The best PC joystick will make a huge difference to both the level of control and the level of immersion you feel playing any flight or space sim. Whether ripping the wings off a Cessna in the expansive Microsoft Flight Simulator, exploring the far reaches of the galaxy in Elite Dangerous, or bulls-eyeing thermal exhaust ports not much bigger than a womp rat in the action-packed Star Wars Squadrons, you can live out your flyboy fantasies right at home.
We also recommend a good wireless gaming keyboard and gaming mouse combo since it’s a good way to navigate a game’s menu during one of your ‘flights.’ But a joystick is the building block for setting up a home cockpit. Serious flight sims are played best with a HOTAS (Hands-On Throttle and Stick), which can be a bit of an investment, but once you’re set up, it’s near impossible to even think about playing a flight sim without one.
Easy is the name of the game; the joysticks on this list all require minimal setup, though if you’re looking for the full cockpit experience, and more importantly, have the finances, by all means check out the likes of VKB and Virpil. You can customise your setup to the nth degree with either of those super-premium manufacturers, but you will have to pay through the nose.