Star Citizen Joystick vs Mouse

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Updated November 28, 2022

If you’re shopping for a premium computer mouse, you might wonder about the Star Citizen mouse and keyboard vs. joystick debate. A top-tier gaming mouse is preferred for most PC gamers, but a physical joystick setup might benefit space and flight sims like Star Citizen. Flight sticks offer precise control during PVP combat with ships at maximum speed. So, stick around to understand the Star Citizen joystick vs. mouse discussion.


  • Joystick users enjoy better control and immersion during PVP combat or while maneuvering their ship.
  • Mouse controls are common in Star Citizen, but experts recommend virtual joystick software for enhanced stick precision.
  • Experts recommend a premium joystick setup for Star Citizen, but a mouse and keyboard costs much less while remaining a good control method.

There isn’t a massive disparity between mouse controls and gamepads in single-player titles, and it is largely up to personal preference. Check out the Skyrim mouse vs. controller debate to find the ideal control scheme for your play style.

Insider Tip

You can increase the immersion level in Star Citizen with voice commands through the VoiceAttack software.

Premium joysticks are the usual input device for vehicular combat games, but the War Thunder mouse vs. joystick discussion doesn’t have a clear winner. Additionally, there isn’t a consistent input method across entire game genres, especially when the PC and console player bases compete online.

If you choose a mouse and keyboard for flight controls, consider learning about gaming mouse pads vs. regular models. Additionally, you need fast inputs to combat ships in Star Citizen, so understanding the difference between optical vs. mechanical switches for mice might help you compete.

Playing Star Citizen with a Mouse vs Joystick

Star Citizen is a massive game that boasts exploration and PVP combat with customized spacecraft and ground-based shooting. Many assume that there is a control disparity between mouse and joystick users, but it isn’t that simple. Whether you enjoy exploration or combat with ships, the best input method might surprise you.

Flight Controls

Dual sticks, or a HOSAS (hands-on stick and stick) setup, is the preferred method for serious Star Citizen players. That said, HOSAM (hands-on stick and mouse) is a common setup that utilizes a joystick and mouse. Unfortunately, you need a virtual joystick driver and proprietary software for a natural-feeling mouse and keyboard setup.


Mouse targeting is common in Star Citizen, especially with mouse models with programmable buttons. While dual joysticks or a single analog stick yield more granular control overall, manual targeting is less intuitive.

Immersion Level

A dual joystick setup is preferred for users wanting to roleplay in Star Citizen. Users enjoy button presses on their flight stick to simulate pre-flight checks and takeoff. While mice with programmable buttons can somewhat fulfill immersion, they won’t replicate the feeling of analog sticks.


Remember to map zoom in and out to both mouse wheel directions, or you won’t have precise control during PVP combat.

Cheaper Option

Mouse controls are a much cheaper option than investing in joysticks for Star Citizen. Enthusiast-grade joysticks can exceed $1000, while a premium mouse and keyboard setup should cost under $400.

STAT: A 2018 Pew Research Center survey showed that 33% of American gamers play sports or racing games. (source)

Star Citizen Joystick vs. Mouse FAQs

What is a virtual joystick?

A virtual joystick is a program that maps the mouse axis like a physical joystick. Some users make their own joystick instructor program, while others install proprietary software and a virtual joystick driver.

Do I need dual joysticks for Flight Simulator?

You do not need dual joysticks for the entire game genre of flight and space simulators. That said, multiple joysticks offer enhanced stick precision for quick adjustments and analog controls.

Are a mouse and keyboard accurate on Xbox?

The Xbox ONE and Xbox Series S/X support a mouse and keyboard input method on the OS and in the Edge browser. While some games require input with game controllers, console players can enjoy a mouse and keyboard in cross-play competitive titles. You should expect the same accuracy on Xbox as on a PC.
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