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Recommended Joysticks


daskal
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OO so this is not really support related in terms of being directed to eSims, but geared more towards users instead. Since the very first SB pro PE came out I have been using a plain and simple QZ 501 Joystick. It had all the necessary buttons, plus sensitivity was top-notch for SB Gunnery. Time has however taken it's toll on it, and as its no longer being manufactured I need to get myself a new joystick.

 

Can anyone recommend a particular model that works well with SB - and is suitable for Gunnery? I have tried some other flight jokes in the past, but up/down movement always seems a bit "off" making gunnery difficult.

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I also have the t16000m. Before it I owned the Saitek X45 and X52.

The T16000M has hall sensors instead of potentiometers and in my opinion the sensitivity is better than the X45 and about the same as X52.

If you can afford it, try to stay away from potentiometers (X45) as they tend to fail if you don't clean/replace them

The only is that the centering spring is a bit strong but you can change it, there's a youtube video where they replace it with a home-made spring out of a coat hanger..

Edited by Dagger1987
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Their lack of universality is a bit of an issue however. Not that it's AFV Sim's fault that each and every tank has their own set of handles with individual button layouts. Picking the "stick with the mostest buttons" is probably the safest approach, but then you can just as well pick a generic stick with 16+ buttons for an equally versatile solution that is not necessarily worse in fidelity, but considerably cheaper.

 

That said, a CV90/35 handle is awesome to use with the CV90/35 in SB Pro because only then, all of a sudden, all the weird keyboard hotkey combos start to make sense. It's one of the few examples where the mouse and keyboard combination is probably inferior to the use of a custom joystick as the primary input device.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you're only buying a stick for SB, then I wouldn't recommend the X52 or X55. They're a little pricey and 50% of the set (the throttle) is not supported by SB. 

 

My Saitek X52 is exceptionally smooth in SB - it makes gunnery a blast with how smoothly I can scan and acquire targets. Plus the plethora of stick-keys allows me to do most of my gunnery work without using the keyboard. 

 

However, I have found little use for the throttle and I don't think SB even supports the throttle axis. It would be nice to be able to control the speed of a vehicle using the throttle axis, versus the three forward and one rear speed that we have. No point in buying a stick for SB that isn't fully supported. 

 

 

Edited by Apocalypse 31
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4 hours ago, ashdivay said:

Maybe, AFVSim or another provider could design and sell a consumer version of gunners handle/stick for SB players on order basis. "I have a dream"

 

They already do - you just need to be a reasonably well off "consumer". :)

 

And of course you'd have to buy 3 or 4 of them depending on which vehicles / positions you want to use.

 

Edited by Gibsonm
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The price is dictated by the manufacturing method and the materials involved. The only way to bring down the prices would be a mass production with plastic injection molds. The problem is that these molds are VERY expensive to make and you can recoup the price only if you can sell a high enough number of sticks to bring the price per unit down.

The market simply is too small for that.

 

 

 

This answer was generated by the DreamCrusher 3000.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hopefully some day Ssnake will add an options menu to Pro PE where we can perform stick calibration, and add things like filtering and dead zones to compensate for sticks that have become a little glitchy or have bad center areas.

 

For example, the stick I have right now is almost perfectly fine, but I wish I could tell Pro PE to ignore inputs from the first 10% of movement away from center, because the stick will flop around in that range without any spring tension, but still give control inputs...So my turret just seems to constantly slowly traverse right if I let go of the stick...

Edited by Maj.Hans
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I still use my old proven combo that I use in flightsims since 15 years: a CH Fighterstick and ProThrottle. The spring is a bit too soft, but thats it in minor negatives, everything else is outstandingly positive, imo.

 

The charm of this HOTAS used in SBP lies in that both devices have plenty of buttons that can be keymapped via the best software interface in business for these kinds of jobs, the CH Manager. Intuitive, super-flexible, allows also complex programming per buttons, and all that in three layers. I like to have the usual functions all on this HOTAS in SBP, and to have over 70 programmable buttons allows that easily. Fighting, gunning, moving, formation management - I do it all with my pranks on throttle and stick, keyboard is almost never needed. Doing an ergonomic template for SBP takes some work, however, invest some time - but see it paying off. I have posted one in the download section somewhere, it allows swtiching of layers and so enable you to easily switch between movement and formation management, and combat, also switching between gunning/aiming via stick, or to have controls set so that you use Throttle and mouse (good for travel and panning around).

 

If SBP is your only sim that you play, you can go with simpler sticks or highly specialised kits (your choice and your wallet), but if you also use it for other stuff, I would always prefer a better quality HOTAS setup.

 

The Throttle I also use in other sims like driving sims, just to be able to access keyboard controls without needing to look.

 

15 years or so, and still no wear or tear on my CH gear. Not the cheapest, but worth the price.

Edited by Skybird03
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I've only used CH Combatstick for years; two of them...first serieal, now USB. The USB must be at least ten years old and still works fine, but it has seen very limited use the last five years. It does require a bit of fine tuning to keep the sight centered. Don't know if that's a software issue or a bad POT in the joystick. Nonetheless, I've scored very quick and perfect gunnery with it.

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  • 4 years later...

Hello! I hope, it is okay to revive this old thread from 2016 (to not create a similar topic again and keep things together).

 

1) Recommended Joysticks

 

Can someone recommend me a joystick for SB gunnery in 2021? I do not play flight sims and also no other games, only SB, so the stick will be bought exclusively for SB.

