The HOTAS WARTHOG is a USB dual-throttle joystick created in collaboration between Thrustmaster and those from the simmer community. And today, our Thrustmaster HOTAS WARTHOG Review will discuss everything about the product.
This joystick integrates all the necessities and functions required by users. That means you have a replica of the joystick, dual-throttle system, and dual-throttle controls of the US Air Force A-10C.
Does this product sound like something you need, or are you curious about the HOTAS WARTHOG? No matter the reason, our Thrustmaster HOTAS WARTHOG Review will provide all the details you need. Plus, we will share our hands-on experience with the joystick since we tested it for over a week.
But before we look into those details, let us discuss its packaging and the contents Thrustmaster included in the box.
Thrustmaster HOTAS WARTHOG Packaging
Our HOTAS WARTHOG arrived in a large box that had plenty of information on its exterior. The front displays an image of the product, while next to it is a list of its primary features.
The throttle and stick are clearly-detailed on the left and right sides of the package. Then, its rear displays the rest of its features written in 10 languages, which are convenient for users everywhere.
When we began unboxing for this Thrustmaster HOTAS WARTHOG Review, we noticed Thrustmaster placed each product in designated cardboard containers.
Its bundle is standard. So aside from the base, stick grip, and dual-throttle, you will find an Allen key and an assembly sheet. The box also includes software information and the user manual.
Thrustmaster HOTAS WARTHOG Review – Design and Functionality
While writing our Thrustmaster HOTAS WARTHOG Review, we learned that the product mirrors the real HOTAS. Specifically, it is from the Fairchild Republic A10C Warthog.
The entire system comes in two units – the throttle and the stick. Each has a USB connection to the PC.
The product was likely the first to have the grip and base of the joystick detached. So, you need to link these two elements before using the product.
Both parts are solid and hefty, so you can be sure they are durable.
Thrustmaster HOTAS WARTHOG Joystick
The entire stick of the HOTAS WARTHOG uses metal, and only its buttons and knobs are plastic. You will receive a sturdy joystick that feels good to the touch.
A plus is it is easy to clean. However, it can feel slightly slippery if you tend to have sweaty hands.
Thrustmaster opted to use a heavy metal plate for the stick base. It weighs over 3kg to perfectly mirror the A10C HOTAS.
Aside from the 3D magnetic technology, the base uses a 5-coil spring system for enhanced realism. Additionally, all its buttons are easy to access, plus they are also intuitively positioned.
Its plate rests on four rubberised feet that we noticed come off easily. To keep these in place, try using stronger glue if you encounter this scenario. You can link the grip to its base by setting it on the surface, then rotate the grey piece clockwise.
The stick has 19 buttons and switches, including the forward-metal dual trigger and left-side push switch/button. Looking at the top, you will find an extra push button, an 8-way point-of-view hat and two 8-way HATs. You can also see a single 4-way hat with an extra push button. There is another push button on the right-top section of the stick, while the base has two pinkie push buttons.
HOTAS WARTHOG Dual Throttle
Let us continue our Thrustmaster HOTAS WARTHOG Review and discuss the dual throttle. It is also mostly made from metal and weighs over 3kg.
Again, the company claims it is a replica of the A10C HOTAS. Plus, it has a little metal piece with a member ID present.
Upon observing the throttle, it uses more plastic compared to the stick. However, it does not diminish the build quality and feel of the product.
Accuracy-wise, the company repurposed its slider that manages friction throttle in the original unit. Thrustmaster made it an assignable axis featuring a centre dent. It also included a friction wheel down the front base.
Along the rear end of its base, it has three metal switches and a single button. Its right side has an additional button next to another switch and the throttle friction controls.
You will also find four additional switches, plus a friction intensity roller on the area. One of the metallic switches features a plastic top, which you can see on the left of the base.
As for the dual-throttle elements, the left portion has one switch on its left area. Then, the right piece features a 4-way hat and a push button with three metal switches. The latter comes with both metal and plastic covers.
On the front portion of the left piece, you will see a push button and a locking system. Its right side features a mouse hat, an 8-way hat, a push button, and a 3D magnetic sensor.
Key Features of the Thrustmaster HOTAS WARTHOG
Since this is a pricey product, here is a list of its features. These will help you determine if the HOTAS WARTHOG is worth the investment.
The Most Precise and Feature-rich Joystick
The HOTAS WARTHOG joystick has 19 button actions and a Point of View hat that provides highly exceptional precision. It performs precisely, thanks to the Hall Effect AccuRate Technology (HEART) magnetic sensor system, which employs 16-bit resolution without gimbals. Plus, pressing the buttons requires the same pressure on a real aeroplane.
Thrustmaster paid attention to the user experience of simmers by making the handle and base detachable. As a result, you can install the joystick in the cockpit.
Pull and Push Throttle Combined with Disengageable Afterburner
Aside from the joystick, Thrustmaster also carefully designed and constructed the throttle component. It features a dual throttle system, offering independent control over two motors. The locking system allows attaching the two throttles or keeping each independent.
With this unique magnetic sensor technology, you can enjoy unrivalled precision. Also, the product offers increased immersion and realism with its pull and push system for switching to Idle/Afterburner detents.
