Best Joystick for Elite Dangerous 2018 Guide

I’m convinced the best joystick for Elite Dangerous is Saitek X52 Pro Flight to pilot elite dangerous (ED) space ship  and conquer the ED galaxy. No other joystick has so many hats & buttons, sturdy build and easy to customize.

Finding the best joystick for elite dangerous and Hotas joysticks just, is not an easy task. I’ll review the top joysticks available in the market today.

Best Joystick for Elite Dangerous Piloting: The Rundown 


ModelUnique FeaturesPricePounds
Saitek X52 Pro Flight
Advanced Multi-Function Display (MFD) Check on Amazon4.85
Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTASHall Effect accurate technology 3D magnetic sensors Check on Amazon3
Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas XDual-system aerodynamic control Check on Amazon4.7
Thrustmaster Hotas WarthogDual replica throttles - 3D magnetic sensors Check on Amazon10.35
Key factors that are good joystick should include: Compatibility, top Design Quality, Ease of Control, Buttons and triggers configuration, and top experience in Playing Elite Dangerous. 

Here are the Elite Dangerous Hotas I analyzed: [/su_note]

Best Joystick for Elite Dangerous 2018

1. Saitek X52 Pro Flight  – High end Hotas for Elite Dangerous 

The X52 Pro joystick is created by Saitek that comes in form of throttle and joystick. Saitek X52 Pro Flight’s trigger has dual actuation points and permanent blue LED lights.

Best Joystick for Elite Dangerous

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Has enabled tension adjustment progressive throttle and two fire buttons, which will enable you to operate the spaceship as you move to the open galaxy.

Has precision-centring mechanism and Advanced Multi-Function Display (MFD) for near realistic Elite Dangerous flying experience.

However, you can use the X 52 and X 52 Pro without sticks. There is a cable a serial cable that links the stick to a throttle and the throttle plugs to the PC through a USB.

X52 Pro is considered as a lower end joystick. Despite that the device is made from plastic, it feels solid for the plastic stick it is. Also, the throttle feels very textured and smooth.

The stick has buttons that are appropriately placed at its base, and has 3 switches (t1 to t6) that you can set up to turn on the shaft or shield cell bank.

Dual actuation triggers

The buttons are appropriately placed for the fingers and thumb to reach. Further, the throttle has two wheels that you can use for head look or to navigate between panels.

Pinky switch

The stick also has a pinky switch that you can use like a secondary combination button to allow you to double the configuration. The 2 rotary dials and 2 dedicated MFD buttons has in-built buttons that will allow better control of the game’s functionality.

Realistic flying

X52 pro allows precise flight simulator using multifunction LCD and an amazing 105 programmable commands. Therefore, you’ll easily control your Elite Dangerous flight plan using stopwatch and clock function.

Lighted Buttons

The stick’s lighted buttons will enable you to easily know the point to press. Also, the amazing display will offer information on the button configuration.

Further, the device will allow increased X-Y control through the use of non-contact technology. Compatible with: War Thunder, Star Citizen, Rise of Flight and Elite: Dangerous

One challenge I identified with the Saitek X52 Pro is that the sticky is adequately grippy and it has a twist functionality to actuate the rudder – a 3D Twist Rudder Control.

Therefore, when you are twisting the stick, you’ll need to clamp down using a lot of strength. However, you can use griptape to solve this problem permanently.

2. Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS

Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS is my top elite dangerous joystick. It features TWCS and the H.E.A.R.T magnetic precision technology with the characteristic ambidextrous use, which will make your gaming more realistic and have surgical precision.

Best Joystick for Elite Dangerous

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It will be great for both the right and left handed elite dangerous gamers with minimal adjustments.

Pinky axis is highly precise and thus it was easy to control the aircraft’s radiator through single percentage increases.

T.16000M FCS HOTAS has a twist rudder, which is one among 4 independent axes. Its backlight will contribute to better immersion into the Elite dangerous.

Uniquely designed for space adventure available in Elite Dangerous, the Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS joystick offers precision and amazing control in your hands.

The stick’s throttle will assist you to gain more control of your plane.

Further, you’ll only need to move the throttle forward or backward to achieve fast or slow speeds respectively.

The stick has twist axes for the rudder control and the sticks base has a small throttle axis at the back of the base with 12 buttons (6 on each side).

Build Quality

My first thought of the joystick is an amazing finish with excellent ergonomics.

The joystick is created using high quality plastic (injection molded plastic) and rubber, which make it have a durable look and feel, which matches its predecessor the T 16,000 M flight stick.

The stick’s buttons have intentional and firm click which will enable you to acknowledge the effect of each move you make in the Elite dangerous gaming.

Left-hand joystick

The stick has replacement rubber enabling a change to right-hand from the regular left-hand stick. Notably, Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS is the only joystick that can change from left hand to right-hand.

Interestingly, you should know that T.16000M FCS HOTAS has significant build improvements over its predecessor, the T.16000M. For example, the stick feels more solid and its buttons have Braille style markings for Elite Dangerous and can thus be readily identified.

Also, T.16000M FCS HOTAS has changed to an orange colour theme with orange and black detailing. The plastic used is much thinner and the construction lighter. The stick’s single stage trigger was light and had a sharp and astonishing activation.

3. Extreme 3D Pro Joystick for Windows 

Logitech Extreme 3D Pro is a strong and easy USB-joystick that you won’t special connections to play your favorite game.

