- Joystick/Flight stick
The main stick is the module that controls the pitch and roll of an aircraft, some will include yaw if the stick is able to be twisted. The stick in a flight setup is the most important part of the setup. You want to think about how many buttons and hat switches you want on the stick itself, also if you want a two-stage or one-stage trigger. Ergonomics are important as well, some sticks may be better suited for use in the right hand. If you’re left handed you probably want to find an ambidextrous flight stick. It's a good idea to look for reviews that talk about the durability of the stick itself, as it is the central piece of the flight setup and would make the other parts worthless if it wasn’t working.
The throttle is an additional module that allows for accurate analog input of the percentage of throttle you want. It also adds additional buttons to the left hand. Again, if you are left handed you may have difficulty finding an ambidextrous throttle module and might want to learn to use the stick with your right hand.
HOTAS is an acronym for Hands On Throttle And Stick. Simply put, it means that that throttle module and stick module come together in a single package. This is often the best way to purchase both the stick and throttle if you don’t already have one of them. Purchasing a HOTAS set makes it easier to install drivers for one product, and more reliability with software recognition in games. It’s also more appealing aesthetically to have a matching stick and throttle.
The pedals are a seemingly insignificant part of a flight setup but they are the final piece to allowing a user to be fully immersed in the flight setup. The pedals have two methods of motion. The pedals press down individually just like a car, but they also slide forward and back. The pedals are held in sync with each other. For example, if you press one pedal to slide forward, the opposite pedal will slide backwards. It’s a good idea to look into the durability of the pedals as well because you will at times be aggressively pushing on them with your foot and they must be durable enough to withstand the force.