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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You will either love it or hate it
If you buy this setup, you are signing up for a different paradigm. The stick does not move and you have to train yourself to concentrate on your hand pressure on the stick...and this takes time to get used to. At first you will be going back and forth on the pressure settings trying to find one you feel you can control well...and likely will start out using a setting...
Published 20 months ago by Jake

versus
45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't Center
I would give this product a 1 star if Saitek didn't do such a great job of engineering this product. It truly looks beautiful and fits my hand like a glove but the one I recieved was useless. I spent hours trying to get the stick to center, got frustrated and boxed it up for return. We aren't talking a small amount either. In some force sensing settings it was close to...
Published on November 20, 2010 by Jovial John


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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't Center, November 20, 2010
By 
Jovial John (North Prairie, WI United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Saitek PRO Flight X-65F Combat Control System for PC (Personal Computers)
I would give this product a 1 star if Saitek didn't do such a great job of engineering this product. It truly looks beautiful and fits my hand like a glove but the one I recieved was useless. I spent hours trying to get the stick to center, got frustrated and boxed it up for return. We aren't talking a small amount either. In some force sensing settings it was close to 1/3 the total defection. I later came accross Saiteks fix (which took 6 months after releasing the product) on the internet which required deleting some registry keys and what not. So I unpacked the product which is a lot of work since they package it very well. To be fair, I had to give it one more chance. I followed the instructions and repeated the process several times but to no avail. I am a software developer so I know my way around a computer. In fact I have written several calibration routines for strain gauge load cells in industrial applications (which is what's used for the force sensing in this stick). Load cells do float around and need to be calibrated occasionally. They could easily put a button on the side or run the simple math routine on start up. Well after their calibration process it was still all over the place in different force settings. Especially at the lower end which are really the only usable settings. Higher settings require a ton of pressure for full deflection. I then call Saitek customer support and talked to them for about an hour. They were kind and personable but the person I talked to didn't know as much as I did about the product. I do a lot of research and usually read the manual before buying just about anything (obviously not enough on this product). They didn't know Saitek had a procedure to fix this problem ineffective as it is. They finally agreed the product was defective and wanted me to return the stick to them. This is a known issue. It's a crapshoot to get a good one. It's hard to believe they could put so much into this beautifully designed product but fail so miserable at the electronics. Before you buy this stick type "X-65f Centering Problem" into your browser and see what comes up. At over $300, this is a hardcore gaming product. You will find the best reviews on avid gaming forums. Even if you use dead zones which help mask the problem you end up with uneven pressure left and right or up and down. No cuts to Amazon. They were fast in refunding the purchase price and original shipping cost and made it simple to do so. As always 5 stars for them.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You will either love it or hate it, March 23, 2013
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This review is from: Saitek PRO Flight X-65F Combat Control System for PC (Personal Computers)
If you buy this setup, you are signing up for a different paradigm. The stick does not move and you have to train yourself to concentrate on your hand pressure on the stick...and this takes time to get used to. At first you will be going back and forth on the pressure settings trying to find one you feel you can control well...and likely will start out using a setting that requires more pressure, as its easier to control that way (the "lighter touch" stick settings are more sensitive and take a lot more practice to get used to).

However you will find you get fatigue at first, because in the early days of using this stick you will find yourself using way more pressure than you need to. Also proper placement of the stick (finding a natural height and placement of the stick that is not too high or low and feels natural for your reach) in my opinion is even more important for this stick than a traditional one that moves. However, after you have used the stick for a while, you will find that you can move to the lighter force settings...that gives you much finer control of the aircraft, and you will eventually hit that breakthrough moment where you realize the full potential of these controls.

I did not have a problem with the throttle or stick moving around/off my table surface (mine actually sit in a drawer that I pull out and put them in, that happens to put the controls in a comfortable spot for me) and mine are not Velcro or screwed down. I think proper placement of the controls helps a lot with that concern. It's all about learning and adapting to how to apply pressure to the controls. At least for me it was.

The build quality of this setup is amazing. The feel of every switch/control surface is amazing. It looks and feels very professional. Also I like the fact that the stick has no moving parts...which means no spring to loosen up over time, no dirt getting into moving parts, etc.

At first it was awkward to get used to, but if you open your mind to a different method of control, you can adapt to it...and now I have reached a point, after about 40 hours total, that I feel like the stick is transmitting my thoughts to the plane. Trust your body's ability to develop muscle memory over time. Also in my personal experience, I did not find the throttle control to be too stiff/tight. Mine moves very smoothly and it feels good to me in-game.

The control customization software is very flexible and you can set up controls for any flight game, just takes some patience to set it up. There is a list of games that are pre-programmed for you from Saitek that you can quickly load, which is great. But if you do have to customize the controls, it's not that bad. This is a very powerful/flexible control set, that is what you are paying for.

