How do I use my HOTAS with PSVR?

In order to experience an even deeper level of immersion while in PlayStation VR, you might want to look into a Hands On Throttle and Stick (HOTAS) controller. This controller gives you a ton of control over your aircraft or vehicle, as they have a familiar joystick for movement in one hand and an adjustable throttle in the other hand.

You can grab a HOTAS controller designed specifically for PS4, but the number of compatible games in PlayStation VR is limited. If you'd like to use your PS4 HOTAS controller on all games, or if you'd like to use a PC HOTAS on PS4, you need something called CronusMax Plus which lets you map buttons and use any controller with PS4.

Here's everything you need to know about using a HOTAS controller with all of your favorite PSVR games.

What you'll need before you begin

There are three pieces of hardware you will need to make this setup a reality.

CronusMax Plus

CronusMax Plus

The CronusMax Plus is really the bridge that makes all of this possible. It resembles a USB stick but with a couple of ports on it to connect your regular controller and your PC to the PS4. It comes with all cables and dongles you'll need to hook everything up, and it costs about $60.

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HOTAS controller

Thrustmaster T

CronusMax Plus is designed to work with pretty much any HOTAS controller, but if you're shopping for a completely new device, you might as well get one that is already compatible with a few PSVR games. The Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS 4 works with EVE: Valkyrie and Starblood Arena right out of the box, with more on the way. Get it working with CronusMax Plus, and you can use it for virtually any PSVR game.

See the best HOTAS controller for PSVR

Windows PC with two USB ports

The Cronus PLUS software only works with Windows 7 and earlier, so keep that in mind when going down this road. The Windows PC needs to be next to (or within a few feet) of your PS4 in order to connect everything with cables. You also need at least two free USB ports on the PC.

You don't need anything fancy, as all the PC is doing is recognizing input from the HOTAS controller and translating it and sending it to the PS4.

How to connect the hardware

There isn't a specific order to these steps as long as you ensure everything is plugged in properly.

  1. Plug the CronusMax Plus into the PS4 through a USB port.
  2. Plug the Bluetooth dongle into the back of the CronusMax Plus. This is used to connect the DualShock 4 controller.
  3. Plug the CronusMax Plus into the Windows PC with a Mini-USB cable.
  4. Plug the HOTAS controller into the Windows PC through a USB port.

Software you'll need

There are a few pieces of software you need to download in order to get everything working properly.

HOTAS PC drivers

Specific drivers on your PC are required to recognize a HOTAS controller. These drivers might be installed automatically when you plug a HOTAS controller into your PC via USB, but you might have to manually install them.

In that case, the easiest thing to do is search the internet for the name of your HOTAS controller and the word "drivers". This should bring up a page where drivers are available for download.

If you have the Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS 4, you can grab the necessary drivers from their website.

Download Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS 4 drivers

Cronus PRO

The Cronus PRO software allows you to program and configure the CronusMax Plus and your HOTAS controller. This is essential software and you won't be able to set everything up without it.

Download Cronus PRO from CronusMax

How to set everything up

Battlezone plus HOTAS equals awesome.

Now that you have your USB ports full and all necessary software and drivers downloaded, it's time to set everything up.

  1. Launch CronusMax Pro on your PC.
  2. Click Plugins.
  3. Click X-AIM.
  4. Click Layout Options.
  5. Click Controller.
  6. Click PS4.
  7. Click Direct Input.
  8. Click DI Settings.
  9. Click the HOTAS controller that corresponds with your model.
  10. Uncheck Rumble/Vibrate.
  11. Click Create a new empty layout (PS4).
  12. Right-click a button.
  13. Click Direct Input Catch.
  14. Click the corresponding button on your HOTAS controller.

Repeat steps 12-14 until you have the buttons mapped as you'd like. Once you're ready to play, click the Enter Capture button in Cronus PRO, turn on your PS4, and enjoy your HOTAS controller. You'll probably need to tweak a few things to get everything how you like it, but that's a small price to pay for being able to use HOTAS with a wide number of PSVR games.

The HOTAS experience

Have you been using a HOTAS controller with your PSVR? What do you think? For a second opinion, check out what Managing Editor Russell Holly think about HOTAS and VR.

Using HOTAS controllers in VR is beyond amazing!