Flight simulators are back in fashion. If you don’t have a HOTAS controller to play them, you just need a 3D printer to build one.
Relegated to the niche market for years, flight simulators have made a comeback thanks to titles like Elite: Dangerous, or the recent Microsoft Fight Simulator Y Star Wars: Squadrons. You will need a HOTAS joystick to get the most out of them, but they are expensive and out of stock in most stores. The solution? Build a DIY HOTAS yourself, using a PS4, Xbox or Nintendo Switch gamepad.
A HOTAS command refers to the term in English Hands On Throttle-And-Stick, that is to say, Hands on throttle and control lever. In other words, the joysticks used by airplanes, which are grasped with the whole hand. Very different from the sticks of the gamepads of the consoles, which are operated with the thumbs.
The problem is that a quality HOTAS remote is expensive, over 150 euros and even more, and with the success of the games mentioned, they are sold out. But if you follow the instructions of youtuber Akai Kuumeri you can build a HOTAS joystick yourself for just over 10 euros, with the only condition that you have a gamepad and a 3D printer. You can see it in this video:
As we can see, it is a somewhat rudimentary system, since although the 3D printed joysticks are well designed, they are connected to the gamepad by means of plastic strips that move the gamepad and press the triggers to fire the lasers in games like Star Wars: Squadrons.
It is not the most accurate system in the world but it works perfectly, especially in titles where you do not have to move the stick constantly, as in Microsoft Fight Simulator.
An advantage of this system is that works with all gamesWell, we are actually using the gamepad. So it is compatible with any flight simulator.
The best of all is that printable designs are available completely free, so the only thing you are going to spend is what the printer’s plastic rolls cost you, to print the sticks.