 

2) Thrustmaster T16000M

 

The T16000M was recommended several times above, but it was also noted that the spring tension is too strong. Here is another post about this problem (from another forum), with more details:

 

„T16000M input is really precise and linear, but its weak point is the springs, which are slightly too strong and not adjustable, and above all, the extremely non-linear spring force in the center. It takes a significant force to start moving the joystick from the center. The advantage of this is, that the stick returns very efficiently to a neutral position, without jiggle. The drawback is: it's difficult to control precisely very small movements around the center.“ 


„There’s also enough spring-back to make you want to adjust the plane’s trim so you don’t have to hold the T16000M in place constantly.“


(a) So maybe holding the joystick in place or moving it over a long period of time (2h in online missions) creates sore forearms? Some users complained about it (related to other games), or is this not the case in your experience with the T16000M?


(b) I am also looking for a joystick without a „hump“ when starting to move from the center – for precise and fine targeting. Is this really a problem with the T16000M?

 

3) Real Control Handles

 

I already tried a borrowed game-controller (from a console) with an analog-stick, but this little analog stick is so bad when it comes to fine movement in SB, that I simply cannot use it. The mouse is actually a lot more precise. Precision seems generally no problem at all with the mouse, but it feels very awkward/strange to control, lets say, a tank gun with a mouse.


There seem to be joysticks for every group of „enthusiasts“: tons of flight simulator sticks, driving handles, even farming simulator handles, and also countless science fiction „space simulator“ sticks. But for tank gunnery? Nothing. More lobby work for tank sims needs to be done... :) The only thing, that I found, and that was also mentioned in posts above, are professional training devices not suited for hobby tank sim players.

 

So, related to real AFV control handles (or such training replicas): 

 

How much „tension“/spring-back do they have? For example, here an ERCWS-M gunner's station with a two hand control handle. Or here the one hand control handle for a similar system in another vehicle (commander's position).


Does it take a significant force to move those real control handles or to start moving them from the center? Because if yes, then a gaming joystick with strong spring tension might be ok anyway...

 

Thanks a lot for advises! And have a good weekend!

Edited by Fichtenwald
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1 hour ago, Fichtenwald said:

So, related to real AFV control handles (or such training replicas): 

 

How much „tension“/spring-back do they have? For example, here an ERCWS-M gunner's station with a two hand control handle. Or here the one hand control handle for a similar system in another vehicle (commander's position).

I suspect that the tension depends on the chosen model. AFV Sim would know best which of their models had the least stiff springs. Also, I seem to remember that they were planning to offer kits for self-assembly (not sure if these plans ever came to fruition, though). I would suspect that you could then choose to mount softer springs.

All that being said, maybe you simply try out the mouse/keyboard combination. This should clarify if you really want to have some form of joystick connected. If you still miss one in five or eight weeks, at least you then know that it's not a spur of the moment decision.

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Having tried many solutions... I do recommend mouse and keyboard or Joustic that is easy to use along with mouse and keyboard.  Thing with steelbeast is that you need mouse for so many things.  Especially for commanding units  that are separate from your platoon.  A platoon... you could command with joystic too.  There are simple commands that could be mapped to joystic.  Though the biggest problem with choosing a joystic is... well.  Almost all AFVs have different kind of control handles and logic behind buttons. You can easily get your joystic to match your favorite.. or several favorite vehicles.  But what then when you have to go to one that works differently?   Also question is will you want to use palmswitch?  Aka..  do you want it to be released when pressed (joystic mode)  or  activated when pressed  (control handle mode)    On some vehicles latter is more convenient and offers some benefits... but at same time.. on others you will probably run to even more problems.  Control handle mode is most suitable if you pick favorite vehicle for immersion. Joystic mode is better if you want to run on just about any vehicle.  Though.. on either case. I recommend to have button box with your joystic.. or at very least a joystic with lot of buttons.  And yes..  be prepared to use mouse with joystic... it is kind of almost impossible to be without.

 

Track IR can be some help with joystic..  but a lot of nuisance too.  (yet one more device to with its own problems with sunlight and needing to be set up every time...  and can make you feel sick.)   On other hand.. it can help you look around faster as commander and so.

 

Sooo well.   Really..  if you are looking for joustic for Steelbeast.  Find one that is confortable for you.  That youd like to use a lot.  Accurate well responsive joystic would probably be prefetable for confort reasons. As such can almost rival a mouse.    I have a feel that control handles old older AFVS probably have quite bit deadzone..  (most likely to avoid unwanted movements because of vehicle movement make user body to move inside vehicle  [Bradley crewmember told me so])  Also I believe that those are quite stiff because of that?  !!! I may be wrong on these assumptions though.  !!!

 

Then again, if you are looking for something modern..  look for something with Thumb joystic..  aka one where your hand can grip joystic (that doesn't move / is fixed to vehicle to support your body)  But the finger joystic on top  where your place your thumb  will move.. like on playstation controller.  I believe that those would be quite accurate, and probably with much less dead zone.  Yet.. probably quite stiff?  I think AFV sim guys could  confirm if such hunch is true or not?  

 

Also consider to hava a joystic with many buttons..  or a button box. (though you could.. just as well use keyboard..  although some quite essential keys are places all around it >.< )  

 

 

As for  T16000M   I have that joystic as well (for flight sim purposes)  and It is a very good joystic in my opinion. I have not used it in Steelbeast though, because rather profound lack of buttons.  (hence my reconmendation for button box)  You could easily use it though.  I used my old locitech extreme pro for a long time and it worked quite nicely once you got used to it and that.. I suppose is the thing.  What ever you get.. you will in the end get used to. Just put hours to it and you will get it work for you.

 

Also..  palmswitch..  it could be worthwhile finding a joystick that would have convenient button to use as palmswich.  I used my logitech extreme pro  so that I changed trigger to be palmswich and lase button (one on the side for thumb)  to be trigger instead.  

 

I would still recommend a joystic with stiff springs and lot of buttons >.<      

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