The Book of Thrustmaster

(This content used to live on http://www.warrenernst.com/thrustmaster and is somewhat out of date. I've recently been informed that Thrustmaster tech support still refers customers to this site (!) so I have transferred it over.)

Do you own (or are you thinking of buying) old Thrustmaster flight controls, but are wondering how to use them with Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7? Have you been told that they're old pieces of junk that don't work with today's operating systems, but you don't quite believe it?

If so, then you've come to the right place. 

Here you'll find lots of information and resources to get your old Thrustmaster F-16 FLCS, F-22 Pro, WCS Mk II, and F-16 TQS (along with your rudder pedals), working with Windows XP and Windows Vista/7. Though this is a work in progress, you should be able to find some useful things here immediately.

Needless to say, you can indeed use any of these previously mentioned joysticks and throttles with your modern computer, and use them in pretty much any flightsim in Windows. Don't let anyone tell you anything else

There are several hurdles you'll need to overcome, but none of them is that high. Some are hardware hurdles. Some are software hurdles. Some are procedural and knowledge hurdles.

Fortunately, all the software and knowledge you need is freely downloadable on the Internet, plus I'm providing some knowledge (and some downloadable files, where appropriate or necessary) too. You probably already have the required hardware, and even if you don't, odds are it's cheaper than buying a new stick and supporting hardware.

Note: The BOT (Book of Thrustmaster) does not cover how to write programs for your Thrustmaster equipment. I'll point you to tools that make this easier in Windows, and just plain possible in DOS, and I'll even point you to documentation and tutorials that tell you how to write it, but I won't be teaching you the programming "language" or answering questions about it. I'm just too busy with other stuff, and this information is widely available online elsewhere. Sorry.

No, a modern USB-powered joystick is definitely an easier way to go, but in my humble experience, most modern USB sticks feel like cheap plastic toys (I'm looking at you, Saitek, CH Products, and Logitech), even if some of them work okay. And the only professional-grade alternative stuff is horrendously expensive, and so trouble-prone (even right out of the box) that you need to replace many of internal components with horrendously expensive upgraded components (I'm looking at you, Thrustmaster Cougar HOTAS). The old Thrustmaster stuff is a decent alternative option.

 

So, with that all said, welcome to The Book Of Thrustmaster: Windows Vista and XP Edition. Please start with one of the following links.