Best Flight Simulator Rudder Pedals

Editor’s note: The following article is not intended to be a ranking, but is only to serve as a list of possible options. As the saying goes, your mileage may vary.

With most professions, it’s often advised that you don’t bring work home with you. If you ask FLYING, that shouldn’t always be the case.

Flight simulators have only improved over recent years and the popularity of these “games” has allowed for a wider array of choices for your equipment. Yokes, joysticks, throttles—these are essential to any flight sim setup, but there’s often one criminally overlooked piece of equipment—rudder pedals.

Quicklook: Best Flight Simulator Rudder Pedals

6 Best Simulator Rudder Pedal Options

If you’re new to the flight sim world or you’re looking for an upgrade, here’s our six best rudder pedals for flight simulators.

Thrustmaster TFRP T.Flight Rudder Pedals

These entry-level pedals are great for anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much on their first build. While you’ll eventually want to upgrade to a higher-end set, the TFRP’s will enhance your flight sim experience—especially if you have other Thrustmaster accessories.

Special Features:

  • Sliding motion advanced rail track (SMART) 
  • Differential brake controls
  • USB and RJ12 connectivity options
  • Calibration software included

Benefits:

  • PC, PS4, and Xbox compatibility
  • Plug-n-play with thrustmaster accessories
  • Low price

Disadvantages:

  • Nearly all-plastic build
  • No built-in resistance/tensioning adjustments
  • Small width between pedals
  • No carpet grip

CH Products Pro Pedals

Flight simulator setups can get very complicated, very quickly. The CH Pro Pedals will keep things simple—at the expense of a few features.

Special Features:

  •  7-foot USB cable
  •  Differential brake controls
  •  Super low-profile base

Benefits:

  • USB plug-n-play
  • Low price
  • Compatible with most versions of Windows

Disadvantages:

  •  Dated, gray design
  •  Controls not customizable on Mac
  •  Lightweight, slides easily

Logitech G Pro Flight Rudder Pedals

Being the most popular on the list, the Logitech G Pro Flight Rudder Pedals offer great performance, pricing, and adaptability.

Special Features:

  • Differential brake controls
  • Adjustable tension dial
  • Non-slip surface materials

Benefits:

  • Built specifically for Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • PC and Xbox compatible
  • USB plug-n-play
  • Includes heel rest extensions

Disadvantages:

  • Nearly all-plastic build
  • Mid-to-low durability
  • Very sensitive toe brakes

Thrustmaster Pendular Rudder Pedals

If you’re looking to upgrade your build, you won’t be disappointed with Thrustmaster’s second entry on the list. While it may be expensive, you definitely get what you pay for.

Special Features:

  • Suspended “PENDUL_R” pedal system
  • H.E.A.R.T. accuracy technology
  • T.A.R.G.E.T. customizable software

Benefits:

  • Highly adjustable
  • 100 percent metal build
  • Heavy, sturdy base
  • Fully compatible with other Thrustmaster accessories

Disadvantages:

  • High price
  • Some assembly required

MFG Crosswind V3

If you want something done right, do it yourself… or at least, let MFG help out a bit. These pedals are designed for the armchair pilot who needs every degree of freedom from their equipment.

Special Features:

  • Completely adjustable build
  • Replaceable parts
  • Magnetic field sensors

Benefits:

  • Heavy, sturdy base
  • 100 percent metal build
  • Rig-mountable

Disadvantages:

  • Assembly required
  • High price
  • Base and footrests sold separately

Pricing: $312 on MFG-Sim.com

VKB T-Rudders Mk.IV

Keeping your office space clean and organized is a must for any stay-at-home professional. While making your home office desk feel like the inside of a jet is tempting, enthusiasts need equipment that keeps a low profile—in case you get a surprise video call. The VKB T-Rudders fit this form factor to a “T.”

