactly where you need them.
This joystick has an adjustable POV hat switch that moves the position in and out to achieve the desired distance between the hat switch and buttons. There are 12 buttons total, with all the main commands at the tips of your fingers
- Twin throttle system for better customization
- USB port allows gamers to send data at high rates
- Buttons are mostly adjustable and comfortable to use
- Lightweight design makes it lift when pushing the stick forward
- Customers claim it isn’t a very long-lasting product
6. Logitech Attack 3 Joystick
This innovative joystick offers gamers the most control without the frustration. It is very comfortable to handle and the performance is smooth and precise. It also has 11 programmable buttons.
The stick is spring loaded but feels like it is gliding. Customers report that this isn’t best for simulation games, but is perfect for simple flying or dog fighting. It’s easy to install and is a reasonable price and comfortable during long gaming sessions.
- Fast processing time
- Smooth, easy controls
- Not good for advanced/professional gamers
- Customers complain that this joystick isn’t very durable
5. Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog Joystick
The gem is based on an actual flight stick found on the A-10 Warthog. It fascinates both gamers and critics with its control panel, flight stick and dual throttle. If you’re in the least bit curious, this joystick looks awesome.
It has 16-bit resolution, which allows users to control the flight path with ease and precision. It also is one of the few joysticks that has H.E.A.R.T. (Hall Effect Accurate Technology). This system makes simulations even more precise for a variety of gaming applications.
The joystick’s surgical precision stays sharp over extended periods of time and has a stable, weighted base. There is a 5-coil spring system and a USB connection with upgradeable firmware.
- 19 action buttons and cool aesthetics
- Surgical precision
- Great options for customization
- It’s pretty expensive
- Some customers have complained that the bells and whistles put into the aesthetics takes away from mechanical function
4. Saitek X52 Flight Control System
This joystick is yet another great product from Saitek. It has 4 fire buttons and every control is precise. Your pinkie button switches on the programmable controls. It is a completely functional flight control system that has technology for intuitive interaction in simulated flight.
It has two MFD (multi-function display) buttons and a pair of rotary dials to control additional functions. It is fitted with a throttle controller complete with tension adjustment.
There is barely any control feature you would need that isn’t already provided in this product.
- Complete flight system allows for life-like gaming
- Has tension adjustment and detents for idling
- Customers have stated it could use a little more weight to it
- No calibrating function
3. Saitek PS28 X52 Flight Control System
This is an updated version of Saitek’s X52. It has illuminated buttons and an intuitive LCD multi-function display. The throttle has resistance adjustment and detents from afterburner and idle.
The precision centering mechanism means the spring force improves control. You can program your controller for each game, using Saitek’s smart technology. There is a 5-position handle adjustment system that suits all hand sizes, with a soft, contoured grip for ultimate comfort.
This joystick can split into two separate units, giving gamers ideal flying position and life-life flying experience.
- Optional one or two-piece unit
- Resistance adjustment
- Median priced
- Button placement
- Can easily lose calibration
2. Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X Flight Stick
Thrustmaster is known worldwide for their convenient joysticks. This one is no exception. This joystick can perform a variety of gaming control actions and has a high precision and responsiveness that transforms the way you play.
Its high head rest offers optimal comfort and the joystick can be customized through 12 programmable buttons, as well as 5 axis. It has an internal memory chip that stores the gamer’s programming options, even when it isn’t connected.
It can be tuned to suit every gamer’s specific needs. All you have to do is adjust the resistance you need for desired feedback and enjoy the increase in gaming precision.
- Easily programmable
- Aerodynamic control
- Great for games, doesn’t work as well for flight simulations
- Some customers say the product doesn’t function well for very long
1. Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick For Windows
This joystick has more buttons than you could dream of. Hardcore gamers love this product for its customizable settings. You can easily react with speed and make game changing moves quickly with one touch.
It comes with USB technology that allows gamers to transmit data at extremely high rates. It has 12 action buttons, a rapid-fire trigger and an eight-way hat switch that you can personalize to match your preferences.
Whether you’re involved in a dog-fight or dropping bombs from a distance, this amazing piece of equipment gets the job done with ease and comfort.
- Easily programmable
- USB technology allows gamers to keep customizations
- May not maintain calibration
- Not made for durability
Which Joystick Should You Buy?
All of the joysticks on this review have their own great qualities. Some are a little pricy, some more affordable. Some have better customization options than other. The best bang for your buck? The Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X Flight Stick and the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick.
Both of these joysticks are affordable, offer comfort and ease, and are making gamers and critics very happy. The technology they both possess make gaming easier and more effective. When looking for your next joystick, consider these reviews as your guide.