Here’s a flightstick, now figure out how to use it. That about sums up how I feel when I first open Turtle Beach’s VelocityOne. Imagine hopping in a Cessna having never flown one before. Now, fly. So many buttons. So many options. Hope I figure this out.
Okay, perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit – or a lot. Clearly, a real aircraft takes study and time and is much more complex than setting up a video game controller. Perhaps that is the beauty of flight. It’s what makes a game like Flight simulator feel more like an art than an accessible game for all ages. It’s also what makes the VelocityOne so appealing. Like a fine wine, it gets better with age, but it’s a bit of an acquired taste.
Let’s get one thing out of the way early. This device is built and packaged well. It certainly doesn’t feel cheap, and Turtle Beach clearly takes great care in how they choose to bundle and ship it out. Inside, I find the flightstick itself, screws for mounting, stickers, a quickstart guide, and a USB-C cable for pairing. I carefully go through all materials and have trouble containing my excitement. Time to hook this bad boy up.
My excitement wanes quickly. I’m mainly a PC guy, and I’ll admit it took me a while to configure the stick for use. I had to browse the internet forums for help on getting the LED screen to allow me to switch the controller to PC mode. Eventually, I figure it out though (the gray circle spins and selects and acts as a button), and after some downloads and a firmware update – I’m ready to take off. I test two games: Flight Simulator and Star Wars: Squadrons. I slowly but surely work to customize the VelocityOne to my liking and soon I’m taking to the air like never before.
The controls are tight and highly customizable. It doesn’t take me long in either game to decide what I like and don’t like in the default scheme. I find myself taking significant amounts of time tweaking controls for each game, but I think it’s necessary. With 27 programmable buttons and 8 axes, some customization needs are to be expected. Flight games are challenging enough. Having the best control scheme ensures a better experience.
Once tweaked to my liking the experience is indeed better. Leaps and bounds better. There is something about diving, pulling up, and adjusting patterns with this thing that feels so much more authentic than a simple controller/keyboard setup. Who wants to press a trigger on a controller when you can have an authentic dog fight with more true to life controls. The realism this beauty brings makes these flights feel fun again.
My kids enjoy it too. It has taken some getting used to, and I’ve had to coach them through a few things but soon they are flying like aces, and of course it doesn’t take them long to pass me up.
In the end, Squadrons ends up being our favorite experience. Why? It’s less complex and we can fight. It feels more intense. Connecting it to our Xbox doesn’t change our experience either. In fact, the VelocityOne renews some vigor behind games that may have just been left behind. Using it is an experience in and of itself. It just takes some patience to get to that experience.
PC lovers – do you need one? Probably not. There are more detailed experiences out there, but I’d argue this is the best bang for your buck. Xbox users do you need one? Yes. The VelocityOne is the best option for you right now to enhance your in flight experiences. Happy gaming!
Note: Our reviews are always 100% independent, but Gearadical receives a small affiliate amount if you purchase the product on Amazon.