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The Minecraft for space, Elite Dangerous, was released to those who love to explore the space in their own spaceship. But to enhance your gaming experience, it’s important that you have the right joysticks to conquer the next advanced spaceship you meet or explore the new planet in space.
What is Elite Dangerous?
Did you get here without knowing what exactly Elite Dangerous is? Well, you surely came here without preparation, but can’t blame the fame that probably reached your ear (or eyes). Elite Dangerous is a game that works similar to Minecraft. Some of you probably don’t even know what is Minecraft (which actually makes it a bigger question to how you ended up here). It is an open-end game that prompts users to explore the space the way they see fit.
You can be a space explorer or evil space pirate, depending on how you want to play the game. And what makes the game enticing is the full-control you have over your spaceship and a really wide world to explore with fellow explorers to meet.
One of the most exciting parts of the game is the fact that it makes you feel like a real pilot of your ship. Not many of us got the honor and chance to ride our own spaceship. Few gained the honor where as millions dreamt to be able to see the stars from the same realm instead of on Earth. For example, you get to dock your own spaceship, which is a satisfying challenge once you get used to it.
Importance of Having a Best Joystick for Elite Dangerous
For gamers and people who dedicate their life into a high-quality gaming performance, having a reliable joystick, mouse or keyboard is essential. It’s equal to having a sharp-edged, tempered sword to a samurai and loaded, prepped gun for a soldier. It’s vital if you want to be able to enjoy your game to the best, even if you are not the type that conquers the space by looting other ships.
One of the hardest, but satisfying part of the game, whether you are a space explorer or pirate, is docking your own ship. And it’s one of those challenging parts of the game that people can’t stop trying at but some are probably simply pissed off with how hard it is. Yet, it’s not something you’d want to miss because it will help you gain better control of your ship in the future.
Another part that some players like to do is to engage in battles. And for some, it’s probably one of the selling points that got them hooked in the game. How does it feel to control a thruster while flying your spaceship to avoid lasers and shooting yours? It won’t be cool, however, if your control sucks all the time.
And the top activity that people do would be exploring. This late in the game, it’s pretty rare for anyone to be able to encounter a solar system to cash in some money. But it wouldn’t hurt to just enjoy the incredible view of the space. In a world where you drive a spaceship to reach various places, battle a couple of spaceships and sign up as taxi between planets, you will need nothing short of a reliable, responsive and precise joystick.
Seven Best Joystick for Elite Dangerous Players
We have curated 7 different reliable joysticks that will enhance your experience with Elite Dangerous. Check them out!
Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas Flight Stick has 12 buttons as well as 5 axles you can customize on. On top of that, you can choose to create preset settings for different programs and games. If you are an avid flight simulator player, you will love the different settings you can keep inside the joystick. It has an internal memory to keep the preset settings you have in the joystick even when it’s unplugged.
Switching between programs also mean that you need to use different preset settings for the joystick. However, switching between controls isn’t the same with how you’d do it with a keyboard and mouse. On a worst-case scenario, you have to constantly change the keys. But the joystick comes with a shortcut that allows you to change the keys instantly.
The design of the joystick is made ergonomic with a wide hand-rest. The joystick also comes with the plug-and-play feature that allows you to play with it immediately after plugging in. No more minutes of adjusting the joystick because functions have been pre-configured.
Dual-system aerodynamic control allows you to steer your spaceship by rotating the handle that comes with integrated blocking system. Or by progressive tilting lever. The base is also weighted to give it stability.
Performance-wise, this joystick exceeds expectation. The accuracy of the joystick is superb with adjustable resistance for the most comfortable settings for you. It also has a rapid fire button, triggers for brakes and panoramic view mode through the multi-directional hat.
Logitech is not a strange brand name in the world of advanced technology, but they were never particularly popular to manufacture joystick for flight simulators. But don’t let this fool you from them making some of the most precise 3D joysticks for flight (simulator).
Logitech has 12 different buttons that can be adjusted to your liking. Right under your thumb when you grip the handle is the 8-way hat switch that allows you to quickly switch your point of view or switch weapons. You can use Logitech Gaming Software to configure your controls and create complex commands through one-button trigger.
Performance-wise, it’s excellent for entry level and that is thanks to the joystick being simple, yet, precise, accurate and comfortable. Thrustmaster is great when it comes to custom controls and intrinsically complex mechanism, but Logitech’s Extreme 3D Pro Joystick does a great job for a comfortable flight, winning space battles, and discovering planets in general.
