Top 5 USB Joysticks to buy

All gamers are well-versed with the purposes and benefits of using a joystick. To get maximum enjoyment from playing a video game one needs to have access to a functional USB joystick. Other advantages of using a joystick include easy control, efficiency in shooting and action games, supporting several detailed motions during a game, and the list goes on. This gadget is mandatory for hardcore gamers who prefer winning in different types of video games.

Until a few years back, there was not much reason for anyone to invest in a USB joystick. But with the creation of new flight sims and adrenalin-rushing dogfighting sims in the video game market, the need for such gadgets are growing by the day. Whether one enjoys flying the sim or the Elite Battlefield helicopter, without a flight stick it is not possible to enjoy the gaming experience thoroughly. Games like Elite Dangerous, Star Citizen, TIE Fighter and X-wing as well as several other sims available in the world of gaming, it is crucial to find the right stick to help one make the most of these games without falling off the desk.

The biggest problem, however, is that there are just too many USB joysticks available in online and brick-and-mortar stores that can easily confuse someone who does not have any idea about shopping for this gadget. The following reviews of the top 5 USB joystick options will help one decide which of these top-notch gadgets will work best for his/her gaming experience.

  1. The Logitech 963290-0403 Extreme 3D Pro Joystick for Windows

Logitech has gained reputation as one of the best providers for PC hardware. This amazing USB joystick is one of its elite innovations that has found fame among gamers all over the world. With high rate of positive audits on Amazon, the largest online shopping site, it is evident that buyers are happy with this Logitech joystick. The Logitech 963290-0403 Extreme 3D Pro Joystick for Windows comes with USB port that allows users to transfer all relevant information at an extremely impressive rate. The attractive features of 12 activity buttons and customization options even with the software gives one the advantage while playing games using this joystick. No wonder, this joystick has become a common name among gamers all over the world.

It is important to note that for gamers exchanging information at high rate can help improve the overall gaming experience. With 12 activity buttons, 8-way cap switch and fire trigger that is exclusively fast, this joystick gives the option of customizing one’s game according to his/her preferred style. The general layout of the USB joystick is splendid and one can use it efficiently for upping one’s gaming pleasure. It is a standout gadget among the popular joysticks in the world.


  • Customization of buttons
  • 12 buttons for gaming actions
  • Several controller configurations
  • Multiple controller configurations


  • Not suited for arcade games

Final Comment: 

This USB joystick is highly adjustable and comes with incredible alternatives for one to easily overshadow adversaries in all kinds of games, be it on the ground or high above in the sky. Not only does one have the advantage of savaging precision but can also fire using unequaled reflexes offered by this gaming stick. Except for arcade games, this joystick can ensure that one gets full control of any gaming situation and emerges as winner through all challenges with great ease and comfort.

2. The Saitek X-55 Rhino HOTAS

The Saitek X-55 Rhino HOTAS can be listed as one of the best flight sticks ever created. This joystick is an upgraded version of the famed Saitek X-52 model but includes features that give it a futuristic-gadget appeal. When it comes to usability, the Saitek X-55 is far more efficient as a combination of throttle and fighter stick than its predecessor. It also comes with separate USB connector cables for throttle and stick units that adds to its functionality.

Equipped with HOTAs or Hands-on Throttle and Stick software, this USB joystick is a masterpiece in flight sticks. On the toggle side and buttons one can assign multiple in-sim directives like target-block, flares, brake, pickle weapon, etc for extreme action during the game. With the HOTAS software, one can also use keyboard and mouse based commands that can either be single-key input or advanced, macro and timed commands.

The Saitek X-55 features the advanced 4-spring system that is adjustable to give users the advantage of moving the stick according to force required. Whether one opts for the spring or not depending on one’s flying style is also a benefit associated with using this USB joystick. However, the throttle steals the show with its exclusive action and the choice it offers in altering resistance while flying. To give the user maximum control over the game, this stick includes features such as rotary switches, flick switches, hat switches and mini-joystick.


  • The resistance can be adjusted
  • Less expensive than its pricey competitors
  • Features several button and switches


  • The plastic body makes the joystick lighter

Final Comment: 

The biggest drawback of Saitek X-55 is that the body is made from plastic instead of metal which affects the sturdiness of the buttons and makes the body lightweight. However, comparatively this gadget is still ahead of its competition with such stunning features at such reasonable pricing. Overall, the Saitek X-55 Rhino HOTAS offers excellent functionality as controller combo for a unique flying experience in a game.


3. The Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Joystick

The Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Joystick is more expensive than the rest of the joysticks in this category but it is worth the investment. Starting with the weight of this USB joystick, one will be amazed and impressed at the same time to find that Thrustmaster has incorporated metal casing all over the stick to the base of the throttle with the weight of the stick exceeding a kilogram. Not only does this weight provides added sturdiness to the stick, but it also ensures that the stick does not fall off the desk while one is deeply engaged in gaming action.

