Elite Dangerous – Saitek vs CH HOTAS Setup

A lengthy, but detailed, look into two HOTAS setups for Elite Dangerous – the popular Saitek X52 Pro and CH Products separate items, the CH Pro throttle and the CH F-16 Combatstick (similar to Fighterstick but with less hats).

Will put some shortcuts/jumps to particular parts in the video :-
Saitek Joystick thoughts @1m02s
Saitek Throttle thoughts @6m42s
CH Joystick thoughts @13m51s
CH Throttle thoughts @17m11s
Summary @20m39s


SmashBrown says:

Thanks for this review. Guess I’ll be buying a CH setup in a couple of months.

Odee Dillon says:

ohhhhh how I hate people with 3 monitor setups. Such decadence. LOL 😉

Mario Darnadi says:

you are sitting so low not wonder you need to lift your hand to reach everywhere

Nathan diMaggio says:

Brumster when you going to make some more elite videos..

ChristianLudwig says:

In DCS Flight sim it has a whole hoast of weird discriptions. I am calling CH to talk again with a tech support to help me get it installed correctly. I plugged the throttle in and fighter stick in, and it will say it is good to go but according to th einstructions I need to see it too in my Devices n Printer section but I do not see it. Plus the throttle is not working like it should. I need a new computer too! But I should still see this one demonstrate this CH system. I ‘ll get it.  I think it’s a USB port recognition thing. I had a guy today talk to me about building a computer that will play the sam hell out of anything. I’m working on it. I also will have th eability to play three monitors like you do. That rocks!

Ornlu1976 says:

Do you use the keyboard at all ? I have an Oculus Rift so I would want a joystick that has as many functions as possible.

ChristianLudwig says:

Well, that’ s a bit of a minor detail really. What I did was , I went to this office supply place and bought some sort of desk attachment or something. I can’t even really remember what it was. But I did was notice the metal brackets and the way it had springs to it. So I took that and mounted these two pieces under the desk. They would swing out and back underneith! So Then I made my own custom wooden mounts on them using my little band saw at the time and glued it together then screwed them to the metal brackets and viola! It was made for that HOTAS Warthog that I sold.  I don’t miss it. It was attractive but for me I had some programming issues assigning buttons.  But when I wasn’t playing I could move it over and out of the way. Or just remove the stick/throttle units and move the whole mount system under the table.  You and two other guys I have seen use three monitors!  That I like!  When I upgrade my computer that is 6 years old I am going to make that investment. My CH gear ought to arrive in day or two.  Having the systemdown and to my left and stick down front center was a bit cool feeling though. I just might do it again. I will have to go visit Office Depot and search for a set up. Go in there, anad ask a cute sales lady if there is anything I can mount my joy stick with?    ;p()

Zeus54321 says:

I’ve been playing Elite for a few years now with the Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X. It is my first and only HOTAS and I like it. But I’ve got to the point that I’m thinking about buying a new HOTAS for Elite. Mainly because I want more buttons and at least 1 extra joystick/d-pad. I have been looking into the X52 Pro because of that, but I’m a bit concerned about the resistance on the stick. I do think that the T Flight has more resistance and I like that, although I can never be sure because I don’t have one. Do you guys have any recommendations, other HOTAS I might be interested in?

MQPlays says:

Hi, very nice video. Can I use the Saitek X52 Pro for a MacBook Air?

breytac says:

I’ve been looking for a HOTAS style set up for Elite, (really mainly for the Horizon’s SRV, that thing’s a bitch to try and drive just using the throttle controls mapped to keyboard) and after watching a few videos both on the X52 Pro and other set ups, I’m really leaning towards a similar set up. The only drawback for me is the stick doesn’t have yaw, and chasing someone through an asteroid field, you really do need that. Otherwise you end up doing a TIE fighter impersonation from Empire Strikes Back)

Stuart Stephens says:

my X52 just will not work with DCS P51 or world you can tune each axis in the controls just fine but in the cockpit only the rudder axis RZ works and the others just jitter a bit.

Med Otaku says:

1:40 Complains that “150 quid” is really expensive for a peripheral… While looking at 900 USD worth of displays….. powered by a 2,000 USD computer……..In front of an expensive camera……….. -_- . . . .. . . . …. …..

jdizzle 6906 says:

you just saved me!!! thanks for making this video.

Biplav Shrestha says:

I am thinking I might have made a mistake buying thurstmaster hotas. I am not sure about how durable its going it be.

Shrat says:

Bro tip : Change that posture!

Christopher Hubbard says:

well im sold im going to try find a secondhand throttle for sure.

Ultra_Vex says:

sick setup!

Nikola Sovilj says:

So… to sum it up: this controller is a piece of shit, but otherwise, it’s great 😀

White Minority says:

Im buying all 3 for War Thunder. Perfect review as I was going to get the x52 with an option to spend more for a more stable HOTAS system. Great review 🙂

itsZiz says:

What do you do for a rudder with the CH stuff. i dont wana use foot pedles

Taxato says:

I know this comment is 2 years late, so i dont know if anyone is gonna read this, but if u wanted, you couldve just hooked up the mouse to vertical/horizontal thrust, and use the thumb mouse thing on the x52 to control the thrust

Wild says:

thanks man, your video helped me decide not to get that HOTAS and get something better

Courtney Boles says:

Would you be willing to share your ch keybinds?

