Joystick upgrade. Whole new QoL

Little brag here.

For a long time I was dreaming about HOTAS, since start I was using Logitech 3D Pro. But having rather strict demands my target options were heavily limited. In fact the only option I was aiming for was X-56 Rhino, sadly I had problems with availability. Been hunting for one, to no avail; so I finally decided to buy previous model. I was considering T.16000 HOTAS but seing it live in the store, touching it and dry trying... it didn't felt proper. I don't deny its performance, but it felt light, not many buttons limiting options and I didn't like the idea of sliding throttle. Beside those two there was Warthog, but beyond my willingness to pay that much. So the only candidate was X-56 but no stock + reported quality issues (I wanted revised one, black-grey) required a revision.

Finally I went after X-52 Pro.

Here is what my current setup looks like:

1. Night vision




2. Lights




From left to right:
  • Logitech G13 gamepad
  • X52 throttle
  • Logitech G413 silver keyboard
  • X52 stick
  • Logitech G502 mouse + G440 hard mouse pad
  • screens are Samsung 22" (left) and Iiyama 24" (main)
  • sound system SoundBlaster Z paired with Logitech Z906 THX
Half of yesterday's evening I spent on configuring controls. Now I need to learn all the new layout (2 years of 3D Pro muscle memory to alter...) but I must say - it's the whole new experience. Whole installation process went smooth, ED detected HOTAS and tutorials were giving me exact buttons (with shapes, ha!) what to press. But the feel...

It's the same game, the same ship but it feels totally different. True - stick has different movement range and tension, compared to 3D Pro - it's softer and has more range. But total life changer was adding throttle. With a bit of tweaking it now truly feels like piloting a space ship, not just playing space game. I had my concern about the Rule of Se..ekhm..Six (tho I use 0:07). Until now I had 75% throttle bound to G13 (with a rest of throttle presets) so when timer hit 0:07 I just pressed one button and had my throttle set to 75%. Now I have to manually move throttle to 75% and I was fearing I might have problems. Luckily no problems at all, slowing down to approach speed is great and adds to realism.

It's a bit too early to pass a judgement, I'm excited with new toy, exploring new stuff, learning new binds. I start to observe limitations of this gear which probably wouldn't be an issue with X56, but X52 is what I have so I need to mold it to my needs. But I will repeat myself, I didn't expected that upgrading stick may have such a great impact on how I experience Elite.

Did you have similar or is it just me?
 
I have the Thrustmaster T16000 HOTAS (joystick & throttle), along with the rudders. Perfect. It has been serving me faithfully for two and a half years, without any issues. It may be lighter than your HOTAS, but I'm happy with it.

I DID have an X52 pro, but it broke on me after barely half a year of playing -- the throttle started acting up, making grinding noises as I pushed it forward/pulled backwards, though I'm perfectly willing to admit it's a good HOTAS.
 
How do you "strafe", do you have rudder pedals? I've become one with my Xbox controller, the only thing that is still awkward is toggling between standard/alternative modes, especially when quick reactions are needed such as during FA Off.
 
The X52 has served (and still is) me well, although since using it from day 1 (5+ years), it's seen better days. Couple of buttons don't work and the lock for the main stick is gone so the finer movements of flight are a bit erratic.

Looking to get a Rhino too. However, you will love your new X52 and I hope it serves you as well as mine has!
 
How do you "strafe", do you have rudder pedals?
No rudders. X52 has a "twist" function for yaw. Left-right is roll, forwward-backward is pitch and twist is yaw, no pedals needed. One of the advantage over Warthog which does not have such function and rudder steering requires additional hardware.

@Comandante - mine is brand new and shiny and I expect it to last at least few years. It costed half the X56 price and I read many good reviews about oveerall quality (on the contrary to X56). I don't play that much and try to be gentle and not to put much stress on it so if it's not some design/manufacturing flaw I don't see a reaason it wouldn't lastin for years.

Oh, and a quick question, button , in the middle of lower dial (on throttle). In Windows settings I see it works but I cannot bind anythin in ED under it. Game refuses to see the button press. Is it some "special" feature button or what? I'm still learning that set, it happened to forget one keybind (tho I think it's more ED related). Minor issue, overall I'm very happy with it.
 
No rudders. X52 has a "twist" function for yaw. Left-right is roll, forwward-backward is pitch and twist is yaw, no pedals needed. One of the advantage over Warthog which does not have such function and rudder steering requires additional hardware.

@Comandante - mine is brand new and shiny and I expect it to last at least few years. It costed half the X56 price and I read many good reviews about oveerall quality (on the contrary to X56). I don't play that much and try to be gentle and not to put much stress on it so if it's not some design/manufacturing flaw I don't see a reaason it wouldn't lastin for years.

Oh, and a quick question, button , in the middle of lower dial (on throttle). In Windows settings I see it works but I cannot bind anythin in ED under it. Game refuses to see the button press. Is it some "special" feature button or what? I'm still learning that set, it happened to forget one keybind (tho I think it's more ED related). Minor issue, overall I'm very happy with it.
It's been a long time, so this might not be right:

Open X52 Control Panel -> MFD -> "Enable Clutch Mode" - disable it.

IIRC that's the boost button and I think I had to disable clutch mode to make it work - but that was a long time ago!
 
My joystick is garbage. Literally bought it covered in some kind of sticky sugary substance for £2 from a charity shop.
You sure it was sugar?

@OP: Hope your X52 Pro holds out longer than mine. Had to return two of them due to several issues. The X-56 is not worth the money, both material and build quality is just cheap.
 
Open X52 Control Panel -> MFD -> "Enable Clutch Mode" - disable it.
Oh. Many thanks. I was wondering what that "clutch mode" does. I'll check it today, thanks for the clarification.

