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VIRPIL vs Thrustmaster


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Having owned both, I prefer the Virpil products due to the overall build quality and the precision of the gimbal sensors. The premium price tag can be a deterrent and they are difficult to find in stock, but the overall flight experience with Virpil easily leaves the antiquated Thrustmaster Warthog in the dust by comparison.

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Having owned a TM WH since it was released and recently switched to a T-50CM2 (base+stick+extension) my thoughts are:

 

If budget is somewhat smaller, the WH is a sound way to go.

 

However, if you're okay with spending more for the Virpil, you should go for that one. The gimbal makes a LOT more sense (in a few aspects), and the build quality is great.

 

For build quality they are both on par in my opinion. The TM has a few "usual suspects" which might occur over time. It has no dust cover for the internals and due to the gimbal design sticktion (can!) become an issue.

 

Disregarding ergonomics (i.e. stick design); in terms of flight experience, the virpil wins hands down, due to the better gimbal mechanic.

 

Regarding ergonomics: that's a personal thing I think. The WH stick and CM2 stick both feel good for me. My preference does go to using the CM2 stick, because of the increased functionality (more buttons, lever, flip-down trigger,...).

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I have a Virpil WarBRD base with a TM WH stick on it. Miles different then the TM gimbals. Still using the TM throttle.

If using T.A.R.G.E.T. software, Virpil PID numbers can be changed so that TM software recognize them as TM stuff.

Win10 Pro 64-bit, i7-4770K @ 4.5 GHz, Corsair H100i, AsRock Extreme4, ASUS Strix 1080Ti OC 11GB, 32 GB DDR3 G.Skill 2400. Monitors: LG 27GL850-B27 2560x1440 + Samsung SyncMaster 2443 1920x1200, HOTAS: Warthog with Virpil WarBRD base & hegykc MFG Crosswind modded pedals, TrackIR4, Oculus Rift S.

Personal Wish List: A6 Intruder, Vietnam theater, decent ATC module, better VR performance!

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I have no experience with the WarBRD base, but I have a CM2 base which works according to the same principles (just with different amount of travel). The difference with TM is night and day: making small and smooth corrections is much easier compared to the Warthog base. 

 

Spoiler

Ryzen 9 5900X | 64GB G.Skill TridentZ 3600MHz CL16 | Gigabyte RX6900XT | ASUS ROG Strix X570-E GAMING | Samsung 960Pro NVMe 1TB | HP Reverb G2
Pro Flight Trainer Puma | VIRPIL MT-50CM2 base/grip with 200 mm S-curve extension + CM3 throttle + CP2 + FSSB R3L + VPC Rotor TCS Plus base with SharKa-50 grip mounted on Monstertech MFC-1 | TPR rudder pedals

My in-game DCS settings (PD 1.0 SteamSS 76%):

 

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Got all three, Warthog, WarBRD and T50CM2 base. The Warthog base served me absolutely great for several years, but is catching dust since i switched to Virpil a year ago. Still using the Warthog grip on the WarBRD base though. T50CM2 and WarBRD base do have different cam/spring designs. The T50 has single cams (one per axis) while the WarBRD has mirrored cams (two per axis) wich imo is, from the mechanical point of view, the better design. However, i find the cams and the springs on the T50 easier to exchange but this maybe just me. Both are definately worth the higher price. If your wallet allows it, get a WarBRD base. I'd also recommend getting a TM Warthog/Hornet grip over the Virpil grips, but that's just personal preference.

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Virpil base by several country miles over the WH.  I use the WarBRD with my WH F-18 grip and it's a great combo for me.  Never tried the Virpil grips so I can't compare them.

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I've owned TM Warthog, VKB, and a Virpil stick (WarBRD with ALPHA grip).  Can't see myself ever going with anything but Virpil from now on.  The VKB is a close second, but both the VKB and the Virpil are way out in front of the Warhog.

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I've recently switched to a WARBRD base and T-50CM2 Grip from Warthog base and grip. 

 

The biggest difference I've noticed is that I can execute fine control inputs a lot better on the Virpril grip and base than the Warthog. 

 

I still use my Warthog throttle. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I started with a warthog and I truly grew to hate it over time.  The center bump by virtue of it's design is so horribly stiff that it makes it impossible to do small adjustments.

