Thank you to Thrustmaster for providing the hardware for free in return for a fair and unbiased review
To celebrate the release of Top Gun: Maverick, Thrustmaster kindly sent us the T.Flight Full Kit X for review purposes! Does this flight simulation hardware reach top velocity or is it best left waiting on the runway? Find out in this Rapid Review!
Big Box (Not So Little Box)
I was first greeted to the T.Flight Full Kit X when a larger-than-expected Xbox-branded box appeared at my door! With the Thrustmaster logo and an Xbox seal of approval, I couldn’t wait to see what equipment was inside. Arranged neatly inside a series of cardboard inserts, the Full Kit X contains a joystick, a separate throttle and rudder pedals, in addition to a paper manual. As a first-timer to the world of Thrustmaster, I was initially unsure as to how the three pieces of hardware would work together; especially with the numerous buttons and configurations across the kit. Fortunately, the setup was extremely simple with plug-and-play functionality for both my Series X and PC on Flight Simulator (Thrustmaster also recommends installing drivers for PC which were installed without a hitch.).
The rudder pedals are connected with the paired throttle and joystick via a proprietary cable before merging into a single USB cable. Although the streamlined USB cable worked perfectly in terms of cable management, the short cable length meant that I had to rearrange the seating of my living room and bring my Xbox closer to the Thrustmaster Kit. As such, the majority of my review time was spent using the kit on my PC; focused on Microsoft Flight Simulator and Star Wars Squadrons.
Ready to go, it was time to see how well the Full Kit X took to the air or – more appropriately – my desk!
Starting up Microsoft Flight Simulator, the game immediately detected the Thrustmaster with no need for a lengthy configuration and calibration setup. After a quick and very unsuccessful attempt at a complex long-haul takeoff, I decided that returning to the tutorial would be the best option. As it turns out, flying a plane with the full Thrustmaster hardware is slightly more complex than doing so with a basic Xbox controller! After a few tutorials, however, flying came naturally (or at least, more naturally than before) and I soon got the hang of how the minor adjustments to the joystick and throttle altered the flight course of the plane. I enjoyed how, in addition to moving in the normal directions of a joystick, a satisfying twist functionality also gave me further control over the plane.
Across both the throttle and joystick, there were several labelled buttons which were reflected on the menu and tutorial popups of both Star Wars Squadrons and Microsoft Flight Simulator. The physical movement of the rudder pedals worked perfectly for the immersive simulation nature of the game, although I found that during my gameplay, the joystick and throttle combination were used the most! Speaking of immersion, I loved returning to Star Wars: Squadrons in VR alongside the T.Flight Full Kit X. Pushing the physical throttle lever to the max whilst dodging and darting away from enemy ships in my T.I.E fighter is a gaming experience I will not forget any time soon. Of course, whilst the game is more than playable in VR without the Thrustmaster kit, the physical manoeuvrability of the throttle and flight joystick provided unparalleled immersion!
The Need for Speed
Experiencing the free Top Gun: Maverick DLC for Microsoft Flight Simulator was also a very enjoyable experience when played with the T.Flight Full Kit X. The precision of control provided by the kit allowed me to fly dangerously close to the ground in the low altitude challenges and it was exhilarating when toggling the afterburner to achieve stratospheric flight. With the multiple camera perspectives of Flight Simulator, I enjoyed immersing myself in the first person launch before taking in the aerial sights within the wider camera focus. Featuring new planes, challenges and training missions, I would highly recommend trying out this new DLC; made even better via the use of the T.Flight Full Kit X.
The T.Flight Full Kit X offers a perfect entry-level package for taking flight simulation to new heights. The plug-and-play nature and responsiveness of the hardware provided me with a truly immersive experience within Microsoft Flight Simulator and Star Wars Squadrons. However, the limited USB cable length will limit some players from taking advantage of the Xbox functionality within larger living rooms. Although the specialist nature of this hardware will not appeal to everyone, if you are someone looking for a way to give your flight simulation games a lift-off, then I can highly recommend Thrustmaster’s T.Flight Full Kit X.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4 out of 5
You can purchase the T.Flight Full Kit X from the Thrustmaster Store
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.