Best DCS World HOTAS

Best HOTAS for DCS World 2022

If you’ve spent any amount of time on DCS World you know that in order to get the full amount of realism from the game, you need reliable and realistic controls. DCS World aside from being a game, is an extremely realistic simulator as well. It is for this reason that a good HOTAS system is vital in order to see the full potential of DCS. If You’ve been searching for a good DCS World HOTAS but don’t know where to start. You’ve come to the right place! The following is a list of what I think are some of the best options for HOTAS when it comes to DCS World!


What Is A HOTAS?

If you don’t quite know what a HOTAS is, the following paragraph is a brief explanation. If you DO know what a HOTAS is, you can move right along! For most other flight simulators out there, a yoke style control surface works perfect. DCS World however, is a very different story. DCS World, if you don’t know, is a simulator for military fighter aircraft. Almost all fighter aircraft are controlled by a HOTAS system. HOTAS stands for: Hands On Throttle And Stick. Basically what this means is that with a HOTAS, you can fly the plane without ever really having to take your hands off the throttle and stick. In fighter planes, this type of control surface is extremely important. Fighter pilots need to have high situational awareness and having to constantly move your hands around to configure the aircraft is a recipe for disaster in a dogfight.


5. Thrustmaster T16000 M

First up on the list is the Thrustmaster T16000 M.  One of the main reasons I’ve picked the T16000 for this list is its price. These can easily be found for around $150 dollars. For a decent throttle and stick, this is a steal! The T16000 M features hall effect magnetic sensors, making it extremely accurate. The build quality for its price is alright, but like any stick in its price-range, it’s not perfect. This HOTAS also doesn’t have as many buttons to map as other sticks, but it has enough to get the job done! Because of this, it has made number 5 on this list. If build quality and mapping aren’t too much of an issue for you, this could be a great option! The T16000 M can be found below!

4. Logitech G X56

Next up on the list is the Logitech GX56.  With plenty of buttons and switches for you to map, good and ergonomics, the GX56 is a great option for a HOTAS. Logitech has been in the joystick and HOTAS game for a very long time so they know what they’re doing! The X56 is designed to be customizable and fit the needs of all simulator pilots. The spring in the X56 is fully adjustable for accuracy and has 189+  programable surfaces.  One of the great things about this stick is that it has an independent double throttle, allowing for great control of multi-engine aircraft. All this sounds great, and it is! But the G X56 doesn’t come without its flaws. The number one flaw that comes up in many online reviews is the build quality. For the price,  Logitech seems to have slacked a bit when it come to making a solid build. It is for this reason it has made number 4 on the list. If build quality isn’t your main concern however, this could be a great pick for you! You can find this HOTAS below.


3. Microsoft Sidewinder

Third on the list is the Microsoft Sidewinder Precision Joystick. At first glance you may be wondering why it is on this list as it doesn’t have nearly as many mapping surfaces as other sticks, and doesn’t have a  full throttle quadrant. You would be correct, but the reason I’ve put this stick at number three is because, in my opinion, it’s the best stick for someone just starting out in DCS World. If you don’t already know, DCS World, if you’re serious about it can be quite the investment. Although it’s a free game, you have to pay for more, better, aircraft modules, and have to put some money into a decent HOTAS. In many cases, the HOTAS is what makes up the majority of the cost. If you’re just starting out and (understandably), don’t want to drop $200-$500 dollars on a HOTAS to play with, I believe the Microsoft Sidewinder is your best option.  It has just enough buttons to map your basic controls, like weapons systems, flight configuration and trim. It also has a decent build quality for its price. These can many times, be found for less than 50 bucks! Because of this, it has made number three on the list. If you want to pick one of these up, I’ll drop the link below!


2. Logitech X52

Making second place on the list is another Logitech HOTAS; the X52. Although an older stick like the sidewinder, the X52 can still hold its ground. The X52 has plenty of surfaces to map your controls on, but perhaps the greatest feature of this HOTAS is its MFD (Multi Function Display). What’s cool about having an MFD on your HOTAS is that it can create a very Immersive experience. The build quality of this stick isn’t too bad and its priced relatively modestly at around $150 dollars. Like I said, the number one selling point of the X52 is the MFD, and personally I think its an incredible feature. Like the others, the link for this HOTAS is below if you’d like to pick one up.


1. Thrustmaster Warthog

Taking first place on the list is undoubtedly the king of all HOTAS systems, the Thrustmaster Warthog. With 18 mappable surfaces, magnetic hall-effect sensors, dual throttle, and weighted base, the warthog is the end all be all of DCS World HOTAS systems. The Warthogs built quality is unmatched, with most of its construction being metal. Another thing to note about this HOTAS is its weighted bases. This may not seem like much, but if you’ve ever tried to play DCS, or any other simulator with a light HOTAS, it can end up being a pretty bad experience sometimes. The Warthog features a replica of the HOTAS used in real life A-10 attack aircraft; hence the name. What’s nice about the Warthog stick is that you can change it out for other sticks such as the F-18 stick if you wanted! This HOTAS however, is quite pricey, but I believe its worth it, considering it will probably be the only HOTAS you’ll ever have to buy. All in all, the Warthog is one of the best options if you’re serious about DCS and you can find a link to it below.

Best Budget Option:

Thrustmaster T 16000 M

If you’re looking for a well built HOTAS that won’t break the bank, the T 16000 M is the best way to go. Aside from being quite cheap, the T 16000 is built very well has everything basic you’d need to comfortably fly in DCS World. I highly recommend this throttle and stick if you’re on a budget but still want a realistic simulator experience.


Highest Quality Option: 

Thrustmaster Warthog

If money isn’t an issue, I can not recommend the Thrustmaster Warthog enough. The Warthog is undoubtedly the most realistic throttle and stick on the market and it’s built like a tank! If you want to get the most out of your DCS World experience, the Warthog is the way to go.



In conclusion, the best HOTAS for you is the one that best fits your needs. I do hope however, this post was able to provide some insight on todays DCS World HOTAS market and maybe even help you make a choice! If you enjoyed feel free to drop a comment or get in contact with me!

Want to learn more about DCS World? Check out this post here!


-Camden Crace


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