VelocityOne Flightstick – Review, Hardware
Space-saving and usable with both hands
As soon as you unpack the VelocityOne Flightstick, two positive features catch your eye: Firstly, the device – unlike the popular Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas One, for example – has a comparatively compact footprint (21.68 x 16.41 cm) and is therefore easy to find easily accommodates even on small desks. On the other hand, the joystick including thrust control is suitable for both left- and right-handed users. This flexibility is made possible by a wrist rest that can be mounted on both sides, and the height of which can also be set in five different levels. Once the desired position has been found, the whole thing is secured with a threaded screw – done. No tools are required for this.
The situation is different with the three supplied M5 screws. These are held on the underside of the VelocityOne Flightstick and are used for mounting on suitably prepared surfaces. Too bad: The VelocityOne Stand, which is available as an accessory, is only intended for interaction with the VelocityOne Flight and Turtle Beach does not currently offer an official table mount. However, the latter would be desirable, because during hectic flight movements and rapid backwards pulling, the flight stick tends to take off slightly itself due to its only moderate weight of 810 grams and the lack of suction cups. At least if you only operate the stick with one hand, which is rarely the case, since the other hand usually rests on one of the two throttle controls placed on the left and right.
Successful throttle, half-baked RGB lighting
Keyword throttle: They offer a pleasant but not too strong resistance and have clearly tactile locking zones in both the upper and lower area. If a throttle has reached the upper or lower maximum position, this also triggers the buttons B9 and B10 (each on the left) as well as B11 and B12 (each on the right). It’s also nice that you can pull the rubberized button off the robust metal lever underneath and swap it with the slightly differently shaped button on the other throttle. Another nice detail that Turtle Beach ensnares both left- and right-handed people with.
There are three USB-C ports on the back. One is for connecting to the PC or Xbox console (a 3 meter cable is included), the other two are for external accessories. Looping through the VelocityOne pedals should be possible shortly.
Turtle Beach has installed four rectangular action buttons in a vertical arrangement below the throttle, all of which have a solid pressure point and are also easy to see in the dark thanks to the RGB lighting that can be switched on at any time. The only drawback: The lighting always applies to the entire block of four keys and cannot be adjusted individually for each key, as is the case with current gaming keyboards, for example. Whether future firmware updates and a revamped companion app will add this feature remains to be seen.
In the area in the middle of the action buttons are the Xbox navigation buttons, i.e. the home, view, screenshot and options button. All four are easily accessible with the thumbs of both hands and the pressure point is also okay. Unfortunately, the RGB lighting does not work here. Turtle Beach only opted for a small power indicator LED placed between the keys. It lights up as soon as the power is switched on.
Strong joystick, charming mini joystick
But now to the heart of the VelcocityOne Flightstick, the central control stick. It feels valuable and robust, flatters the hands with a pleasant rubber surface and finds a balance of resistance and ease of movement on all axes (left/right, forwards/backwards, rotation). Be it the countless planes and helicopters from Microsoft Flight Simulator, the numerous starfighters from Star Wars: Squadrons or different space gliders from Elite Dangerous – the VelocityOne Flightstick leaves nothing to be desired when it comes to the precision of the main control unit.
But the 8-way POV on the top left of the joystick and the mini analog stick on the right were also convincing in the practical test. Not least because both have a small recess from which the thumb does not slip off so easily. On top of that, the mini analog stick centers itself in a flash when not in use and can also be pushed in like current gamepad analog sticks. The same applies to the rubber trim wheel in the area below the mentioned sticks, which is primarily intended for nuanced adjustments to the flight altitude. Reconfigured accordingly, you can also use it to switch through weapon systems or radar targets, for example.