Question for Star Citizen pilots

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Twist vs. Rudder

Poll ended at Wed May 24, 2017 4:27

I prefer a grip with twist axis for ONE hand (left hand) (please explain use-case)
I prefer a grip with twist axis for ONE hand (right hand) (please explain use-case)
I prefer two grips with twist axes for BOTH hands (please explain use-case)
I prefer a set of rudder pedals and NO twist grips (please explain use-case)
I prefer a set of rudder pedals, but still like ONE twist grip as well (please explain use-case)
I prefer a set of rudder pedals, but still like TWO twist grips as well (please explain use-case)
Total votes: 90

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Question for Star Citizen pilots

Postby rrohde » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:06

Hi guys,

question for those of you who are planning on getting (or already use) a dual stick configuration:

- How would you set up your twist axis if both grips would offer twist? What purpose for the left-hand twist, and what purpose for the right-hand twist?

- Follow-up question: Would you prefer a twist grip over rudder pedals? If so, why? If not, why?

Also, please take a moment to answer the poll and explain your choice in the comments as well!


PS: This is "for science" to generate some idea for VKB HQ as to what the general consensus is among the spacesim crowd.
PPS: Please share this poll with other pilots in your community so we get a decent representation here across the board.
PPPS: This also goes for Elite Dangerous pilots as well. :)
VKB North America

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Re: Question for Star Citizen pilots

Postby Caillin » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:54

Ok, me first :)

In my opinion (<---- this is important, as your going to get lot of opinions on this from the elitest rudder users) the use of Z-axis twist on right (or) left handed grip for the roll axis is very natural feeling in space sims, and very much enhances the fun of flying a spaceship. The biggest thing I miss from going from T16k to Gladiator Pro is the twist for roll. Rudder pedals are nice, but there are a myriad reasons why people don't want to use pedals for roll (cost & space/convenience mostly). The accuracy provided by even the cheap pot in the T16k was perfect for incorporating roll-axis with yaw and pitch on the right hand stick.

I have also dual-sticked for a bit with the T16k in the left hand, and Glad Pro in the right, and this works really really well (with twist for roll on the left hand) and is just as intuitive as it being on the right stick. The biggest reason I couldn't continue with this configuration, is the KG-12 grip just has too few buttons to be truly HOSAS which is necessary when flying with a VR headset on.

In regards to twist on left and right sticks I think is a bit redundant. I know some people like to put heave (strafe up/down) on the left Z-axis when they dual stick, and use Y axis for forward/aft strafe, but I've never felt that was comfortable for me to use.

Another reason to not use pedals, is when dual sticking, I use racing pedals for throttle control. You could replicate this with toe brakes, but they don't work as well as proper accelerator/brake pedals for fine control.

The only negative (overwhelmingly) response I've seen in a lot of research on this topic is from hardcore flight simmers who say twist on stick is crap and doesn't give you the control you need as well as twist inputs mixing with your X/Y axis stick deflection. I would agree with this to some degree when dealing with atmospheric flight sims where pedals control yaw against strong opposing forces, but for Elite/Start Citizen, this is a total non-issue. I can't speak for everyone, but I'm sure most who are used to using a joystick with twist axis can easily control X/Y along with Z axis with no loss of accuracy or axis bleeding.

At the end of the day, it's a much more immersive way to fly a space sim, and this is why the topic keeps coming back, and even serious enthusiasts like myself keep pushing for Ilya to release either a twist capable high end stick, or at least an adaptor for it. If it doesn't cost a huge amount of money, then include it for all sticks, but with the ability to solidly lock it off for those that don't like it!

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Re: Question for Star Citizen pilots

Postby Enkrow » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:34

I've been using HOSAS in Star Citizen/Elite Dangerous for a while now.

My setup is left stick, right stick, and pedals.

For pedals I have the VKB T-Rudder. I map roll to them.
For left stick, I have a Saitek AV8R. I tried many sticks for this (including the ThrustMaster T16K, which was garbage) and eventually settled on this, as it has a twist and very lefty friendly ergonomics.
I use the twist to control up/down strafing, Y axis for forward and reverse, and X axis for left and right.
However rather than twist, some other kind of analog slider or stick would be better for controlling up/down strafing.
My right stick is a CH products CombatStick. I chose this one specifically because there is no twist. Lack of twist allows for more precise use.
I have yaw on the X axis, and pitch on the Y axis.

I would have liked to use VKB sticks in my setup, but the current offerings did not have enough buttons, so I had to compromise. :cry:

Now with my control setup description out of the way, I can answer the questions.
If both grips had twist, I have no idea how I would use right twist. Left would be for up/down strafing.
I prefer rudders with my throttle grip having twist. Essentially, I use the left stick as a 3 axis throttle, for analog thrust control in all directions.

