Custom PC

REVIEW: Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick

By Edward Chester. Posted

It’s astonishing just how low the price of capable joysticks can drop. This Logitech Extreme 3D Pro costs just £34 inc VAT, yet it includes three-axis stick control, a throttle control and 12 programmable buttons, along with an 8-way hat switch.

The flight stick market sits in stark contrast to racing wheels, where you generally have to spend well over £150 to get even a passable experience.

But back to the Extreme 3D Pro, this joystick doesn’t just impress with the sheer number of features for the money, but with its build quality too. While it’s all made from plastic, it all feels solid enough to survive plenty of years of gaming abuse, as well as tumbles onto the floor. The base also has a plentiful 200 x 200mm footprint, which provides a surprisingly secure footing on any large and stable flat surface.

Meanwhile, the stick itself feels well planted, with only a modest amount of wobble in its centre before each axis’ resistance is engaged. The buttons aren’t the absolute crispest and most satisfying ones to press on test, but they’re still good for the money – there were no occasions where we weren’t sure if a button had been triggered or not.

We also found the grip of the stick to be very comfortably contoured, with all the controls falling into the right place and the resting platform for the side of your hand helping to take the strain off your arm. It’s a bit of a shame Logitech didn’t just extend that platform round to the other side, though, as this would make the whole stick’s design a bit more ambidextrous – you can otherwise just about get away with using the stick with your left hand.

Also, the stick movement is a little stiffer than the likes of the CH Products Flightstick Pro, making it slightly more tiring to hold in position for long periods – especially if you’re also twisting the stick at the same time – although it’s still manageable.

The twisting stick action allows it to control rudder movement on aircraft, although it’s actually not as intuitive as using a separate rudder control for terrestrial flight. Instead, it comes into its own for space flight, where you’re truly controlling all three axes of twist at once. Unlike Logitech’s X56 HOTAS (see p54), you don’t get on-board dials for allowing control of all thrust vectors as well, so you’ll need to invest in a second joystick if you want analogue control of those inputs.

It’s the movement and sensitivity of this joystick that’s most surprising for the price though. While you don’t get anywhere near the accuracy and smoothness of the CH Products Flightstick Pro or Thrustmaster Warthog, it’s still satisfyingly responsive in its centre, and has a much smoother transition from its centre to extreme angles than Logitech’s X56 HOTAS. The throttle control also works well and smoothly. For just £35 inc VAT, it’s astonishingly accomplished.

The only real gripe we found was the very basic software. Logitech does provide an app to program all the buttons, but support isn’t integrated into the company’s main gaming software app, and the separate app clearly hasn’t been updated in years. For such a major peripherals manufacturer, we’d expect more up-to-date support.

Conclusion

Don’t let this joystick’s low price put you off. While its stick movement can’t compete with the best models out there, it’s surprisingly capable and puts several more expensive models to shame. With true 3D control, plenty of buttons and throttle control, it covers all the essentials for getting started in most terrestrial and space flight sims.

VERDICT
A low price, capable performance and a decent feature set makes the Extreme 3D Pro a standout bargain.

PRICE
£34 inc VAT

SCORES
PERFORMANCE 30/40 / FEATURES 35/40 / VALUE 20/20 / OVERALL 85%

EXTREME

  • Three-axis control
  • Incredibly cheap
  • Loads of buttons
  • Throttle control

AVERAGE

  • Quite stiff
  • Basic software

SPEC
Axes 3
Throttle control Yes
HOTAS No
Buttons 12
Rudder control No

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