Best Flight Simulator Accessories in 2023: the best picks
Looking for the best flight simulator accessories? Flight simulation has only gotten better as time goes on with companies like Microsoft creating experiences that are not only realistic, but there’s also been a bunch of flight sim accessories that have entered into the market.
If you’re looking to boost that realism and really get your head into true pilot mode, the best flight simulator accessories can certainly help with that. There are a bunch of different peripherals on the market though and with this guide, we’ll provide you with the top five selections that in our opinion, a serious flight simulator enthusiast can’t live without.
Products at a Glance
Why the best flight simulator accessories will enhance your experience
So, right out the box, flight simulators are there to provide you with a pretty realistic experience of both the world and how it truly feels to pilot an aircraft. However, simply pressing your arrow keys and clicking your mouse simply won’t fully simulate true aircraft piloting but that’s where accessories come in.
There are a number of peripherals such as yokes, joysticks, and H.O.T.A.S.’ that are replicas of real flight controllers which, in turn, allow you to pilot a virtual plane with a full set of controls at your disposal. This increases immersion dramatically and pretty much sits you in that cockpit while sitting at home.
How we picked the best flight simulator accessories
Whilst picking the ideal flight simulator accessories, we considered several crucial factors. Firstly, realism and accuracy were prioritized. We went for simulator accessories with authentic flight physics and accurate navigation. We tried to consider sims with a diverse lineup of different aircraft, including commercial airliners, general aviation, or military planes.
High-quality graphics, encompassing realistic scenery and weather effects, contribute to an immersive experience. Similarly, the availability of accurate airports and comprehensive flight environments, complete with day-night cycles and dynamic weather, enhances the simulation’s realism. A robust navigation system, modding support for user-generated content, and VR compatibility are also important considerations. We tried to include all these factors when we picked out compatible accessories which provide the best flight simulator experience.
Looking for something more specific? We have some great guides to the best flight simulator joystick and the best rudder pedals, too. Or for more gaming accessories, we have a guide to the best Steam Deck accessories.
Best Flight Simulator Accessories in 2023: the best picks
- Silky-smooth controls
- Very life-like
- Included switch panel
One of the most life-like accessories you can pick up for flight simulators is a yoke. This accessory allows you to feel like you’re in a literal cockpit with full control over how the aircraft steers as well as operating different controls such as the ignition.
The best flight sim yoke in our eyes and the one that should go in your setup is the Honeycomb Alpha. It is the most advanced flight simulation system available thanks to its fantastic build quality, aesthetics, and performance all combining to allow for a top-tier experience.
Touching on the controls, the Honeycomb Alpha has a realistic full 180° yoke rotation and a solid steel shaft with dual linear ball bearings which come together to deliver silky-smooth control. There’s also a self-centering mechanism and zero dead zones which makes for extremely precise operation.
The yoke itself is pretty great but the Honeycomb Alpha also includes a Switch Panel with master, alternator, avionics, and light switches as well as a 5-position ignition switch. This makes for even more flight sim controls and what tips the Alpha over the edge as one of the best flight simulator accessories.
- Great looking
- Military-grade Space and Flight precision
- Bundled configuration software
- RGB isn't for everyone
If a simple joystick doesn’t take your fancy, there is a more complex flight sim accessory that might just do the trick – a H.O.T.A.S. This is essentially a two in one accessory with both joystick and throttle controls, providing you with multifunctionality in one package.
In our opinion, the Logitech G X56 H.O.T.A.S comes in on top as the best H.O.T.A.S due to a number of factors that we’ll discuss now.
Right away, the actual aesthetics of the X56 are nothing short of breathtaking with stealth black coloration almost throughout and chrome accents on specific control elements. Moreover, Logitech has included some subtle RGB for some added flair, so if that takes your fancy, get some illumination going while soaring in the skies.
In terms of how the Logitech H.O.T.A.S performs, the controls themselves are extremely fine tuned to match that of Military-grade Space and Flight precision. This, therefore, means that while in your favorite flight simulator, you know you’ll be getting the most precise control over the aircraft your piloting and experiencing what it truly feels like to take the reigns of a real-world plane.
If you want to configure the X56 H.O.T.A.S, Logitech has included a handy bit of software to do so. The HOTAS Configuration Software has 189+ Programmable Controls for you to tinker with to get your perfect fit for your next flight. Certainly a great addition and something at hardcore flight simulator enthusiasts can delve into.
- 35 inch screen
- 200Hz refresh rate
- Some prefer a three monitor setup
Securing yourself a fantastic monitor is a great way of enhancing your flight sim experience that bit more.
Now, what we recommend for all flight simulator players is to opt for a curved monitor. This will put you right in the moment of flight as you look left and right and are still able to see out of the aircraft windows rather than your room’s walls.
For the best curved monitor, we think the ASUS ROG Swift PG35VQ is right up there. It has the resolution, coming in at 1440p, the great ROG looks, and a 35-inch display for a solid wide view.
Looking a little deeper into the quality of the screen, it’s capable of 200Hz, great for those who are wanting to view the world passing by without any potential tearing. Additionally, it has G-Sync Ultimate capabilities which delivers vivid realism thanks to top tier HDR for lifelike contrast & color, only enhancing the realistic nature of a flight simulator.
- 50mm drivers
- Looks the real deal
- Multi platform compatibility
You’re going to want some solid audio to accompany all the rest of the best flight simulator accessories and the T.Flight U.S. Air Force Edition headset does just that.
Before we get into the audio though, with a name that includes Air Force Edition, you know it’s going to look the part. The aesthetics resemble that of what you would typically see military pilots wearing with the large, thick ear cups and the gray/black colors. Additionally, the branded faceplates are interchangeable with multiple inclusions provided to you right out the box.
Now, looking at the all-important sound that’ll amplify your flight sim immersion, the T.Flight utilizes 2 inch 50mm drivers to create a life-like experience. These produce almost a full 360 degree audio feeling allowing you to hear those engines purring and the world passing by mid-flight. There’s a fully detachable microphone too which is a great addition for those wanting to communicate with fellow pilots or simply their friends via a chatting platform.
In terms of compatibility, you’ll be able to plug the T.Flight into pretty much any device and receive brilliant audio thanks to the 3.5mm jack. For the newest generation consoles like the Xbox Series X and PS5, you will still get those sweet sounds so if you’re planning on installing Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 from the GamePass library, you’ll be able to enjoy this headset on there also.
Features and Considerations
When picking out flight simulator accessories, there are a few things to look out for.
Ensure that the accessory is compatible with your chosen flight simulator software. Different simulators may use various interfaces and protocols, so confirm that the accessory works seamlessly with your simulator of choice. This especially applies to virtual reality sims, but also standard PC ones.
Realism and Functionality
Look for accessories that replicate real-world aircraft controls and functions. Pieces of kit with accurate button layouts, switches, and knobs can enhance the authenticity of your flying experience.
Durability and build quality are essential. Accessories made from high-quality materials will withstand prolonged use and offer a more realistic flight experience.
Prices for flight simulator accessories vary widely. Set a budget and prioritize features that are most important to you within that budget range.
What accessories do you need for Flight Simulator 2020?
If you want to play Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, you technically don’t need any accessories to get your flight airborne. However, as previously mentioned, not utilizing the plethora of accessories on the market such as yokes and joysticks, you simply won’t be getting the full experience. We recommend at least picking up a joystick at a minimum as you’ll get some feel of what real flying is like without spending hundreds of dollars.
What is the best flight simulator 2020?
If we had to pick one (all the top flight sims are fantastic), the best flight simulator has to be Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. This is because not only is it visually astounding, it has a ten year roadmap ahead of it with constant updates happening throughout that time period. This means that even though it’s fantastic now, it could be the main staple for many as the years progress.
Overall, we’ve listed a bunch of different best flight simulator accessories that are all a worthy purchase in their own right. However, if he had to whittle that down to just one, we’d suggest that you purchase the Honeycomb Alpha . This will allow you to steer your aircraft as well as operate a number of other controls all in one device. It’s also the one that, in our eyes, directly replicates that of what you’d expect to see in a traditional aircraft rather than a fighter jet etc.