I had to take the thing apart and clean / re-grease it I don't know how many times.  I followed the guides for polishing the plastic of the mechanism to reduce stiction which helped.  Having an extension helped considerably to mitigate the stupidly harsh centering but I still had to break the thing open and keep replacing the grease.

I would never recommend one to anyone to be honest.

Their grips on the other hand are fantastic.  Now that they sell the warthog / viper grip separately I see no reason to use their base.  Even the warbrd will blow it away for a reasonable cost and you can use every grip on the market with it, and the T50 is better still with the level of adjustability it has.

If you aren't already in the ThrustMaster / Virpil ecosystem however, you might give some consideration to the VKB gunfighter ultimate.  It's a downside that you're limited only to VKBs grips, but they do have a very good base with the unique dry clutch system, and their new Ultimate grip which is all metal is supposed to be really nice.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Have just switched to a Virpil Warbrd base, from a TM Warthog base, tt is a lot nicer to use mostly due to the smoother centre but also you can customise spring force and cams. The spare cams it comes with can remove the centre "dent" which is quite liberating for fine flying. They also have a B-grade store on ebay that can be a handy way of finding stock.

 

Also, using the standard TM stick it is heavier than Virpil offerings so likely to make things off centre. But nothing a calibration can't fix. The TM stick does feel odd with the softer spring that are fitted as standard.


Edited by Sideburns

Core i5 6600k@4.2Ghz | 32gb DDR4 3200Mhz | MSI 2070 Gaming Z | 500Gb OS SSD + 1TB Gaming SSD | Asus VG27AQ | Trackhat clip | Thrustmaster Warthog

 

F14 | F16 | AJS37 | F5 | Av8b | FC3 | Mig21 | FW190D9 | Huey

 

Been playing DCS from Flanker 2.0 to present :D

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Change the standard springs with the provided heavier ones, it's a lot better.

Win10 Pro 64-bit, i7-4770K @ 4.5 GHz, Corsair H100i, AsRock Extreme4, ASUS Strix 1080Ti OC 11GB, 32 GB DDR3 G.Skill 2400. Monitors: LG 27GL850-B27 2560x1440 + Samsung SyncMaster 2443 1920x1200, HOTAS: Warthog with Virpil WarBRD base & hegykc MFG Crosswind modded pedals, TrackIR4, Oculus Rift S.

Personal Wish List: A6 Intruder, Vietnam theater, decent ATC module, better VR performance!

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2 hours ago, Lange_666 said:

Change the standard springs with the provided heavier ones, it's a lot better.

 

Yep, thankfully I went straight to centreless cams with the heavier springs and love it.

Core i5 6600k@4.2Ghz | 32gb DDR4 3200Mhz | MSI 2070 Gaming Z | 500Gb OS SSD + 1TB Gaming SSD | Asus VG27AQ | Trackhat clip | Thrustmaster Warthog

 

F14 | F16 | AJS37 | F5 | Av8b | FC3 | Mig21 | FW190D9 | Huey

 

Been playing DCS from Flanker 2.0 to present :D

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1 hour ago, Sideburns said:

Yep, thankfully I went straight to centreless cams with the heavier springs and love it.

This is also my setup and it truly is a great combo. However, you still have about 1% pitch down with Warthog grip/heavy springs in the Virpil software, but it's not registered in DCS. Just be aware that you might need to set a tiny small dead zone in other games to equal it. I had to do so in Star Citizen for example.

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10 hours ago, VpR81 said:

This is also my setup and it truly is a great combo. However, you still have about 1% pitch down with Warthog grip/heavy springs in the Virpil software, but it's not registered in DCS. Just be aware that you might need to set a tiny small dead zone in other games to equal it. I had to do so in Star Citizen for example.

 

Yep, but as per the earlier comment you can recalibrate the base to remove this (using the Virpil software)

Core i5 6600k@4.2Ghz | 32gb DDR4 3200Mhz | MSI 2070 Gaming Z | 500Gb OS SSD + 1TB Gaming SSD | Asus VG27AQ | Trackhat clip | Thrustmaster Warthog

 

F14 | F16 | AJS37 | F5 | Av8b | FC3 | Mig21 | FW190D9 | Huey

 

Been playing DCS from Flanker 2.0 to present :D

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