VKB Gunfighter Mk. III


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Looks positively fantastic

No friction dampers in this one?
I was kind of hoping that would be a new norm…

One thing I noticed is the use of aluminium cams, to prevent rust. The bearings rolling on the alu cams are probably steel. What about galvanic corrosion?
It takes just a hair between the bearing and that cam, for you to notice.

But they have probably thought of this. Just thought it was an odd combination.


It does have friction dampers, if I understand correctly. This is from the Gunfighter Mk.3 purchase page:

NOTE: The clutch dampers are tightened at the factory to prevent them from loosening during shipping; before you connect your Gunfighter to your PC, you will need to adjust the clutches for both pitch and roll axes accordingly (refer to the Gunfighter Quick Guide for details).

As I understand it, the Mk.1 through Mk.3 have the ‘dry clutches’ that can add resistance to your axis movements.

The upgrade kits do not replace the mechanisms and only the Mk.2->Mk.3 upgrade kit includes a new sensor board. This is not much use to anyone with a Mk.1 though - which they are not upgrading at this level.

This also does not update the ‘black box’ to the NJOY32 version.

I am somewhat interested in the new cams but what really wanted was a new center mechanism, with the electronics and a new ‘black box’. As it is, with the Virpil T-50CM2 base and grip I have, updating my older VKB Gunfighter cams doesn’t really interest me.

I think that I have a way to upgrade to the Gunfighter Mk.3 base but then I would need to mod the grips that I have (If I get the Gunfighter Mk.3 base + F14 grip, I can purchase two ‘twist’ adapters and that should give me an upgrade path). Unfortunately, that is $600 CDN - and that would be a new fancy set of pedals. Plus, I am interested in the Virpil Add-on boxes that seem to be in the pipeline … but then again, if VKB ever gets their throttle released, I have a feeling that I might want it as well.


Some updates:

  • The Gunfighter Mk.3 base will be available for separate purchase after Chinese New year;
  • The twist adapter can be used to upgrade the Mk.1 grips to the Mk.3 (I can explain this is there are questions);

So that gives me an upgrade path if I want to follow it.

I am really happy with both my Virpil and VKB sticks and bases. Right now, the Virpil is ‘better’ due to the cams that i have installed (which, if I remember, are the straight space cams ‘without’ a center detent. I like the smaller VKBV base a smidge more and the build quality of the grips is a smidge better (but nothing that would contribute to me picking one over the other.

I really want to see what Virpil does with their addon panels. That really interests me and if they had a kit or someone can figure out a way to (explain to me how to) communicate through their base, that would be awesome. That may be a hobbyist’s dream!

The Virpil throttle doesn’t appeal to me, for some reason. I’d like to see one in person to get a feel for how it works but the throttle itself and the detent system seemed off from the descriptions that I read on the internet. I am patiently waiting to see what VKB comes up with for their throttle (and it’s been a looong wait).

EDIT: It may be an expensive year for me in 2020.


Is there anything about bringing back the Gladiator with interchangeable sticks? I could’ve sworn 6 months ago that was a thing.

The upgrade kit seems to indicate that at least the upgraded Mk.1 Gladiator can do it.


That has to be it; there was the Gladiator MkII Pro but it disappeared from their store.

I am also wondering why they stopped selling Gladiator Mk.II Pro. It had metal gimbal so completely different from Mk.I
It was kind of middle ground between affordable Mk.I and ‘boutique’ Gunfighter.

Adapter for Mk.I sounds cool but Mk.I is all plastic inside afaik.
Apart from that I welcome idea of affordable joystick with interchangeable grips.

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Having recently upgraded to the VKB Gunfighter Mk. III from the Mk. II, here is a brief rundown of the new base and gimbal.

Although not a massive improvement over the previous version (which was excellent anyway!) it does have some welcome refinements. The the upgraded electronics in combination with the new aluminium alloy cams feel even more smooth and precise. Changing cams and springs is also less hassle as the gimbal is now much easier to remove.

Overall I highly recommend it, but don’t rush to get one if you already have the Mk. II, buy the upgrade kit instead!

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