3 Axis Joystick – What are They?

When you start shopping for a joystick, one of the options you will be presented with is the 3 axis joystick. As the phrase implies, these are joysticks that come with three axes. This means you can move the application in three dimensions: left and right, forward and backward. For the third axis, you simply turn the knob on the joystick or use a rocker potentiometer on the knob.

The 3 axis joysticks are preferred because of the increased flexibility they offer. A user can control complex equipment with multiple functionalities. The three axes joysticks have many applications. They are typically used in agricultural and forestry machines, cranes, material-handling vehicles, construction equipment, medical machines as well as robot arms.

As you shop for these joysticks, it is good to note that they go by other names. The most popular names are 3-dimensional joysticks, XYZ joysticks, and three-way joysticks. The devices are available in many configurations and shapes. When shopping for one, you need to consider the following things.


Irrespective of how rich-in-features a joystick is, if it is not compatible with your unit, buying such a joystick will be a waste of money. The most important consideration to make is compatibility. You want a joystick that can connect easily to your existing system. Second, your operating system must be compatible with the joystick. Reading manufacturer specifications will help you know if a joystick will work with your system.

Build quality

Being compatible is not enough. Considering you don’t want to keep spending money on a new joystick every few weeks, it is paramount that you go for the one that is built to last. Keep in mind that cheaper devices are built using substandard materials. Such products will not serve you for as long as you would like.

Brand reputation

Last but not least, you need to consider the reputation of the manufacturer. Not all brands are known for quality products. Some have a reputation of building substandard products. Prior to making a purchase, make sure you spend a little time researching the manufacturer of your preferred joystick. Online reviews will offer great insight into how well or poorly a joystick will perform. Too many negative reviews are a red flag.

Investing in a high-quality 3-axis joystick is one of the best investments you can make. The rule of thumb, however, is to only consider products from a reputable brand and ones that best meet your needs. Don’t just settle for any three-axis joystick.

3 Axis Joysticks