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Re: Question for Star Citizen pilots

Postby Caillin » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:18

Enkrow wrote:Lack of twist allows for more precise use.

It might be worth qualifying this statement. While undoubtedly true for yourself, is not objective or representative for all. I am absolutely just as precise with or without twist, and I'll be interested to see if anyone else has similar experiences.

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Re: Question for Star Citizen pilots

Postby KallenStadtfeld_SC » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:18

Pedals and dual stick with no twist. I'll be mapping pitch and roll to the right stick. Side strafe, forward, and reverse to the left stick. Yaw and up to on other command set to the pedals. Possibly a vertical strafe for z axis movement.

These are controls I'm comfortable with and feel natural to me.

I don't want any twist because I don't want any possibility of the stick moving in my hand and being off on positioning due to it. I'm the heat of combat, I don't want a slight twist placing pressure and turning the stick toward the wrong angle.

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Re: Question for Star Citizen pilots

Postby VCQBR » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:31

Currently using a HOTAS in SC.
Ever joystick I have owned has have twist, so I am used to it and only plan to buy joysticks with twist.
Since it is what I am used to, have pitch, roll, and yaw on one stick feels most intuitive to me.

At this time I can not use, and have no interest in pedals. That may change in the future, but I doubt it.

Eventually I want to switch to dual sticks, mirrored. I learned of the Fat Black Mamba not that long ago and decided to get that only to find it has been discontinued. Now I am waiting to see what the the Gunfighter with the Space grip will be like.

I have minor worries about the number of buttons on the Kosmosima grip. I also wouldn't mind seeing something like a mini analog stick in place of one of the hat switches.
If the Kosmosimov grip works well for me, I would gladly buy a left handed version for running dual sticks.

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Re: Question for Star Citizen pilots

Postby Caillin » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:58

KallenStadtfeld_SC wrote:I don't want any twist because I don't want any possibility of the stick moving in my hand and being off on positioning due to it. I'm the heat of combat, I don't want a slight twist placing pressure and turning the stick toward the wrong angle.

Have you had an opportunity to use a stick with twist for any extended period of time? Something like the T16k takes a very concerted effort to actually twist. You can yank'n'bank all day long without accidentally twisting the stick. I've also got a Logitech 3D Pro which has a slightly stiffer twist again, and same result. I think if one were to incorporate twist for the VKB products, they would definitely want it to be around the T16k effort, and no lighter, otherwise unintentional inputs could then creep into it.

I might get off my ass and shoot a quick video of using the T16k in action in Elite (lots of rolling required due to restricted Yaw rates) to a) show how easy it is to fly a twist joystick with zero z-axis bleed, and b) show how accurate it's possible to be when incorporating twist and pitch to roll into and up to your target seamlessly.

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Re: Question for Star Citizen pilots

Postby Macross » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:37

Using dual with pedals and hotas, dont know yet which i like more.
But what i know, i dont care much twist on stick, to work well, it needs quite alot deadzone and that kills precision on twist.

My dual sticks are vkb gladiator pro and t16000 and i dont use twist on lefty t16000 at all, pedals doing roll and up/down or other combos.

And for me anyway, twist dont feel really comfortable on longer runs.

Ps: with twist, there is more parts that can break, gladiator pro just feels so solid that i have feeling it will last longer than any other manufactors products ( ch another story, we'll see how it compete against it after 10yr :) )

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Re: Question for Star Citizen pilots

Postby pretagonist » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:10

I use dual sticks and pedals.

Right stick is a cobra m5. It controls pitch(Y), roll(X), yaw(Z)

Left stick is a t16m controlling up/down(Y), left/right(X),change weapon (Z), and normal throttle (throttle)

I have some saitek pedals that soon will be some mfg pedals controlling combat-throttle (forward/backward main axis) and boost (right pedal)

I don't have any real use for the twist on the left stick. But I must strongly disagree with above posters regarding the twist resistance. The power available in your hand for that twist motion is a lot less than for the other axis, using too much power to twist will "lock-up" your hand preventing smooth control of the other axis as well as introducing fatigue. The twist on my cobra is very loose and that works fine for me. If I experience bleed I just up the deadzone a bit. I have also read about people with joint and muscle issues that get a lot of pain from heavy twists.

My dream would be a left handed stick with some type of analog throttle on the stick itself possibly a thumbthrottle like on snowmobiles/atvs/etc although perhaps without a return spring or a pinkylever on the back like some sticks have as a brake control.

Another dream would be to have the left hand translation control as a horizontally mounted handle like the apollo TC


but with buttons and hats on the handle of course.

