VKB Gladiator

Just ordered one - I’ll let y’all know how it performs. Due in the next 10 days :smile:

Can’t afford the Mongoose as yet, but this was number 2 on my list.

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This arrived yesterday - I was intending to use it with the Thrustmaster TWCS throttle, but seeing as I’ve been unable to sell my X56, I will probably just use that throttle. Even considering using the two sticks together.

However, as I mentioned I do have an allergy to the kind of plastic used in the X56 - and that was the reason I ordered the Gladiator in the first place.

I only have one test under my belt so far, I decided to use Flaming Cliffs 2, as it was easy to set up, and as I hadn’t assigned any other hardware as yet, I wasn’t ruining any pre-existing set up.

Well, so far I can’t say that I’m overly impressed. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with it, really, I just haven’t found anything that I really like so far. I haven’t noticed a difference yet, between using a standard pot stick and the hall sensors. Also, I am very much missing the number of PoV and D-hats I’ve had under my thumb with my last 4 sticks (that’s G940; Warthog, CH Fighterstick and X56, in order), but I knew that would be the case.

It fits my hand very snugly, and I have pretty long fingers - always an XL (min 10) in glove size - if my hand were any larger it would be too small.

The twist action is very limited.

I found, in FC2, that the sensitivity was not what I expected. It seemed a bit slow and unresponsive at times - I tested in the A-10A and Su-25. After flying the Su-25 default mission the other day, and destroying all but one of the targets, with this stick I didn’t feel comfortable in combat at all. That may be just because it’s new to me.

The switches and push-buttons are okay, but nothing stand-out. I mentioned the lack of PoV hats and D-pads - it does have a single one, and with shift modes etc it can have three assignments for each position, so you could use it for the A-10C, with different modes for say TMS, DMS and CMS. You just have to remember which mode is what!

Anyway, whilst I wouldn’t currently recommend it (unless you have not had a decent HOTAS before), I’ve only had it less than a day and I hope I will uncover more things to like as I gain experience with it.

After using it in FC2, I unplugged it and it has sat on the next table since. But I will make the effort to use it more, in different sims and games and see how it goes. I’m hoping to use it on some retro games, where it may be very good (IL-2, for eggs), who knows. Or even in DCS:Spitfire and Mustang… :thinking:

Okay, had some time for testing this afternoon, so I did some reassigning in DCS World 1.5 - decided to stick with the Su-25, first because I know it well (haven’t flown much DCS the last couple of months) and secondly because it doesn’t have so many cockpit functions that need to be on the stick.

I whipped up a quick ground attack mission in the ME - take off from Batumi with cluster bombs and rockets and attack a dozen or so trucks and tankers at the disused airfield near Kobuleti.

I was really chuffed with myself for getting my first bomb (allbeit a cluster) dropped from the basic Frog in eons, directly on target…

Kept circling round and dropping each of the 4 PTAB 250’s on board…

…and once the bombs were gone it was over to the S8’s…

Not a bad sortie’s work, I s’pose…

Then it’s off back to Batumi and the next big test for the new stick

No problems there…

Still chuffed about that first hit, at almost 90° dive!

So yes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and everything went well.


Still not entirely convinced. I don’t think this stick is suitable for moder aircraft at all. I have 5 assignments for each multi-assignable button, and that is just too much to remember without a cheat sheet, and in VR that is just not acceptable. Also, the grip is very thin compared to others I’ve had.

I’ll be testing it in SF2 soon - might be a completely different story there.


Oh - on a footnote - something I noticed on approach to Batumi.

Look at the view from the VC on approach - you can’t see what speed you are going! The left side of the sight mount blocks the view of the right side of the ASI - and you have to lean far to the left to be able to see what the reading is, at the time when it is most important to be able to see it!

Things that make you go “Hmmmm…” :thinking:

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OK - further update.

I’ve been testing several older games on my Vista PC and using the Gladiator for them. They all recognise it without issue - though sometimes I have problems assigning the twist to the rudder, or even the throttle. Even in Falcon 4, whilst the throttle was automatically recognised, I couldn’t get the twist assigned.

However, the stick has been performing very well in these games (or sims, as they were known in the day). I’m sure it would be just as good with titles such as the CFS series and IL-2, so it does have a place in my virtual pit.

I just think it’s unsuitable for modern sims, with modern aircraft.

Why? For its shape?

No, it’s lack of readily accessable buttons. To use the ones on the base, of course, you have to take your hand off the throttle or stick. Also to change modes.

If the pinky button was assignable as such in DCS World, it would be a different story, but unfortunately it isn’t - it’s an internal switch for the joystick and doesn’t act as a DirectX switch at all.

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Ah! Thanks… :slight_smile: