Microsoft Flight Simulator has got a lot of people hankering to take to the virtual skies. But for many the experience isn’t complete without a flight stick of some sort. With lots of these now sold out that can be tough. But here’s a solution: 3D-printed parts that snap onto an Xbox One controller for a DIY conversion into a hands on throttle-and-stick or HOTAS.
This amazing little mod is the work of Akaki Kuumeri, a 3D printing tinkerer who maintains a YouTube channel showing off some of his creations. Kuumeri has made a video for this mod, too, and it’s well worth a watch, just for the groanworthy selection of puns alone.
The mod takes just $10 and “an afternoon of your time” to make
If you want to made the mod yourself, Kuumeri has uploaded the plans to Thingiverse to download for free. You’ll need to have access to a 3D printer, of course, but Kuumeri estimates it’ll cost no more than $10 and “an afternoon of your time” to print and assemble the various parts. Everything just snaps together, and there’s even the option to fit elastic bands inside the linkages to adjust the spring force on the stick and throttle.
Some caveats: responding to questions on Reddit, Kuumeri notes that the parts don’t work with the Xbox 360 controller or PS4 controller (though he says he may work on the latter if there’s enough interest). By his own account, though, the whole setup works surprisingly smoothly. “I expected the ball joints to have some slop, which [on] the scale of a thumb stick would be too much to play accurately, but they’re absolutely perfect,” he told one questioner. “It also helps that the Xbox thumb sticks are on a very smooth hinge themselves.”
So if you’ve not been able to grab yourself a flight stick, this looks like the next best thing.