Massively OP’s holiday gift guide for the space sim fan

    
31

Hello and welcome to Massively OP’s latest holiday gift guide. Today I’ll be talking about space sims and of course some of the peripherals that I use when pew pewing my way through Elite: Dangerous, Star Citizen, and other genre stalwarts.

Whether you’re looking for an affordable HOTAS solution or a way to increase your immersion while you wait for the virtual reality revolution to happen, you’ll find a few ideas for yourself or that space sim fan on your Christmas list by clicking past the cut.

61bLKZPpBzL._SL1181_1. Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X Flight Stick

Good luck playing space sims without a trusty joystick and throttle setup! I mean, I guess technically you could play with a gamepad or a mouse and keyboard (eww), but there’s nothing quite like pitching and yawing with a realistic controller, just as there’s nothing like jumping to ludicrous speed using a dedicated throttle quadrant. The problem is that most HOTAS (hands-on throttle and stick) setups cost an arm and a leg.

Not this little gem from Thrustmaster, though! I’ve been using it since I started playing Elite: Dangerous in December of 2014, and it’s held up remarkably well on my journeys through E:D, the Star Citizen alpha, and 20-plus hours per month in Flight Simulator X.

Sure, most HOTAS setups add a zero onto the end of the T-Flight’s price, and for good reason since they all have more buttons and more flash, but until Star Citizen gets a final release date, I don’t see the point in spending half a grand for something that may not be state-of-the-art by the time the mother of all space sims finally launches.

HotasWarthog800x6002. Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog

If, on the other hand, you want a more full-featured HOTAS setup right now and money is no object, I’d stick with Thrustmaster and go with the company’s Warthog product.

It’s got more buttons, switches, and hats than you’ll know what to do with at first, but the good news is that space sims like Elite: Dangerous feature pre-configured Warthog profiles. This means that it’s essentially a plug-and-play device despite its complexity, though if you’re like me you’ll probably want to spend a bit of time customizing things just so.

3. Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals

What’s a HOTAS setup without rudder pedals? Half-finished, that’s what! I’ve been using these Saiteks for a while now, and I can’t recommend them enough due to the beating they’ve taken without missing a beat. If you’re looking for a less expensive but still high quality alternative — and you don’t mind how ugly they are — I’ve also had good results with CH’s pro pedals.

trackir5-sideangle_m4. Track IR 5

If you want to up the immersion ante without forking over for a pre-release Oculus dev kit, Track IR is the way to go. Natural Point’s revolutionary device added a whole new dimension to my flight simming when I installed it with FSX a number of years ago, and now I simply can’t play flight or space sims without it. There’s nothing quite like leaning your body forward and to the right and being rewarded with a close-up of your starfighter’s instrument panel in Elite: Dangerous as the view mimics your movement.

While the device ain’t cheap, the good news is that it works with a ton of games nowadays, so you can enhance not only your space sim immersion but also your experience in most modern shooters and racing games ranging from The Crew to Assetto Corsa and beyond.

5.Wheel Stand Pro

Here’s a handy gadget to help you organize your crucial space sim peripherals. I use the Wheel Stand to keep my PC desk (relatively) clutter free, as it off-loads my HOTAS setup, my flight sim yoke, and my rudder pedals away from my monitors and also allows me to get comfortable by adjusting all of the controls to the perfect height instead of just bolting them to the desk.

The Wheel Stand Pro is sturdy, and it’s designed to fit a range of products from Thrustmaster, Saitek, and more.

Some links included within this article may be part of MOP’s Amazon affiliate program, income from which goes entirely to funding our operational budget. MOP’s writers have selected products based on their own opinions and receive no direct commission or profit from the affiliate program. We have not been sponsored or coerced to mention any product. Stay tuned for more of our holiday gift guides for MMO players throughout the winter holiday season, and feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Darkwalker75
Guest
Darkwalker75

Vikingr Darkwalker75 
I think this new idea is a better solution than the previous one.
Just need to find a way to get it done.

Vikingr
Guest
Vikingr

Darkwalker75 
I think I know what you mean. I can see the solution in my head too. :)

Darkwalker75
Guest
Darkwalker75

Vikingr Darkwalker75 
Since you already know of my previous plans and the details surrounding it, its easier to explain it for you.
Instead of mounting a small “table” on either side, I was thinking of a table of sorts that was lying across the chair where I could have my keyboard on as well.
I would have to be maybe 5cm wider than the chair on either side, and have to be possible to secure it to the chair so it don’t move.
What bugs me the most is that I see things in my head how it could be done, but describing it is difficult at best, making me wish I could share the images in my head.

Vikingr
Guest
Vikingr

Darkwalker75 
Please tell! What was your idea? :)

Vikingr
Guest
Vikingr

I use Saitek Pro Flight X-65F HOTAS, Saitek Pro pedals, TrackIR 5, and VoiceAttack. A very good combination!

X-65F: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003BXVIQS
Pedals: http://www.saitek.com/uk/prod/pedals.html
TrackIR 5: http://www.naturalpoint.com/trackir/products/trackir5/
VoiceAttack: http://www.voiceattack.com/

Vikingr
Guest
Vikingr

Cotic_OP 
Just for the record, here are links:
T.1600m: http://www.thrustmaster.com/products/t16000m
EDtracker: http://edtracker.org.uk/
DelanClip: http://www.delanengineering.com/
VoiceAttack: http://www.voiceattack.com/

Kataq
Guest
Kataq

jefreahard Lysrin The Elite Dangerous devs like the x52 so much that they put it in the game.

My X52Pro is I guess coming up to 3 years old and it’s still working good as new. And with more than 500 hours in Elite Dangerous over the last year.

So yes I’d agree with Lysrin that it’s an odd choice to omit it entirely.

Lheiah
Guest
Lheiah

Lysrin Yeh, I would have to agree that something on the left and right side of the chair would be better with some kind of arm rest support would be better, especially for extended play.

Lheiah
Guest
Lheiah

Hmmm, how do I ask this?

Is the thrust up/down and left/right ‘keybinds’ ergo dynamically friendly for the Thrustmaster?

Lysrin
Guest
Lysrin

@jefreahard Question about the wheel stand pro: obviously you like it given the recommendation :) but when I looked at it before I wasn’t sure I like the fact that the HOTAS stick and throttle end up so close together. I have mine currently mounted on two modded camera tripods and then can place them on either side of my desk chair. Do you have any further opinion on how it feels playing with them so close together on the wheel stand? Thanks.