The grandfather of flight simulators has returned. Microsoft Flight Simulator is the latest entry in the legendary simulator franchise, this time combining mapping data, cloud-based data, and artificial intelligence to offer the most realistic experience to date. And what better way to celebrate this triumph of technology than to invest in some modern equipment? Simulation fans already know that rudder pedals are an essential part of a proper flight setup. For gamers and enthusiasts looking to take their simulation to the next level, you can't go wrong with our top pick, the Logitech G Pro Flight Rudder Pedals.
Best overall: Logitech G Pro Flight Rudder Pedals
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Logitech G Pro Flight Rudder Pedals
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
The Logitech G Pro Flight Rudder Pedals continue Logitech's line of high-quality flight simulator equipment. In fact, the first thing you'll notice on this model is the slick design. It's a bit heavy, weighing in at just over 5 pounds, but it's a sturdy and high-quality build, though admittedly, it does look a bit on the cheaper side, thanks to the plastic parts. But looks aren't everything, and you'll quickly find that these pedals have a lot to offer.
The adjustable tension dial in the middle of the pedals makes setting a comfortable resistance level just a few twists away. The foot pedals are also adjustable and are made of non-slip materials. Coupled with a handy lip at the back to support your heels, you'll never have to worry about your feet popping out of place during quick flight maneuvers. When the pedals are pressed, they move in inverse directions, simulating the effect of real airplane pedals, which should provide the realism that simulation fans desire. They also self-center when no pressure is applied.
The Logitech G Pro Flight Rudder Pedals will work with Microsoft Flight Simulator right out the box, as well as many other popular flight simulators. Just plug them in, adjust to your liking, and take off. But for those looking for a little more control, Logitech offers Logitech's Saitek Smart Technology configurator, a free software download that allows you to customize your pedal layout. Change axes, adjust sensitivity settings, or even configure them for a racing game if you decide a car is more your speed.
The pedals are fully modular can be easily combined with the Logitech Pro Yoke and other Logitech flight simulation products to form a complete system, if you've decided to totally buy into the simulation. It also comes with easy-to-use mounting brackets that are perfect for when you want to keep your pedals off the ground. On their own, they work just fine, and since they don't rely on USB for power, you can also plug them into any USB hub. They don't require any drivers and are compatible with older versions of Windows, as well. They're even compatible with the Mac OSX, but there are some Mac-specific drivers required.
Totally modular, extremely comfortable, and highly customizable, the precise, fluid control of the Logitech G Pro Flight Rudder Pedals are like no other. Retailing at $169, it's not the cheapest offering, but the Logitech G Pro Flight Rudder Pedals are easy to use and the perfect choice for newcomers and enthusiasts alike. It earns our recommendation, especially if you've invested in other Logitech equipment, like the Logitech G Pro Flight Yoke System, which we also had great things to say about.
Best budget: CH Products Pro Pedals
CH Products Pro Pedals
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Weighing in at only 1.7 pounds, the CH Pro Pedals are the pipsqueak of the group, but don't count them out because they're smaller. Despite its weight, the base is very solid, and the whole design is incredibly well built thanks to military-grade plastic construction. They are modeled after actual airplane pedals, complete with inverse motion control. They also feature differential brake control in the toes, which allows for realistic handling. The pedals themselves aren't adjustable like the others on this list, but are generously sized and should fit most. The gray plastic does give these pedals a dated look, which might appeal to some, but ruin the aesthetics for others.
They might look older than I am, but CH Pro Pedals aren't light on features. These pedals feature three axes of control. The X and Y axes are controlled by moving your feet forward and to the sides, but the Z-axis is controlled by pushing the pedals along the sliding tracks. The pedals are also self-centering, which is a nice bonus. Even better is the fact that the CH Pro Pedals are compatible with Windows 98 (!) and up, and even the Mac OS — no drivers necessary.
The CH Pro Pedal will work with Microsoft Flight Simulator, no drivers are necessary, but you'll want to download CH Products Control Manager from the CH Products website if you want to customize your controls. Mac users are, unfortunately, stuck on default. The package also includes an adapter that disables the inverse motion. Doing so actually makes these pro pedals ideal for racing sims.
Connecting the pedals is easy, thanks to its 7-foot USB cable. They will need a powered USB connection though, so they must be plugged directly into your PC. Plugging them into a yoke won't be enough, and most USB hubs that aren't powered won't work either. There are no mounting options, so you'll have to keep these grounded. Aside from that, the CH Pro Pedals are feature-complete and make for an excellent budget buy, perfect for those dipping their toes into simulation hardware.
