Saitek X52 Help please


I purchased the Saitek X52 joystick, and I'm not sure exactly how to calibrate it. I've have the latest drivers, and used the included software to 'Calibrate', but to tell you the truth, it appears that it is calibrated already.

My problem is (I'm using FSX by the way) that when I take off, I need to pull back quite a bit on the yoke to pitch up and take off. Once I get off the ground a bit, I let the joystick back to its neutral (center) position and the plane wants to do a direct dive-bomb. I figure that somehow I can do straight and level flight (with a bit of trim) when the stick is in its neutral position, but the way it's calibrated right now, I need way too much trim to keep it level.

Can someone please explain to me what I need to correct this behavior? I've read several posts that say 'You need to calibrate', but the calibration screen looks correct to me. When I pull down, the calibration screen shows it all the way down, when I push forward, the calibration screen shows it all the way towards the top. When I center the joystick, the calibration screen shows that it's dead center. Same with left and right.

I think maybe that it might have something to do with the dead-zones in FSX setup, but I don't understand this concept. I've tried playing around with it for a little bit, but couldn't figure it out.

Can someone give me some details that would help me out?

Thanks in advance!

15 Responses


did you go to the settings and adjust them?

Pro Member Captain
WarHawk42 Captain

From what you describe I don't think you are having a calibration problem. It is normal to have to use quite a bit of up elevator to take off and after take off you should relax the stick a bit to maintain your rate of climb, but do not return the stick to neutral until the plane had gained flying speed or it will lose altitude. As the plane continues to gain speed continue to relax the stick to maintain your rate of climb until you do have the stick back to neutral. This assumes you have the plane in takeoff trim.

Once you have reached altitude and cruising speed you will have to trim for level flight and that does take considerable trim, again that is normal. Once trimmed for level flight it should take only minor adjustments to maintain level flight.

Oh, I do have the X-52.



Thanks for the reply. I haven't used a stick before with FS, so thanks for giving me that insight. When flying the Cessna, in order to take off, I need to pull back entirely on the stick. Even the slightest relax of the stick seems to pitch the nose below the horizon. If the stick goes back to neutral, even ~140 mph, it seems that the plane wants to do a dive-bomb.

Would this be normal behavior?

If I wanted to calibrate the joystick to give me more lift when pulling back, how would I do that? Do I use my calibration software, or is their a setting in FSX that would be better for me to try?

Thanks again,

Pro Member Captain
WarHawk42 Captain

No, that isn't normal behavior.

OK, I see you are flying the Cessna 172, look at your trim setting before you start your take off. It should be at the point marked "TO" (for Take Off). It sounds like you have a bunch of down trim in it at take off.

At that setting the plane should climb at or close to the desired rate of climb once speed has built up. Once at level flight with the stick in neutral it should continue to climb and need to be trimmed for normal flight as I described in the previous post..

Pro Member Captain
WarHawk42 Captain

I should have said I am still flying FS2004, but the characteristics should be the same or at least very close.

The settings for sensitivity and the null zones should be under the settings in the Sim for your joystick. I have found the X-52 to be accurate enough to have the null zones set to Zero and the sensitivities to be turned up to full.

Beyond that the sensitivity is a built in function of the aircraft and you would have to edit the flight characteristics of the plane (not recommended).


Thanks again WarHawk,

I did as you said. and the trim is at TO.

When using the keyboard, I can take off gradually at around 65 mph or so.

When using the stick, I have to apply full back on the stick for it to climb. Same characteristics happen as I stated in my earlier post.

I will keep playing with the stick calibration controls to see if I can make a difference. FSX has settings you can control for deadzones. I can't find documentation to tell me what that means. I've tried messing around with them and I've only been able to amplify the problem, not make it better.

Thanks for your help. If you have any other ideas, I'd be glad to try them.


Pro Member Captain
WarHawk42 Captain


Once you have reached altitude and cruising speed do you still have to pull back on the stick to fly level?



Yes - I must pull back quite a bit to keep level when at alt and flying speed.

