If you bought the Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas One (or any other joystick/throttle) to play Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 on your Xbox One, I’m afraid I have some bad news:
Despite the highly ambiguous/misleading listings on Amazon, you cannot play this game, on this console, with this joystick. As of now (May 2023), it will not work.
Below I’ll explain why it won’t work, and what your next move should be if you already bought this flight stick for Xbox One in error like I did.
Why the T-Flight Hotas One Won’t Connect to Microsoft Flight Sim (Xbox One)
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is only available in disk or download form for Xbox Series X, Series S, and PC.
To play the game on Xbox One, your only option is to play through Xbox Cloud Gaming, which essentially lets you stream the game directly from the internet without downloading it.
This is great, because it’s free if you have Game Pass Ultimate membership like me.
But as noted on the official Xbox site, there is currently a limitation where cloud gaming does not support flight sticks and other non-standard controllers.
This means that no matter how many times you unplug/replug, search Youtube and Reddit for fixes, or bang your head in frustration, you simply will not get this to work.
This was a brutal finding for me after I spend hours trying to fix it, but I wanted to share the unvarnished truth so you won’t waste your time like me.
What You Should Do Next
You basically have three options here:
1. Return the Flight Stick
If you truly only wanted this for playing Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 on the Xbox One, then you can log-on to Amazon (or wherever you bought it) and start the return process to get your money back as long as you’re still within the return window and meet any other return criteria.
2. Upgrade to a new system
Both of those consoles will allow you to download the game to your device, and then your HOTAS One flight stick will be supported. This also comes with the bonus of much improved graphics and faster load times.
This is what I ended up doing, as I had been considering upgrading from my 2016 Xbox One anyway. I just bit the bullet and reminded myself I usually use an Xbox for 6-7 years between upgrades, which helped me justify the cost.
3. Use with other Xbox One flying games that are supported
While I was waiting for my new Series X to arrive, it occurred to me that perhaps other games may actually work with this stick on the Xbox One, as long as I wasn’t using cloud gaming.
To test, I bought a physical disk copy of Ace Combat 7 for $20 to try this out.
After installing the game and playing for an hour, I can confirm that the T-Flight Hotas One works perfectly with Ace Combat on Xbox One.
It makes the game way more fun than using a standard controller, and totally scratched my itch to get flying while I waited for my new console.
I also found this list of compatible games for Xbox One on the THRUSTMASTER website:
I have a Series S/X and it’s still not working?
If you upgraded to an Xbox Series X or S and the Hotas One is still not working, make sure the switch on the back of the controller is set to the “Xbox” position and not the “PC” position before you plug it in. This is the most common fix. Otherwise, contact customer support or search some forums online.
Ready to Fly
Hopefully now you understand why your current joystick and throttle will not work with the cloud gaming version of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, and you can move forward in a more productive direction.
It’s always possible that Xbox will add support for joysticks to MSFS cloud gaming in the future, so you can always check back on their site periodically — but it could literally be years. There’s no way to know.
These flight sticks really do take flight sim gaming to the next level, and are rarely ever found outside of arcades.
Protip: These HOTAS sticks are super fun to have set up at parties where your friends can take turns piloting aircraft or shooting down enemies. 10/10 would recommend!