Star Wars: Squadrons releases October 2nd (check out our info roundup for more details) and is fully playable not only in VR, but with a flight stick or full HOTAS (Hands-On Throttle And Stick) setup on both PC VR and PSVR. This is our list of the best options!
[When you purchase items through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission from those sales.]
One note worth mentioning is that Star Wars: Squadrons is not a space flight sim. This is an arcade-style space combat game. While you will need to manage power systems and fly well during dogfights, it’s relatively pick up and play compared to more complex games. As a result, it’s totally playable on just a controller, keyboard and mouse, or even a single flight stick without a full HOTAS if you wanted.
Since this very well may be the first real game many people have played with a flight stick or HOTAS, we’ve got a list of the best controllers to get for that game — or any compatible VR game.
Best Flight Sticks And HOTAS Controllers For Flight Sims and Star Wars: Squadrons
Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS (PC)
This is the HOTAS I have at home that I have continued to use personally after reviewing it back in 2017. while I haven’t too spend much time with it since I don’t play a lot of flight sims, it’s still been a great experience every time I have used it. The stick itself is extremely sturdy and feels fantastic in my hand. There is a throttle as well, but I personally usually just use the stick because it has a built-in slider at the bottom that acts like a throttle. So I rest my left hand on the left side and move the throttle slider with my thumb.
One feature I love is that you can twist the stick (in addition to pushing it forward, back, left, and right obviously) which is great in flight games for yaw control, or rotation of your ship. You can get just the stick for around $100 instead, which is what I prefer on PC as explained.
Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X (PC)
I have not personally used this one but it’s recommended often across message boards and Reddit, plus it has great reviews coming in at 4.5 stars after over 5,000 ratings. That’s quite solid. It’s more affordable than the previous option with similar functionality here. I love the ergonomic design and easily accessible buttons on both sides of the device though, but it’s definitely lacking buttons.
Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick (PC)
I have not used this stick, but plenty of people recommend it (4.5 stars on nearly 4,000 ratings) as an extremely affordable entry-level stick-only device. The slider at the bottom acts as a throttle, similar to the slider at the bottom of the T.16000M. You get 12 buttons and enough stick movement to play most VR games that function with a stick only, so it’s great bang for your buck here.
Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS 4 (PC, PS4)
If you’re planning to play Squadrons on PSVR (or other games like Ace Combat 7 or EVE Valkyrie Warzone) then this is a great HOTAS to get. Jamie played Ace Combat 7 in PSVR with this and loved using it. I haven’t used it recently, but I did use it at an event once and really enjoyed the feel and design. It’s similar to the HOTAS X from above, but a little cheaper, and with PS4 support. There are only 440 reviews on Amazon as of the time of this writing, but it seems to be a good all-around choice if you want a decent HOTAS setup without breaking the bank.
HORI HOTAS Flight Stick For PlayStation 4 (PS4)
This setup is a little pricier, but you get the benefit of a device that is tailor-made for the PS4. This even has a built-in PS4 touchpad so you don’t need to take off the headset or grab a controller at all. Additionally, like the T.16000 for PC and most other premium HOTAS setups, you can separate the throttle and stick for a more comfortable arrangement.
Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog (PC)
Good luck finding one, but this is one of the most premium HOTAS setups you can get for PC. As a premium offering, this setup is more than just a game controller — it’s an actual replica from the U.S. Air Force A 10C aircraft. All the buttons, switches, and physical components look just like they do in that aircraft’s cockpit. That’s pretty wild and it features over 19 buttons with fantastic precision.
According to a commenter though, this stick does not have pivot functionality.
More Suggestions From Comments
We asked and you all delivered — there are some good suggestions in comments from people with more flight game experiences than myself. Specifically, we’ve got recommendations for the Logitech/Sitek X52, X52 Pro, X55, and X56. We’re also seeing recommendations for the VKB Gladiator NXT.
That’s our list of flight stick and HOTAS recommendations for VR space combat and flight sim games. Are you excited for Star Wars: Squadrons? Do you have other recommendations? Let us know down in the comments below!
Editor’s Note: After publication we’ve made some corrections and additions based on user comments. Thank you!