Many simulation fans rejoiced upon hearing of Chris Roberts’ return to the gaming scene with “The Best Damn Space Sim Ever,” Star Citizen. Naturally, hardcore flight and space-sim fans are eager to put their trusty joysticks and HOTAS (hands on throttleand-stick) setups to good use. Every diehard sim-head has their preference for control methods, and many are quite vocal with their opinions. But what if Chris Roberts and co. at Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) manufactured a piece of hardware geared specifically towards the Star Citizen community? A SPECIAL STICK FOR CITIZENS BY LUKE If you frequent any major community sites centered around Star Citizen, such as the RSI forums or the Star Citizen subreddit, you’ve probably witnessed your fair share of arguments and discussions regarding potential input methods for Star Citizen. Some of the most vocal participants in these discussions are either strong advocates of joystick use or keyboard-and-mouse use. Star Citizen fan and forum moderator Slavik says “Keyboard & mouse is my preference by far - did perfectly ok with them with freelancer :P”. On January 23rd, CIG posted a poll titled Star Citizen Poll: What’s Your Joystick? The questions covered subjects such as preferred input methods (gamepad, keyboard and mouse, joystick, etc.), interest level, preferred brands, and more. It also asked the community for opinions on a potential peripheral designed by CIG to enhance the game experience. The response to the poll was overwhelmingly in favour of a Star Citizen input device. As of the writing of this article, 78% of participants responded that they were “Completely interested!” in a hardware setup made exclusively for Star Citizen. Star Citizen fan Mister_Carrot wrote on the forums “Totally interested in a SC specific joystick/HOTAS - Make it happen!” However, not everyone is quite so eager to shell out the cash for new gear. According to the poll, about a fifth of participants would rather use their own equipment than spend the money on a new joystick. Tech News -10- CIG addressed this in the poll by asking questions about preferred input devices to find out what kind of hardware fans would be most interested in. The poll also touched on the question of hardware exclusivity, asking if players would want a joystick than can only be used for Star Citizen, or one that could be used to play other simulation games as well. A possible benefit of a game-exclusive piece of hardware would be the potential for extreme specialization. The team would be able to design the joystick solely around the mechanics and intricacies of Star Citizen, and optimize it to be the best, most viable method of input for the game. As great as that sounds, most people are not so eager to cough up the cash for a controller that can only be used for a single game. If cash was an issue before, a Star Citizen specific device seems to be a much less appealing investment, with only 36% of respondents replying that they would be interested. Star Citizen is, no doubt, quite an ambitious and unique project. A special peripheral could afford fans a way to experience the game in the best way possible. We can expect more information on Star Citizen hardware in the near future, once Cloud Imperium has reflected on the results of this poll.