Best value: Thrustmaster TFRP T.Flight Rudder Pedals
Thrustmaster TFRP T.Flight Rudder Pedals
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
For our value selection, you can't do much better than the Thrustmaster T.Flight Rudder Pedals, or TFRP. Weighing at just under 5 pounds, the construction consists of steel and aluminum, which makes for a rugged piece of plastic. Compared to the other two pedals on the list, the TFRP Rudder Pedals are angled towards you, which allows for comfortable, albeit less realistic flying. The heel rest can also be removed, allowing you to control the rudder with different parts of your foot. Again, it's not the most realistic flying position, but it's perfect for staying comfortable during long flights.
This rudder's two main features are differential braking and the Sliding Motion Advanced Rail Track slide rails system, or S.M.A.R.T., for short (Thrustmaster is all about acronyms). The S.M.A.R.T. system refers to the dual aluminum rails under both pedals, which ensures smooth sliding motion along its axis, while differential braking allows for each pedal to have its own individual brakes, allowing for tighter control in the air and while taxiing. The TFRP is well calibrated, but newcomers might have a difficult time using the slide rails and the brakes simultaneously.
One strange omission from this set is the ability to adjust the tension. While the default tension is fine, it's definitely something to keep in mind for those who want complete control over their simulation equipment. Thrustmaster also offers calibration software to customize the TFRP's performance. You can adjust the TFRP to change where the dead zones are, or eliminate them altogether. You can also alter these settings separately for each axis of movement.
The TFRP is compatible with Windows Vista and onward, so look away if you're using anything older. It's also not compatible with Mac, but it is compatible with the PS4 and Xbox One as well as Thrustmaster's Flight Hotas Joystick. It also needs a powered USB connection, not unlike the CH Pro Pedals.
Compatibility issues aside, this is the most realistic set of pedals possible, and for the price, you can easily see why they're the best value.
Best premium: Thrustmaster Pendular Rudder Pedals
Thrustmaster Pendular Rudder Pedals
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
If money ain't an issue and you're looking for the best pair of pedals that money can buy, look no further than the Thrustmaster Pendular Rudder Pedals. This 100% metal structure weighs in at over 15 pounds, with a heavy base plate that provides ample stability. The Thrustmaster Pendular Rudder Pedals comes with their H.E.A.R.T technology, or HallEffect AccuRate Technology (I told you Thrustmaster loves acronyms). What that means is that features like 3D Hall effect magnetic sensors ensure ultra-precise, frictionless action that will not wear away over time.
Visually, the Thrustmaster Pendular Rudder is very different from the other pedals. It departs significantly from the traditional flat layout most pedals exhibit and instead chooses to prominently display the "PENDUL_R" mechanism — and no, that's not a typo. PENDUL_R refers to the rudder pedal arms that hang from the top of the device.
Unconventional, maybe, but the company sought extensive feedback from commercial and military pilots in designing the TPR. These are built in the same way that a set of rudders is built inside a real plane. This kind of mechanism prevents one notorious problem that many flat pedals face — without a sliding track, there's no way dust, hair, and other junk can hinder pedal movement.
This set of pedals also offers tons of customization options right out of the box. For starters, the pedals can be adjusted into five different positions, at angles between 35 and 75 degrees. The spring positions can be adjusted to fine-tune resistance to your preference. In addition, you can combine your device with other Thrustmaster devices so that they are recognized as a single USB device, and load or create specific profiles for each game using the Thrustmaster Advanced pRogramming Graphical EdiTor, or T.A.R.G.E.T (this one is kind of a stretch, isn't it?).
This is great for sim fans who want to control a commercial Boeing and a spaceship on the same day with no hassle. Thrustmaster also seems to be very open to the modding community, so true sim enthusiasts will get a kick from messing with the hardware itself. And yes, Mac users, you'll be happy to know that it's compatible with the Mac OS as well.
That's a lot of features packed into this large set and for good reason. This set of pedals retails at about $500. These aren't entry-level pedals and are absolutely geared towards hardcore sim enthusiasts. If the price tag doesn't scare you away, then you'll find one of the best sets of pedals on the market.
Pedals are essential for flight sim buffs looking to take their immersion to the next level. Any of these is a perfect companion to Microsoft Flight Simulator or any other flight simulator game. We recommend all of these, but if you're looking to get the most bang for your buck, you won't do any better than the Logitech G Pro Flight pedals.
For flight enthusiasts looking for more equipment to complement their pedals, finding a best yoke and best joystick for Microsoft Flight Simulator is the next step to completing your experience. Microsoft Flight Simulator is a deeply rewarding game, once you learn how to fly, of course. But with enough practice, you're guaranteed to earn your wings in no time.
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