Are you looking for some amazing steering wheels to set up to your PC, Xbox One, or PS4? In this Buyer’s Guide, we review 10 of the best steering wheels of 2017 to help you make an informed decision about a future purchase!
Console controllers are good for playing arcade games, but they don’t do justice when you are playing Racing Games. IF you are really passionate about racing video games, you know a gaming steering wheel set is a necessity to juice out the maximum excitement! So all you Forza Horizon 3 (Xbox) and Driveclub (PS4) aficionados out there, we’ve got just the right thing for you. No, not one, but 10 gaming steering wheels to choose from, read along…
On the more affordable side, you can come across a decent gaming steering wheel. And if your budget allows, you can also pick a bit more impressive gadget, the ones that come with a ‘force feedback’, a feature that vibrates and gives a real life like push while turning the steering. The feature also makes the steering return to its original position when you let go of it. Did someone say pedals, a dedicated clutch pedal? Oh, manual gears too? Yes, with the right budget, you can have it all! While it’s a great pleasure to enjoy a Formula 1 racing game with paddle shift, a sequential stick shift will be a more suitable choice if you are playing a rally simulator.
|Thrustmaster T300 RS|
|Thrustmaster TX: Leather Edition|
|Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider|
|Thurstmaster T500 RS|
|Porsche 911 GT2|
Components of a Racing Game Steering Wheel Setup
Before we discuss this, let’s answer the question first: why do we need to know this.
Well, the answer is s simple as it gets: it’s not just the wheel, but the complete setup that makes playing a racing game a scintillating and exhilarating experience. So, the components:
With all that said and done, it’s time to proceed with a list of the top 10 racing wheels compatible with PS4, Xbox One and/or PC, suiting all the budget ranges. Fasten your seatbelts.
Thrustmaster T300 RS – Best Gaming Steering Wheel to Buy
This USB type gaming steering wheel is compatible with PS4, PS3 and PC. It weighs 3 kg, and comes with avant-garde features such as Force Feedback, Rumble, 1080 degrees Rotational Angle and Shift Pedals. But this one doesn’t come with a Clutch pedal.
Nevertheless, the Thrustmaster T300 RS happens to be among the most amazing racing wheels for a thrilling racing game experience. The force feedback is so powerful that you may potentially hurt your thumbs if your car hits a wall at a wrong angle. But this feature comes along with a drawback though. The fan of the steering, which keeps the motor cool, ejects hot air from the unit, right from its top. As result, you may smell hot air after enjoying a few hours of game playing, which is not a good experience.
IF you enjoy playing track racing games such as Assetto Corsa, F1 2016 or Project CARS, you will definitely enjoy the motorized feedback and the feeling of grip on the virtual tracks as well. The response is well timed, crisp, and substantial. The controller shakes when and as much as needed when the gameplay needs it. So playing WRC 6 will become even more involving than you have ever experienced before.
But there is another drawback; you get the handbrake mapped to a button. However, there is an easy fix to it. You can purchase a stick shift and use it as a handbrake, but it won’t be an ideal option though. But that’s doesn’t change the fact that it is among the top contenders of awesome gaming steering wheels.
The wheel is officially recommended for PS4, and thus responds splendidly.
Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel: Leather Edition – Best PC Steering Wheel under $500
USB Connection, 9kg by weight, Force Feedback, Rumble, 900 degrees rotational angle, clutch pedal included.
The Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel is the Xbox One counterpart of the T300 RS, and offers the same amazing control and thrilling experience. Although this bundle is priced higher than the standard RX version, it is highly recommended because it comes with the T3PA 3-pedal and the TM 28 GT11” leather wheel. When your real car comes with a leather steering wheel, why should your gaming console fall behind?
The leather wheel is not Xbox branded and can be used for PS4 as well, thanks to its universal connector. The quality of the steering wheel is really impressive, but the stitching of the leather on the inside of wheel could be better. Since the fresh out of box stitching will feel hard on the thumbs, so we recommend not play for too long for the first few days. Let the stitching soften down.
The pedals you get in the pedal set are weighty, full-size and offer amazing control over acceleration and braking while playing your favorite racing game. Suitable for all range of gaming environment, whether you mount them on your desk, or buy a racing seat for a more realistic experience. If you plan to mount it on a desk, you can easily do so with the include attachment clamp. The clamp is easy to set up and dismantle, and offers a sturdy mounting.
Logitech G29 Driving Force Racing Wheel
The Logitech G29 Driving Force Racing Wheel is compatible with PS4, PS3 and PC. It comes with a USB connection and weight a meaty 8kgs. Other features include Force Feedback, Rumble, Pedal set with a clutch pedal and a maximum rotation angle of 900 degrees.
