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I've played Elite Dangerous: Odyssey for years and I'm looking to upgrade from my Thrustmaster Flight Pack. Elite is a game that supports both "flight assist" mode, in which the computer simulates atmospheric airplane-style flight (vector follows nose, use a throttle, etc.) and "flight assist off" mode, in which six degrees of freedom (6DOF) are available and the flight model is near-Newtonian (but there is a maximum speed). It also has an alternate flight model for "super cruise" (faster-than-light) mode, which is much closer to "flight assist" mode.

My existing controls have been fine for flight assist mode and super cruise, but I'm looking to switch to a "hands on stick and stick" (HOSAS) or "hands on stick, throttle, and stick" (HOSTAS) setup so I have an easier time with flight assist off, especially in combat. There are maneuvers that are simply impossible without disabling flight assist.

I'm looking for a recommendation for a full HOSAS or HOSTAS setup, including a mounting solution.

Notes about my requirements/preferences:

  • I switch between playing in VR (especially for combat) and playing on a flat screen (especially for trading and exploration). When I'm in VR, the combat-essential controls must be at-hand and not require me to remove my hands from their grips or look at the controls with my eyes. The stick included in my Flight Pack has twelve buttons on the base, but those are extremely difficult to use in VR.
  • I need a large number of distinct buttons (at least 24, but 30 is preferred) available during combat without losing/pausing 6DOF control, such that I can activate them while pitching/yawing/rolling/surging/heaving/swaying. Repositioning my thumb (such as from one hat to another) is acceptable, as long as that can be done while actuating the primary axes.
  • Elite supports binding an axis to Throttle, but it also supports binding independent buttons to set the throttle to 0%/25%/50%/75%/100%. The former is slightly better, but the latter is acceptable.
  • I have large hands.
  • I sit in an office chair that cannot be easily modified, and I am unwilling to change seats in order to accommodate controls.
  • My desktop is at an ergonomic height for using a mouse and keyboard, which is too high for most flight controls to comfortably sit on top. I'm looking for a mounting solution, such as one that can clamp to the front of my desk.
  • I would prefer sticks that can be mounted at an angle, such that my hands on the sticks are at an angle similar to young Anakin Skywalker in his podracer in The Phantom Menace. This is beacuse extended flying sessions with my current HOTAS leaves my right wrist fatigued from controlling a stick that centers with my hand vertical.
  • I live in the continental U.S.
  • My budget is a flexible $3,000.
  • Compatibility with additional "control panels" would be nice, but not necessary. When I'm not in VR, it would be enjoyable to use the additonal buttons, switches, rotary encoders, axes, and such found on control panels. Similarly, inputs on bases would be nice while not in VR, but would not count towards the 24-30 non-axis combat inputs.
  • Compatibility with Joystick Gremlin is required, because Elite supports a number of joystick inputs smaller than the number of binds I consider useful in the game.
  • Compatibility with and/or recommendations including pedals is okay, but the pedals must not be one of the axes for 6DOF flight. I've found my existing pedals too uncomfortable to use during space combat.
  • Adjustable resistance profiles on the joysticks would be nice, but not required.
  • If a Throttle is included in the recommendation, I'd prefer that it have a detent at 50% (or configurable such that it could be set at 50%), since that's the "sweet spot" / "blue zone" (a meaningful throttle location to easily hit for optimal gameplay) in Elite.
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  • Additional tags I'd create and add if I had the rep: [joystick], [throttle], [pedals].
    – Kerrick
    Commented Feb 5 at 2:47

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