You're excited to play the recently released Star Wars: Squadrons, and you want to get the most out of your game. To do that, you're going to want a flight stick. While they can be difficult to find due to the popularity of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and Squadrons, if you get your hands on one, you're going to experience an incredibly immersive game.
One of the most popular and affordable entry-level flight sticks right now is the Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS One and T.Flight HOTAS 4. But, if you want to make sure your controls are working properly so you can shoot down some Rebel scum (or Imperials, if that's your thing), you're going to want to follow these directions.
How to Set Up the Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS One or 4 for Star Wars: Squadrons on PC
To begin with, the Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS has two models. One is for the Xbox One, and the 4 is for the PlayStation 4. You can choose either, as both are optimized to work for the PC. However, if you intend to use the T.Flight on consoles as well, make sure you pick the HOTAS One for the Xbox One, and the HOTAS 4 for PlayStation 4. Simple enough, right?
Now, it's possible the flight stick won't work correctly from the start. The T.Flight One/4 connects via USB and out of the gate does have some functionality. To utilize the full control of this stick, you'll need to update your drivers and/or firmware. Go to Thrustmaster's website here and choose either the Thrustmaster HOTAS One or 4.
Before plugging it in, know that there's also a switch on the front of the base for the HOTAS One. Flick it to the "PC" side so that you'll have everything working properly. Now, plug in and go to the support page for your model.
Download the drivers and firmware under the "Drivers" tab. Open the program that downloads and follow the instructions. Afterward, press Windows+R, type "joy.cpl," and hit Enter. This will bring up any controllers currently connected to your system.
Double-click on "T.Flight Hotas One" or "T.Flight Hotas 4," and you'll bring up a control panel for the device. Here (see above picture), you can test out all of your buttons to see if they're working properly. Once pressed, they should register on the panel.
The bottom-right corner of this box says "Check for Update." Be sure to click that and make sure that your stick is up to date, just in case. If it's not, it'll update accordingly. The current version for the HOTAS One is 1.17 and the HOTAS 4 is 25—if it isn't this version, you'll have to do an extra step.
Click the Windows search bar and type "Firmware Update," which should show an option to click a program with the Thrustmaster logo. Alternatively, the path to this program (for me) was: "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Thrustmaster TM Flight Series."
Click the Firmware Update program while still having your stick plugged in, and click OK. The update should commence, and once it tells you the update was successful, you can simply close the box (see picture above).
Mapping Controls in Star Wars: Squadrons
Navigating menus in Star Wars: Squadrons can be difficult with a flight stick; therefore, it's easier to use a mouse and keyboard to get where you need to go. You can use the mouse while the flight stick is active, and you should have the flight stick connected before starting the game.
Navigate to the controls menu and remap as you see fit; first, however, it is suggested that you play in the Star Wars: Squadrons' Campaign or Practice mode to ensure all your controls are working properly.
If you want to remap your controls, Thrustmaster has a useful diagram for both the HOTAS One and HOTAS 4—refer to these to make sure your keybindings are correct. Plus, it's just useful to have as a reference, especially if it's your first time using a flight stick. This is where the fun begins, so now you're ready to roll.
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