Pro Member Captain
WarHawk42 Captain

I don't know if you have already done this or not, but it might be worth a try. Download the profile for the Flight Sim and run the Sim with it activated.

Here is the URL

Pro Member First Officer
Murfi First Officer

I have the exact, you need to change the sensibility settings and level when in centre position.


Warhawk - Yes - I am using the profile downloaded from Saitek. Thanks.

Murfi - can you please elaborate? How and where do I change the "sensibility and level" settings that you mentioned.

Do I set it more sensitive, or less? What about the "level"? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for everyones help!

guest Guest

Your problem is your registry.

I had this problem and it took some time to figure it wasn't anything I could have fixed easily. The following is an excerpt from a Saitek email.

In some cases, the calibration for the controller may be off. This may be an issue with a corrupted initial calibration of the controller. The following instructions involve changes to the Windows Registry. The registry is a very sensitive part of Windows and removing or editing the wrong value can cause a multitude of problems. See about making a backup of the registry before proceeding. In case you screw up! Do the following at your own risk! But this worked for me and within ten minutes my x52 was working. click Start, and Run. Type in "regedit".
- click on the plus sign next to " HKEY_LOCAL_machine"
- click on the plus sign next to "System"
- click on the plus sign next to "Current ControlSet"
- click on the plus sign next to "Control"
- click on the plus sign next to "MediaProperties"
- click on the plus sign next to "Privateproperties"
- click on the plus sign next to "DirectInput"
- Look for keys starting with VID_06A3 and delete them.
- Close the registry editor by clicking on Registry at the top then click exit.
- Reboot your machine.
-Recalibrate the controller by twisting the joystick, then rotate it around several times.


I have the same problem...and I used my roommate's joystick (that seems to work what i would consider "fine" on his computer with Flight Sim X)...however, it still dipped the same way mine did when I reached considerable rates of speed...what's wrong?

Buster_Dee Guest

I stopped flying FSX (and FS2004) because on-line play seems to currupt the calibrations. After that, it stays corrupted even playing off line. I use an old MS FFB Pro gameport. But my brother has the Saitek, and the same started to happen to him. If you go to external view and see the control surfaces hard against thier stops, and occassionally flipping back and forth, we have the same problem. MS suggests not using any joystick "manager," but I don't even have one loaded. I calibrate it, and all looks good. Then, I calibrate it from within the game, and it spikes all over the place. I play IL2 as well, and the joystick never gives me a problem.

No help, I know, but you're not alone.

Pro Member Trainee
denmanrooke Trainee

I've NEVER managed to get my SAitek x52 (stick and pedals) + FSX combination to trim properly. I've been using the Cessna 152 from JustFlight and the generic C172, because these are the two aircraft I fly in the real world. Neither can be trimmed easily for straight and level, although I can eventually get the 152 level at about 3,000 ft and 85kts with the trim wound absolutely fully nose down, a configuration that would have you diving like a Stukka in the real world. To make matters worse, the plane is very prone to going into vertical oscilations, even when completely hands off. This last effect is even more pronounced on the 172, making it virtually unflyable.

So - I tried to solve the problem by dounloading all the new drivers for the X52, only to discover I then needed to build a new profile because the old .dat profile files no longer work with the new drivers. And then the problem just got worse and worse. The new profile building software no longer has a picture of the stick and buttons that light up to identify which ones you are modifying, but even worse, the labeling of the buttons in the profile building software now refers to things like Fire 2 etc while the calibration software calls it button 7 etc, thus making it almost totally impossible to identify which button it is that one is modifying.

I'm amazed that a product like a leading flight stick does not come with a couple of simple, working profiles that allows users to immediately fly the market leading FSX with, say, a simple single engined piston plane, with trim on a wheel and other standard controls - mixture, carb heat, toe brakes, auto pilot easily to hand.

All I want to do is use my sim setup to practice routes, navigation and IR proceedures, not fill my time endlessly programming hardware and software. Does anyone have a working setup which will do this - if so, I'd be happy to bin the SAitec and get in whever it is that works out the box.

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