Joysticks Buying Guide
Are you into the old-school style gaming experience? Do you have a new flight simulator for your PC that you're dying to try out? Perhaps you should invest in a trusty joystick. Although their popularity has waned since the Atari days, joysticks are still pretty common for a lot of PC games , and they offer simple, comfortable controls for a variety of platforms. But before you run to your local electronics shop, there are a few things you should know about your pending joystick purchase. From PC compatibility to ergonomic design and money-back warranties, there's a lot to consider before you get on with the gaming. Check out some of our savvy buying tips for help.
One of the most important things to ensure before you buy a new joystick is compatibility. You want to be certain that it will work with your computer set-up so that it's both easy to use and efficient. Check out what type of port is on the back of your computer to determine what kind of joystick you need.
- A PS/2 port will probably require that you buy an adapter for a next-gen joystick.
- A standard USB port with be compatible with most any model of computer joystick.
- If you don't have available ports, you'll need to add a USB card to your computer in order to use the joystick.
Warranties and Pricing
Since traditional joysticks aren't necessarily needed to play a lot of the newer PC games on the market, a lot of joystick models are going to be tailored to flight simulator games. This means that the more tailored the joystick is to providing the most realistic simulation experience, the more expensive it will be. You could spend upwards of a few hundred pounds to get a super-realistic flight deck , or you could get something a bit less intense for as little as £50. The key is to get recommendations from fellow gamers, gaming magazines and even the store managers to find out which models are high on performance while still being economical. A good warranty is one sign that the joystick will live up to a certain level of performance for an allotted period of time. Companies don't include warranties unless they're confident that their products can withstand the everyday wear and tear of some hardcore game play.
Comfort and Ergonomics
If it's possible, you should try to test out the joystick before you buy it. You don't want something that's uncomfortable, hard to manoeuvre or generally requires too much effort to use--it could cause some serious wrist strain, and slow reaction time could totally blow your game. Think about the size of the joystick in relation to your hand, making sure that you can quickly and easily reach the buttons. You can choose between small, wireless joysticks that are great for laptops, or large table-top units that work well for the seasoned professional.
- Some joysticks comes equipped with force feedback for a more realistic game play experience. These models vibrate during battle, simulating explosions, body blows, gun shots and whatever else you can think of.
- Are you righty or lefty? Some joystick models are ambidextrous, but a lot aren't meant for left-handed game players.
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