Professional Pilot has problems with his HOTAS!

Logitech X56 HOTAS

1 ministick on throttle and Joystick
2. Left Rotary dial on throttle
3. Throttle unit mode selector - buttons 35/36?


Using my F18 controls and the DCS controls, I am able to get DCS to recognise 1 and 3 exist but they do not control anything. The ministicks will show they are operating under controls. The modifier switch 35/36 is listed. It does not matter what I assign them to do. The hardware is functioning. From comments elsewhere it is clear there is a common problem, but a solution exists.

I would like to be able to set modes using the switch intended for that purpose. Research suggests that the switch has to be modified in some way to make it permanently active like CAPLOCKS as opposed to a normal key.

The ministicks display in controls that they are working but do nothing. I would like them to do TDC and radar slew on the F18. They might need to be changed to four way switchs from being joysticks.

The left rotary dial does nothing. Not even recognised.

My computer skills are minimal, but I spend a lot of time in real aircraft (10,200 hours to date). I find the Logitech software challenging to the extent I have not used it. All the other switches work with DCS software.

Any assistance would be welcome.

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Welcome to MS @Scoop !

Here you can find some debate about the X56 ministicks

With the rest maybe @smokinhole , @weaponz248 or @JediMaster can help you out.


Welcome @Scoop

For problem #1 make sure you are setting it up under axis for the TDC. And then in game make sure your TGP or radar is set to sensor of intrest. I set my throttle mini stick up as my TDC via in game controls menu.

For problem #2 I’m not sure what that one does as I don’t use it. However just like the mini stick rotary are set in the axis menu.

For #3 I assuming you want the switch to select a mode, ex. Mode 2 is A/G etc All you should need to do is find the appropriate command in the controls menu and then it should act like a button press when you select it. I’m not sure though since I don’t use it. You can also set it up as a modifier. If you wanted. However now that I think about it it will act like the button is held down I do believe. I will have to research this one a bit more I think.

I’m away from my computer till later today but hopefully this will help a little. The post that @NEVO shared will help too.


Thank you for the fast response.

Problem 1. I am setting the ministicks up under ‘axis’. They are recognised and function under axis controls - ie white lines appear and operate with movement of the ministicks. I can even tune curves and set dead spots for them. I cannot however get them them to operate anything on the aircraft. I will have another go, and see if they will fly the aircraft itself instead of the main joystick, though that is not what I want or would use them for of course.

Problem 2. It does nothing as yet.

Problem 3. The mode switch simply doesn’t seem to work. I am indeed planning to use it as a modifier for ‘airfield/cruise/combat’. I can enter the switches (35 +36) as modifiers, but not as switches in their own right. I have assigned them as a modifier to other switches which sadly then do nothing. I know that unmodified I can get these switches to work correctly. I can also get them to work by using a keyboard modifier so I do not think it is a problem with the way I map the controls.

As very much a newbie I always welcome advice if there is a better way of doing things. VictorK2 is helping me with the basics of DCS. A turn around as I was one of his flying instructors last year!


You can turn the mini-stick into a hat. I use it that way to select the radios and key the mic in SRS. I’ll go through the steps if really needed but the Logitech app is very intuitive and you’ll likely figure it out quickly on your own. A hint to start you off: you are dividing each axis into three bands: say 20%, 60% and 20%. The middle band is a deadzone.

Also, DCS does recognize both ministicks on my end. Make sure that you are editing the correct HOTAS in the DCS axis menu. Its a common error to think you are editing the joystick when in fact you moving an axis on the throttle.


Thanks. So far I have not used the Logitech software, only DCS’s. For my non computer friendly brain it is mostly gibberish so i gave up quickly with it. I have been trying to make it fully functional for almost a month. I will persevere and have another go this afternoon.


Hey @Scoop! Welcome to Mudspike!

This is going to be difficult. That switch, if I reach back to my Saitek days some time deep in the distant past, is going to have to be dealt with in the Saitek software. Mode are handled by the Saitek software switched to a different interpretation set (ie: Mode 1, trigger push is DirectX Button 1, Mode 2, trigger push is the key). DCS does not do that for you - which is the main reason I abandoned the thought of ‘multi-mode’ hardware as a feature a long time ago. If I see it listed, I ignore it as ‘too much work’ for me to deal with. As such, I don’t think that the mode switch is ‘bindable’ in DCS (ie: assignable to a function in DCS).

