Best Optimal Joystick For Swerve?

Our team is looking for the best optimal Joysticks to use for a swerve drive. We currently use “Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X” but the inputs on this joystick are jittery and not smooth. We would like the joystick to twist as well for turning. We were also thinking of using a throttle to control the max speed of the drivetrain for more precision when lining up to score. If you have any suggestions on what joystick and/or throttle would be best for this I would greatly appreciate it, Thanks.

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Our team uses an xBox controller using the left stick for translational movement and the right stick as rotation. No issues with it. However, make sure there is no drift in the controller.


If you want a cheaper version with a soldered-in connector, the F310s work perfectly. Generally, any controller with two joysticks will do you well for swerve.

We are using a 3-axis flight stick for swerve due to driver preference. Currently, we are using the Saitek 52 pro, witch is a bit on the high-end price-wise, but the controllability is on another level.

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Wired PowerA Xbox controller. They just work and they are sturdy

We have a couple of those, we just thought a joystick would be better for precision as controllers have a fraction of travel compared to a joystick.

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Is there any noticable difference between the Saitek 52 pro and the Logitech X52 HOTAS? And beyond that, between the X52 HOTAS and X52 Professional HOTAS?

Logitech purchased Saitek, so the Saitek x52 pro and Logitech x52 professional HOTAS are pretty much the same thing I think. We did some research on the 2 and I believe we found that the pro was more durable and had more accurate sensors on the joystick.

If anything, buy new, there is a very noticeable difference between a 10-year-old controller and a brand-new one, and you don’t know what abuse the old controller has been through.

It is completely up to the drivers; if they perform better with an off-brand PS3 controller, I’ll get it for them. If your team feels like they want to use joysticks, you do you.

This is what we are using.

Optimal? I would recommend Xbox Elite or other high end controller like the razor wolverine v2. That said a lower price/more standard controller would nearly as well.

Joysticks work as well but you need to train the students on them, as most students have used game controllers in the past but not actual joysticks.

Side note I wouldn’t recommend using twist on a joystick for spinning a swerve. It’s hard to twist a joystick without moving it in one direction or another and it can’t be great for the driver’s = wrist.

As a mentor, I’ve been stunned over the years at the set of drivers we’ve had that have been able to control a swerve robot like it was an extension of their own body using either legacy wired XBox controllers or the wired PowerA work-alikes. I can’t imagine how it could be done better with a joystick form factor. We’ve never tried a wireless regular or Elite XBox controller, but I assume they would be OK as long as you hot-glued the wire in.