It has precision twist rudder control that gives just the right amount of pressure and helps you with your one-handed control. It is also ergonomically designed with very small spaces in between.
The base is also weighted to ensure that you have a stable gaming experience without the joystick accidentally tipping over mid-battle.
And last, but definitely not the least feature that people will love is its durability! Unless you threw this joystick on the wall, you will never be able to bust the joystick even with intense gaming.
Hi, hardcore players. You know what you’re looking at right now. It’s one of the top gears to have if you are a flight simulator lover without having to get a pilot license. The Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog is the official replica of the US Air Force’s A-10C aircraft control panel. Thus, the complicated throttle and buttons to configure the joystick.
First off, it has 19 fully customizable buttons, 7 more than the usual. It also comes with an 8-point of view hat. And when others have one plastic throttle (or even a single joystick to control), Warthog has dual throttle system made of metal. The whole unit is constructed in metal to ensure quality and improve your experience.
Because of its material and the fact that you can screw the unit onto your table, you can ensure they are firm as heck. The unit is stable under stressful use for gaming or simulator. No need to worry tipping over the control mid-flight.
Precision is undoubtedly one of the best we’ve ever seen. The unit has 16-bit precision as well as requires pressure on the buttons and joystick that has never been seen in any other joystick before it. This is because the replica applies the same pressure used in the attack aircraft. On the other hand, the joystick is detachable, a prominent feature in most joysticks Thrustmaster makes.
And then the dual throttle system can be independently controlled or locked together with a precision of 14-bit. 17 action buttons are included along with Disengagable Afterburner. And yes, you can adjust the resistance of the throttles to your liking.
Additionally, download TARGET to configure the controls of your joystick while it does comes with presets for famous games, both new and older titles.
CH Fighterstick has 24 buttons with only 3 pushable buttons. It has one mode switch button, three-way hat switches and 8-way point of view hat. The joystick was adapted from the F-16. It also has a very sturdy built with a rubber base to keep it in place.
The joystick is mostly compatible with older Windows OS such as 98, 2000, Vista and the newest it can work with is Windows 7. It also works with Mac OS 8.6 and above. However, it is USB programmable and you can make it work with newer Windows OS if you wish.
It looks bulky and slightly outdated which is natural because this model is more than two decades old. But the good thing about it? CH’s Fighterstick is durable as hell; you won’t be able to break with normal simulation gameplay, something that many models nowadays lack.
It’s ambidextrous, designed with an ergonomic shape that will keep your wrists in the right position. The stick also has5 buttons that are right under your fingers, including your pinkie finger that can easily be assigned for an important button that you can customize on your own.
The base is weighted for comfortable and stable use. It is also detachable for easy storage when you are not playing a flight simulator game.
Twist action rudder control with a realistic throttle that has the right pressure to make your flying experience as realistic as possible. Not to mention the joystick has a really cool design that goes well with your desktop. It’s also compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.
You have 12 fully customizable buttons along with 5 axles. There is also one rapid-fire trigger and multidirectional hat switch.
The unit is detachable, so you can have your throttle and the joystick on either side of you, depending on where you feel comfortable with. A good flight is defined by how comfortable you are with your control, and that’s where the wide hand-rest comes into play.
The resistance is also adjustable to give you the most realistic flying experience, and the latency is also perfect with this unit. The stick has a dual rudder system and you can incorporate pedals to your flight simulation.
The unit is also compatible with most Windows operating system from XP through Win10. You can download the driver from their website and upgrade firmware for a better experience from time to time. The joystick does not come with forced feedback, however.
Here is another entry-level joystick from Logitech that typically fits the need of anyone who’s just got into flight simulation. Logitech WingMan ATTACK 3 has a simple, but good build to get you started immediately with flying.
It has 11 programmable buttons with a rapid-fire trigger and is designed to be ambidextrous. According to a reviewer, this particular model is rather durable considering its plastic material. It also comes with one USB cable and is compatible older models of Windows like 98 or XP, but if you want, you can download drivers to get it to work with newer Windows OS.
It is also rather affordable, but lack several features that advanced pilots would want for their planes or spaceships. For example, it lacks a multidirectional hat view and rudder control. But other than that, it does a great job for those who are looking to explore the world of flying for the first time.
