Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS Review
Published: 6th December 2016 | Source: Thrustmaster | Price: £175 |
Up Close - Joystick
The packaging for the T.16000M FCS is sturdy enough to keep the contents protected during transit without making the whole thing needlessly heavy. Although there is only a polystyrene overcoat for the pair inside the box there isn't any wiggle room. Giving an opportunity to upgrade to the full package for current owners of just the stick, whilst also allowing Thrustmaster to not have to retool too much, the throttle is separate to the joystick. For this page we'll concentrate on the stick first.
At either side of the base there are six buttons, twelve in total, and it's here that we see the first big upgrade over the old T.16000M stick. Rather than twelve identical buttons, the FCS has indents on the top six, a bar between the top row and the bottom row, and a different amount of bumps on each of the lower six buttons. This greatly improves your ability to find the right button in the thick of the action, and if you haven't experienced the original stick then you'll be reassured that each button feels individual - a boon when you're new to having so many options beneath your fingertips. At the back of the joystick there is a slider which is perfect for those controls that you want to be able to adjust without necessarily needing to be able to manipulate it all the time. Propeller pitch for example.
Moving from the base on to the stick itself. At the thumb portion there are three buttons and the hat switch. The "works with left-handed people as well as right-handed" element to the T.16000M is highlighted here with the layout of the buttons, particularly if you're upgrading from the HOTAS X with its offset hat switch. Speaking of which, flipping around the thumb rest and palm rest is just a couple of screws away and Thrustmaster supply alternative parts should you want to use the joystick in your left hand - perhaps as part of a dual-stick setup. Of course with the FCS as reviewed the throttle isn't reversible and so you'll have to use that in your left hand either way.
You can get a good feel for how high the hat switch is in the photo highlighting the trigger. The trigger is certainly large, but thankfully very responsive. Hopefully the extra length doesn't strain the attachment point thanks to Archimedes law of leverage. Lastly the base of the stick lights up when the stick is in use, and goes off when its centred. Whilst the orange glow of the T.16000M FCS is much nicer than the lurid green of the original stick, it's still damn annoying to have it keep lighting up and dimming without a way to have it on all the time or off all the time. We were hoping this update would fix this problem but no.
Click on to get a look at the throttle.