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6 Best Joysticks for Star Citizen in 2024 (With HOTAS Options)

best joysticks for star citizen

6 Best Joysticks for Star Citizen in 2024 (With HOTAS Options)

Star Citizen is an immersive space sim that allows for in-depth dogfighting in space, as well as first-person shooter gameplay. Now, you could easily just use a gamepad or your keyboard and mouse to control the action.

That said, you’re missing out if you aren’t using a joystick to get finer granular control and better handling out of your spaceships. But what is the best Star Citizen joystick? Thankfully, there are a number of joysticks on the market that work splendidly with Star Citizen and many other commercial flight sims. We’ve looked at dozens of options, and here are our top picks:

#1 Best Overall: Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS

Best Overall
Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS
$154.99
  • 16 action buttons with Braille 
  • 3D HallEffect AccuRate Technology
  • Unique ambidextrous design
  • 16-bit resolution
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01/17/2024 04:15 pm GMT

If you’re looking for one of the best joysticks for Star Citizen, the Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS is a great choice. This is a hands-on throttle and stick setup. You’ve got access to one stick for navigation and another for acceleration. What makes this such a great fit for Star Citizen is the presence of dual analog sticks.

The T.16000M FCS HOTAS has four independent axes of movement, including a twist rudder on the main flight stick. You’ve also got 16 buttons that can be mapped to a variety of functions in-game. This is a great option for users looking to get more out of Star Citizen without dropping a bundle on a deluxe joystick.

ProsCons
The joystick is quite accurate.The mapping software needs some refinement.
It comes with an analog thumbstick.The rudder is placed in a slightly awkward location.

Check out the Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS on Amazon.

Best Runner-Up: Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS Flight Stick

Best Runner-Up
Thrustmaster T16000M FCS USB Flight Stick (Windows)
$79.99
  • Compatible with PC via USB in Windows (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Fully ambidextrous design
  • 16 action buttons with Braille 
  • T.A.R.G.E.T software lets you to load and create specific mapping profiles 
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01/17/2024 04:20 pm GMT

If you don’t have room for a full HOTAS setup, the Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS Flight Stick is a fantastic choice. What makes this one of the best joysticks for Star Citizen is the fully ambidextrous control. You’ve got an additional 16 freely assignable action buttons, as well as a twister rudder and throttle wheel.

The T.16000M FCS Flight Stick is friendly for a number of budgets and allows for free mapping to any game thanks to the Thrustmaster T.A.R.G.E.T. software suite. Since this is an ambidextrous joystick, you could easily pick up to two to use as a dual-stick setup for playing Star Citizen.

ProsCons
It has quite a few buttons on board.The mapping software is a bit unrefined for regular use.
The T.16000M FCS Flight Stick has the same build quality as its HOTAS counterpart.You still need a keyboard or gamepad to get the best experience alongside the joystick.

Check out the Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS Flight Stick on Amazon.

Best Budget Star Citizen HOTAS: Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X Flight Stick

Best Budget HOTAS
Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X Flight Stick
$64.99
  • 12 programmable buttons and 5 programmable axles
  • Full-size detachable throttle
  • Exclusive mapping and preset buttons
  • Trigger for brakes or for rapid fire
  • Multidirectional hat
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01/17/2024 04:36 pm GMT

You won’t have to break the bank to get a HOTAS setup if you go for the Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X Flight Stick, a budget option that doesn’t skimp on features. You’ve got 12 programmable buttons and an internal memory for the setup so you can save each configuration.

There are an additional five axles that you can program for any function across any game. The stick and throttle are a little barebones compared to the likes of the T.16000M FCS. However, it also costs considerably less. You’ve got stellar build quality, with a very comfortable palm rest on the stick and smooth actuation of the throttle.

ProsCons
It is a great starter option for a HOTAS.The build quality is a bit lacking.
The pricing is quite affordable.The HOTAS X suffers from dead zones on the stick and throttle.

Check out the Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X Flight Stick on Amazon.

Best Deluxe Joystick: Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Flight Stick

Best Deluxe Option
Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Flight Stick
$267.49
  • Replica shape of the U.S. Air Force A-10C flight stick
  • Detachable handle
  • 19 action buttons
  • USB connector and upgradeable firmware
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01/17/2024 04:46 pm GMT

If you’re looking for one of the absolute best joysticks for Star Citizen, the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Flight Stick is the one to get. The Warthog is a replica of the Air Force’s A-10C Warthog attack aircraft’s controls and is built robustly. That incredible build quality comes with a high price tag. The stick alone costs more than a full T.16000M HOTAS setup.

However, you’ve got 19 action buttons that are freely mappable to any function in the game. You’ve also got an additional three axes of movement, with the standard stick movement and a twist rudder. This is a joystick for serious enthusiasts. The all-metal construction can withstand the rigors of marathon gaming sessions in Star Citizen.

ProsCons
It has an unparalleled build quality.Users might be put off by the overall price.
The Warthog has great accuracy.The joystick is quite heavy by itself.

