Star Wars: Squadrons is EA’s upcoming dogfighting game from a galaxy far far away, and it’s going to include VR support when it launches on consoles and PC in the fall. If you were hoping for an immersive in-cockpit cluster of virtual controls to poke at, you may be a bit disappointed though.

According to its Steam listing, the game is set to support Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Valve Index, although it only lists support for traditional gamepad, or keyboard and mouse on PC.

Image taken by Road to VR

Furthermore, in the game’s FAQ EA has specified that outside of gamepad and keyboard/mouse, that both joysticks and hands on throttle-and-sticks (HOTAS) will be supported as well. The studio says it will have more details on supported sticks closer to its October 2nd launch.

'Star Wars: Squadrons' to Support PSVR & PC VR at Launch This Fall, Trailer Here

All of this largely makes sense from a developer standpoint. The game is simultaneously launching on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, and serving a minority of VR players by creating an interactive cockpit with reactive virtual controls—where one likely doesn’t already exist—may be both time and cost prohibitive.

Still, it’s possible motion controllers may be supported to some degree insofar they can be used as normal gamepads—as long as all of the traditional buttons are present like on Oculus Touch and Valve’s Index controllers. Although if that’s the case, you might as well grab a HOTAS to get the immersion you’re sure to jettison behind you.

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  • antonio mora

    This is exactly what FD should do for Odyssey. Forget about Motion Controllers just Hotas for flying and gamepad for FPS, this is what I do in GTA V (Wheel in this case) Works great.

    • Brad

      Right? I don’t think anyone expects or even wants full motion controller support for the on-foot portion of the game. HOTAS in the ship, controller on-foot.

      • Jistuce

        HOTAS in the seats, gamepad on the streets.

    • Austin

      Odyssey isn’t going to have VR support

  • Brad

    I never understood why anyone would want a simulated HOTAS using motion controllers. It’s just…. lame. Get an actual Joy Stick. Now if you could have a real HOTAS and then have hand tracking to push virtual buttons on your ship’s dashboard, I would be all for that.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      I can imagine it, the motion controllers are already present, and have you’ve seen what a HOTAS actually costs (and I’m not talking about that plastic TFlight crap)?

      • brubble

        Worth every penny!

        • Andrew Jakobs

          I’ll belief that, but it’s not that many people will just buy it purely for x-wing.. And IMHO the T-flight has to few buttons on the top of the stick itself, I’m very used to the 4 buttons and the HUD on my Logitech Extreme 3D Pro (which is a decent joystick but has it’s problems).

    • Jake Richardson

      It depends on how they implement the simulated hotas. In Ultrawings the simulated hotas is terrible. Every time your hand pulls too far away from the simulated joystick you lose control and since you’re busy looking out the cockpit you don’t notice until the plane suddenly goes into a steep dive. It really breaks the immersion. Vox Machinae on the other hand locks your hand to the simulated joystick as long as you’re holding the grip button. I actually find the simulated joystick controls in Vox even more immersive than the hotas control that it also supports since on a hotas, every other interaction with the ship has to be mapped to a button button that isn’t represented in the virtual cockpit. There’s nothing like letting go of your simulated controller in vox and reaching above your head to pull an air horn trucker style.

      • KinkyJalepeno

        It’s hardly an afterthough, it’s being build with VR capability from the start unlike NMS which shoe-hormed it in way after initial launch.

    • I agree, but as others have said it can be very expensive for ultra realism. Having used several HOTAS arrangements in my LM simulator, I can definitely say low-cost joysticks and throttles biggest problem is accuracy and longevity. Also, they take you completely out of VR experience if they are not aligned with the VR equivalent.

      My solution is to create a smooth ball & joint spring based mount that connects/disconnects rapidly with the Index controller so you can it becomes a hybrid system. Since the IMU in the controller is in the base near the USB-C connector there is very little offset calculation to make, and like standard joysticks, sensitivity and dead space can be modified in software. I made a post in another article on this VR app with images and links to videos. Is it better than a complete HOTAS package that can cost up to two grand? No, but unless you are willing to create a one-for-one position in 3D space to match the VR cockpit, the experience in my opinion is ruined. Especially in something like the Lunar module simulator where there are literally hundreds of switches and circuit breakers in a few of cubic meters.

      • patfish

        We really need good hand tracking or interactive glows in VR to use both … a HOTAS and the buttons of the interactive cockpit. With a library of Joystick models the game could map the buttons realistically into the virtual cockpit.