As far as I'm considered axis bleed isn't an issue in space games as all the controller impulses are fed to the same flight control system and not to different flight control surfaces like in a plane. Also most space-sims have more arcadey forgiving fly-by-wire systems.

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Re: Question for Star Citizen pilots

Postby RecklessPrudence » Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:11

I'm mostly a HOTAS player at the moment, but when I borrowed a friend's stick to test HOSAS out, I really liked it, and used the right stick in ED for X: Roll, Y: Pitch, Z: Yaw , and the left for X: Horizontal Translate, Y: Throttle Z: Vertical Translate. When playing SC, I swap the right-hand Y and Z, as SC uses Yaw more than Pitch. No Pedals.

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Re: Question for Star Citizen pilots

Postby nimrod77 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 14:22

I use dual stick with pedals. I explain my setup here.

I would like twist on my LH stick for Vertical strafe.

Ultimate LH stick would be something like this IMO. Cross between a throttle and a stick.
Even better if the fwd half of the Y axis could be set and not centre, but would centre from backwards on Y.
Thanks VKB

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Re: Question for Star Citizen pilots

Postby Vortax » Tue Jan 24, 2017 14:36

I play SC HOSAS. No pedals, they are not needed at all for space sims. With double Twist you get full control over de 6DOF.

I don't agree with people saying that twist interfere in your other axis movement. I can play several hours with Dual stick (both with twist) and don't accidentally activate Z axis once. It's just a matter of getting accustomed, and having your sticks in the right position using holders.

Pedals are expensive (extra cost) and not everyone have enough space under the desk. I suppose for flight sims (I don't play those) they are a must, but for space sims, even if they can be used no problem, there is no need at all if you have Z axis on both sticks.

Twist gives you less control over the Z axis, that's true, but you usually bind that "less sensible" axis to "less critical maneuver motions". In SC, Right twist is best binded to roll, as you merely need that axis when flying in asteroid field or when landing. Left twist is usually vertical strafe, for same reason. In E:D right twist is better binded to yaw (the game nerfs yaw). Anyway, you don't need an amazing degree of control over those specific axis, that's why twist is more than enough.

Almost every player and most Youtubers I know of SC that uses HOSAS use T16000m on left stick, and they all use the twist even if they are using pedals due to right non Z stick (mainly warthog or CH). I'm sure that with a full quality Right Twist-able stick, most of them would stop using pedals. Just my two cents.

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Re: Question for Star Citizen pilots

Postby nrage147 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 16:02

I am an Elite Dangerous player currently using a VKB Gladiator and CH Pro Throttle. I am a Star Citizen backer but I don't play because my gaming time is somewhat limited and I want everything I do to count towards something, just messing about in a beta doesn't really interest me.

I used the following joysticks/hotas in the following order:
- Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X (babys first hotas :P)
- Saitek X-52 (upgraded to X-55 - jealous of a friend)
- Saitek X-55 (wore out the shitty switches in the grey hat control in 6 months, twice)
- CH Pro Throttle (to part-replace the X-55)
- Cobra Defender M5 (to part-replace the X-55, replaced by VKB Gladiator)
- Thrustmaster T-16000M (experiment with dual joystick)
- Logitech Extreme 3D (experiment with dual joystick)
- VKB Gladiator

- How would you set up your twist axis if both grips would offer twist? What purpose for the left-hand twist, and what purpose for the right-hand twist?
When I experimented with dual sticks, using the T-16000M on the left and the Logitech on the right, both had twist.

- The right hand was set up for X (pitch), Y (roll), and twist (yaw).
- The left hand was set up for X (thrust forward/backward), Y (thrust left/right), and twist (thrust up/down).

Note that in elite you can bind throttle or thrust foward/backward or both, in my setup I bound thrust and not throttle.

The first thing I did not like was the increased concentration/attention required to maintain the exact thrust I needed. In Elite holding 50% thrust/throttle gives you maximum turning speed/efficiency and so I would attempt to hold that position while applying other thrust and not always manage it as effectively as I do with a standard throttle.

I have since heard that many people configure a separate throttle which they set to 50% more or less permanently and then use the X axis thrust fwd/back to add/remove speed, this might have resolved my issue here. That said, it's "nice" to be able to put a throttle in a position and know it will stay there without conscious effort. What you lose by doing this is any haptic feedback of the throttle position, which would be nice.

The next thing I did not like was the left stick twist axis for thrust up/down. It doesn't really feel right to twist for a thrust up/down, is twist left up, or down, why? I am sure I could get used to one particular set up, but it bothered me that the input device motion did not track the in game motion.