Check out the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Flight Stick on Amazon.

Best Deluxe Star Citizen HOTAS: Logitech G X56 HOTAS

Best Deluxe HOTAS
Logitech G X56 HOTAS Throttle and Joystick
$249.99
  • Accurate 16-bit aileron and elevator axis with hall-effect sensors
  • 30 customizable controls
  • 4-spring centering mechanism
  • 13 axes of movement
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01/17/2024 04:50 pm GMT

The deluxe Logitech G X56 HOTAS is built for space sims, and makes it the best HOTAS for Star Citizen. To this end, you’ve got a full six degrees of freedom support with a plethora of action buttons and analog sticks. The X56 HOTAS certainly has a plush feel to it, with tactile switches, smooth contact sensors, and great actuation of the stick action.

It is a bit pricier than the T.16000M HOTAS setup, but it also comes with full RGB lighting to accentuate the mood of any gaming session. Controls are also made to be distinct in terms of overall touch. Once you learn the controls, it’s a great fit for any VR space simulation you might do. This is one of the best joysticks for Star Citizen and will have a definite edge in dogfights and skimming the cosmos.

ProsCons
The G X56 is a great fit for multiple different sims.Logitech’s quality control has been lacking.
It has extremely precise sensors and great accuracy.Build quality is highly variable between each individual joystick.

Check out the Logitech G X56 HOTAS on Amazon.

Best for All Flight Sims: Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog

Best for all Flight Sims
Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog (PC)
  • 19 action buttons 
  • Dual throttle system
  • Detachable metal plate for desk- or cockpit-style use
  • H.E.A.R.T HallEffect AccuRate technology
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog is the setup to get if you’re a flight sim fanatic. As with the standalone joystick, this is a full replica of the control systems found in the A10C Warthog. The stick and throttle feature all-metal construction, with great sensors and tactile buttons to get into the action.

You’ve got 19 total action buttons to program, which is a joy for assigning various functions in-game. It does lack an analog control for true 6DOF movement. You’ll need to add pedals and the like for the greatest degree of control. This is one of the best joysticks for Star Citizen, but it’s also a great fit for other flight sims like Elite Dangerous and DCS World.

ProsCons
The Warthog HOTAS has a supreme build quality that isn’t matched by any other manufacturer.The price tag is rather extreme.
One of the most accurate HOTAS options on the market.The overall weight of the unit is quite substantial.

Check out the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog on Amazon.

Picking the Best Joysticks for Star Citizen: What to Know

Finding the right fit for your Star Citizen needs might seem like a daunting task. Thankfully, there are a few considerations to keep in mind when making the final choice on your joystick of choice.

Dual Stick or HOTAS

Star Citizen is different from other flight simulators. While simulators concerned with general avionics can easily get by with a HOTAS and pedals, space sims have additional degrees of movement to worry about. As such, you might find yourself debating between a dual stick or HOTAS setup. Dual stick allows for great control, especially with six degrees of movement.

However, a throttle gives you on-hand controls for your acceleration and fire controls. As such, you’ll need to experiment to see which is a better fit for you. Star Citizen caters to many different playstyles. If you’re a game that enjoys other flight sims, then a HOTAS might be a better overall fit.

Build Quality

You might not want to break the bank dropping for the best possible joystick. However, build quality is a very important consideration. The internal components of a joystick can greatly vary between price points. As such, you’ll want something with accurate sensors and a good heft for sitting on your desk.

You don’t need to go all out for the likes of a Thrustmaster Warthog. However, there is something to be said about getting the right thing the first time. More expensive joysticks come with better quality components as a whole and usually better buttons.

Stick Accuracy

Cheaper joysticks can run across the issue of spiking or drifting. You don’t have to spend much to get an accurate joystick. However, do be prepared to spend a little over $50 to get a good-quality joystick for your gaming sessions. A more accurate joystick will make for a more enjoyable experience. You’ve also got a greater range of motion than a comparable gamepad or controller.

Using the Best Joysticks for Star Citizen: What It’s Like

Using a joystick for flight sims is a transformative experience. It really does feel the way such a game is meant to be played. Star Citizen is no different in this regard. With the right joystick, you should have a better degree of control and stability.

If you opted for a HOTAS configuration, you should have the ability to set your throttle dynamically. You won’t have to take your eyes off the action as you make necessary adjustments with each dogfight. Players looking to get serious about their simulators will want to get a joystick, especially for Star Citizen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need a joystick to play Star Citizen?

Not at all, you could play with KBAM or gaming controllers if you’d like.

Can I use my joystick with more than Star Citizen?

Absolutely, games like Elite Dangerous and DCS World excel when playing with a joystick.

Is a dual stick or HOTAS better?

It really depends on your overall preference. Dual stick has better control in terms of 6DOF, but HOTAS is better for maintaining speed and agility.

Is Star Citizen fully released?

No, it is still in alpha status, but you can play anytime when purchasing a game package.

Is Star Citizen solely a space sim?

No, there are also first-person shooter elements for players to engage in.

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