Installing the Microsoft flight simulator is anything but a breeze. If you have made it into the game somehow or at some point, despite hanging downloads or frozen loading bar, the next surprise comes: the controls are anything but child's play. Fortunately, because it is a pure simulation game in which controlling the planes is one of the intended challenges. Precise control devices are a must for take-offs, landings or daring maneuvers to succeed. We'll tell you which controllers and joysticks are best for the Microsoft flight simulator.


Do you have that annoying installation can only get over with and Freezing loading bar in the Microsoft flight simulator survived, you can finally take a seat on the pilot's chair. And then of course it depends on the right peripheral devices.

Microsoft flight simulator: the best controller

Have you ever seen a pilot using the mouse and keyboard to control his Boing? No? I agree! If the professionals forego this method, ambitious hobby pilots should do the same and at least use a gamepad, because the Microsoft flight simulator can be controlled very solidly with it. If you are looking for a little more authenticity, you should think about buying a flight stick or, even better, a yoke system. The latter in particular significantly enhances the flight experience with Flight Simulator: Then the airy trip feels almost as nice as real flying.

If you want to control the Microsoft flight simulator with a controller, you won't go wrong. The machines can be steered directly and precisely, even complex flight maneuvers are possible. In addition, the gamepad is one of the cheapest ways to take off in Flight Simulator. The original controller from Microsoft is particularly suitable - and this is no surprise. The "bone" works excellently and can be found in almost every household. With all the scolding and frustration, one thing is also great: The Microsoft Flight Simulator also supports the Adaptive Controller!

The Microsoft flight simulator is also about keeping an eye on all the instruments in the cockpit at all times. Image rights: Microsoft

The Microsoft flight simulator is also about keeping an eye on all the instruments in the cockpit at all times. Image rights: Microsoft

In any case, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to the new version of the Flight Simulator, because Microsoft explains that almost 30 control units are particularly suitable - from different, well-known manufacturers. On the official website you can always read which controllers, joysticks and yoke systems are particularly recommended by Microsoft. Nevertheless, the Redmond-based company makes it clear: Most control units work.

Here are the controllers that Microsoft particularly emphasizes and thus gives them a high level of suitability:

  • Honeycomb Aeronautical ALPHA FLIGHT CONTROLS - YOKE AND SWITCH PANEL
  • Logitech Extreme 3D Pro joystick
  • Logitech Flight Rudder Pedals
  • Logitech Flight Throttle Quadrant
  • Logitech Flight Yoke System
  • Logitech X52
  • Logitech X52 Pro
  • Logitech X56 HOTAS
  • Thrustmaster TCA Side Stick Airbus Edition
  • Thrustmaster F / A-18 grip
  • Thrustmaster HOTAS WARTHOG (stick + throttle)
  • Thrustmaster MFD Cougar
  • Thrustmaster Thrustmaster Pendular Rudder
  • Thrustmaster T. Flight Stick X
  • Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS (stick only)
  • Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS Hotas (stick + throttle)
  • Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS Flight Pack (stick + throttle + rudder)
  • Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS 4
  • Thrustmaster T. Flight HOTAS One
  • Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS X
  • Thrustmaster T-Flight Rudder Pedals
  • Thrustmaster TWCS Throttle
  • Virtual Fly Ruddo +
  • Virtual Fly TQ3 +
  • Virtual Fly TQ6 +
  • Virtual Fly V3rnio TPM
  • Virtual Fly Yoko +
  • Microsoft Xbox controller
  • Microsoft Xbox Adaptive Controllers

If you call one of the listed control units your own, you are well equipped for the first flight. If you want, you can still take off with your mouse and keyboard, but you will have real fun when you use the best controllers for the Microsoft flight simulator. Whether a flight stick or a yoke system is actually the better choice in the end also depends on the aircraft models you prefer to fly with. Those who prefer to travel with small, agile machines will find their fulfillment in a flight stick - perhaps enhanced with optional pedals. On the other hand, those who prefer to climb into the gigantic line machines are better off with a yoke system.

Microsoft flight simulator: the best yoke system

The selection of yoke systems is small, and the devices are not always available. For a large aircraft, however, there is hardly a more authentic control unit in the Microsoft flight simulator. The Logitech G Saitek Pro Flight Yoke System is undoubtedly one of the best on the market. With the control horn and the separate throttle controls, you get a real feeling of flight in front of your home screen - not least because the Microsoft flight simulator is visually more impressive than ever before.

The three thrust levers can be adjusted and programmed individually. All in all, there are over 25 buttons and switch positions on the control unit, which can give hobby pilots a small impression of how complex it must be to fly an airplane, even at home. Drivers and software provide the necessary programming options so that the "feeling" can be individually adjusted. And to be able to securely attach the yoke system to the desk or in the cockpit, there is a corresponding bracket. A Flight Throttle Quadrant is included with every Flight Yoke System, and additional Throttle Quadrants are available separately for precise control of multi-engine aircraft – so there are a few more ways to customize your home cockpit.

Controlling with a flight stick is a little less complex. That feels less like a jumbo and more like a jet plane. The Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog as an official replica of the joystick, thrust lever and control panel of the US Air Force aircraft "A-10" is particularly cool, but priced in the high-end segment. For around 400 euros, you get a metal joystick, 19 action buttons and eight-way switching on the tip of the stick. If you don't buy the flight stick separately, but together with the throttle, you can use the dual throttle system for your purposes and accelerate the plane with ease. Fans will also find additional buttons and levers on the throttle. The "HEART Hall Effect AccuRate" technology, which makes particularly precise control possible, should be particularly impressive.

If you don't want to dig deep into your pocket, you can also buy cheaper controllers for the Microsoft flight simulator, including several medium-priced models from Thrustmaster, but also from Logitech. Regardless of which control device you ultimately choose: You have to practice with the most precise controller, or with it. Because even the smallest steering movements are passed on in the high-priced models, you have to be extremely careful not to maneuver your plane into a stall. A commercially available gamepad shows significantly more errors, but the flight feeling is only half as good. The fact is: Anyone who wants to tease out the optimum flight feeling from the Microsoft flight simulator cannot avoid a special controller.

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Last updated on 3.02.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API