They must be called joysticks because
of all the fun you can have trying to get them to work...
Many things can go wrong, and unfortunately in most cases the symptoms
just boil down to "my joystick doesn't work". So the symptom
descriptions here aren't all that informative. There are multiple
of problems with multiple solutions, and you're just going to have to
try stuff until it works.
I'm flying along and
suddenly my controls stop working without warning.
You're flying in demo mode and just ran
out your 6 minutes. (There should have been a warning message.)
No, I have the CD/DVD and
I'm not in demo mode!
You may have temporarily lost power on
your USB stick/pedals. Depending on how your USB ports are wired, they
may not have enough power for your keyboard, mouse, stick, pedals, or
whatever else you have plugged in. Try hooking them up through a
USB hub instead.
My joystick doesn't work under Mac OS 10.3!
Only Logitech sticks worked in the initial versions of
10.3. Apple screwed up USB HID support in a serious way in 10.3. The
problems are fixed in 10.3.2 and later.
I can't get my joystick to work (Windows)
See the X-Plane Tech Support FAQ joystick
I can't get my joystick to work (Macintosh)
I don't see all my joystick axes in the setup
menu (Mac OS8/9)
This can happen on the
Macintosh sprocket setup. Press the Option key while you click a
function and you should see all axes.
How do I set up my joystick buttons?
[The following description is based on a
writeup from Cormac Shaw. It has been updated for recent versions of
X-Plane. The names and format of menus have changed over time; if
running an older version of X-Plane look for similar names and
Open 'Joysticks and Equipment' in the
'Settings' menu. Make sure you have the "Buttons" tab selected. (Prior to 8.40 select the "Axis" tab.)
If you're on Mac OS8/9, click the Calibrate
Joystick Hardware button (X-Plane versions 7.x and earlier only). This
will open the normal InputSprockets
calibration screen. Ensure that the first ten buttons are
set to 'Button 1', 'Button 2', etc. on the right most panel and that
hatswitch directions are set to 'hatswitch 1' and close the screen.
On the right, you'll see lists of all the
that you can assign to the buttons on your joystick. To their left are
indicators corresponding to the joystick buttons. (Note that each
hatswitch position just shows up as a button.) For each button on your
joystick do the following:
- Press the button on the joystick. You should
see one of the button indicators highlighted.
- You will note that the button beside the
function 'nothing' will be highlighted on the screen. Now, use the
to click on the button beside the function that you want the joystick
button to perform, e.g., 'brakes, full effect'. The function is now
- Repeat 1 and 2 for each button on the
joystick, including the four hatswitch directions.
To see what you're doing is really
working, set up one button as above, press another on the joystick and
then press the first one again. You should see the highlighted function
changing with whatever button is pressed.
Close the 'Set
Equipment Options' screen and exit out of X-Plane. (Why exit? Because
X-Plane only saves the prefs on exit. If you just went flying straight
away and had a system crash, you'd have to repeat the process when you
started up Xplane again.)
How can I tell if my
joystick is working correctly (Windows)?
Panel->Game Controllers. Select your joystick in the list and click
Properties. Then look for Test and Calibrate buttons. (Details may vary
depending on your make and model of joystick.)
How can I tell if my joystick is
working correctly (MacOS)?
How can I switch between
multiple joystick setups?
I'd like to assign the buttons
differently, depending on whether I'm flying GA airplanes or fighter
jets or helicopters or...
Set up the buttons and axes for one type of aircraft, then exit X-Plane
and make a suitably named copy of the main X-Plane preferences file. Go
back into X-Plane, make your next stick setup... lather, rinse,
repeat... To use a particular stick setup, copy the appropriate prefs
file back to the main one before starting X-Plane. Sorry, there's no
to switch setups inside X-Plane.
See the Preferences page
the prefs are stored.
