Serious flight simulator fans primarily use the Saitek X45 computer joystick due to its large number of buttons and realistic design. The Saitek X45 consists of two devices; the joystick itself and a throttle. Most of the buttons on the Saitek X45 are programmable, so the player can configure the device to work with virtually any type of game. The device ships with a driver CD that contains "profiles" for many popular games, but you can also create your own.
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Flight Simulator Games
Flight simulator games are titles designed to accurately model the experience of flying a real aircraft. Because the Saitek X45 was primarily created for this type of game it is the genre that suits the device best. Games like the "Microsoft Flight Simulator" series benefit from the realistic design and make the experience of flying a virtual plane more enjoyable. Since the design of the Saitek X45 is based on that of a jet fighter, games like "Falcon 4.0" are also suited to this joystick.
If flight simulator games are not your cup of tea, another genre suited to the Saitek X45 is space games. Space games typically place you in the cockpit of a futuristic spacecraft where you have to defend yourself from enemy factions or space pirates. Games like "Starshatter" and the "Freespace" series share many similarities with flight simulators and thus work well with the Saitek X45. The "Wing Commander" series also has plenty of space combat to give your Saitek X45 a workout.
Giant Robot Games
Giant robot games have become a genre of their own and work quite well with the Saitek X45. Controlling a giant robot that is bristling with weaponry typically requires a lot of buttons, so the Saitek makes it easier to activate the commands you want in the heat of battle. The "Mechwarrior" series is one of the best known in the genre for PC as are the "Heavy Gear" games. Giant robot games have more complicated control schemes than the usual first-person shooters, so the extra buttons on the Saitek X45 come in handy.
While you usually play racing games with a steering wheel, nothing prevents them from working with a joystick like the Saitek X45. It might feel unusual at first to control cars like the ones in the "Need For Speed" series with a joystick, but you can do it with a bit of practice. It may feel more natural with futuristic racing games like "Star Wars Episode 1 Racer," where you control a hovercraft type of vehicle that feels more like an aircraft than a car.
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