Comparison with My Current Controllers
Overall the G940 compares similarly to the Saitek X52 in terms of desktop footprint. Both are roughly the same dimensions. One small suggestion I’d have for future versions of the G940 would be the addition of toggle switches similar to those on base of the X52 stick. Toggle switches (moving up and down) are more realistic for some functions such as flaps and landing gear activation. The G940 coolie hat and rotaries are much easier to reach and utilize than on the X52 and using the G940’s coolie hat as a mini-stick crushes the ineffectual mini-stick on the throttle of the X52. Well done Logitech!
Size comparison between the G940 stick and the X52 stick.
Size comparison between the G940 rudder pedals and CH Pro Pedals.
Size comparison between the G940 throttle and the X52 throttle.
Taking to the Air… and Water
Utilizing the controller with games and sims is a real treat. Having never flown a sim with a force feedback stick before, I was impressed with the tactile feeling of flight that the stick imparts. There were some instances of “Linda Blair” behavior where it seemed as though the stick had a mind of its own, but I quickly learned to adjust my technique to derive the greatest benefit from the stick. Different sims have different force feedback parameters, so you’ll have to experiment with each to find the perfect level of vibration and tailor your profiles to match your desires. The force feedback levels can be adjusted using either the profiler software, or you can use in-game settings if they are supported to adjust the level of force feedback ferocity. Just a note to the 2AM simmers like myself: I found that the rumbling of the force feedback vibrations is sufficient to travel through the desk, through the floor, and down to my wife who was sleeping soundly until the sound of a Stuka rumbling through the ceiling fan woke her up. This will not endear your new toy to your significant other! So be responsible with your force feedback settings! I found the rumbling vibration of the guns and cannons in IL-2 to be fantastic, and the burbling sensation of being on the edge of a stall in LOMAC to be very well modeled. Force feedback simply gives you another useful tool in judging your energy state when you might otherwise be distracted.
Another sim that showcases the benefits of force feedback, as well as integrating rudder pedals into your HOTAS setup, is DCS: Black Shark. There are definite advantages to feeling the trim forces acting on the helicopter as you try to setup cruise and hovering flight conditions. There is also no question as to whether your trim set or reset has occurred because you can feel the stick center and the control forces neutralize. One thing to keep in mind though is that if the stick is imparting forces on your hand, you have to be extra vigilant when aiming your unguided weapons. If you are not actively trimming for changing power, weight, and airspeed configurations you may find your arms and shoulders aching, which should be telling you something!
Below is a video showing the gameplay I used while testing the G940. Video demonstrates motion — in the force feedback and the by using the split throttle — that cannot be represented well in static images.
A video showing the G940 in action.
FSX force feedback setup panel.
While flight sims are the obvious reason to rave over dual-throttles, I also found that they work exceptionally well with a slightly more sedentary simulation: Ship Simulator 2008. The ability to map the left and right throttles to independent engines (or screws) really makes a difference in this realistic ship simulation. If differential power usage in aircraft isn’t quite as demonstrative of the utility of split throttles then the ability to turn on a dime in a ship using forward and reverse surely is! The nice thing about the G940 is that you can set the neutral state as the center so that movement forward results in forward thrust while movement aft results in reverse thrust, just like a true ship’s throttles function.
Ship Simulator 2008 force feedback setup.
Overall I was very impressed with the G940. The construction seems top notch, the drivers and support are already good but will likely improve as more units hit the market. The suggested retail price is worth mentioning since this piece of kit will set you back around $300, but that seems in-line with a quality product that offers features we’ve all been wishing for. The Saitek X52 Pro may come in a bit cheaper, but it doesn’t include rudder pedals or force feedback. There are still some things I still like better about my X52 such as the contoured throttle and even the gimmicky blue lighting, but once you’ve felt the rumble of a stall or pounding of a canon through the G940 it will be difficult to look at the X52 the same again. I think flight sim enthusiasts will embrace the G940 and hopefully Logitech will see fit to improve upon it and continue to pursue the HOTAS market.
- Force feedback modeling.
- A ton of axes to map.
- Programming software.
- Future support for the lighted condition buttons on the throttle base.
Could Be Better:
- I’d like a slightly more contoured throttle.
- The ability to adjust the distance between the rudder pedals would be nice.
- Toggle switches more closely replicating flap/gear handles on the base of the unit.
- Detents for finding the center of all of the trim wheels.
Reviewer’s System Specs
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700
- Motherboard: ASUS P5N32-E SLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX
- Memory: Crucial Ballistix 4GB DDR2 6400
- Video: BFG 9800 GX2 1GB PCIe 2.0
- Hard Drive: Western Digital Raptor X 150GB
- Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3
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