December 31st, 2017. 00:19 hours.
Chief-Relief Engineer, The
It arrived. Well, being honest, it arrived a while back. So, I should say, it’s installed. The latest Thrustmaster model, T.Flight Hotas One, that is.
I tested the new throttle and stick in the Elite Dangerous simulator. I was amazed to see support for it be available so soon, it made the dry-run a lot easier. I’ve never been much good at the whole simulation events, but it did allow me to calibrate for the 2018 launch.
The throttle is nice and responsive, but could do with a little bit more resistance for the slower manoeuvres – I felt it was more difficult to get to half power than it was to go all out, the same can be said for reverse speeds. It could be because I am heavy-handed, but an option to add resistance to the throttle would have been welcome. All other features of the throttle are standout, with the button layout being rather intuitive. Everything from strafing, weapon change, to HUD access can be accessed from the throttle; with the primary A, B, X and Y buttons doubling up when used in conjunction with controls from the main flight stick.
I forgot to mention that the Hotas One works on both the Xbox One and PC model of ships we have out our disposal.
Ah, yeah, the flight stick. What a stick it is. During the test run, I never felt muscle fatigue. It has a nice shelf that is shaped at the lower end of the stick, this allowed me to rest my hand when I wasn’t needing to steer through any simulated asteroid fields, or over any low-gravity terrain when scouting out planets for mining. Unlike the throttle, the stick isn’t as intuitive as I’d have liked. I found myself trying to press down the navigation stick, wishing for an additional function – it took me some time, more than I care to admit on record, to realise it just wasn’t there. Also, the B1 button felt oddly alone where it is situated – on the top right corner of the stick.
The one big thing the stick has over the throttle? You ask. Well, you may not ask, but I’ll say it anyways. Resistance, never did I feel I was going to spin out of control, veer past an asteroid or enemy contact. It was an incredibly smooth experience, both in space and on terra-firma.
Before I wrap the report up, can we speak about the criminally short cables and lack of headset support? It’s my log, so sure we can. Both the pairing cable between the throttle and stick, and the installation cable that connects to the ports on both the Xbox and PC models, are too short for my liking. In some models, I know the distance between the floor and the navigation console is greater than a meter. There is no communication port, either. I guess it could be a niggle, as we’re in an era of wireless now, but it is still missed.
All that being said, I’ll be looking to have the Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas One installed in my personal shuttle when I get some shore-leave. It is lightweight, sturdy and, overall, an intuitive piece of kit for a novice pilot like myself.
The Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas One can be found at many retailers, with the RRP being £69.99/$79.99. For additional details, please see our original announcement post here.
Happy flying, pilot!