Federico Zanolin says:

thanks to this review i bought my ch throttle and fighter-stick about 2 years ago and have not looked back i have now just bought the peddles

Jamrom23 says:

Just chiming in on this… one issue that is never considered when purchasing Saitek products is the rubberized coating they put on everything to give it that Hi-tech space age look. I have the Cyborg-X stick, which had the same rubber finish. Looked great out of the box, however, 5 years later… the finish went to goo and is now a sticky mess on my hand when I use it (tried the corn starch “fix”, made real mess of it as well). If your CH Pro is 15 years old.. I’d agree you are way ahead of the game.

I’m now considering the same HOTAS you have as the TM Warthog is just too damn expensive. Thanks for the review.

John Bartley says:

I’ve bought an x52 pro about a year ago. It took some time to decide to utilize it in a game (ED). When I finally troubleshooted the Hotas to get the drivers installed (very frustrating), it affects my audio. More specifically , my audio cuts out regularly until the game crashes. Very frustrated with my Saitek. I really like all of the button options and configurations of the x52 pro, but if I can’t really use it, what good is it. So, I’m looking for an affordable, yet functional hotas. I would appreciate any suggestions.

HappyandAtheist says:

I have always had good luck with CH Products , I am defiantly buying both the Joy and throttle for elite dangerous, are you still happy with yours please ?

MindChamber says:

20:15 You looked a bit shook by that asteroid haha

SuperSonicSparky says:

5:23 isnt that the texture of the flight stick in elite dangerous itsself

HotaruZoku says:

I have to say the idea of having a “combat mode” where the ship responded when you switched up inputs would be BALLER.

ChristianLudwig says:

You have also inspired this Yank to wanting to graduate to three monitors when I upgrade my PC!   I have seen a few of these. With my TrackIRv5 and more PC power down th eroad it will be cool!

ChristianLudwig says:

The systems I have used I have made my own custom mounts that bolt to the table underneith, so I can have the stick between my legs down low and my throttle is to my left down low as well, just like my video game. When pilots are in a jet where is the system?  So that’s where I mounted mine. Better than having both units up on top of my table.  I had a Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog. It’s pretty , but not all that. I sold it. I kept my Siatek Fighter Jet rudder pedals though. Those work awesome!  Plastic… doesn’t matter. It’s just a toy anyway.

ChristianLudwig says:

Well. ya helped talk me into it.  The CH Stick n Throttle it is!  Thanks for the review.  I have had a load of systems through the last 6 years. This will be a first and I think I will like it. I already like the thought of two separate units, how they plug in separately.

Matt Zed says:

IMO, the best value stick is Thrustmaster T flight http://elitedangerousreview.com/best-joystick-for-elite-dangerous/

ChristianLudwig says:

Hi Guy… I have read the nstruction with the CH. Not much here. I ended up downloading two CH control Managers. They have one for the throttle and the fighter stick? So I downloaded both. I haven’t installed them. In my game I don’t know what button is what when I go into the settings within the game.  Hoe do you program yours? Do you even use any CH Control managers?

Michael Jillebo says:

Enlighten me what the device infront of your mouse is. The one with the round knob and what looks like a display.
I’m just curious 🙂

bluecow says:

what monitors do you use?

Maniac3020 says:

I picked up Elite Dangerous a few days ago. I used controllers I had lying around. A Microsoft Sidewinder for pitch and yaw, an old Interac RaiderPro for vertical and horizontal thrust, a CH throttle quadrant for throttle, and all the buttons on it (Labelmaker FTW), and a CH Pro pedals for rudder. What I’ve found, is that I want more buttons accessible with my hands resting on the right stick, and buttons that I can press with my hand on the throttle. I was considering the X52, but the lack of usable buttons on the throttle negates the whole point of buying it.

Troi Bandy says:

I really wanted to purchase the X56 because it is made for spacesims. However, I chose to purchase a CH Products HOTAS set and TrackIR system because I NEED my HOTAS to actually work out of the box now, and in the future more than I need the promise the X56 HOTAS system offers. I don’t really have time or patience to be returning items that don’t work as that causes me to lose time from my space sims games.

RetaliationGuy says:

1 question, how much do you recommend of using those 2 flight joystick for playing any flight games like Arma 3, Battlefield 4 and War Thunder?

Squid Guy says:

your bias

Ozram Blue says:

Nice review. Personally, I put yaw on the ministick of the Pro Throttle and kept the up/down and sides on the pointer finger hat. It’s rare you’ll need analogue for directional thrusters, but separating roll from yaw will always be useful. Also, while it can be argued aim only using half of what the ministick has to offer, I found it difficult to avoid bleed over input for thrusters there, so having only one axis mapped actually makes it far easier to control it accurately. The ministick is also my pov on a toggle.

DanVlogs YT says:

Tell us how to put in your computer

ecevans evans says:

Hello I just saw your video on saitek vs ch hotas. After going Thur 4 saitek hotas 2 x52 pro 1 55x pro and one x65f. Within two years playing elite dangerous they didn’t last . I am ready to try something that going to last , what your profile settings for your ch hotas. I also try thrustmaster t16000m hotas the throttle has a bad spot that jump and will not calibrate out or dead zones. So ch is next. Could I get a copy of your profile for ch. do you still have your ch hotas is still working in elite.


the twist yaw is a must for me.

H. Lightsphere says:

Thanks for a comprehensive review – and I do like that it was conducted over an extended period, I have had the TM T flight for the last 5 years with no probs but recently purchased the X52 Pro for more buttons  – hoping its good for P3D and DCS, but if not then I’ll have to look into CH stuff

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