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 It has the essential joystick features, which include an eight-way hat switch (top), 11 buttons, a rudder stick twist, 4 control axis, and trigger (front).

To increase stability, the joystick has a broad base build and will come with rubber pads to prevent slipping while you are gaming.

However, we won’t label this as an ambidextrous joystick since it will not be appropriate for the left-handed gamers.

Plug and play Joystick

Despite coming with an installation software on CD, the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro will also run effortlessly without installation the same on your PC.

Therefore, you’ll not necessitate installing any extraordinary software or drivers. You can thus purchase the Imperial Eagle ship, which won’t need a  navy rank, and use the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro to start combat.

Further, the joystick will be automatically formatted for most flight-sim gaming. However, in this case, you’ll require programming the stick switches on the stand and the top.

Also, the stick has a superior build quality that will allow it to be highly durable and reliable. Therefore, the joystick will allow you to dock in the galaxy and repair or rearm your Elite dangerous ship.

  • High Durability
  • Plug and play
  • Ease of use
  • centered joystick and strong base
  • None

4. Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X JoyStick – Budget Joystick

T-Flight HOTAS X comes with a detachable throttle control and a cozy wrist rest. It has a detachable throttle, a hat switch, and can move in the z-axis.

I consider the joystick as great competitor in the elite dangerous gaming due to its five programmable axles and twelve buttons. You can easily climb the status levels of your Elite dangerous gaming, including CQC Championship.

Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X JoyStick

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The Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X joystick is delivered with the joystick and the throttle combined. 

Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X JoyStick has unique “PRESET” and “MAPPING” buttons for instant switching between programs and functions, which is critical for elite dangerous gaming. 

Has an analogue slider to add a further axis. Has an accurate mid-way stopper to easily set the throttle to 50%, where it will click and lock.

However, you can easily separate the two using the Allen wrench that is placed at the stick’s bottom. You will just need to plug and play into your PC or PS3 after making the “mode” selection.

Further, the joystick has a stick at its base which will allow you to modify its resistance. Using the resistance control knob, you’ll easily adjust the stick’s resistance.

Ease of operation

Its 10 buttons are excellently placed, and you will find them excellently programmed Joystick for Elite Dangerous . The Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X joystick is delivered with the joystick and the throttle joined.

This enable edit inputs separate from the program. Further, the joystick has an internal memory that would enable you to store the unique configurations even after you unplug the stick.


The stick’s weighted base will allow you greater stability throughout your gaming. Further, it has a wide hand-rest that will allow you top gaming comfort.

The stick has a fairly edgy design, for its price, despite being fully created from plastic. It does not stray away from thrust masters quality and durability standards. With its weighted base, the stick will feel study and nice.


Although it has a plastic build, the stick is solid and durable. It offers and excellently accurate gaming in games such as Elite Dangerous.

Through its excellent control, dual-system aerodynamic, you can tilt the lever or rotating handle for total practicality.

  • Adaptable resistance in the elite dangerous joystick
  • You can save button programming and configurations in its available Internal memory
  • Many buttons and great build
  • None

5. Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog Stick and Throttle

We found that the Warthog joystick lacks the toy like feeling in other joysticks. Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog FlightStick has a dual throttle control panel and system and USB connection that allow upgradeable firmware.

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The A-10C name indicates that the United States Air Force has authorized the HO test like a replica of the real a-10 warthog in military applications.

For example, other joystick setups feel too light and flop around and you can feel the cheap plastic construction, features which are evidently not in Thrustmaster Hotas!

As a high end joystick, the designers of Warthog aimed to give you value for money by making the device a remarkable at 3 kilograms. The device has a weighted and stable base.

It has integrated metal enclosures at all the key areas such as the stick’s housing and the base’s body. Therefore, you are assured that the joystick will not be falling apart when you slam things while Elite Dangerous gaming.

You’ll notice that Warthog is more fluid compared to other joysticks since its spring system has adequate tension to assist you make accurate movements with no overshooting the target.

4 rubber pads

Therefore, together with the 4 rubber pads at its bottom and even with no bolting on your desk through the provided screw holes, you’ll not easily flop the set up around while using it normally.

Considering its button, Warthog has pinkie push buttons: 1 with a lever, 1 exposed, 2 standard push buttons, 1 metal dual trigger, 1 four way hat with push functionality: 8 way point of view hat and 8 Way hats.

The 16 bit resolution joysticks, with a 5 coil spring system will offer you a firm linear and fluid tension, which has no dead zones.

HallEffect AccuRate (H.E.A.R.T)

With HallEffect AccuRate (H.E.A.R.T) with 3D magnetic sensors technology, the joystick has surgical precision and will maintain the quality over a long time. Also, the spring systems will help you remain steady.

However, if you need to play arcade shooters through fast activating twitch triggers and buttons, then the Warthog metal trigger could feel heavy and will have long travel distance and thus can be too slow in comparison to others like the aviator.

The joystick is Windows 10 compatible and the housing for its throttle and stalk have full set of dial or flip-up switchgear and switches.

The throttles can separate if you need independent engine control and also has afterburner support. Thrustmaster was designed from the real “Thunderbolt 2” or A-10.

  1. Wow! I am glad you have T.16000M HOTAS and Saitek X52 on the list: my all time favorite. Anyone with experience with the budget T.Flight Hotas X? Thank you