What’s surprising is that the design of the joystick is equally attractive. In fact, the Warthog by Thrustmaster can be considered to be the recreation of the A-10C Thunderbolt II controls (real-life fighter-bomber). There are more controls in this USB joystick than there are fingers on one’s hands and the controllers are the most exquisite one has ever come across. The throttle and stick feature abundant hat switches with sufficient flick switches on the base of the throttle.

But the main disappointment is the absence of Z-axis rotation. However, the additional controls ensure that one overcomes this negative point to outline any number of rudder controls. The flight stick as well as the throttle offer unblemished action. The movement of the stick is smooth and efficient in every direction and there is nothing to complain about the translation in-game. Never does one feel extremely stiff or loose while applying the resistance. So, this is the joystick for the ultimate flying guide for any gamer.


  • It is sturdy, heavy and highly durable
  • The action is exquisite
  • Offers the best value for money


  • Does not feature Z-axis rotation

Final Comment: 

Although, this product is a bit on the expensive end, it can guarantee great flying experience in sims or even Elite: Dangerous. While this incredible gadget is high-priced, one will surely savage every penny while using it for gaming pleasure. It is one must-have USB joystick to invest in.


4. The CH Products Flightstick Pro USB 4-Button Joystick 8-Way Hatswitch

If taken into consideration, this joystick offers satisfaction of fulfilling all of one’s gaming requirements. It is highly durable and can last through extreme use over many years.

In case one is in doubt, reading the maker’s guarantee will assure one of the guarantees that its makers offer for the genuine robustness of this joystick. The CH Products Flightstick Pro USB 4-Button Joystick 8-Way Hatswitch features 24 buttons and 3 hub ( 1 mode switch catch, 3 push buttons, 3 four-way cap switches, 1 eight-path perspective cap). Overall this stick comes with 132 programmable functions integrated with the all-new Control Manager programming. It is compatible with Mac OS 8.6 (and above), Windows 98, 200, XP, Me, Windows 7 and Vista.

The durable, extensive base with elastic fee that is non-slip can be used for effective gaming in work area. Being ambidextrous in nature, both right-handed and left-handed players can make use of the throttle wheel and base efficiently for rudder purpose.


  • 12 buttons with 3 axes
  • The grip design is comfortable
  • 22 programmable functions


  • Does not feature peddler adapter

Final Comment: 

Double turning the trim wheels on base provides the player with exact compliance with the lifts and ailerons and offers one the most pleasurable gaming adventure. The 12 buttons and 3 pivots ensure that the 22 programmable functions work smoothly to give effective control over the game. With easy accessibility for both hands, anyone can use this gadget to play their favorite game for many years to come. Overall, this is one USB joystick that one can trust on for a true gaming adventure for a long time at a reasonable price.


5. The Thrustmaster T-16000M Flight Stick

This Thrustmaster T-16000M Flight Stick is one affordable USB joystick that gives the best returns. The design and build is less expensive than the Warthog but the price is so less that one can surely ignore the use of plastic for the hats and the buttons. All the key elements are available in this stick and with a detachable throttle; one has a distinct advantage over other gamers while playing using this gadget.

Surprisingly, the yoke comes with a hidden small axis that does not point in the X-Y direction but can be twisted to the right or the left direction. With a slight movement that may be considered to be poor manufacturing at first, this pressure-sensitive axis can be used as an added advantage by gamers for rudder control.

Apart from the splitting features, this stick also provides the required Z-axis rotation required for efficient rudder control. One can also use the switch to operate the required rudder functioning through a rocker placed on the throttle grip front part. There are several programmable buttons available on this stick that can help one enjoy the action thoroughly. This stick has gained popularity for its efficient Z-axis rotation feature and the cheap price at which all the functions required for a flight game is easily available.


  • Reasonably-priced
  • The thrust can be detached from the stick
  • The body comes with solid and robust feel


  • Features fewer hats and buttons
  • The buttons are less robust and feel cheap
  • There is no thrill in action

Final Comment:

Although, the action provided by the throttle and the stick are arguable, there is no doubt that the plastic noises and grunching can distract one from the game. However, the flight stick is still sturdy and can keep the stick in place while enjoying the game on a desk. If one is keen on investing in a cheaper sitck with similar features to the top-priced ones, this Flight stick is highly recommended. It does feature the HOTAS software and is decent enough for actions in a flight game, offering one the full functionality expected of a flight stick.


The above-mentioned are among the best-rated Amazon products with overflowing positive reviews vouching for their functionality and durability. Investing in a USB joystick requires careful consideration and reviews from users and these 5 rank among the best gadgets in this category. If one is looking for serious simulations in gaming, it is important to give priority to gadgets with efficient throttle control as it separates the entire flight stick setup from the joy pad, to give speedy delivery while dogfighting in the virtual world. A decent throttle should a major point of consideration while buying a flight stick. One can use the above information to invest in the stick that goes well with his/her gaming requirements and can rest assured of getting the full worth of his/her money.

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