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Star Wars: Squadrons will support joysticks and throttles on PlayStation and Xbox

HOTAS controls remain fairly rare on PS4 and Xbox One

A wing of TIE Bombers lets go with a volley of continuous-beam lasers in Star Wars: Squadrons. Image: Motive Studios, Lucasfilm/Electronic Arts
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

Star Wars: Squadrons is shaping up to be dream game, not just for Star Wars fans but for space and flight simulation fans as well. While developer Motive Studios already announced that the PC would support HOTAS controls, on Friday it announced that support for throttle and joystick options are coming to consoles as well.

HOTAS is a shorthand term for a controller that allows pilots to keep both “hands on throttle-and-stick.” In the context of gaming, this means that players will be able to play Star Wars: Squadrons using throttle and joystick peripherals, giving them more precise control of any X-Wings and TIE-Fighters they might be piloting in the game.

HOTAS controls aren’t totally foreign to PC games where things like flight simulators and spacefaring games have used them for years, but they’re much more rare on consoles. Only a few games like Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown and Elite: Dangerous let console players take advantage of the finer control of a flight stick, and now Star Wars: Squadrons is joining their ranks.

While the announcement that Squadrons will support HOTAS controls on both console and PC is certainly welcome, it’s also not surprising given the level of care and detail Motive Studios seem to have put into the space combat simulation game so far. The game is already bringing some of fans’ favorite Star Wars ships to life in competitive multiplayer, and helping to bring the whole universe to life with VR support on both PlayStation and PC.

As an added bonus, this HOTAS announcement should help level the playing field between PC and console players considering the game will have crossplay between all of its platforms. According to Motive, there won’t be any restriction on ranked play based on platforms or controls, so it’s important to make sure every option is available for every player, whether they use them or not.

Star Wars: Squadrons is set to release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, on Oct. 2.

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