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Best HOTAS Controllers for VR 2022

Best HOTAS controllers for VR
Best HOTAS controllers for VR (Image credit: Thrustmaster)

Hands-On Throttle-and-Stick (HOTAS) controllers employ a joystick and throttle grip to emulate the controls in an authentic aircraft (or spacecraft) cockpit, and the best VR HOTAS controllers can change your gaming world. If you're thinking about investing in this type of controller, I've rounded up the best HOTAS joystick and throttle systems out there now. Availability seems to be limited at the moment for a lot of top models, but there are still some great options.

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Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X (opens in new tab)

Great Value

With a relatively affordable price (considering the current market), comfortable grip on throttle and stick, weighted base, and detachable build, the Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X should satisfy most people. It has 12 programmable buttons and five programmable axles so you can set things up how you want, and it connects to your PC with USB-A.

If we're making a suggestion

The best VR HOTAS controllers currently seem to be in short supply, and prices have gone up quite a bit in the last year. This, no doubt, has something to do with the unreal success of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. The Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X (opens in new tab) is still the most affordable option in our roundup, and it will satisfy most people. It was designed way back in the PlayStation 3 days, but it works fine with Windows 10 and the best PC VR games with HOTAS support.

You get 12 programmable buttons split between throttle and stick, and you can adjust the resistance felt when using the latter. A weighted base keeps things steady, and you can separate the two pieces to sit on either side of you for a truly immersive experience. The HOTAS controller plugs in with USB-A, and it will save up to five preset button mappings for quick switching.

If you're interested in adding pedals to the HOTAS setup, something like the Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS Flight Pack (opens in new tab) is still not crazy overpriced. It has a quality joystick and throttle, as well as aluminum pedals for something like rudder control. It's not that much more than our overall top pick, and it adds that extra piece of hardware for a more realistic flight experience.

Cale Hunt
Senior Editor, Laptop Reviews

Cale Hunt is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.