My CH joystick and/or pedals don't always
Mario Pozzetti got the following statement from CH
There are numerous problems with Windows and the VIA chipset
according to Microsoft. As of yet they have not admitted to XP but VIA
has. We recommend downloading and installing the latest VIA USB Filter
Patch from the via site (http://www.via.com.tw/)
or trying to get a fix from Microsoft (look on their Knowledge base
under Article IDs: Q232889, Q240075, Q297184, Q277464, Q253152,
Q246755, Q216096, Q233163). Other users have reported that if they went
to the bios and switched off - PCI master read caching - in the
options the problem with USB devices stopped. However if you go back
into the BIOS it will be switched back on. Your best bet and sure fix
to use a different chipset for your USB host controller. This can be
done with a PCI to USB expansion card, preferably with a Intel, Opti,
NEC, or Lucent chipset on it.
My CH joystick and/or pedals stop
working after a while (20 minutes or so) (USB units - Windows)
You may find the following note from
Frank Scorpio useful:
I was having problems with the CH
Products USB Rudder Pedals and USB Flight Sim Yoke. After about 20
minutes the controls would stop working, requiring plugging back in the
USB and checking the calibration. The problems occurred with version
5.52 of X-plane and version 8.00 after I updated to the new version. I
have found a permanent fix for this problem which follows below.
This problem with the USB controls was
completely solved by going to the CH Products web site and downloading
Control Manager Version 3.6
. I was then able to calibrate the Yoke
and Rudder Pedals quite accurately with that program (rather than the
Windows XP game control program). When I want to run X-plane, then I
just start the CH Control Manager running in its Direct Mode (no need
recalibrate the Yoke or Rudder Pedals once set with the CH Control
Manager) and then I start X-plane running.
Once I had installed the CH Control
Manager as well as calibrated the USB controls with the CH Control
Manger, then and only then did I have no further failures of the USB
Yoke or Rudder Pedals while running X-Plane version 8.00 and 8.06
despite the length of the flight (20 minutes or two hours, or pausing
for several hours and returning to the flight -- all with no control
My CH joystick and/or pedals stop working
after a while (20 minutes or so) (USB units - Macintosh, possibly
This problem has been seen by a number of CH Products
users. The stick and pedals are working fine, and then suddenly go
A complete shutdown, followed by complete setup and recalibration
normally brings them back.
Indications are this is a hardware problem with the control logic
in the stick or pedals. Remember CH Products has a 5 year warranty.
this up with CH Products' tech support. Some users have done so, had
equipment replaced, and the replacements have worked fine. (This data
about a year old, so YMMV.)
My CH yoke / joystick /
pedals have stopped working with recent versions of X-Plane (7.30+) and
Mac OSX (10.3.2+)
Upgrade USB Overdrive if you have it
installed. Older versions stopped working with MacOS 10.3.2. Current
versions work with current MacOS versions.
How can I get joystick buttons
to work when X-Plane doesn't recognize them (Mac OS-X)?
is a product that allows you to tie other functions like
keyboard emulation to joystick buttons.
How can I get all the buttons and dials to work
on my Saitek X-45 stick (Mac OS-X)?
The following material is a bit old. Other folks have reported that
GamePad Companion no longer works in Mac OSX Tiger (10.4) because of
HID support interface changes.
Read the following glowing testimonial
from Wayne Tolliver:
I recommend GamePad Companion to EVERYONE! This software ROCKS! Please
pay the $15 registration fee as I did for this fantastic piece of
software. This piece of software bridges the gap, esp. as far as
Austin's short comings with X36/X45 implementation. It implements
as an applet on the control panel and runs in the background once
you setup your key mappings and start them.
I have left the x, y, z and slider [thrust] modeled on XP for control
and realism. Everything else is controlled by GamePad Companion (GPC).
[Exception- I could not get Auto pilot features to engage and disengage
properly with GPC w/o the throttle quadrant on the UA 747 locking up?!
So, I programmed the AP heading and AP disengage buttons in the XP
interface rather than assigned using GPC functions. All else working as
normal. All X45 controls are working and are programmed to my
preferences in XP. One dial set up for aileron trim, the other for
elevator trim. GPC also lets you save different prefs files for example
one for the 747 and another the SU-47! A big difference!
You can download GamePad Companion from: http://www.carvware.com/
Go Get It! Have Fun! Go Purchase the X45! If you've been waiting, it's
working and is awesome.
Does X-Plane support force feedback?
In a word, no.
A force feedback plugin is available
No promises - this is a third-party plugin. Its presence on web sites
tends to come and go as well.
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