A device for generating input signals that can cause the cursor or some other symbol to be moved rapidly about on a display screen in response to hand movements. Frequently encountered in game playing, where it can emulate an aircraft control column, it may be fitted with extra buttons for ‘firing weapons’ or similar functions. It is a shaft, several centimeters in height, that is vertically mounted in a base and can be pulled or pushed by the fingers in any arbitrary direction. The normal mode of operation is to tilt the joystick from its upright position to produce the corresponding direction of motion; in some cases it may respond to finger pressure in the desired direction of cursor motion.
A joystick may often be found controlling industrial equipment such as cranes and earth-moving equipment.