Installation & Performance
Installing the Phantom Hawk was as simple as plug and play; there are included drivers, but they didn’t really add anything that Windows couldn’t find on its own. Once connected via USB, the flight sticks 8-Way switch and fire button light up with an LED back light; this adds a little extra flair to the overall design.
The grip is designed for right-handed use only, but it provides good ergonomics that place the top thumb controls within easy reach.
Gaming performance on the Phantom Hawk was a mixed experience. For flight sims I found the stick to be adequate at best. For casually flying around or more arcade style controls such as those found in Star Conflict and War Thunder it’s fine, but it lacks finess. When playing with settings set to simulation mode, or games that demand more advanced controls, such as Star Citizen, I found I had a hard time lining up my crosshair on the enemy. There’s a little bit of a deadzone on the stick and you have to move it just a little too far to register a fine adjustment, meaning fine accuracy isn’t the Phantom Hawks strong point. The stick has a good resistance to it that does make it comfortable to control and you can twist the stick left and right to adjust the rudder which is a nice bonus.
The throttle on the Phantom Hawk is very stiff. This is annoying when you want to quickly boost or cut your speed in games like Star Citizen, but it’s great for making steady adjustments that are well suited to flight sim games such as MS Flight. Other than that, everything else feels responsive enough. This is pretty much what I expected, as I wasn’t expecting this to perform on par with pro flight sticks given its price. What I have found is that the stick is still a lot better for sim games than keyboard and mouse, or a control pad; especially in terms of immersion.