        • Wild Dog

          You should all try VTOL VR before you diss it.

          • pasfish111

            I fly VTOL. It’s ok with some VR controlers and bad with others.
            But its not the same like flying with a real HOTAS and for that we need good hand tracking for the interactions with the cockpit.

          • Wild Dog

            It’s incomparably more realistic though.

  • Andrew Jakobs

    As long as it also supports ‘generic’ joysticks on the PC like the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro. There aren’t any real good joysticks available as years ago..

    • Rudl Za Vedno

      I have Saitek X52PRO and it’s very decent HOTAS.

      • arczi79

        Have the same. X52Pro is a very good HOTAS!

        • Yep a lot of people have this one and will be one of the ones I provide a control system in “Ascent: Eagle Has Left the Moon,” but Unreal Engine has had a bug in custom control plug-in that I keep having to patch. I think they finally fixed it in 4.25 but my Thrustmaster HOTUS which I was developing for made it abundantly clear why it is so cheap after few months of infrequent use and the Yaw axis pot becomes disengaged. X52Pro or the somewhat less expensive Thrustmaster T16000 HOTAS are better choices. But then you are pushing a $200 control system on customer or spending time creating a UI to allow them to program their own existing system, which may or not work as well due to not being tested for optimal use. sigh… a daunting challenge with studio with staff and money, for a two person shop, very frustrating. Which is why I am settling on the “Index Stick” solution as interesting compromise.

    • Sadly, not so generic either, but it pretty inexpensive. I have tested that, but chose a HOTAS arrangement for “Ascent: Eagle Has Left the Moon” and “Lunar Wars” due to having a left handed thruster in the LM. Sadly, any external control defeats immersion if you don’t have physical/VR alignment system, which I solved with adjustable/perforated console I call the VR Command & Control System Console (VRCCSC). This allows for the mounting and positioning of controls, wheels and pedals, as well as its height to match VR environment through a custom mounting system attached to your controllers.

      The big problem is you are relying on proprioception to guide your hands and more important confines your controls to a very limited space. Great for car or simple arcade fighter jet aircraft cockpit. Not so good for a more complex switch arrangement in the Lunar Module and in my opinion reducing your immersive quality to 3-axis, no multi-axis controller experience from 2013.

  • KinkyJalepeno

    The HOTAS news is music to my ears – gagging to jump in my VR X-Wing cockpit !!

  • brubble

    Well I hope they support virpil and vkb and not just the chinese toy hotas.

  • JesuSaveSouls

    You’d not need it ? Some vr experiences need no motion controls.If your flying in a DeLorean what’d want with your hands off the steering wheel ? What’d you want to do in a flight sim space game…call darth Vader on a cell phone ?

    • Adam Broadhurst


  • Jim P

    Nvidia you need to hurry up with your new cards. I want to play this on full settings with not a drop of frame rate.

  • Jonathan Winters III

    Actually contrary to the headline, there is mention from the dev, of tracked controllers support: there will be none. Gamepad and Mouse/Keyboard only.

  • Kimberle McDonald

    i want HOTAS rig with VR visor. No way i want “simulated” controls for a flight sim

  • Looks cool!

  • AJ_74

    Maybe this will be the game that finally shows that motion controls are not the way forward for VR. Remember when analysts predicted 200 million headsets sold by 2020? Well, it’s 2020 and that number is less than 15 million. What happened? It’s not that VR headsets aren’t a great, immersive way to enjoy video games and other entertainment experiences, but that fact that motion-based controls have been proven time and time again to be a fad with no mass appeal. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be available, but they shouldn’t be the focus. Seated, traditional games should be the focus, with the goal of immersing you in a world and letting your imagination take over, not games where you stand, crouch, and flail your arms about. That is and always will be a niche market with no long term aspirations.

  • flappiVR

    “Side-by-Side stereoscopy with mouse and keyboard control ?”

    Haha, VR R&D at Valve go BRRRRRRR
    Gaben suicide incoming.

    • flappiVR

      Like Crysis 2 and 3 did, no need BS steamVR.

  • Wild Dog

    Having tried VTOL VR, and knowing how awesome motion controls can be for flight games, I’m really disappointed in EA. Coulda been really nice.

  • link2434

    I just wanted index controller support because I don’t have a HOTAS setup and don’t really want to get one for just Squadrons

  • Mike D

    How about not making the customer have to buy something I have no need for other than this game? I just bought it on Steam and had no idea I couldn’t use my motion controllers. I’m not buying a goddamn joystick for one game.