Since most of us can’t readily cruise the skies in a real A-10C Warthog, however much we might desire, there’s always the next best thing: the HOTAS WARTHOG Flight Stick and Throttle from Thrustmaster. This carefully crafted setup has the look, feel, and usability that might just make you wonder if it was pulled from the actual jet! In total, this setup from Thrustmaster features dual throttles with a metal hand rest, a weighted control panel underneath, and a detachable joystick that has a metal handle and a weighted base. Because it is USB-powered and plug-and-play, you can immediately get started. In terms of controller configuration and as a more advanced option, you can also use the free downloadable T.A.R.G.E.T software to test out and reprogram all of the controls on these components to your exact taste. You can even program keyboard functions into the controls.
With the software and hardware components, you will have a wide array of features designed to keep your “Hands-On-Throttle-And Stick” so that your gaming experience is as realistic, immersive, and keyboard-free as you like. The joystick boasts 19 action buttons and one 8-way “point of view” hat. Each of these buttons as well as the trigger requires an amount of pressure realistic to the actual Warthog aircraft’s controls.
To ensure stellar precision, the joystick utilizes a so dubbed, “H.E.A.R.T HallEffect AccuRate Technology”, or a magnetic sensor system that senses the position of the joystick as you use it. While many joysticks utilize mechanical sensors that physically wear down over time and end up degrading the precision of the joystick, Thrustmaster’s use of magnetic sensors prevents mechanical friction. In turn, this lack of friction means that your joystick’s precision remains stellar and intact over time. The level of precision is also enhanced by the absence of any dead zones, so that even the slightest movement of the joystick results in a reaction. Beyond these features, the joystick is 16-bit, has a 5-coil spring system, a detachable metal plate for desk or cockpit use, and a detachable handle that you can switch out with the HOTAS COUGAR handle. You can also switch your HOTAS WARTHOG handle with the HOTAS COUGAR joystick base as well.
A close second to the joystick, the Dual Throttles have a total of 17 action buttons. The Dual Throttles also have 1 mouse hat with a push button and one 8-way “point of view” hat. Each of these buttons requires an amount of pressure realistic to that of the actual Warthog’s controls. Much like the joystick, the dual throttles also utilize the H.E.A.R.T HallEffect AccuRate Technology for ensuring stellar precision over time and eliminating the wear of mechanical friction.
In addition, the dual throttles feature a few different systems for extended realism. There’s a locking system so that you can lock the throttles together and control both aircraft motors together. You can also unlock the throttles and use them to separately control each motor. Aside from that system, the throttles allow switching between IDLE and AFTERBURNER detents with a “Pull & Push” system like that found in the actual Warthog aircraft. As you use the Pull & Push system, you can also utilize a third system with the friction wheel attached on the control panel. It allows you to increase or decrease the amount of resistance you feel when moving the throttles. If you want more or less resistance to ensure better control, give that wheel a turn.
In terms of that control panel, you will have 15 action buttons as well as one TRIM wheel at your service. Like the throttles and joystick, these buttons require an amount of pressure comparable to that of the actual Warthog’s controls. In addition, the panel features 5 programmable LEDs and adjustable backlighting in case you’re in low-light conditions.
All told, the HOTAS WARTHOG Flight Stick and Throttle from Thrustmaster might be the next best option to actually flying but for flight simulators, consider it your first choice.
Hector Keeling (verified owner) –
X-Fighter pilot and this is the best flight stick I have ever used or seen. Metal construction, sensitive and accurate. The trim button feels like a real aircraft control. The throttle is also accurately sensitive. The buttons and switches give you a more realistic experience too. I think it’s a great value because you won’t buy a few lesser controls before getting to this beauty.
Reece Smitham (verified owner) –
First off, this arrived in two business days for free which is fantastic. Secondly, it was double boxed and both boxes were in pristine condition when they arrived. Inside both boxes was the actual product box and it was also in pristine condition. I’ve since used the HOTAS in DCS A-10C and all the buttons work correctly without calibration or keybinding. If you’re flying the A-10C, this is a no brainer to pick up if you can afford it. The price is the only con to this HOTAS. Save up or wait for a sale. I bought mine at full price after saving up. Expensive but worth it.
Josiah Schimmel (verified owner) –
This is definitely a hardware-focused company that does a great job creating very durable hardware and that, in itself, is reason enough to purchase. On the other hand, it’s obvious that their software efforts (specifically with T.A.R.G.E.T.) are a far lower priority. If you want to get a good start with this product, begin by completely ignoring their software (don’t even install it) and attempt to configure it’s bindings from within the game / simulation software. Only use the T.A.R.G.E.T. config software as an advanced progression from using the hardware alone. My initial mistake was using the hardware AND T.A.R.G.E.T. because the Trustmaster documentation said that it was required . . . it is NOT required (at least for my use in Elite Dangerous). In general, I definitely recommend if you can afford, but with the reservations described above.
Mike Fay (verified owner) –
I was playing Flight Simulator 2020 with a controller and then I bought the Warthog. It’s almost like playing a different game now. The planes felt more erratic with the controller, but now the plane feels a lot more stable.
Cordie Berge (verified owner) –
Overall I think this is a great combo. In the scheme of things, it isn’t too expensive. Too gripes however: 1 – The friction adjustment for the throttle doesn’t seem to do much of anything despite multiple turns in either direction. 2 – (Most troubling) – the TMS switch is intermittent. I verified that when pressing to the right, it often will register as being pressed right and aft. This confuses sims like DCS and will generate odd responses. I have a ticket into TM (which is a bit awkward in itself – involving both photographs and videos of my setup) – hopefully they will remedy the issue.
Garret Corwin (verified owner) –
Sturdy, accurate, very well made. Using the pair with DCS, Digital Combat Simulator and with MS Flight Sim 2020. Both software problems support the warthog replicas. I am very pleased with this product.
Greta Hoppe (verified owner) –
I flew the Navy T-34C and T-2C and was looking for something close to these trainers (especially the latter). This set fits the bill based upon my experience with similar stick and power control quadrant. The heft alone gives them stability during all the yank-and-bank maneuvers. I am currently using it with Razbam’s Buckeye. Between the faithful software depiction and the HOTAS hardware, I am able to fly many of the flights in the actual jet I flew in VT-19 (NAS Meridian). The Razbam limits me to my old Microsoft FSX (Flight Sim X). I have found the native FSX throttle and joystick assignments really miss the mark. I tried the Thrustmaster T.A.R.G.E.T. Command Center software but couldn’t quite get it configured right and will revisit it when I have more time to tackle the learning curve. Pete Dowson’s FSUIPC is the best programming solution in the meantime.
Niko Effertz (verified owner) –
Awesome HOTAS controller! The movement of the stick is so much better than my previous controller. The switches, hats and buttons allow for endless configuring of your cockpit. Just buy it!