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Best PC Gaming Joysticks

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Nov 29 2010 - It's been four years since Microsoft launched Flight Simulator X, but the software maker is about to return to the flying sector with "Microsoft Flight." If you're into piloting aircraft on the PC, a gaming joystick is essential. This list compiles the best gaming joysticks on the market today.

1. Best Overall - Saitek X52 Pro Control System

Saitek X52 Pro Control System
Image Courtesy Saitek

Put on your wings and fully immerse yourself in the game with this Saitek X52 Pro Control System. The joystick itself is precise, with four fire buttons and constant spring force. There is even a metal pinkie switch for fast programmable commands. The system also displays in-game information for instant stats giving you a completely interactive experience.

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2. Runner Up - Saitek X52 Flight Control System

Saitek X52 Flight Control System
Image Courtesy Saitek

This Saitek X52 gaming joystick and throttle can be found for under $100, making it an affordable alternative to the X52 Pro shown above. The control system offers an adjustable handle with five positions to maximize comfort for all hand sizes. The soft grip also makes long flights or combat battles a breeze. The Saitek X52 features 3D twist for added rudder control, dual 8-way hat switches, and increased precision overall with non-contact magnetic hall technology.

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3. Best Budget PC Gaming Joystick – Thrustmaster Hotas X

Thrustmaster Hotas X PC Joystick
Image Courtesy Thrustmaster

The Thrustmaster Hotas X retails for $49, but can be found for under $35 at many retailers. It features a detachable throttle and is full programmable with 12 buttons and 5 axles. The weighted base provides a sturdy feel. The Thrustmaster Hotas X is also compatible with both PC machines and the Sony PlayStation 3 for fun gaming on multiple platforms.

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4. Best High-End Gaming Joystick – Logitech G940 Flight System

Logitech G940 Flight System
Image Courtesy Logitech

The Logitech G940 Flight System retails for $299, making this joystick a high-end gaming peripheral. Logitech designed the G940 to look and feel realistic with an authentic design and force feedback. The G940 is also compatible with Playseat furniture to turn your gaming setup into a cockpit. The G940 System has a split lever to maneuver multi-engine aircraft and throttle-base programmable buttons that show the status of aircraft systems. The rudder pedals with toe brakes are great for piloting helicopters.

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