Granted. My time with Saitek software was 10+ years in the past and things may have changed.

For #1 and #2, hardware may have changed but I am pretty sure that these are the same as a joystick axis. I am assuming that you may not be familiarity with DCS Configuration, so I apologize if the next bit is something that you already know. The ministick acts like a tiny joystick and the rotary as 1-axis joystick. These need to be mapped in a separate page in DCS. I am not at my gaming PC at the moment but at the top of the configuration section of DCS there is one drop-down to select the module that you want to configure and, next to that, a drop down that allows you to select a subset of the features available to be mapped. In that drop down, you need to make sure you are in the Axis selection. Then, on the right of the main page, I think that the Saitek X56 shows up as a single device in DCS, so you would select the feature that you want on the list along the left side, double click on its box under the device you want and move it around. If it does not respond to movement and map, you may have to go back to the Saitek software and see what it is configured as there. Sometimes the software defaults to interpreting those extra axis as button presses and it could be doing this.

I will defer to others who have similar hardware but I just wanted to get past a few quick potential items.


@Scoop welcome to Mudspike!!

I’m sure you will be very happy amongst us happy people :+1::+1:

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Welcome to the Mudspike @Scoop, you’ll fit right in I bet!


Welcome to Mudspike. Your issue sounds too complicated to handle with the forum. Go ahead and package up your X56 and send it to me. When I figure it out I’ll give you a shout. :grimacing:

BTW, I’m the member in charge of snarky responses, like this one. :wink:


I will be delighted to do so. I will dispatch immediately on my receipt of your virpil or other ‘top of the range’ HOTAS. I shall hold you to the offer.

NB I served from Private to Major over 26 years. Snarky I can do with interest! I also have real airpower. :slight_smile: :grin:


I’m not matchmaking here…but @Hangar200 was a Intel dude as well @Scoop you two should get along wonderfully.



That seems to be the Logitech software. To my small brain it is unintelligible Like Hangar200 I was in int [nine years] so I have limited cranial capacity. Ask me to do a ‘staff college appreciation’ and I will knock it out in a few months. Hangar200 will probably see the joke

I managed to get the ministicks to work within DCS. No logitech was used. I don’t know how I did it but you get the credit for inspiring me to have another go!

The mode switch. I have worked out the root issue I think. All the keyboard modifiers have to be held down along with the key it is modifying if they are to work. Even Caplocks. So the issue appears to be how do you make a switch function permanently? IE as CAPLOCKS DOES WHEN TYPING. I imagine the x56 mode switch is only ‘on’ in DCS for the equivalent of a single key press, not permanently even though my keybord states it is on. X56 is designed for buttons 35 and 36 to be on permanently if selected so the need for a solution is there. Aaargh. Well beyond me… or could I set up the modes to be active in the Logitech software and run everything else in DCS with Logitech running in parallel like TrackIR?

My brain is now sore so I shall adjourn until the morning. My wife has kindly placed a soothing glass in front of me. I shall be bending VictorK2’s ear hen he gets home, but I know he doesn’t have he answer,


I was green slime before Black Watch. I have standards


Thank you good sir


To be fair I rarely do… :wink:


I think I have a handle on your mode switch problem. You want them to do the Hornets AA and AG mode button, right? Those are momentary switches, ie you punch the button, plane gets ready to hunt flankers.

The buttons on your HOTAS click into a state, then continuously stay pressed, until you click it into another state, right? (You can check this in the windows game controllers window)

If so, the only ways out are A) to click it into the mode, then switch back to neutral. B) reprogram the HOTAS through the logitech software to only send a pulse when the button comes on, and send a other when the pulse comes off.

B is the neater option, but far too complicated for a toy airoplane :stuck_out_tongue: I would not try and use it as modifiers in the DCS controls setup. It will allow you to assign three functions to every single button and hat direction. Nope.

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Welcome aboard @Scoop ! I have a feeling you will fit right in here :sunglasses:.


You may not think that. I am still generating questions… about to post