A flight simulator is designed to emulate the feeling of piloting an aircraft. A HOTAS controller brings a whole new level of immersion to any flight simulator by removing the need for a Dualshock 4 or Move controller and replacing it with a joystick and throttle for better immersion. This all makes it easy to forget you're in a virtual reality (VR) headset. If that interests you, here are the best controllers on the market
Prepare for War
Ace Combat is a well-known game when it comes to flight simulators. It's immersive and has smooth controls when it comes to piloting your aircraft. In this game, you'll be in the cockpit of a fighter jet with the mission of avoiding enemy fire and taking down their planes.
Combat in space
This first-person spaceship shooter is here to take you through the turmoil of war. The visuals here are absolutely stunning and do a phenomenal job at making space look real with every little detail. There's even an option to play online against your friends with the Warzone expansion!
Battle your friends
StarBlood Arena is more combat-focused than it is flight-focused, but it's still a great flight simulator regardless. You need to have lightning fast reflexes and one heck of a trigger finger to progress.
Take back control
Space Rift is another PlayStation VR game that offers you the chance to fly through the galaxy. Earth was destroyed by a meteor shower and all of humanity was moved to Mars under the control of two groups: WEYSS and PANDORA. You, a pilot and recently blacklisted traitor, have joined the rebel ranks with Anoxia Station to take out the new world order.
War never changes
The United Trade Consortium has entrusted you with some of its best equipment to fight an ongoing war. Are you ready to test your skills? HOTAS support was recently added to this game, but there have been reports it's not quite perfected yet. Stay tuned for updates.
Open world flying
Here you'll find yourself on a remote island with just your plane, helmet, and radio. Fly through loops, take timed courses, shoot targets, get prize money, and earn gold medals to show off all of your achievements. Then you can use the prize money to upgrade your ride!
You don't know what you're missing with HOTAS
A HOTAS emulates the feeling of controlling the cockpit of a real plane instead of using action buttons or triggers on a standard controller. When you take a phenomenal flight simulator like Ace Combat 7 (opens in new tab) and put it in a VR headset you'll need a HOTAS controller to complete the package.
The result of using something like the Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS (opens in new tab) is absolutely breathtaking. Imagine a first-person view of the clouds passing your windshield. It doesn't matter if you find yourself flying over the oceans of Earth or in a galaxy far, far away. A flight simulator with a HOTAS is one way to put a sparkle in your eyes and these games are sure to deliver.
Hooked on HOTAS?
These are the best compatible HOTAS controllers we could find for the PlayStation VR!
Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS 4 (opens in new tab) ($80 at Amazon)
The T.Flight has 12 action buttons, one rapid-fire trigger, one multi-directional hat switch, and a dual rudder system. All of these features offer you the best comfort, easy mapping, and immersive gameplay.
Thrustmaster T16000M FCS HOTAS (opens in new tab) ($130 at Amazon)
The joystick has 16 action buttons that are accented with braille and four independent axles that include a twist rudder you control by rotating the stick. The throttle has 14 action buttons and an 8-way hat switch.
Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X Flight Stick (opens in new tab) ($55 at Amazon)
Both the flight stick and the throttle have 12 buttons and five axles that are entirely programmable. This Thrustmaster even has internal memory to save all of your settings even when it's unplugged!
Essa Kidwell is an expert in all things VR and mobile devices who can always be found with an Oculus Go, a Pixel 2, and an iPhone 7+. They've been taking things apart just to put them back together for quite some time. If you've got a troubleshooting issue with any of your tech, they're the one you want to go to! Find them on Twitter @OriginalSluggo or Instagram @CosmeticChronus.
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