- Page 1 Saitek X52 – Flight Control System
- Page 2 Saitek X52
Below the display are three more buttons labelled function, start/stop and reset. The function button toggles the display between the default setting which displays the time/date and the timer settings, which works much like a stop watch. Hit the start button and it starts counting, press stop and it stops and then press reset to get back to zero. The time is set via the supplied software and you can have three different time zones set.
Press the button labelled i, for info, and another button on the joystick and you’ll see what the second button is labelled – if you have loaded a game profile it will even display what that button does in the game which the profile belongs to. There are limitations on how long these descriptions can be, but it’s nonetheless a very handy function.
You can also adjust the brightness of the display here, although there are only three options, off, half brightness and full brightness. The same applies for the blue LEDs that are built into some of the buttons. This is where the mode switch on the joystick also comes in to play – both controllers are programmable so you can have up to three different modes for any one game and the LCD display on the throttle will tell you which mode you are in. However, there is a small LED next to the mode switch on the joystick that changes from green to orange and finally red depending on which mode it is in.
Both of the controllers also have a small green power LED at the base that show that they are functioning correctly. If you find the throttle to be too loose or too tight to fit your play style, this can be easily adjusted by a tension screw on the side.
The programming software is very advanced and gives you a 3D view of each of the controllers, you can then select which mode you want to store your settings in and then save these profiles. Saitek has a range of pre-programmed profiles on its website that are free to download, saving you the time and effort of creating your own.
But how does it work in games? Well, to be honest, I’m not the biggest flight simulator fan in the world, but even a rookie will fly like an ace with the X52, as long as you can remember which button does what. There are over 30 different buttons and switches to press in three different modes, so it can sometimes be very hard to remember which button to press. The info button does help, but it can still be hard to find the right button in the heat of battle.
The X52 works fine with older games such as Combat Flight Simulator 3, but you can also use it in games like Mechwarrior and X2 – The Threat and of course pretty much any other title that can use a joystick. The X52 does incur a price premium over the X45, but the increase is more than justified, and even at £84.98 this is still tremendous value for such a well built and feature rich controller. It might not be the most advanced system on the market, but you’d have a hard time finding anything as well specified that can match the X52 in terms of price.
The X52 should be on your shortlist if you’re looking for a reasonably priced, well built flight stick setup with more features than you can shake a stick at.