Best For Low-Profile Setups

Special Features:

  • Frictionless magnetic sensors
  • Simple, compact design
  • 32-bit USB controller included
  • No drivers required

Benefits: 

  • 100 percent metal build 
  • Low profile  
  • Compatible with other VKB accessories

Disadvantages:

  • No brake controls 
  • Some assembly required
  • Unrealistic hinged pedal motion

Pricing: $215 on VKBControllers.com

What Is a Rudder Pedal?

There are three different axes that planes rotate on—pitch, roll, and yaw. While the first two can easily be controlled using a yoke or joystick, yaw is best handled with a pair of rudder pedals.

Accurately simulating yaw in your setup is monumental to a realistic flight simulation, as well as differential braking for taxiing, take-off, and landing.

How Does a Flight Simulator Rudder Pedal Work?

Most flight simulator rudder pedals operate via three axes, where the physical input is translated into numerical values that your computer can read.

For each pedal, there is a value representing how much pressure is applied to the brakes, giving you variable control over in-game brake pressure.

The third axis is controlled by a combination of both pedals, measuring their distances from the centered rest position—this provides your in-game rudder control.

What to Consider With Flight Simulator Rudder Pedals

Any kind of simulation comes down to one thing—realism. While most of the aforementioned rudder pedals may not be the most realistic as compared to an actual aircraft, some enthusiasts trade accuracy for versatility. 

How do they connect to the simulator?

Most newer rudder pedals connect to your computer via a simple USB connection. The more complicated your setup, the more plugs and adapters you’ll have to manage.

Some, such as the Thrustmaster T.Flight Pedals, only require a single USB cable to operate.

Others, like the VKB T.Rudders, use an external controller port to convert the data or to allow for multiple devices to be connected under the same input.

Realism

If your goal is to make your flight simulator as realistic as possible, rudder pedals are a must-have. Flight sim rudder pedals vary wildly in style, function, and price, which can come down to personal preference when choosing the best one for you.

Certain pedals allow for greater versatility in simulation than others. For example, the MKG Crosswind V3 pedals are large and wide, which wouldn’t recreate the feeling of sitting in the cockpit of a cramped F-22 Raptor.

For the most realistic experience, go for the pedals that most closely resemble the aircraft you enjoy flying the most.

Comfort

No one likes to fly with discomfort—simulation or not. Any great flight simulator will make you lose track of time, so you need a pair of pedals that won’t break the bank, or your ankles.

One of the biggest gripes about rudder pedals is how they tend to slide away during use. Compensating for that ever-growing distance between your feet and the pedals is sure to cause some strain on your lower body. That’s why it’s crucially important for the pedals to be secured in one place, regardless of how much pressure you put on them.

With rig-mountable pedals, like the MFG Crosswind V3, you wouldn’t even give it a second thought—but that will involve a pre-existing rig to mount them on in the first place.

Rudder Pedals are Essential to Your Flight Sim Experience

The list of flight simulator rudder pedals is awfully short but is expected to grow over the next few years. Even with limited choices, there is surely a set of pedals that will fit whatever simulation needs you may have.

Whether you’re aiming for an ultra-realistic experience, or just wanting to get some practice in between flight hours, any of these pedals are sure to give you a more accurate simulated flight. When you’re not flying physically or virtually, you should be reading—FLYING magazine, that is. Make sure to subscribe to get all the latest on everything aviation.

Do you need a rudder pedal for flight simulators?

No, most joysticks are made with a twistable function to control in-game rudders. Pedals are not required for most simulators, but are typically encouraged.

What are rudder pedals used for?

Rudder pedals are used to control an aircraft’s yaw. The pedals can also be used to control brakes during taxiing, lift-off, and landing.

Can I use steering wheel pedals as rudder pedals?

In some cases, yes! It depends on which pedals you may have, but some do work as rudder pedals with limited functionality. Inversely, some rudder pedals can be used in driving simulators, such as the Thrustmaster T.Flight Rudder Pedals.

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