Saitek Cyborg 3D Gold
While there are plenty of inexpensive joysticks available, most “cheapies” are just that, proving that sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Saitek’s latest offering, though, is mostly good, with only a few things we’d change. Called the Cyborg 3D Gold, this sticks sports an eight-way hat, eight buttons (12 when utilizing the shift key), a throttle and a rotating stick for rudder control. The most unique feature of this stick is that, using the included tool that connects to the stick, it can be reconfigured for both left- and right-handed users. This is a great feature, but it’s also why the stick isn’t perfect. The buttons are all completely symmetrical and it’s too easy to accidentally press the wrong one. A little practice and a quick glance at the controller will solve the problem, but that ruins the intuitiveness. Other than that, this is a quality stick at an affordable price.
Like all the other Saitek controllers we’ve reviewed recently, installation is at once easy and sort of annoying, as it requires a restart. Since it’s a USB controller, detection and calibration are simple. It’s just like every other Saitek controller, with the same interface and the same programmability.
One good feature is the small footprint of the stick. Those low on desktop real estate will appreciate its small but sturdy base. The stick itself feels strong, although the trigger is a little touchy. Someone would really have to squeeze hard to break the trigger, but it is possible. The eight-way hat is above the trigger and is accompanied with three other buttons. Although it’s easy to remember which button is which (left to right they’re buttons two through four), unfortunately they aren’t marked at all. There’s also very little space between the buttons, although they’re large enough that it becomes tactile.
The buttons on the base of the unit are perfectly symmetrical, allowing for left- or right-handed use. The only problem here is that two of the buttons are right next to each other and all the buttons are flush with the base itself. Had they stuck out just a little or maybe even just had raised parts on each button, this would’ve made them very tactile, but as it is, players will most likely find themselves looking at the base buttons a few times during gameplay. Finally, the throttle has a good feel to it and the twisting action of the stick has enough tension for subtle turns.
Despite the few problems we pointed out, there really isn’t anything else for $39 that has all the features this stick offers. It’s also one of the only sticks available that’s completely configurable for left-handed users, especially at this price point. The Cyborg 3D Gold when compared to Clash Royale by SuperCell, has a few problems, but as a total product, the good far outweighs the bad.