If you don’t want to use cheap joysticks anymore and you need a decent joystick for flight simulators, then you could try the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro. Even if this USB joystick model is quite old, it is still very popular on the market. Gamers like it because of its simplicity, durability and the fact that there are no additional connections needed. The model has four control axis, eleven buttons and an eight-way hat switch on top of the stick. Six buttons are on the base, five on the stick and one is a trigger. Even if this product was released for the first time more than six years ago, it still is one of the best choices for gamers.
The joystick is made of black plastic, but its flat and wide base is gray. Except the buttons from the stick itself, which are colored in gray, the buttons are all black. Under the base, there are four rubber pads (one under each corner) to support it. With rubber, the base is not slippery and supports the stick very well. In the center of the base is the stick and to the left of the stick the buttons are arranged in a two by three formation.
Between the user and the stick, there is a throttle lever and this position has been criticized by some users, who have said that it makes the use of the stick with the right arm harder. Since this difficulty can only be experienced if you use the stick to your right, it can be avoided if you use the stick in front of you. By doing this, you can also facilitate the use with both hands.
The stick has a medium size and it feels comfortable to hold. On its front, you can find a trigger, on the left there are 4 buttons and a thumb-controlled button. On the top, you will find an eight way hat switch. The top buttons can be difficult to use for people who have small hands. This stick is surely not an ambidextrous stick, but it can still be comfortable for left handed individuals. I found it to be very comfortable to use, but I am right handed.
When you use the Extreme 3D Pro controller for the first time, you will surely be impressed by the toughness of the stick, the throttle lever and the fact that the controls are not very loose. The stick may have a little play at first, but you will get used to it. There are no unresponsive buttons, as the buttons are well-made. This product has a high durability, so you will be able to use it for years without showing too much wear and tear. It is also resistant to shocks of any kind. If you want to carry it in a bag, there is no issue doing this.
After a few years of use, the play in the center of the stick can grow, but it is still perfectly acceptable. Also, the hat switch may stop working properly after some years of use. Some of the eight positions may work harder, but they are still usable. You may have to push harder to make them work. If you consider a replacement, choosing the same model can still be a better idea than to acquire a cheaper model. I carried it in a backpack in awkward positions many times each year and it was not affected at all.
Centering and Programing
Extreme 3D Pro from Logitech comes with a CD that contains software. But, you don’t have to use this software if you don’t want. The stick is plug-and-play, so you don’t even have to install it on your PC to work. In my case, it worked perfectly without any installation of software. The axis controls are calibrated by default. The only thing that may have to be done is to install the software if you want the switches from the top and base to work. For flight simulators like FSX and FS2002, the trigger will serve for braking by default. Some other buttons also work by default. Sometimes the stick produces unwanted off-center inputs and sends rolling commands to FSX, but this can be solved by unplugging it, leaving it centered and plugging it back in.
I have programmed the buttons for FSX through the FSX control window easily, without using any software. The thumb button is left as it is for changing view categories and the trigger serves for breaks. The hat switch is used for turning the camera and I used the four buttons on the top for flaps (up and down) and elevator trim (up and down). The two most forward base buttons have been used for spoilers and gear, the other two in the middle as wingfold commands and tail hook and the button that is the closest to my body I used FSX aircraft lights. You can use my settings, or millions of other combinations of your choice, because this stick allows it. Experiment and make your own configuration. The stick also works great for MS Combat Flight Simulator (all three versions), Rise of Flight, Lock On and many others.
I have already bought Saitek X-42 as a replacement for my old Logitech Extreme 3D Pro, but I still use the old stick, because of its durability and reliability. It is a compact gaming device, with no LED lights and other breakable components. It doesn’t have hundreds of programmable buttons, but I think I don’t need such things. I like to keeps things simple, practical and useful. The Logitech device was a little expensive when I bought it and it still isn’t cheap, but it can be the perfect solution for flightsimming. There is nothing bad to say about this joystick, except the play that it has on its center. The price can be between 30 to 70 dollars, depending on the location from which you are buying it. You can also click to see other joystick
What Do People Say About Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick?