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December 21st 2022
5 min read

Ultimate Guide to Flight Simulator Controls & Software

Ultimate Guide to Flight Simulator Controls & Software

Flight simulators imitate the feeling of flying through the skies as you discover new cities and various airports worldwide. 

Ideal for pilots in training or plane enthusiasts, at-home flight simulators have become more realistic and affordable than ever before. With training schools that cover the basics and virtual Air Traffic Control, you’ll have everything you need to get you off the ground. 

So, if you're ready to soar into the world of flight simulation, follow our guide as we explore flight simulator controls, software and how to set up your simulation zone at home.

Table of Contents

What is the best flight simulator?

At Flightstore, we offer Microsoft and X-Plane flight simulator software, both of which offer highly-realistic and full-colour graphics.  

Start with the basics and build your setup over time. When you've decided what's important to you and what you want to improve in your simulation, you can look for add-ons to enhance the experience with more airports or different aircraft.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft flight simulator allows you to fly light planes or commercial jets across the globe in various conditions. 

Create a flight plan and fly day or night to over 2 million cities across realistic mountains, roads, trees, rivers, animals, traffic, and more. Alter the wind direction, temperatures and weather conditions on each flight and practice flying in various difficult circumstances. 

Including 20 detailed planes and 30 hand-crafted airports, you'll never get bored with a Microsoft simulator. Available in two versions, choose the standard version to get you started or the premium version for extra content when you’re ready for the next step.

View from Microsoft Flight Simulator

X-Plane Flight Simulator

X-Plane labels itself as the most realistic and immersive simulation, closer to reality than any other simulation. 

Users and enthusiasts can change it and adapt it to their preferences, creating the ideal world for them to discover. The control setup, aircraft, airports and weather conditions are presented with a visual preview which makes editing them simpler for a more enjoyable experience. 

With an interactive flight school for an easy introduction and an additional six airports, the X-Plane simulator is perfect for those new to flight simulation or aviation enthusiasts looking for a new simulator.

View from X-Plane Simulator

What flight simulator controls do I need?

Flight simulation controls are essential for a more authentic experience. Recreating the cockpit setup, add yokes, throttles, pedals and joysticks to your setup so you can accurately control the aircraft and navigate various scenarios.

Make sure you check that the controls are compatible with PCs, Macs or game consoles, depending on how you will play. Mix and match different brands to find your favourite individual controls, or choose flight packs for everything in one place.

Flight simulator yokes

A yoke is the 'steering wheel' used to control the plane's movement to make it go left to right and up and down. Adding a yoke to your flight simulator hardware will closely recreate the real experience, mimicking the precise handling of the aircraft.

Find a yoke that offers basic controls if you're a beginner looking to dip a toe into flight simulation, or find advanced yokes with programmable buttons and control inputs for a more advanced cockpit experience. 

Steering Yoke

Honeycomb Alpha Flight Control Yoke

Flight simulator throttles

The throttle controls the engine's power as they control the fuel flow to the engine to speed up or slow down as needed.

Choose a flight simulator throttle that can deliver a good amount of customisation and accurately simulate two-engine and four-engine aircraft to make it feel like you're inside a real cockpit. 

Flight simulator throttle

Flight simulator joysticks

Joysticks are a must-have for enhancing your flight simulation experience, as they offer a more realistic alternative to using a mouse and keyboard.

Giving you simple control over your aircraft, find a joystick with an ergonomic handle, thumb throttle and remappable action buttons for the additional dimension of control to your travels.

Flight simulator joystick

Thrustmaster USB Joystick

Flight simulator pedals

Pedals offer realistic rudder control for flight simulators to keep the aircraft coordinated during turns and for taxiing, taking off, and landing. 

Choose pedals with ergonomic designs, and removable heel rests. This way, you can rest your entire foot on the pedals or rest the ball of your foot at mid-level, depending on your preference. 

Flight simulator pedals

Thrustmaster TPR Pendular Rudder Pedals

Flight simulator headsets

Our gaming headsets are fitted with microphones for easy communication with virtual Air Traffic Control (ATC). 

With padded headbands for a comfortable fit, they reduce noise from the outside world so you can fully immerse yourself in the simulation without distraction. 

Explore our selection of flight simulator software and controls

Flight simulators are a worthy investment for those looking to soar into a new virtual world. Start small and build up your at-home flight simulator as you progress from beginner to seasoned professional.

Whether you're an aspiring pilot or plane lover, find everything you need to get set up in one place and shop our selection of flight simulation software, controls and headsets from Flightstore. 

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