Based off the flight stick and throttle found in an actual A-10C Warthog airplane, reviewers say the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog oozes detail and accuracy (HOTAS stands for hands-on throttle and stick). The stick itself is made from durable stainless steel and aluminum components, which makes it considerably more sturdy -- and heavier -- than its counterparts, especially plastic flight sticks. Thrustmaster adds a realistic amount of tension to the stick to have it mimic the feel of the actual airplane's controls, and reviewers say it delivers precise, responsive controls, although the replica dual throttle isn't as comfortable as the throttles found on non-replica controllers. All of the buttons, switches and controls on both the flight stick and the throttle are completely customizable thanks to the powerful software Thrustmaster includes with the stick, but the stilted English found in the otherwise decent program documentation is the one lowlight found with the HOTAS Warthog. Thrustmaster's tech support also gets a few black marks. Users who don't want to spend $500 on the very best of flight sticks but still want top performance for a decent price may consider picking up the Saitek X52 Pro Flight Control System (*Est. $150) instead.
SimHQ.com delivers the most in-depth critique with two separate long-form articles covering every aspect of the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog. GamingNexus.com and CombatSim.com deliver long reviews of their own. A less detailed report can be found at HubPages.com, while users at Amazon.com and Newegg.com deliver enthusiastic critiques from the front lines.
This seven page review of the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog focuses on the physical build of the controller itself, the powerful software included with the stick, and motion and accuracy benchmark testing. Reviewer Joe Keefe is highly impressed, although he says he'd like to see a set of high-quality rudder pedals to match this stick/throttle set and notes a few shortcomings of the programming software.
Review: Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog, Joe Keefe, Oct. 22, 2010
Reviewer Chris Frishmuth is a pilot himself, giving him a unique perspective as he puts the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog through the paces in several different flight sims. His report is nothing less than glowing. "The stick is simply awesome to use," Frishmuth writes, although he mentions that sim fliers will need to remember which functions they've mapped to which buttons when flying sim aircraft other than the A-10C Warthog. Several times throughout the review Frishmuth remarks that the HOTAS Warthog feels much more responsive and accurate than his old standby, the Saitek X52 Pro Flight Control System.
Review: Flight Report -- Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog, Chris Frishmuth, Nov. 23, 2010
Douglas Helmer's review of the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog covers every aspect of the stick, from unboxing the controller to installing its software on Windows 7 to hands-on impressions. Although he reports running into some difficulty programming the stick, that doesn't ruin the experience for Helmer. "Overall, I'm hugely impressed with the TM HOTAS Warthog," he writes.
Review: Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Review, Douglas Helmer, March 8, 2011
This review of the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog isn't quite as detailed as the other reports we used as sources, but still much longer than an average hardware review -- and chock full of useful remarks from a pilot who has clocked over 800 hours in the air. "There's a lot of magic going on in there, but however it works, the net result is an extremely fluid control response that felt as close to real flying as I have ever experienced in a PC joystick," Gamble writes.
Review: HOTAS Warthog Review, Dave Gamble, June 17, 2011
The Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog doesn't receive as many reviews as more moderately priced options, but the people who have checked in give the flight stick an admirable 4.3-star average, with over three-quarters of respondents awarding it a perfect grade. The few negative reviews stem from poor experiences with Thrustmaster's customer service department.
Review: Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog Joystick, Contributors to Amazon.com
Only a small handful of Newegg.com users have reviewed the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog, and their experiences are overwhelmingly positive, with every user giving the stick a perfect 5-star rating. The only repeated "Con" is the price of the hardware.
Review: Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Flight Stick, Contributors to Newegg.com
When HubPages.com reviewer "ojkershaw" places the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog on his list of the best flight sim accessories, he instructs readers to check out his longer standalone review of the product on a different page. Unfortunately, the write-up doesn't turn out to be that long at all, and doesn't convey any useful technical information or hands-on testing impressions.
Review: HOTAS Warthog, "ojkershaw"