I stuck with this for a day or so, just to see what it was like, but for the reasons above I went back to my CH Pro Throttle which is a throttle and has an ANALOG input on the THUMB (important, more precise than index finger etc) which is oriented such that it feels right to use it for thrust up/down and left/right.

On the right I was using the Cobra Defender M5 which IMO has the "right" number of inputs for space sim (2 hats, 2 buttons, trigger (dual stage is a plus), and a pinky button). The other thing I really liked about the Cobra was a mode selector I could access without taking my hand off the stick itself. Whether flying dual stick or hotas, and this would be even more true if I had VR (I have Track IR instead), you don't want to take your hands off the controls for any length of time if you can avoid it.

I have since replaced the Cobra with the Gladiator. The stick itself is superior to the Cobra. I now realise the Cobra resistance was "too light" and provided little to no haptic feedback of the stick or twist position, it was also very easy to apply unwanted twist. The Gladiator is an improvement in that respect. My only issue with the Gladiator is the reduced number of buttons/hats available on the stick itself. The buttons on the base are "ok" but require taking your hands off the stick and finding them in VR is probably a bigger issue.

My Elite configuration uses the pinky button as the UI focus button (press it and a direction on the hat to look at a UI panel) and I also overload it as a modifier button. As such I had to remove all the lovely built-in modifier combinations (so Elite would see it) which reduces the logical buttons available to me by a fair whack. I don't currently use the mode button (I need one on the stick itself) although I could potentially .. especially if it was possible to 'press' a button as I entered a given mode - I need to dig into the software a bit more to see if this is possible.

Then I could have it drop the landing gear as well as modifying the other buttons for things. One issue with doing this in Elite is that you often land, then deploy the surface recon vehicle and this has several bindings in common with the ship in flight mode so it often doesn't work all that well.

- Follow-up question: Would you prefer a twist grip over rudder pedals? If so, why? If not, why?
I prefer a twist grip.

Reason #1 is because I am used to it. My left hand just does what it needs to do to guide the ship without any thought any attempt to move the pitch roll and yaw from this hand has me totally confused and I haven't been willing to spend my limited gaming time adjusting to a very different setup.

Reason #2 is a lack of space in my small study where my computer is set up and the requirement that the computer be usable for work as well as gaming. Had I the space, or no requirement for work, I might well build a flight chair in which case pedals would be a natural progression.

This is why I have the non-pro Gladiator, because it has a twist. In addition I didn't want to spend that much on a stick before a more suitable space sim grip was available.
Last edited by nrage147 on Tue Jan 24, 2017 17:02, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Question for Star Citizen pilots

Postby hon0 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 16:24

Thanks for that post. Its very instructional.

T16000 left hand with;
Y strafe up, down
X strafe left right
Twist (Z) strafe forward back

Warthog with pitch and roll

Mfg CrossWind with Yaw

As a daily airplane pilot, my brain just refuse to go something else than traditional axis setup. But that's absolutely not a problem. The only new thing for me is the left hand lateral and vertical translational management. It work great for me. The only axis I don't like to use is the left hand twist, for longitudinal control, but I really don't see a better place for it.

I refuse to have something else on my rudder, as it will kill my yaw accuracy. Same for right hand. And I choosed left hand twist axis over Y axis cause I prefer to have greater axis range for vertical strafe than for longitudinal strafe.

Please think about the following when designing a translational left hand grip/Gimbal mechanism :

Elite dangerous, Star Citizen need a left stick in hand. Actually (2.5 2.6 version) of Star Citizen still offer us Translational acceleration rate and speed cap that are way to high to be handled accuratly with a deflection stick.

If you don't understand/believe me. Try to do that with linear curve and 100% saturation.
See my videos.

This is why I would like to see Force sensor stick for Translational SpaceCraft management. How can one be accurate with a normal deflection stick on a speed vector going from ~ -800 to +800. No way. Especially since we do not have control over acceleration but instead set a "desired speed" for our Fly by wire system to attain.

I would be much more interested in a side stick with small deflection + high force cap sensor than a normal deflection stick. I think ALL side stick in real plane are fly by wire, and most the time use lhe system I just described. For obvious reaso', we can't have the same throw on a side stick that we have on an extended central stick. To fix that, we need force sensor.
Last edited by hon0 on Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:50, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Question for Star Citizen pilots

Postby rrohde » Tue Jan 24, 2017 16:27

Hi guys,

this is some very useful and insightful feedback from you spacesim pilots so far - thank you!

VKB HQ posted a similar poll on the Russian side of the forum, and we will be able to extract some user preferences from these polls and discussions.

So, keep the votes (and dialog) coming!

VKB North America

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