Thrustmaster Boeing yoke for Xbox review: works right out of the box

The Thrustmaster TCA Yoke Boeing Edition works incredibly well with Microsoft Flight Simulator on the Xbox Series X. The $499.99 package, that includes a yoke and a different throttle quadrant, is basically a plug-and-play gadget. Let me state that once again: The default settings work right out of package. Paired with rudder pedals and a 2nd throttle, it brings high-end flight simulation peripherals to the console for the extremely very first time. The system is likewise completely suitable with Windows PC.

Thrustmaster sent out an early system to Polygon late recently, and we’ve been putting it through its speeds for a number of days now. The focal point is the yoke itself, which works rather in a different way from others we’ve attempted prior to. Typically, high-grade designs like the Honeycomb Aeronautical Alpha and the soon-to-be-released Turtle Beach VelocityOne depend on a steel shaft that plunges into the control panel. Press the yoke in, and the nose of the aircraft decreases; draw back, and the nose turns up. The TCA Yoke, nevertheless, rotates on a hinge, which Thrustmaster states imitates the floor-mounted yoke on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

A graphic overlayed onto a photograph shows the axis of travel in the Boeing yoke.

The yoke includes a 3.5 mm earphone jack on the left side.
Image: Thrustmaster

While I’ve never ever flown a jumbo jet in reality, the TCA Yoke feels excellent to utilize. Most importantly is the button design, which divides the distinction in between a real Boeing-made yoke and an Xbox controller. There’s even a little platform to rest your phone, tablet, or paper flight intend on. Whatever you require to fly an aircraft is right where it must be, and identified much like on an Xbox controller. It makes finding out the controls a breeze.

With any high-end controller, configuring it properly is as much an art as it is an ability. However Microsoft Flight Simulator acknowledges the TCA Yoke upon it being plugged in. I simply linked the USB cable television, keyed up the very first landing difficulty I might discover, changed the flaps, dropped the equipment, and drew back on the throttles. After years invested battling with setups in video games like Arma 3 and IL-2: Sturmovic, the simpleness was stunning.

A head-on shot of the TCA Quadrant Boeing Edition throttle unit

Each throttle has 3 axes. Modular arms let you switch functions to replicate various airplane.
Image: Thrustmaster

A top-down shot of the TCA Quadrant Boeing Edition throttle unit

Throttle arms consist of thumb buttons and completely practical thrust reverser arms.
Image: Thrustmaster

There are a couple of peculiarities, to be sure. I still require the Xbox controller to engage with the menus, for example. Thrustmaster tells us that its engineers are still putting the final touches on the configuration, so that may change. My biggest gripe is that when using just the TCA Yoke without pedals, your rudder sits on the right-hand hat switch. It’s a bit touchy, if I’m being honest, and not my preferred way to fly — especially with a big airliner on final approach.

That’s where the device’s expandability comes into play.

Polygon was sent the TCA Yoke Pack Boeing Edition ($499.99), which includes the yoke and a separate throttle, officially called the TCA Quadrant Boeing Edition. We were also sent an identical secondary throttle ($149.99) and a set of TPR Pendular Rudder Pedals (about $600 right now on Amazon). All four devices daisy chain together, with the pedals connecting to the secondary throttle, the secondary throttle connecting to the primary, and the primary connecting to the yoke. That leaves just one USB cord to plug into the Xbox Series X.

Miraculously, it all just works. It’s a testament to the rigorous design work done by Thrustmaster, which in turn is building on the solid foundation provided by the developers at Asobo Studio. The makers of Microsoft Flight Simulator have spent years now tinkering with their own in-studio cockpit built out of an old airplane, and it’s really beginning to pay off.

A Boeing 7u47-8i banks right in Microsoft Flight Simulator. Below it a cloud layer, tens of thousands of feet high, glows in the sunset.

Image: Adobo Studio/Microsoft

This is, of course, a tremendously expensive hardware solution. Do you require $1,250 worth of kit to fly a plane on your Xbox? Absolutely not. The basic Xbox controller works just fine. But before the Thrustmaster TCA Yoke Boeing Edition system, there simply weren’t any high-end options available for consoles. That meant buying a PC, which costs a lot more than an Xbox. Microsoft Flight Simulator for Xbox Series X, combined with this new Thrustmaster system, lowers the barrier of entry for serious flight simulation by hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

The Thrustmaster TCA Yoke Pack Boeing Edition includes the yoke and a single stand-alone throttle quadrant, as well as an add-on bracket to mount the throttle to your desk. The bundle goes up for pre-order on Tuesday, Nov. 9, for $499.99. The stand-alone throttle costs $149.99 and goes up for pre-order the same day. It does not come with a bracket. Delivery is expected by Christmas, with retail availability on both products set for Dec. 23.

The yoke alone, which retails for $399.99, won’t be available until early next year. Similarly, the TPR Pendular Rudder Pedals are in short supply and are going for inflated prices online. Thrustmaster says that the system is also compatible with the less expensive Thrustmaster TFRP pedals (which are also a hot commodity right now), but we have so far been unable to test them.

The Thrustmaster TCA Yoke Pack Boeing Edition and add-on throttle quadrant were reviewed with last retail units provided by Thrustmaster. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media might earn commissions for items acquired through affiliate links. You can discover extra info about Polygon’s principles policy here.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.