The physical assembly is minimal and only takes about 10 minutes. The stick is fully assembled and there are just a few things to screw together on the throttle control.

Some things I would like to see that could be an improvement: I wish Saitek would create a longer list of games that are on their list of pre-programmed games. It's not it like there are hundreds of flight games out there for the PC. Also, I do think it would be an improvement if they made this stick to move at least a little bit. Just so you can get a tiny sense of where you are at with the controls. This is a change that was made to real-world force sensing sticks. However I know that then introduces moving parts on the stick, and you would lose the durability advantage of having no moving parts on the stick. The other thing they should improve, is the connector from the throttle to the stick, where it plugs into the stick, can fall out sometimes. It's only happened to me once, but for a $300 + control setup that is otherwise top notch quality, to have a connector that is not 100% rock solid is disappointing. This is not a reason to avoid the product, but it does annoy me. So for the reasons in this paragraph, it do take one star away and only rate this 4 atars.

Overall I would advise someone thinking about buying this setup, watch some reviews on YouTube and read some written reviews so you know what you are getting into. If your gut reaction is that you are excited by the idea of a different, more high tech flight controller, then give this is shot. If you are on the fence, not sure you will like it, already very comfortable with a traditional moving stick, I would suggest you avoid this product. You probably won't like it. You need to have an attitude of wanting to hang in there with it until you break through the learning curve. It is a very different experience from a standard, moving stick. My take on it is, if you start out with serious doubts in your mind, those doubts will continue to grow and you will give up on it. In that case save yourself the hassle.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Still needs some work!, November 26, 2010
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This review is from: Saitek PRO Flight X-65F Combat Control System for PC (Personal Computers)
I'm an avid flight simmer of both combat and commercial aircraft. My previous HOTAS was the Logitech G940 FFB. It was nice but had too many trim issues within DCS: Black Shark (my favorite sim BTW). So after selling it I went on the prowl for a new HOTAS. The only two options worth looking at were the Saitek X65 and the newly released TM HOTAS Warthog. I spent days reviewing the two items, measuring the good with the bad. The TM stick is, at the current time, very new and not many user reviews have been posted. The Saitek on the other had has been out long enough that reviews are pouring in.

It seems the biggest problem people had with the Saitek HOTAS was the Force Sensing. Most people couldn't wrap their heads around a stick that doesn't move at all! Others claimed it was the best thing since sliced bread. The only uniform problem people were complaining about was a centering issue of which Saitek had released an updated driver to fix the problem, so they say. Well, given the fact that the TM Warthog was $100 more than the Saitek I decided to save a little money and get the X65. It arrived with 3 days (KUDOS to Amazon) with standard shipping and was packed very well. Initial setup took just a couple of minutes and the stick looked awesome. Buttons and rotories galore, oh my!

Naturally my first test was with DCS Blackshark. It definately takes some getting used to. I will say that the rudder ability is only there for people who can't afford to buy rudder pedals. It is very hard to keep from adding a twisting force while moving in other directions. After about three hours of playing I started noticing the nose of my aircraft being pushed forward on its own. So I checked my calibration and sure enough the stick had off centered itself foward and to the left. I read through the forums and tried everything that related to my situation but to no avail. The centering monster found me. If you wish to spend countless hours in the config panel adjusting sensetivities, deadzones, and curves then this is the stick for you. So, RMA it is and TM Warthog here I come!

I give it two stars instead of one because it is a really cool looking HOTAS with lots of buttons and even more potential if Saitek will take the time to improve the software.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No way to any more saitek stuff, July 28, 2011
This review is from: Saitek PRO Flight X-65F Combat Control System for PC (Personal Computers)
Bought the stick, worked for about 6 months. The stick no longer centers which is not good with a flight sim game at all. Called customer support and even used their forum. No help what so ever as far as a for sure fix. Noone at saitek knew anything to fix the problem. Of course the saitek fanboys all came out of the wood work to defend the product. They are not going to give back the 400.00 dollars I spent on the stick. Neither will the fanboys. No more saitek stuff ever again.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A BIG Toy for the Big Boy !!! The Rolls-Royce of Filght Sim Controllers, September 20, 2010
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This review is from: Saitek PRO Flight X-65F Combat Control System for PC (Personal Computers)
I am a hardcore hardware fanatic that loves technology. I got this product because it's a must, especially for a SIM addict like myself !!!!

This is not your "Average Joystick" for your "Average Sim Fan". This is purely for hardcore "Cash Rich SIM Junkies". It works great from the box out and is very easy to setup especially on windows 7-64Bit. First time user beware !!!! The Joystick has Force Sensing Technology. Meaning it does not budge,or twist,nor turn. Instead it responds to pressure from your wrist. So do not expect it to lean forward, backwards or sideways like a traditional joystick because it's not. It's the new Kid on the block !!! And it lives up to it's reputation.

