Starter HOTAS

Thrustmaster t.flight hotas 4

Pro entry

HORI Ace Combat HOTAS

While the Thrustmaster certainly looks the part and is a cheap entry point in the HOTAS market, it does have a few issues that give us pause in recommending it.

$57 at Best Buy

Pros

  • Great starting price
  • Specialized PS4 buttons

Cons

  • Not quite as stable as it could be

The official Ace Combat HOTAS by HORI may be a little pricey, it's $200 so not an impulse buy, its sleek look and firm controls make this HOTAS one to consider for the PlayStation 4.

$200 at Amazon

Pros

  • Integrated PS4 touchpad
  • Headphone jack built in
  • Separate flight stick and thrust control

Cons

  • Four times more expensive than the Thrustmaster

The Hands On Throttle-And-Stick (HOTAS) market is a niche one. There aren't really a lot of games that need them, but the ones that do, flight sims and dogfighting games, are enhanced to no end by their use.

The Thrustmaster t.Flight is a value stick and if you are just thinking of using one for the first time, the Thrustmaster would be an ok choice. For a better experience, you should go for the HORI HOTAS but remember it is a lot more expensive. Four times more expensive in fact.

What's the real difference?

The Thrustmaster t.Flight is fine, sort of. The HOTAS does exactly what you need it to do, it keeps all the buttons within fingers reach and controls the plane in a much more immersive way than just using your DualShock controller would. Our only real issue with it is the stability and the lack of feedback.

Although it says That the t.Flight has a weighted bottom the biggest complaint is that it doesn't feel as stable as it could when you are in the heart of a dogfight. When playing Ace Combat 7: skies Unknown you can't help but notice the lack of feedback come from the controls. There is almost no real pressure behind the controls so you can't make the smaller motions or really feel connected to the game.

The HORI HOTAS, on the other hand, has plenty of feedback. You can feel the pressure when you push forward into the throttle and get a definite rumble in the stick when you hit turbulence. When you are playing Ace Combat 7, especially in the VR mode that feedback makes the game so much more realistic.

When you add the build quality and the added little details like the headphone jack and the touchscreen, the HORI really does feel like a premium product in a way the Thrustmaster doesn't. Even the buttons have a better, clickier feel to them.

Thrustmaster t.Flight HOTAS 4 HORI Ace Combat HOTAS
Dedicated PS4 buttons ✔️ ✔️
Separate stick and thruster ✔️ ✔️
Headphone Jack ✔️
Haptic Feedback ✔️
Adjustable resistance ✔️ ✔️

Honestly, if you have the $200 to spring for the HORI HOTAS, then that's the one you should choose. Sure it's nearly 4 times as much as the Thrustmaster but it is a much better experience too.

We would only suggest buying the Thrustmaster t.Flight if you desperately want to try a HOTAS and only have $60 to do it. It may not be the best controller but it still works better than the standard DualShock Controller when playing a flight sim.

Cheap but shaky

Thrustmaster t.flight hotas 4

Buy this if you've never brought a HOTAS before.

While the inclusion of proper PS4 buttons is helpful and the stick is comfortable to use, the stability is an issue as is the sometimes creaky build quality

Sleek and firm

HORI Ace Combat HOTAS

Buy this if you want a premium feeling HOTAS

The price is high, yes, but that doesn't take away from the excellent feedback you get from this HOTAS. The headphone jack and touchpad are just icing on the cake.

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