Reviewed: May 25, 2009
MSRP: $69.95 w/ HAWX PC Game
Thrustmaster includes a new offering for PC flight sim enthusiasts and aerial combat lovers with their Thrustmaster T.16000M PC joystick. The T.16000M is a great USB joystick that is easy to install and comes bundled with or without the new Tom Clancy HAWX PC game.
The Joystick itself features a newer position-sensing technology using the H.E.A.R.T. or Halleffect Accurate Technology as Thrustmaster terms this innovative magnetic sensor system. Hall Effect is simply a series of magnet sensors that picks up the slightest movement of the stick so there is no physical sensor like a variable resistor.
The Hall Effect is a more precise sensing system offering precision levels 256 times greater than current systems (16,000 x 16,000 resolution) that gives better movement for a joystick with more precision for smoother and faster response. The Hall Effect sensor also means less wear and tear on the joystick as there are no moving parts like resistors inside the sensor.
The Thrustmaster T.16000M joystick is a common USB connection with 12 buttons on the base of the joystick and 3 buttons on the handle. The hat switch for various views is also on the handle as well as the trigger with the slider usually used for throttle on the base. The base on the front also has a small switch to change the handedness of the stick from right to left for ambidextrous use. The joystick comes with an extra pad set so you can swap out the small pads that comfort your thumb on the joystick handle so you can set the joystick up for right or left handed quickly.
The Thrustmaster T.16000M joystick has a nice wide base for a comfortable resting spot for your hand that is also reversible so you can set it up for either right and left handed use. The ambidextrous nature of the joystick and so many changes that really does swap out one hand for the other makes this a great joystick for those left handed people, as it really does swap out everything from one side to the other.
All the buttons on the joystick are not programmable from inside Windows but often games allow for swapping out the controls from their options menus. The joystick is both a high quality and great technology joystick that is simple to install with plug and play ease.
I really like an affordable but high quality joystick that I can just pick up and start using in any game without having to install all kinds of drivers and control programs. The high quality nature of the Hall Effect sensors means very good response and smooth action from the joystick while gaming.
The gaming is the heart of that matter and I found this joystick as good as some of the much more expensive sticks I have used in the past. The Thrustmaster T.16000M comes with the PC version of Tom Clancy’s HAWX depending on your package. This is a fun game and works well and showcases the features of this joystick. Operation was smooth and very responsive in the game and I found I only had to change a couple of buttons to my liking. I could be up and flying in a minute with this joystick from game startup and there are no problems configuring the joystick to different games.
I also took the joystick for a test drive on several other games and found plenty of great response and smooth handling in several combat and flight sim games. I tried out my usual flight sim, Microsoft Flight Sim X, and found the Thrustmaster joystick was more than conformable for longer journeys and was very smooth.
I also flew Strike Fighters 2, Attack on Pearl Harbor and Battlefield 2142 without any problems and very good control. The Hall Effect sensor means no skipping or stuttering during flight and even with the most aggressive movements the plane's response is even and controlled.
The joystick works well in non-traditional sims games like Comanche 4 and Mech Warrior 4 but does take a bit more configuring that really does only take a minute or two. All the games I played could be flown without changing any of the settings but I did play around with changing the buttons and a couple of times, the axis in games.
The buttons on the base work well and are easy to reach with the opposite or non-joystick hand and are laid out well enough, but you may have to look down on occasion. I found that the main buttons on the stick were easy to use without glancing at during fighting and the base ones were better to use as non combat controls.
The Thrustmaster T.16000M joystick is a great overall joystick and well worth the purchase price of about $70 bundled with the HAWX game and about $40 without. This joystick takes the best of the sensor technology and adds in simple plug and play use for a fantastic all around PC joystick.