Thrustmaster is finally bringing its flight stick to PlayStation 4 now that Ace Combat 7 is out. The company has unleashed the T.Flight HOTAS 4 controller. This $80 peripheral gives you a throttle and stick and plenty of buttons to pilot a jet travelling at mach 2.
I tested Thrustmaster’s T.Flight HOTAS One for the Xbox One with Elite Dangerous. And the T.Flight HOTAS 4 is pretty much the same device. But Thrustmaster has added PS4-friendly buttons and slapped an Ace Combat 7 logo on the side. Besides that, you get the same layout with either version. That means if you’re on PC, get the HOTAS One because more games use Xbox controller button prompts.
But also like the HOTAS One, the HOTAS 4 is an excellent way to control an aerial vehicle in a video game. I’ve played through most of Ace Combat 7 using this device, and it really does amp up the immersion level.
This is also the only easy way to get this experience since Thrustmaster makes the only widely available flight stick for PS4.
Turning your living room into a cockpit
It took about 15 minutes to get used to the precise controls, but I improved after that. And it enabled me to throw myself into the game. Now, taking down enemy bogies wasn’t just a matter of moving my thumbs. I’m using my entire arm up to my shoulders and into my chest.
It makes Ace Combat 7 feel more dramatic when you get more of your body involved. When an enemy locks on, it’s satisfying to twist your whole torso to adjust your trajectory.
Now, the controller doesn’t really support that style of play when it’s in your lap. But it does pull apart so you can set it up on a table. This is more natural, and the rubber grips on the bottom ensure that everything stays in place.
The obvious problem with the HOTAS 4 is that the PS4 doesn’t have an overabundance of flight games. But again, it works with the PC. And it’s USB, so it’ll likely work on future Sony consoles as well.