---edit---
changed settings as stated above, works like a charm
---/edit---

@B1rdy - can't say about materials of X-56, I believe I touched it once on a display and it felt ok-ish. Tho build quality is somewhat confirmed by reviews. Something to it since after initial release rather quickly Logitech made revised version. Poor quality was my biggest hold on on that purchase. Was hoping that grey version will be better but decided to get X52. And I hope this particular piece will last. 3D Pro lasted over 2 years and apart centering problem (had slight drift from the beginning, too lazy to set deadzones) it still works. Well, time will tell. At least I have warranty.
 
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Jelly of the G13. Can't find those anymore that aren't asking for the price of a major organ. Haven't found any other keypad with an ANALOG stick. Everyone else has gone with the cheap digitals.

I've had very few issues with my (now Logitech, but used to be madcatz) x52. I've had it for years. A definite good replacement for the thrustmaster yf22 stick and throttle I replaced with it.
 
I have an X-56 and quality issues are true. I bough a lot of Saitek products in the past for flight simulation and this is the first unit with issues.
It's still good though as my issues are a couple of keys not really working, I suspect for low wiring quality installation, and the throttle friction which is set to minimum and I don't touch it at all otherwise the throttle becomes hard as hell.
For the rest is fine.
When I was looking for a Hotas I was about to buy the X-52 too, then I found a strange combination of prices where several online shops were selling the X-52 at higher price than the X-56 so I got the cheapest one.

The next big QoL change is the VR, that's a really huge game changer ;)
 
Oh. Many thanks. I was wondering what that "clutch mode" does. I'll check it today, thanks for the clarification.

@B1rdy - can't say about materials of X-56, I believe I touched it once on a display and it felt ok-ish. Tho build quality is somewhat confirmed by reviews. Something to it since after initial release rather quickly Logitech made revised version. Poor quality was my biggest hold on on that purchase. Was hoping that grey version will be better but decided to get X52. And I hope this particular piece will last. 3D Pro lasted over 2 years and apart centering problem (had slight drift from the beginning, too lazy to set deadzones) it still works. Well, time will tell. At least I have warranty.
For a joystick in that price region, ok-ish material and build quality in not acceptable in my point of view. Even when it was priced around the X-55 Pro region during certain sales, I would hesitate to recommend it. Since Logitech took over, the price was even raised by 10-20% - impertinent, if you ask me.
 
T16000 and FCS throttle here--my setup is somewhat similar--dual monitors (one for eddb, one for the game), but my controllers are mounted to a board that I can clamp to my desk when using, then store it under the desk when I'm not. Also have an old DK2 when I feel like fighting in VR, but trading/missions are mostly done in flatspace.
 
I am using an X52 Pro you can still bind preset throttle settings, they override the setting from the position of the throttle until you move the throttle again.
 
I have one of those Logitech Z906 THX.

I notice you plug it into the SoundBlaster Z. Is this still analogue? And if so, how much difference did you notice compared to your MB's sound chip?
 
Piggy-backing off this thread:

I need to replace my 5+ year-old X52.

Would people recommend another X52, an X55 or an X56? I hear a lot about the 55/56 quality being poor.

I've got an X-56 attached to a reclinable armchair (lazyboy style). I only play in VR (Rift). I could never go back to the big screen and controller (which is how I used to play).
Completely agree. Had my Rift since August, not seen the flat-screen since! If my Rift stopped working, I'd have to get another and wouldn't play until I'd replaced it...
 
I have one of those Logitech Z906 THX.

I notice you plug it into the SoundBlaster Z. Is this still analogue? And if so, how much difference did you notice compared to your MB's sound chip?
Speaker to SB-Z is done via 3-jack cable. There's an option for optical but I did not opted for that.
Sound difference? Let me puit it this way. I had Logitech X-540 5.1 speakers and MB's integrated sound. It was ok for years. Few months ago I installed SB-Z and plug X-540. Sound became more bad-a... . Then I found sale opportunity and got nicely discounted Z906.

I thought SB-Z with X-540 was great. I was wrong. Difference between X-540 and Z906 (playing on SB-Z) is like listening symfonic orchestra on CD and attending live concert. In private session. MB's chip, in comparison, felt like listening to bad pop on old mobile phone speaker. With new setup I played one of my favorite songs and was amazed as I heard new instruments and sounds in it.

My whole setup improved over the years, got new monitor, replaced keyboard and mouse, upgraded heavily sound, now HOTAS. Yesterday evening when it was dark in the room you could almost feel like inside the ship. Next upgrade... probably head tracking with VR being end of the line.

As for SB-Z and Z906 - I can totally recommend such setup as it performs awesome. Hard to exactly tell what is the difference, you need to experience it. Let it be suffice when I tell you this - when I finished configuring it, played some songs and turned volume to about 40% power I had smile already around my head, widening with every % of power added. With this gear you don't only hear music.

You feel it.
 
I used a Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X for quite a few years.

Very affordable, great build quality, just not quite enough buttons, but I used (and still do) VoiceAttack to compensate.

I then went for the Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS. The linear throttle does (still) feel a bit weird, but after loosening the friction screw and giving the rails a very minor dab of silicon grease, it's good enough.

For another 'step change' in QoL, get some form of head tracking (I use EdTracker) - quite affordable and it made a big change for me.
 
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Good luck with the X-52 Pro. I used one for awhile before its corrupt drivers tried to kill my pc. I won’t touch Saitek again after that debacle.

The T.16000M actually has more buttons than the X-52, btw. When I upgraded, I was able to do so much more with it. Took some getting used to, but now I can’t imagine playing without it. Reliable as a wood-burning stove, too.
 
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