Saitek Cyborg X Flight Stick|
It’s been a long time since I’ve needed a joystick for my PC, but with the recent release of Microsoft Flight I found myself visiting my “Closet of Unused Controllers” to find something suitable to replace my mouse as the primary input for flying around Hawaii. Sadly, nothing I had (and I had many) were suitable or compatible with Windows 7. Thankfully, the guys over at Saitek hooked me up with a couple of sticks that were compatible with the new Flight game. While neither are particularly new nor “hot topic” hardware releases, if you are a gamer playing MS Flight and looking for a stick, this one may be for you.
The Saitek Cyborg X Flight stick is pretty slick and stylish out of the box – even if it is three years old. There is a nice mix of silver and black design on both the expandable base and the imposing grip that has the thumb-cluster of button highlighted with a blue LED concealed beneath the chrome shield on the top. It’s worth nothing that this chrome guard cannot be flipped up even though it does resemble one of those trigger guards on modern flight sticks. The grip is packaged separately and must be attached after unpacking – easy enough and takes only seconds.
The control layout is very nice with a twin-throttle on the left side of the mount that glides with a precise smooth motion. The throttle can also be optionally locked to serve as a single throttle for single-engine planes or games that don’t allow for independent engine throttling. On the front of the mount just past the throttle are Buttons #10 and #11. Buttons #6-#9 arc around the left curve of the base while Buttond #2-#5 surround the control hat that sits just above a scroll-wheel. The trigger is Button #1 and has a nice motion and responsive click to it.
Opposite the throttle on the right leg of the mount is an adjustment tool (Allen wrench with cool grip) that can be used to tweak and adjust nearly every control element of this stick from the height of the grip to the tilt of the hat cluster. If you see an adjustment screw that means you can customize that part of the stick to your exacting preference making this the perfect stick for everyone except southpaws.
The stick is very responsive with just the right amount of tension and a nice snap-to-center and perfect dead zone. Since I don’t have rudder pedals I was pleased to see the grip has a nice springy twist-axis feature that functions as my rudder and on-ground steering, and the rubber pads on the bottom of the base never slipped once on the surface of my glass computer desk.
The flight stick comes with Saitek’s Smart Technology software that can be used for button mapping and customized presets and profiles for various games, but the Cyborg X works pretty much right out of the box; at least for Microsoft Flight. I did a bit of in-game re-mapping but that was more out of personal preference since many of the buttons were preset to commands I seldom used like cycling views.
The Cyborg X Flight Stick is a great joystick but you may have trouble locating one. After doing some Google research just to find the MSRP it looks like only three online stores even offer this stick and the price can range $42-64 depending on where you shop and if you are buying new or used. Of course you can always head to the GameShark Store and look for the Cyborg F.L.Y. 5 Stick, which looks identical to the Cyborg X and sells for $49.99 new.