On the other hand the throttle is similar to other Saitek earlier models in terms of functionality with" the additional option of separating it into two independent throttles for airplanes with 2-4 engines. The throttle's resistance can be adjusted accordingly by accessing a screw underneath it. The Force Control Switchboard" on the front of the throttle lets you set up 4 different force options for airplanes that require different force setting like the F-18 or the Boeing 777 or Apache, machines that react differently in terms of wrist pressure,so that you do not need to go out of the game and reset the options all over again.

Great "Pros"

1- Easy to connect
2- All Window versions compatible
3- Top Notch built material.
4- New & exclusive Force Sensing Technology.
5- Serious F-16 like in-game response.
6- Great Software functionality.
7- A Zillion programmable buttons.
8- Upgradable with optional Pedals & Accessories.
9- Does not require any additional Power Supply. Works great with USB connection alone.
10-Joystick comes with extra metallic base-plate for permanent connection.

Not so serious "Cons"

1- New Force Sensing Technology requires getting used to.
2- Cannot separate Joystick from Throttle for less serious games like Battlefield BC2 or H.A.W.X
3- Joystick needs a large hand to control especially that the joystick is bulky.
3- Cable Management not practical. Braided shorter cables would have been a PLUS !!!
4- Conservative Green Lighting. More gizmos and lighting options would have been welcomed. I am a fan of RED.
5- Requires large desk space to operate.
6- Too much applied pressure can cause the joystick to lift up from table.
7- Software setup will requires sometime to operate.

in a nutshell I give the Hottas a 9.5/10.This remains the best thing around to come in a long time. Once you get the feel of it, you won't let it go.
If you're into SIM and can afford the price, then this is the one you have been waiting for...

Complement your X65-F with the mind-blowing "TrackIr 5 PRO" for a more immerse experience !!!!

Link : [...]

Cheers !!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Really Wanted to Like It, October 3, 2012
By 
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This review is from: Saitek PRO Flight X-65F Combat Control System for PC (Personal Computers)
I read all the reviews I could find. But I brushed them off as too short a review period to form an accurate opinion of a product that has such a steep learning curve. And I think I was right about that. The stick takes about 20 hours of solid use to really get acquainted with. I did not find that, as some other user have posted, "it works great with jets, not so great with props". Instead I found that with all my sims I experienced what I thought was a great improvement in precision and accuracy. Initially I was extremely happy. But then I found that my wrist was hurting after extended fights ("fights" not "flights"). The forces needed for accurate ACM are much higher than they are with a standard stick. A super-user can overcome this problem by becoming so precise that he/she is able to dial the forces way down. For those people, this stick is a dream. I don't think I have it in me to be one of those people. Late one night I plugged my G940 back in just to see if the lower precision was a price I could pay for the kinder treatment to my writst. To my surprise I was better with the old stick! This, after two very solid weeks flying with the Saitek. My gunnery in Rise of Flight was at least 3 times more accurate. My air refueling in BMS and DCS:WH were much more accurate and less "shakey" than with the Saitek. That cynched it for me. All the reasons for keeping the Saitek evaporated.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great HOTAS, September 5, 2010
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This review is from: Saitek PRO Flight X-65F Combat Control System for PC (Personal Computers)
Pros:
Tons of keys and hats
Dual throttle controls
Very precise
Heavy Construction

Cons:
Stiff throttle
SST can be painful
Control stick a little on the big side

This is my second HOTAS and coming from a X52, I was impressed by the additional number hats, buttons, and modes. An overall improvement is the throttle with both AB and idle detents and the force sensing stick that doesn't move hardly a millimeter. The stick has four force sensing settings with F1 being the heaviest (for very precise imputs) to F4 being the lightest (full surface deflection with minimal pressure). All can be tuned to the individuals likes for the X, Y, and Z axis.

The control stick is very large, and I have small hands. It's virtually impossible for me to manipulate the upper right hand hat that's on the stick without lifting my wrist off of the rest. The left hat on the stick can be manipulated without adjusting, but it's a stretch.

The dual throttle controls are very useful for taxing in tight turns on the ground. A sliding switch on the left side of the unit can link or separate the throttle controls. Unfortunately, it's not nearly as ergonomic as the X52's throttle. Bumping the fingertip hats occasionally happens when reducing the throttle quickly. Also, even with the tension completely reduced, the throttle is still difficult to advance. Securing it to a desk or using the included baseplate with velcro is a must.