The disengageable Afterburner detent allows you to adapt the throttle control based on the type of aeroplane you are piloting. Like the joystick, the throttle also has a Point of View hat. Also, it has 17 action buttons and a mouse hat/slew control.
Control Panel and Programmable LEDs of the Thrustmaster HOTAS WARTHOG
The final mechanical component and control panel of the HOTAS WARTHOG offers extensive controls. It has a friction wheel for adjusting the throttle resistance manually. With five programmable LEDs and backlighting for functions, you can use it even in the dark.
This product has five programmable LEDs and backlighting, which are beneficial for dark and low-light conditions. It also has a trim wheel on its base and 15 action buttons with the resistance used on aeroplanes. The industrial metal switches with two to three positions have highly realistic pressure.
The Expert Flying Ecosystem of Thrustmaster
The HOTAS WARTHOG belongs to the range of flight simulation gear, allowing you to use multiple products together. Complete the ecosystem with the HOTAS WARTHOG, Multi-Function Display cockpit panels, and TFRP Rudder Pedals, which you can purchase separately.
All these products are compatible with the TARGET programming software.
Knowing the specs of any product is essential. So, we will discuss these to let you know if it works for your system.
The product measures 32 x 44 x 26cm (WxHxD) and weighs 6.4kg. Plus, you will need two USB ports to utilise the system.
We also looked into its software for this Thrustmaster HOTAS WARTHOG Review. So, we learned a few things you will need to have to use the TARGET software.
A laptop or desktop with the Intel Pentium III / Athlon 1GHz processor or higher is necessary. It works with Windows Vista and Windows 7 32 and 64-bit. Plus, it is required to have a 16-bit 1280 x 960 video resolution, plus 100MB of free disk space.
We tested the HOTAS WARTHOG for a week to share our experience in this Thrustmaster HOTAS WARTHOG Review. But before we discuss its performance, we will share some information about the product software.
The HOTAS WARTHOG works with the TARGET software for configuring, programming, and testing Thrustmaster controllers. It provides complete interaction between different USB controllers with simplified configurations in simulators. Plus, it enables using a single preset for all controllers instead of utilising many different presets.
This software has built-in presets for popular old and new games and allows the creation of new ones. We made custom presets, which resulted in more enjoyable gameplay since it eliminated the control issues.
Programming a profile took us time since TARGET has a steep learning curve. Despite that, we appreciate the settings we could tweak to work precisely.
TARGET has two methods of creating profiles: the graphical editor and the script editor. While the script editor has more powerful settings, tweaking this is more complex than the former.
Aside from setting and creating presets, TARGET enables calibrating and binding all switches and HATs. We usually need a quick guide for the commands. However, TARGET provides access to more controls.
Initially, we thought we had to push a button when binding commands. While using the software, we learned that we could do it even with the buttons released.
TARGET is an excellent software for optimising the HOTAS WARTHOG and other Thrustmaster gear. However, familiarising yourself with the software is necessary due to the complexity of some elements. But despite that, this software is highly functional.
We tested some of the most complicated games with the HOTAS WARTHOG, like Elite Dangerous. And surprisingly, we controlled everything in-game without having to use a keyboard.
Playing the game using the joystick setup was excellent. After learning its controls, we adjusted sensor ranges, fired weapons, and deployed landing gears like professionals. It all felt realistic because of the metal joystick, so everything clicked as we used the product.
Everything was enjoyable, including choosing targets and engaging engines.
Moreover, the HOTAS WARTHOG also worked efficiently in VR. Here, we did not need to shift from the controller or remove our headset.
There were occasional wrong flips on switches during in-game fights. However, it is more of an error than a design issue. So after a few more tries, we eventually got the hang of using the HOTAS WARTHOG.
Another aspect we loved about the product is its precise and responsive controls. We did not experience any issues while executing moves since everything we did was perfect. The stick was not wobbly, and it did not move unnecessarily.
Since Thrustmaster applied the concept of realism to the HOTAS WARTHOG, we had to move the stick with more force. Compared to other similar products on the market, the HOTAS WARTHOG was the most realistic.
However, we had to take the time to configure the throttle in other games. The reason is default mode did not work for us.
Thrustmaster HOTAS WARTHOG Review Summary
The HOTAS WARTHOG from Thrustmaster is an excellent dual-throttle joystick. It has all the necessary features that make for a better experience, perfect functionality, precision, and responsive controls. It also has spots to ensure secure screwing and mounting and backlit LEDs for use in any lighting condition.
Although expensive, the HOTAS WARTHOG offers excellent value and the best control. It has adequate controls and feels well-built since its stick moves precisely and is not wobbly.
We enjoyed using the product while testing it for our Thrustmaster HOTAS WARTHOG Review. The TARGET software provided configuration options that allowed us to optimise our gameplay. With its excellent build and high-quality parts, we can see that it is durable enough to withstand intense gaming.
Thrustmaster offers the HOTAS WARTHOG to people who love realistic simulation gaming without compromises. Its perfect replication and excellent performance show that Thrustmaster knows its audience well. Overall, it is flawless, and we highly recommend it.