Joystick suggestions for cyclic control

G’day all,

I hope I can get some advice from more experienced folk here. I’ve been an avid flight simmer (P3D and now MSFS) for some years but am only now getting into helicopters.

I’ve order a VIRPIL collective and am waiting on that and am using an old Saitek X52 Flight Control stick for the cyclic. I’ve found it very difficult to control and I go from a reasonably steady flight to wildly unstable with what I feel is reasonable inputs.

This could be just me or maybe I need to get a new joystick/cyclic. I’m reluctant to spend the massive dollars on another VIRPIL product just yet and wonder if you guys have any recommendations.

Many thanks


It’s probably because of the X52…it’s too old and cheaply built. I’d think a modern joystick would help a ton.
But I’d suggest staying away from those cheap products and especially any product from thrustmaster and logitech(they’ve bought the saitek brand and made no improvements). Buying those overpriced and prone-to-break toys over and over again doesn’t save money yet lose the enjoyment from the better features and quality.
If budget is the problem, maybe the Gladiator NXT EVO from VKB could help a bit. It’s the cheapest recommendable joystick IMO, thanks to the brand’s high build quality and design. It features removable springs and dry clutch dampers that are often found in other higher-end metal joysticks, which are tremendously helpful for helo flying. The grip is technically interchangeable too, albeit not as convenient as the higher-ends. There is also a retailer in AUS as well. And their customer service is top notch.
Above it, perhaps you can look into the new WarBRD-D Base(with the cheapest grip, the WarBRD, if you don’t need too many buttons): dry clutch dampers are added to the new version(“-D”) so it’s now suitable for helo flying too. And besides the 10% discount when you buy base+grip, they have serval discount events throughout the year (the next one might be July 4th for independence day of the USA) ;
Or Orion 2 from Winwing: WW it’s a Chinese company and the base features swappable springs and cams like the WarBRD-D, and a variety of replica style metal grips available. The downside is that sometimes the build quality or material used is not as good as the Virpil or higher-end VKB products(but certainly not as bad as thrustmaster nor logitech, for the money), and there is a chance that you might encounter some language barrier with the customer service. But overall it’s still not a bad choice.

Both of them are in theory support stick extensions which is again very useful for helo. Though for the VKB Gladiator, it can be done only by some 3D printed solutions from the community, you can search it if you are interested.

Oh if you’d like to use Z(twist) axis, then the Winwing is no longer suitable as they don’t have it. But rudder pedals are recommended if you have the budget… although the problem is the lower-end products available there are all overpriced toys. Perhaps the one from VKB is the cheapest yet usable one outside china, but still it’s not too cheap.

G’day George,

Thanks so much for taking the time to write back to me with all that info. I agree with your assessment of the Saitek gear. When I first started simming years ago they were perfectly fine but now I really do need something more.

I must say though that for fixed wing flying, I’m enjoying the Thrustmaster Bowing yoke. It’s very sturdy and I seem to fly just fine with it.

My VIRPIL collective is due to arrive this week and if that turns out ok then I’m strongly considering their grip options. Now we just have to wait for MSFS to work on their heli logic and flight model because it’s lagging well behind the fixed wing side of the simulator.

I’ll add your recommendations into the mix and hopefully will have a fully functional sim pit in the next few weeks!



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Hi, just found that virpil is starting the summer sale today on their FB page, "Use code:
On the checkout of the official VIRPIL Controls Webstores to get 10% off all products! Sale ends 30th June, 23:59 UTC. ", just FYI :slight_smile:

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Aaargh! Just after I put in my order for a grip and base!

Never mind, absolutely love the collective and I know the cyclic setup will be as good.

maybe you can cancel the order and reorder or contact customer service to see if they can help? And some of their products are always in backorder iirc, i.e. chances are still there before the items have been actually shipped