All this overtime I’ve been doing finally produced something of value to me. I’ve been eyeballing a throttle/stick combo for a while. At $112USD, around 99Eur, this is about the least expensive “good” one I’ve seen. The Saitek X52 is the most common competitor but it’s somewhat more expensive.
Condition-wise this one was new in box. Yeah, that top left box corner was a little crushed, but if that was enough to damage this item then I’d have a lot to say about Thrustmaster’s packaging. We actually drop test our packaging where I work and I assume most manufacturers do the same.
Unboxing and setup was extraordinarily easy, such is the way of peripherals now. Just plug it in, let Windows sort it out, then get going. I did install the manufacturer’s software as well, I just haven’t needed it yet.
Rebinding all my controls for Elite was a small nightmare, but I think I’ve got it sorted. I have way more buttons than I can actually reach or use effectively, but I’ve got everything I need and after several hours of play started getting used to it.
I did manage to launch the first time with both roll inverted and pitch not, which was frustrating and amusing to use, but that was a quick and easy fix.
As it stands right now my main complaints are relying on the rubber feet to hold them still during use is probably not the best idea. I kept having issues with both of them drifting during use. The do, however, come with threaded holes to mount them with, I simply have nothing to mount them to, at the moment.
I especially struggled with the throttle. After using it for several hours what started as nice fluid movement quickly became halting jerks as applying enough force get it moving resulted in a very sudden and quick shift. The recommended fixes I’ve seen are tension adjustment and application of dialectric grease to the rails. The rails are super easy to reach from the top, so I’ll likely grab some grease at some point, but I’ll start by doing a tension adjustment this afternoon and see if that loosens it up enough to get back to fluid movement.
One of the largest differences between this and my previous flight stick is that my throttle doesn’t have a detent in it. Before I used a “center throttle is 0” method, where forward of center was forward thrust and back of center was reverse thrust. Now I’m using all the way back is 0 thrust and big left toggle axis on the back toggles reverse on/off. Having a quick and easy way to slam my ship into “park” makes docking so much easier. I can just… stop… on command, a feature I never knew I wanted.
I am also enjoying the rather physical nature of the separate throttle. It’s weirdly satisfying to push that thing all the way forward. Watching me dock was extremely amusing though. For the first few hours I was trying to make the small movements I’m used to on a little slider. The adjustments I’m used to are much larger movements on the new throttle.
All in all, I like it. It’s a nice step up form the inexpensive little all-in-one sticks I’ve used up till now.
I’ve got work to go do, so y’all take care, and remember to make sure your joystick axes are properly inverted, or not.