By Fallen Kell
So after doing lots of research and looking at all the different options available today on the market as well as the information on the RSI/Saitek controls, I have come to the conclusion that very few of these actually know what is truly needed for proper controls in Star Citizen. I had high hopes for the RSI/Saitek controls, but I don't think a single person who worked on them ever actually played Star Citizen, or if they did, they certainly didn't pay attention to what control types are really needed.
As such, I have started down the road of making my own flightstick. I have also come to the conclusion that for Star Citizen, really the best control setup will be Hands On Stick And Mouse And Feet On Pedals. Now hear me out. We all know from playing the current alpha release that keyboard+mouse tends to dominate in the aiming department, especially with gimbal weapons. However, from a flight standpoint, most people who have used flightsticks really enjoy both the immersion as well as the accuracy (of a decent stick) for maneuvering. The problem with flightsticks are that Star Citizen requires more axis of movement/control than what can be provided by the flightstick and throttle setup which are as follows:
Pitch Yaw Roll Throttle Vertical strafe/slide Horizontal strafe/slide All of the above require analog control. All but one of the above, throttle, are ideally suited for something that self zero's. We also need to take into consideration FPS combat, which is the other part of the reason why having a mouse in the equation makes a lot of sense. My conclusion for having a hand on a stick and mouse would be able to work if the stick had an analog thumbstick providing 2 more analog control axis to the stick. This way you mouse hand would control aiming of gimbal weapons (or view, but ultimately I suspect people will use things like VR or head trackers for this), and your other hand will focus on movement controls. The additional thumbstick will allow for mapping vertical/horizontal strafe/slide, and the pedals will let you map roll (or yaw depending on your preference) as well as forward/reverse throttle (to the pedal "brakes"). When outside of flight mode (i.e. FPS), the analog thumbstick will act just like you would expect for moving forward, back, strafe left/right. No need to shift your hands around, they are already in position with controls available to be able to work extremely efficiently, with possibly years of muscle memory already available to work this way.
So I have started modifying a flightstick to get close to the above. I used a relatively cheap but fairly accurate 16000.M for the basis of my modifications. I also picked up a teensy 3.2 controller for providing the additional thumbstick to Windows. Here are a couple shots of the work in progress:
Unfortunately I lose the hat switch (I would have loved to keep it, but it simply doesn't fit). This is the kind of thing that I wish Saitek would have produced, ideally with the space to also have a hat switch or two. I do not plan on using the trigger on the flightstick to fire weapons, and leave those functions for the mouse. Since I have VoiceAttack, I can perform many other actions without needing to have a lot of dedicated buttons, but if a controller company were to design a stick for Star Citizen, having a few extra buttons available and accessible with just the hand operating the stick would be useful (it is a lot faster to hit a button than to say something for VoiceAttack to run the macro).
I just stumbled across this while hunting for a high contrast 1.1 keyboard and mouse template and thought it was a really neat solution. Their Kickstarter was successful and I'd like to see what they've done.
There's also AimPad which unfortunately has failed in Kickstarter attempts but wants to bring analog input to the keyboard allowing you to use the WASD keys more granularly. Something anyone who has been playing Witcher 3 with a keyboard might recognize would be a huge benefit.
Then there's the Delta Throttle which is a 6DOF controller which you can build yourself right now. This looks amazing, but only has a single button. Use it as a modifier for a many-button mouse to gain added functionality.
And then there's Travel Trousers 6DOF controller and joystick in one. The same guy is working at Feel Three on a VR motion chair that would be really neat for SC.
Have you found anything out there that would make for a great alternative control device?
I was just recently playing SC and I realized that mouse and keyboard is not my favorite way to control a spaceship.
I was reading up on the different HOTAS systems that are offered right now, but the only ones that I liked were the X55 and X52 by Saitek; however, I heard that the quality control/overall build of their products is not that great, and I don't really know what to get.
This made me wonder: Is there an actual Star Citizen HOTAS?
Well, as many of you already probably know, there is apparently one in the making. I searched for more info on it, but I could only find very litte (links below).
Does anyone have more info on the subject? If so, please post down below.
By Icarus Rising
I've been steady practicing using my trusty keyboard and mouse for almost a month now and I gotta say, for a guy who's never played a 6DoF game before I feel pretty comfortable controlling my ship. That being said, here's an easier on the eyes than XML photo of my basic control set-up.
What do you think I could do to improve my efficiency here: