3 Best Cheap Joysticks for PC | Flight Sticks & Hotas

For some games, a simple Xbox controller is not enough. This includes games like Star Citizen, Battlefield and Elite: Dangerous. They all require a joystick (or flightstick, or HOTAS – Hands on Throttle-and-Stick) for the optimal gaming experience. Whether you need to maneuver a spaceship or fight an opponent, these are the best cheap joysticks for PCs on the market today:

Thrustmaster T-Flight

Thrustmaster T-Flight

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Thrustmaster is a leader in the field of interactive entertainment. This PC gaming console is one of the best budget joysticks around. It comes with dual-system aerodynamic control. You can either rotate the handle (with integrated blocking system) or progressive tilt the lever.

The high-precision HOTAS allows for adjustable resistance. It makes for a great fit with games like Flight Simulator X, Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X, and IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey. It measures at 10.4 x 9.5 x 10.4 inches and weighs 4.7 pounds.

LIKES:

  • Comfort. The wide hand-rest provides optimal comfort. The throttle control was also designed with ergonomics in mind. It is detachable and real-sized.
  • Internal memory. All programming can be saved even when the joystick is disconnected.
  • Ease of use. All functions have been pre-configured. This makes for a simple and quick installation process. Just plug and play!
  • Programmable. Its 12 buttons and 5 axles are completely programmable.
  • Warranty. It comes with a two-year warranty.
  • Compatibility. It works with PCs and Macs.

DISLIKES:

  • Affordability. At below $50, it is on the high end of this list.

Thrustmaster USB

Thrustmaster USB

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This is Thrustmaster’s most affordable entry-level joystick. It nevertheless does not skimp on features. (Thrustmaster proclaims it to be the only entry-level joystick with a point of view button). It comes with three action buttons, one trigger and a throttle.

The base-mounted throttle allows for precise analog control of aircraft gaming speed. The base comes with non-slip rubber pads for enhanced stability.

LIKES:

  • Comfort. The ergonomic molded grip and convenient palm rest allow for long hours of gaming. Use the multiple button/trigger configurations for optimum ease. The Point-Of-View button allows for easy camera control and an immersive gaming experience.
  • Affordability. It costs under $20 from Amazon. It is one of the most affordable flight sticks available. It is also the cheapest option on this list.
  • Light. It measures at 9.5 x 6.6 x 6.4 inches and weighs only 1.2 pounds.
  • Warranty. It comes with a two-year warranty.

DISLIKES:

  • Functionality. It does not provide tactile force feedback sensations. It does not work wirelessly. It is not compatible with Macs.

Saitek JI3G Cyborg 3D

Saitek JI3G Cyborg 3D

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This good cheap HOTAS is highly versatile. It comes with fully programmable controls. You have four buttons, two command-doubling shift buttons, and three fire buttons. You also have a rotary throttle wheel on the base, and an eight-way point-of-view (or “hat”) switch on the top of the control. Its long-throw, spring-loaded tension and accurate electronics provide excellent tactile responses.

LIKES:

  • Comfort. The ergonomic grip can be customized according to your preferences. Make use of the 24 programmable functions available. The rubber palm rest prevents fatigue even after long hours of gaming.
  • Ease of use. Use the included Saitek Gaming Extensions (SGE) software to quickly assign button functions. The stick’s 3-D twist function allows smooth rudder control in flight games. Push the joystick forward to accelerate in driving games.
  • Light. It measures at 6.4 x 6 x 5.7 inches and weighs only 1.7 pounds.
  • Compatibility. It works with PCs and Macs.
  • Warranty. It comes with a one-year warranty.

DISLIKES:

  • Affordability. It costs under $50 from Amazon. (This is cheap in general, but relatively expensive here).