Programming for me, is a nightmare with the SST. Setting up a ton of keystrokes and macros for a game like Falcon 4 Allied force is a tedious and time consuming process. It's a trial and error process of saving your profile, testing it with SST, and then testing it within the game. Once it's done though, you'll breathe a sigh of relieve, save it three or four times and never touch it again.

Overall, the heavy duty construction of the unit and it's highly intuitive force sensing is a joy to use. If you can keep yourself from throwing it out the window while programming, you'll have a great time with it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Awesome, April 5, 2011
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This review is from: Saitek PRO Flight X-65F Combat Control System for PC (Personal Computers)
Photos simply don't do this flight system justice! I'd researched flight sticks for months, and although I had my sights set on the new Warthog Hotas, it was just too much $$$. I don't feel I've gone wrong purchasing the Saitek X-65F, far from it. The joystick takes getting used to as its all pressure sensitive, ie the stick itself does not move. And there are four different pressure sensitive settings you can set and change on the fly.

The product is very durable and heavy, unlike the feeling you get from pictures. The joystick and throttle unit look like plastic, but they're not. They're all metal. I have so many hat-switches I've yet to find a control for all of them in FSX. I've definitely no qualms about this flight system and I think its worth the money. I tried the Saitek yoke/rudder pedal system and it was all just too bulky for the room I had available, but the X-65 fits the bill perfectly.

If you plan on utilizing ALL of the controls between the stick and throttle, you're better off creating a profile through the SST programming software.

If there is one downside, its that Saitek needs to provide software that allows you to center the rudder on the joystick. Mine is a tad off to the left which makes a difference when taxiing about. It isn't cheap, but I'd say if you have the cash and are looking for a flight control system that sets the bar high, then its definitely worth it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great product when you get used to it., November 2, 2010
By 
Clement DeLarge (Signal Hill, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Saitek PRO Flight X-65F Combat Control System for PC (Personal Computers)
I'm a long time flight sim junkie and I had never come across a force sensing joystick before. Never even considered it. I was using an aging but still fully functional Saitek X52, and decided that I was going to give this one a whirl. With the dual throttles, all of the buttons, and force sensing, I really wanted to give it a try.

I was amazed with the HOTAS. It's an excellent and natural system, after you get used to it. When taking off, or coming in for landings, it was difficult at first to get used to apply steady pressure instead of utilizing steady deflection as with a conventional HOTAS. I was rocking up and down all over the place... hard landings, and bobbing takeoffs. After getting used to it though, and you will adapt, it became a lot steadier, and actually felt steadier than a deflection stick. As for manuevering, it was nothing short of wonderful. I now love the stick, its controls, its feel, and the throttle.

Things that I wasn't crazy about: When I originally opened the package and for the first month or so, the throttle was extremely stiff. Even after shuffling the stick back and forth multiple times as Saitek's website advises, and loosening it up via the tension screw underneath. Now though, the throttle has proper play, it just took a while to loosen. Also, reaching for the two higher hats on the stick can be a little challenging, and I have large hands.

Overall, I rate this HOTAS as very good. It's not perfect with the reach, but very very very close. I'm happy with the purchase and would do it all over again. I'll be keeping this HOTAS for quite a long time I'm sure. The only thing I'd consider upgrading to at the point would be the Thrustmaster Warthog, but that's considerably even more expensive than this one.

Good luck, and if you get this stick, understand that it will take a while to get used to. Unfortunately, getting used to it will likely take longer than your return window if you were to decide that you didn't want it, but I really enjoy this stick now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great system for some just not for me., August 22, 2013
By 
Ronald (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Saitek PRO Flight X-65F Combat Control System for PC (Personal Computers)
I want to say the X65 is a great system with a shift switch and four modes giving you eight modes, all the functions you need without using a keyboard and a mouse very little. I bought this in April 2013 for use in Falcon BMS. It installs easy and works flawlessly with windows 7 in 64 bit. Because I fly aerobatic planes with sticks in real life I kept heavy handing this stick and had trouble flying formations and could never air refuel on simplified or realistic modes. I would approach and when asked to go left or right I would roll right out of the pocket and be required to find the tanker again. This was caused by the Y axis bleeding over 70% from the X axis and if I was flying the Y axis it would bleed over 40% into the X axis. I tried several dead zone settings and could not solve the bleeding issue and Saitek's answer is to increase the dead zones to 60% all because they did not build a small amount of travel like 1/8" like the real F-16. Also the stick has no centering feature and the only way to center the stick is with Saitek's beta software. I also send electronic tickets to Saitek with no response more then once which is run by Mad Catz. In summary the X-65 has axis bleed over issues and also the cables are not shielded and interference causes movement of the centering. For myself I will be buying a Thrust Master Warthog. Also five stars to Amazon for giving me a refund in a timely manner.
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