How to Choose the Right Joystick for Elite Dangerous
Choosing the right joystick is different for everyone. It’s similar to choosing the right color for your nails – nobody can tell you what color you’re supposed to like. There are many ways to Rome and choosing the right one means knowing what you love and need.
- Are you an advanced or entry-level player? An avid flyer would rather go with Thrustmaster models that allow them to separately control the throttle and rudder with more customizable buttons to play with. However, this can be confusing for an entry-level player who knows not a single thing about flying. Get a single joystick to see how you like flying with it for the first time.
- What is your budget? Getting dual-rudder system is rather costly for most. For example, replicas of fighter aircraft joysticks can really get you excited, but they can cost you a fortune. Thrustmaster’s Warthog is modeled after US’ Air Force aircraft and has both buttons and switches that don’t exist in most other models. Yet, it cost generally more than 10 times of some affordable joysticks.
- How many games are you playing? Some are avid players who play various flight simulations while others simply love one single game specifically. Flying a spaceship and an aircraft is different which means you might have different configuration for your buttons. You will want your joystick to come with slots for different presets on a different game.
- Compatible pedals to go with is great. Some joysticks are designed with complimentary pedals to improve your flight experience.
- Ambidextrous sticks for separate control is another thing you want to consider. If you want to have the same experience to control your throttle and rudder separately, you can install drivers or configuration software to differ the two.
- What kind of player are you? Simulations like Elite Dangerous allows players to be casual and just enjoy their space exploration without a single enemy encounter. On the other hand, you might be one that loves to hunt down rogue ships for missions. You will want a stable joystick with a weighted base that will accommodate your occasional side way jerks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my joystick remain compatible with my Windows after I upgrade it?
This actually depends on the manufacturer. However, thrustmaster always brings the latest update to keep your joystick compatible with your new OS. Older models probably don’t come with any new update, but you can actually download drivers to let them work with your OS.
Do joysticks come with force feed backs still?
No, unfortunately, most of the joysticks that come out today do not come with haptic feedback that makes your throttle shake under harsh weather. The new Microsoft supported API, Xinput, does not support force feedback anymore as Direct Input did.
Do I need pedals for Elite Dangerous?
You can play the game without a single joystick and obviously, pedals are not prerequisite. But pedals do increase the fun in the game because it allows you to turn left and right which gives you even more freedom of movement in addition to your rudder.
Should I get a pro-level joystick as I’m still a beginner in this?
Your enthusiasm to immediately jump into the cockpit and fly that ship is amazing, but there are several things to consider. For example, is it within your budget and do you really enjoy it? Getting into pro-level joystick will definitely get you used to the complicated buttons and controls quicker, but that doesn’t come with a high investment from you.
How many active buttons do I need for Elite Dangerous?
A lot. Let’s just say, Elite is always coming up with new features which means you have a lot of binding to do if you are new. If you are not, you know it’s one of the best things that makes it a really great simulator that keeps you hooked up for more than 2000 hours. 12 is the standard amount of buttons, and pay attention to how the buttons are places to see if it’s convenient for you to use. It’s also important that you learn to bind them in the way that is comfortable for you, i.e: one-button for multiple actions, etc.
Is a multi-direction hat necessary?
It’s not, but it’s one of those things that will make the experience so much better. Most users typically won’t like it if they can’t enjoy the view of the space the way others are able to. It’s such a shame to not be able to.
Flight simulators are not perfect without the joysticks and it’s unfortunate to see the dwindling number of enthusiasts in the field. But luckily, there are still manufacturers out there making quality joysticks to make sure we can enjoy our game to the max. It’s not short of impossible to find one that will give you the best experience while flying your spaceship.
There are different kind of players in the world of Elite Dangerous. Some of you are simmers who love to explore and enjoy the view or what people like to call peace lovers. Others are more into the open-field battleground with spaceships which requires responsive joystick that withstands the highest stress in the middle of battle while in-flight.
Thrustmaster is generally the best company that produces responsive joysticks which imitate actual controls pilot have in their aircraft – a throttle and a rudder on either side of the pilot. Most of the units can be separated and their Warthog can even be screwed on the table for stability. Logitech makes the best affordable and entry-level joysticks that do not lack at all in terms of quality.
Make sure to check what are your priorities in getting a joystick and then head to our review to find the one that you want. After that, enjoy your game!