Design-wise, it’s nearly identical to the Hotas X joystick that was released for the PlayStation 3 a few years back. It comes in a sleek black and blue, with PlayStation markings on each of the buttons and features a detachable throttle and joystick (albeit still connected by a cable), which allows players to adjust the device to whatever suits their play style. The stick was light and didn’t feel cumbersome. I also really enjoyed that it was very easy to use. All that’s required is simply plugging the stick into a USB port on a PS4 or PC and that’s it. Every button on the Hotas 4 is clearly marked with its controller equivalent, making it surprisingly simple to navigate through menus. The main joystick on the Hotas 4 is also very responsive and features a grooved handgrip and a dual rudder system activated by twisting the joystick to steer the plane. Players who own the TFRP Rudder Pedals can plug into the back of the Hotas 4 for that extra bit of realism.
The stick retails for $99.99, which makes it one of the more affordable controllers out there—something that is always appreciated. The Hotas 4 also comes packaged in with a starter pack for the free-to-play World War II shooter War Thunder, an additional plane, 500 in-game credits and week-long access to a Premium account.
Despite the ease of accessibility, I do wish there was a bit more weight to the throttle. When I was flying one of the bigger planes in War Thunder, there was no real resistance. In comparison to the other parts of the Hotas 4, it felt pretty flimsy. It was hard to make slight adjustments because the throttle was so sensitive and occasionally broke the immersion when piloting some of the bigger planes in the game. In addition, while the Hotas 4 comes with the aforementioned War Thunder starter pack, War Thunder is also currently the only PS4 game compatible with the stick. Unless you already have a PC or are planning to get one in the near future, it doesn’t seem like a worthwhile investment yet until more PS4 games are compatible with the device.
Despite issues with the throttle, the Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas 4 is a solid entry point for people looking to get into flight simulators thanks to its sleek, detachable design, accessibility, and affordability. However, if you already own the Hotas X, there’s no real purpose to purchasing this as they do the same thing and the X is also compatible on PS4 and PC. While it didn’t suddenly convert me into being a flight simulator fan, it’s something in which I can definitely see the appeal for those looking to get into the genre.