Turtle Beach VelocityOne Flight Stick & Rudder Pedals Review
The idea of flight has always intrigued the mind of a younger me. I can remember being interested in fighter planes, gliders, and big commercial airliners, so much so that I briefly wanted to pursue a career in aviation. Now, I get to live younger me’s dreams through the Turtle Beach VelocityOne Flight Stick and Rudder Pedals.
No better time than the present to download Microsoft Flight Simulator and jump in the Captain’s chair to experience the miracle of human flight with this interesting new controller. I got everything mounted onto the matching VelocityOne Stand with surprising ease, using the included hardware, and I was ready to take off and try not to crash immediately.
My first impression of the VelocityOne Flight Stick was that it feels…cheap. The plastic used for the housing felt like it was not the sturdiest it could have been. It kind of took me out of the immersion (if you can call it that for a peripheral), and I felt like it would have benefitted from at least a little bit of metal in the construction, apart from the yoke arm. In my experience, though, I never felt like the structure was going to fall apart, so it may have just been aesthetics that were holding me back.
Being completely new to aviation controls, I was instantly overwhelmed by the number of different items and lights on the face of the VelocityOne Flight Stick. It took me far too long to figure out that they’re mostly for display purposes, as the included face plates are interchangeable and can be used with whichever flight vehicle you choose. That said, there are still a staggering number of things on the flight stick that have a function, but it’s up to you to figure out what they do.
“I was instantly overwhelmed by the number of different items and lights on the face of the VelocityOne Flight Stick.”
Luckily, the VelocityOne Flight Stick comes with a Quick Start guide that has a full chart on what buttons do what by default and what buttons are where. So, it became a process of the game telling me to do something and me spending five minutes figuring out what button that is mapped to and then where it is. Once I got the hang of it, it was a lot easier to remember where each button was.
One thing that put me off was the yoke arm, which controlled the direction the aircraft was flying. My issue with it was that it was very….inconsistent in its movements. Too often, I would be trying to land the plane and have to push the yoke arm in to get the plane to go down, and it would jolt forward, and the same would happen if I were cruising at altitude and had to make a smooth adjustment upwards, but, again, it would jolt up. Turning left and right was no problem, but adjusting height was something of a difficult endeavour at times.
At the very centre of the yoke is your flight management display. This is used to configure your Flight Stick and utilize a number of different features. My favourite, in particular, is the flight timer. As an avid racer, I loved seeing where I can trim down on time to reach destinations. In addition, you can switch between your different input modes and make use of the training feature, the latter of which helps you get comfortable with the controls of the craft you’re using.
On the yoke itself, you’ll find your integrated rudder controls, meaning that you can control the entire aircraft from the Flight Stick alone. Your brakes, rudder controls, and more can all be controlled from here, so if you don’t have the Rudder Pedals, you’re not out in the cold. I found these controls serviceable if a little clunky. The idea is that the Rudder Pedals will be used in tandem with the Flight Stick, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
The VelocityOne Rudder Pedals offered quite the learning curve themselves. They don’t operate in the same way that you’d expect pedals to work in comparison to your car. First of all, they have the ability to move in the opposite direction from one another. In theory, it made sense to me that when using the rudder to control the aircraft, you’d have to move one pedal forward and one backward.
“The absolute best thing about the VelocityOne Rudder Pedals is its mounting capabilities.”
In addition, the pedals themselves have swappable attachments, allowing for different configurations that provide more realism when operating a variety of different aircraft (commercial jets, small private planes, etc.). To add to the physical customization of the Rudder Pedals, the width they are configured can also be adjusted to your liking. Little features like these really drive home the ease of use and break down the barrier to entry that is unfamiliar with the apparatus.
The absolute best thing about the VelocityOne Rudder Pedals is its mounting capabilities. They can be mounted on the VelocityOne Stand, along with the Flight Stick, or they can be placed directly on the floor. A variety of different rubber pads and little spikes assure you that the Rudder Pedals can be placed on carpet or tile/hardwood floors as well. This level of compatibility means that more people can use them since they don’t require a bespoke mounting location.
My experience with the VelocityOne Rudder Pedals was one of precision. Each tiny movement was reflected in-game, and it made me much more aware of my movements, as even a small movement can alter your course, resulting in a turbulent flight for your imaginary passengers.
Overall, the VelocityOne Flight Stick and Rudder Pedals were an incredible introduction to the world of flight simulation. After a bit of a learning curve getting used to the controls and where the buttons were, etc., I was quite happy to settle in for a nice 30-45 minute flight and found myself making up intercom announcements to the “passengers” I was transporting.
Even though the Flight Stick can be used without the Rudder Pedals, my need for realism and authenticity would never allow me to use one without the other. If you are keen to take the next step in flight simulation, stepping up from keyboard and mouse, then I would strongly recommend the Turtle Beach VelocityOne Flight Stick and Rudder Pedals.