Review: Saitek X52 Flight control system

There’s been a distinct lack of decent joysticks of late for PC gamers. With this latest release from Saitek, does it improve on the X45 predecessor?

Not just a common joystick either, the Saitek X52 is what is commonly called a HOTAS, which stands for Hand On Throttle And Stick, meaning that there is a separate throttle and joystick controller.

From first observations, the X52 has definitely improved over the previous generation system, the X45. Improvements over the older joystick system include the addition of a 2-inch square LCD read-out that can display actual time, and huge amounts of programmable buttons. Also, no AC adaptor is required as the new design is completely USB Bus powered. The LED lights on the buttons add that extra bit of character that most people will like.

When setting up the X52 for the first time, we’d definitely recommend reading the instruction manual. The actual installation process is easy to do and reading the manual can make the process go smoother. Plus, after completing the installation it’s a good idea to get familiar with the buttons and motions of the X52 by using the control panel applet. The applet is a great tool for getting visual representation of the motion of the controller and seeing the button map.

This HOTAS has created some serious headspins here in the ‘Shack, there’s so many buttons and knobs, it’s too hard to describe all the functions and settings in this small review. Plus, if you’re looking to add that extra something to this controller setup, add the Pro Flight rudder pedals for that next level of immersion.


  • Extremely sturdy and robust build
  • Fully customisable and adjustable to your individual needs
  • Easy-to-read manual and controlling software


  • Expensive for a niche controller
  • Bundled Roger Wilco chat software- don’t bother using this software, Ventrilo or TeamSpeak are more commonly used amongst gamers

Product: Saitek X52 Flight control system

Vendor: Home Entertainment Supplies

RRP: $199.95

Website: Saitek X52