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Flight Sim Controller

 
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Aldeb
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 5:54 am     Post subject: Flight Sim Controller Reply with quote

Hello. I'm looking for a good flight simulator controller. So far I've tried this joystick http://www.oldpcgaming.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/thrustmaster_1.jpg But thinking of buying this = http://images7.okr.ro/serve/auctions.v7/2014/dec/26/71f088d4cbef577a49785a80b60d210d-7692586-1000_1000.jpg

It's not terrible...but the problem is I see online videos of players flawlessly controlling their planes while also looking around the aircraft. Joysticks in general don't have enough buttons for every function, and you need to use the keyboard.

how can you look around with the mouse when you control both the keyboard + joystick? Do you absolutely need rudder pedals or would the keyboard / joystick buttons do just as well? thanks

New to the genre btw. Thinking of playing such games Combat Flight Simulator 3, Battle of Britain, European Air War... that sort of thing
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:56 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you want to do this with Dos flightsims (hard) or in Windows USB (much easier, just takes appropriate $)?

Either way you are looking for something like a HOTAS setup. Often the "look around the cockpit" stuff is a hat switch, and you can get by with an xbox 360 style 2 stick usb controller. Absolutely you do NOT need the rudder pedals, they are just there for feel, like the fancy aircraft yoke or cockpit simulators - I can dig up some links if google search doesn't turn up anything quickly. Usually in the games that support it you can use the keboard 100% for all this stuff, it's just nice to have it conveniently on a fancy joystick + throttle + rudder pedal setup. But sometimes those are made for the crazy cool people who build their own simulated cockpits out of plywood and otherwise track down seats and so forth - the flight sim hobby can get very fancy. HappyHappy More google searches can turn that up, too. Tbbbbbth!

But for combat flight sims you need a basic good combat flight sim stick; most should work - you want lots of axes and a hat control, usually for usual X + Y, Throttle (z?), Twist (z?v?w? I forget), rudder control, and a hat and some buttons for weapons. If you search HOTAS on amazon you can see the basics, and you can go up or down from there. Lots of those seem to have 2 pieces, with throttle and some bottons separate, but they do have that on a single joystick, usually cheaper, if you don't want to dive into that yet. And search amazon for yoke for the basic saiteck and ch products flight yokes, but I think those are more for non-combat flight sims - I've never used one, though been tempted a few times I"ve had some extra cash but never pulled the trigger. (haha)

Oh, and often even good non-hotas flightsticks will "twist" for that extra axis for rudder control - basically this is the same thing as the pedals give you, just left & right twist with wrist instead of with foot pedals.

That plethera of good options is for windows; for dos the story is much grimmer and you need to get a hold of something specific (probably used from ebay), and I hear they never worked great. Unless you reallllllly want to, I'd start with windows. Sadly DosBox doesn't understand the full fancy joysticks yet, just basic ones - it'll certainly use the fancy ones, but most of the buttons and axes aren't available. In real dos they had a few that attached to the joystick ports, to the serial ports, to the keyboard port - a real mess and you've got to be dedicated to get use and pleasure from them. USB and windows rocks compared to that! Plug 2 in? No problem! As long as the software handles it, you are good to go. Tbbbbbth!

But there sure are lots of pretty joysticks out there, good for different things. If you haven't (and have the $$$ to spend) a very good gamepad, basically the xbox 360 wired usb for windows, gets you 80% there for everything in a great sturdy package. Add a good flightstick with throttle and twist/rudder pedals and hat control and a few trigger and thumb buttons, and you are 95% there. That last 5% is where super fancy top notch flight sticks with pedals and throttle and yokes and pilot chair and multi-monitor surround-mounting and so forth all come in - make sure you want it before you stretch the budget. Shit-Eating Grin I've got the "Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X Flight Stick" that you can get for less than $100 - the base comes apart, so you can have it as 1 unit or 2 units, and it does more than I need, but I'm only a dabbler in combat flight sims. (Before that I had the Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback single stick, and that was great! But not made anymore.) I drool over the fancier ones, but I wouldn't get use from them above what I have already. Doesn't stop the admiring glances and window shopping, though! I love joysticks.

Hope that helps, happy to clarify if you had further questions. I don't know the games you mentioned and didn't look them up this time, so maybe that would have clarified for me. Have fun, whatever you end up doing!
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:01 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, it looks like your second link "thinking about buying" is the one I mentioned I've got (or very similar). As I said, I love it and don't regret buying it at all. DosBox can't use all those buttons, but all windows based flight games I've tried do great! (And modern Mac and Linux should as well, AFAIK.) I think the fancier ones don't give you more options, just better feel or slightly different details for specific games - like based on specific different aircraft, or options for pedals, macros, etc. I'd say they might have "better quality" but that Thrustmaster is super solid and great quality in my experience.

I'd highly recommend it based on my experience with mine.
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Aldeb
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:33 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi. Indeed most of the games I'm looking to try are windows.

I found this Hotas X joystick online for little money, and its new... at an equivalent of around 55$, whereas on Amazon it costs about 90$. I don't live in the States btw

Right. The thing I don't get, really, is how can players look around so smoothly while they're busy working the joystick. I mean this is the kind of looking around that goes far beyond the 4 / 8 directional hatswitch viewing. This video should serve as a good example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25xl0kZq0Do

I'm at a loss. I asked around here and there but never got a good answer.
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Rwolf
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:32 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Possibly they are using headtrackers, like TrackIR, or sometimes the game itself allows for the player to lock and smooth following a selected target.
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Aldeb
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:59 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, I think I remember something of that sort. I've seen this gameplay video on a tactical shooter. a webcam mounted on the monitor would follow your face as you moved your head, and this would move the camera in the game. good point...
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:29 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooh, headtracker, that's a good thought. I've seen it mapped to other joystick axis, or hit a button and use the normal joystick to look around, but those might have been on console rather than PC, it has been a while.
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