How to Choose the Right Joystick for You

Your Guide to buying the best Joysticks


A joystick is a type of gaming input device that is used to control the movement of on-screen objects and characters in video games. Joysticks are used for a variety of gaming genres, including flight simulation, driving simulation, and first-person shooter games. This buying guide will help you to make an informed decision when purchasing a joystick for gaming, by providing information on the different types of joysticks, as well as key features and considerations to take into account when selecting a joystick to ensure you get the best gaming experience.

Key features

  1. Joystick Type - Consider the type of joystick that is most suitable for the task, such as an analog or digital joystick, an 8-way or 4-way joystick, and the type of buttons.
  2. Size - Choose a size that is comfortable to hold and easy to use.
  3. Compatibility - Ensure that the joystick is compatible with the gaming platform or device that is being used.
  4. Ergonomics - Look for a joystick with an ergonomic design that is comfortable to hold for long gaming sessions.
  5. Response Time - Check the joystick’s response time to ensure that there is no lag between the user’s input and the game’s response.
  6. Features - Look for features like vibration feedback, programmable buttons, and adjustable sensitivity.
  7. Price - Consider the price of the joystick and what features it offers for the cost.

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Important considerations


  • Accuracy - Joysticks offer superior accuracy compared to traditional game controllers, making them well-suited for complex and highly technical games.
  • Customizable - Joysticks are highly customizable and can be tailored to fit the user's preferred setup and style.
  • Versatile - Joysticks can be used for a wide variety of games, including flight simulators, racing games, and other complex gaming genres.
  • Simulation - Joysticks provide a realistic simulation experience and can be used to simulate real-world conditions and situations.
  • Durability - Joysticks are designed to withstand heavy use and abuse, making them a great choice for hardcore gamers.
  • Compatibility - Joysticks are compatible with a wide range of gaming systems and devices, making them a great choice for multi-platform gamers.


  • Cost: Joysticks can be expensive, depending on the design and features.
  • Size: Joysticks come in a variety of sizes, making it difficult to find the right one for your gaming setup.
  • Durability: Not all joysticks are built to last, and some may require frequent replacements.
  • Compatibility: Not all joysticks are compatible with all gaming systems and devices, so make sure to check before you buy.
  • Ergonomics: Most joysticks are not designed with ergonomics in mind, which can be uncomfortable for long gaming sessions.
  • Controls: Joysticks may have limited control options, which can make some games more difficult to play.

Best alternatives

  1. Gamepads - Controllers with two analog sticks used in a variety of gaming genres, from driving to sports to first-person shooters.
  2. Arcade Sticks - A controller consisting of an eight-directional joystick and a set of extra buttons, commonly used for fighting games.
  3. Steering Wheels - Controllers designed to replicate the experience of driving a car, typically consisting of a wheel with pedals and buttons.
  4. Flight Sticks - Controllers with an analog stick and a set of extra buttons, designed to replicate the experience of flying a plane.
  5. Motion Controllers - Controllers with accelerometers and gyroscopes designed to be used with motion-controlled games.

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Common questions

  1. What is the difference between analog and digital joysticks? Analog joysticks use potentiometers to measure the angle of the joystick, while digital joysticks use a set of buttons to emulate the same movements.
  2. What type of compatibility do joysticks have? Joysticks are typically compatible with PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and other gaming systems.
  3. What types of control devices do joysticks work with? Joysticks are compatible with gamepads, keyboards, and other controllers.
  4. What types of games are best suited for joysticks? Joysticks are commonly used in flight simulators, racing games, and other types of action and adventure games.
  5. Do joysticks require any special software to use? Generally, no. Joysticks are usually plug-and-play and don’t require any special software or drivers to function.
  6. Are there any features to look for when buying a joystick? Yes, some features to look for when buying a joystick include adjustable sensitivity, programmable buttons, and ergonomic design.


In the late 1960s, a computer programmer named Bob Kahn created a computer game called ‘Joysticks’, which was one of the first computer games that used a joystick controller. The game was so popular that it was later adapted for use in arcades. The game was a simple one; players had to navigate a series of obstacles and steer their joystick to collect points while avoiding obstacles. The game was so popular that it was later converted to other platforms such as the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64. In fact, the Atari version of the game was so successful that it was one of the top-selling titles for the platform in 1982. This success spawned a number of sequels and spawned the popular ‘Joystick’ brand of video game controllers. Source

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.