Flight Simulator hardware for Beginning Flightsimmers
As a new - or beginning - flight simulation pilot, browsing through our catalog may be overwhelming; software, joysticks, yokes, rudder pedals, throttle quadrants, and even more.
Where to start? Let's take a quick tour of the different flight simulator controls.
It all starts with downloading Flight Simulator
Starting out in the world of flight simulation is exciting! Whether you're a casual gamer or an aspiring pilot, the first step is to download and install Flight Simulator software.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is a great choice. It is a highly realistic flight simulator developed by Microsoft for PC and Xbox Series X|S. Microsoft Flightsimulator offers a wide range of aircraft to fly, from small single-engine planes to large airliners. Thanks to Bing Maps combined with advanced algorithms, Microsoft was able to recreate the world in one game. Flight Simulator provides an immersive flying experience for pilots of all skill levels. Microsofts Flight Simulator comes with tutorial flights and is very accessible. This is the reason MSFS is currently the most popular simulator used.
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Take control of your airplane
The most essential piece of hardware to control your airplane is a joystick or a yoke (also referred to as the 'steering wheel').
Generally, a joystick is used in some General Aviation aircraft, in some Airliners (i.e., Airbus), Fighter Planes, and Helicopters. A yoke is typically used in most GA Aircraft and most Airliners (i.e., Boeing or Bombardier). If you prefer to fly in an airplane controlled by a stick, we suggest choosing a joystick; if you prefer to fly an aircraft controlled by a yoke, you want to choose a yoke. If you don't have a preference (yet), we suggest a joystick to start with.
Good to know: all airplanes in Flight Simulator can be controlled by stick and yoke. I.e., you can also fly a Boeing 787 with a flight stick.
We recommend starting your Flight Simulator journey with a stick. A joystick is intuitive, and changes are that you have used a stick before (i.e., on a PlayStation- or Xbox controller).
Learning how to use a joystick as a flight stick is easy for most people and doesn't require much effort. Another reason to choose a flight stick is that it allows you to control the aircraft's pitch, roll, and yaw, as well as its throttle (on one device). This means you have full control in the air and on the ground (when taxi-ing). If you already know that Flight Simulator is here to stay, check out the flight sticks listed on our Flight Simulator hardware for Advanced Flightsimmers page. The hardware on that page is of higher quality and has more functionality, but it is also more expensive (compared to beginner flightsim hardware).
What about Yokes, Rudder Pedals and a Throttle Quadrant?
We think its best to start flying with a joystick. The joysticks we've selected all have rudder and power control, so you won't need additional hardware.
If you do want to start with a flight yoke, make sure to scroll down, as we've selected two ready to fly yokes.
A flight simulator yoke is a steering wheel-like device (that's why we've previously referred to it as a steering wheel). When flying a yoke-controlled airplane, a yoke adds extra realism to your flight simulator experience.
Rudder Pedals allow you to control the rudder of the aircraft. The rudder is a movable surface on the tail of an airplane that is used to steer the plane left and right (on the vertical axis).
The pedals also control your nosewheel while on the ground and allow you to use braking.
A throttle is a device that allows you to control the power settings of an aircraft. If a throttle has more functions than just controlling the power setting, it is named a Throttle Quadrant. A throttle quadrant is similar to a throttle but has additional axes that can be used for multi-engine flying or to control propellor and mixture settings. Some throttle quadrants also have levers for controlling flaps or speedbrakes.
Are you flying on Xbox Series X|S?
All Flight Simulator hardware listed on this page is fully compatible with Microsoft Flight Simulator on Windows PC.
Are you a virtual pilot flying on Xbox Series X|S? Please make sure to check out our dedicated Flight Simulator Hardware for Console page, as not all hardware is compatible with Xbox.