The G29 is Logitech’s attempt to replace their earlier racing game wheel G27, a wheel that garnered huge popularity and amazing user reviews from the owners of previous PlayStation versions. The G29 is especially designed for PS 4, and thus brings along additional buttons as compared to the G920 (which was made for the Xbox aficionados). There’s a click wheel that lets you adjust brakes in real time basis, i.e. on the fly, and there are the “+” and “-” buttons that let you adjust the traction control.
And then there’s a set of colored LEDs at the top of the Steering wheel column, right in the center. What’s the need you ask? Well, if your game supports, these LEDs will tell you when the time to switch gears is. Plus they look really amazing, especially when you are playing with lights off. The responsive pedals and a non linear brake pedal brings along a more pragmatic and life like braking experience as compared to the cheap alternatives.
While G29 is a great steering wheel for racing games, there is one drawback. You don’t get the built-in stick shift in G29, although the predecessor (G27) did. The good news is that you can buy a bundle pack of the steering wheel/pedal set and a stick shifter from Amazon. You know you want the stick shift; we bought one ourselves too! This is how you can juice out maximum driving pleasure.
If you are a Project CARS or Dirt Rally fan, you’ll love the G29 from Logitech.
Compatible with Xbox One and PC, the G920 comes with a USB connector and weight a meaty 7.21 kg. Other features include Force Feedback, Rumble and a maximum rotation angle of 1080 degrees. Too bad the pedal set doesn’t come with a clutch pedal.
The first thing that you’ll notice while sing this steering wheel, and love immediately is the sheer driving pleasure you get while playing your favorite racing game. The ergonomic design allows you many hours of continuous gameplay. But you’ve got keep in mind that if you are a using a racing game steering wheel for the first time, any wheel will make your hands sore after a couple of hours.
But there’s a couple of drawback too. Just like the Thrustmaster series, the G920 comes with the handbrake as a button, and the brake pedal is a disappointment, as you need to apply substantial amount of pressure to engage the brakes. That was not an issue with the G29, its PS4 compatible cousin. IF you mount the pedals to a racing seat or on carpet (and similar non slipping surfaces), you can somewhat fix the issue, but our concern is that the brake pedal shouldn’t be so stiff in the first place.
On a brighter side, we just can’t deny how amazing the steering wheel feels while driving our favorite car on the virtual tracks. The excellent force feedback steering wheel makes any exciting racing game even more enjoyable…
Xbox owners who want more than just playing the game, those who want to feel the race should go for the Logitech G920 Driving Force.
Thrustmaster TMX Force Feedback Racing Wheel
Weighing less than a kg (998 grams to be exact), Thrustmaster TMX is compatible with Xbox and PC. As the name suggests, it comes boasting of the Force Feedback, and packs other features such as Rumble, a maximum rotational angle of 900 degrees and a pedal set of accelerator and brake. Clutch pedal is absent (yeah, sad news again).
For the uninitiated, Force Feedback is what gives a racing game its real life like experience. It makes turning the steering wheel difficult as you reach difficult turns, when you car crashes (in video game); remember the Daytona USA coin arcade video game? Force feedback is an expensive technology, but Thrustmaster has once again come as a superhero, and delivers an impressive force feedback wheel at entry level budget.
On the downside, the pedals feel a little plasticky, and we miss the clutch pedal. However, if you plan to upgrade in the near or not so distant future, you can but a better pedal set (a 3 pedals set should be a good choice). The steering wheel, although packs a punchy force feedback, lets you know that it’s meant for entry level the moment you touch it. It feels low cost, and if you’ve tried your hands on the more expensive range of Thrustmaster gaming steering wheels, you know what you’ll be missing here.
IF you want to experience force feedback but can’t afford the high end rigs, Thrustmaster TMX Force Feedback is what you should go for.
Thrustmaster T150 Force Feedback Wheel
An entry level Force Feedback for PS4, Thrustmaster T150 Force Feedback Wheel is also compatible with PS3 and PC. Other features include Rumble, 2-Pedal set (You guessed that right, no clutch pedal here either), and a max rotational angle of 900 degrees.
To save your time, we would like to suffice this position in simple words: Thrustmaster T150 Force Feedback Wheel is the PS4/PS3/PC version of the Thrustmaster TMX Force Feedback Racing Wheel.
Everything is same, the same user experience, the same plasticky pedals, and the same entry level force feedback. This one is meant for PlayStation and the previous one was meant for Xbox. That’s all. There is practically no other difference.
However, if you wish, you can choose to buy a stick shift, and if you are lucky, you can also find a Thrustmaster T150 Force Feedback Wheel with Ferrari brand logo in the center.
Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel
Especially meant for Xbox One, Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel weighs 3.5 kg with a maximum rotational angle of 240 degrees. It comes along with two pedals, but misses the fun of Force Feedback and Rumble. And there’s no clutch pedal either.
But let’s be clear about a couple of things before you feel disappointed. The realm of budget friendly gaming steering wheels is flooded with poor quality. You would hardly get any guarantee for compatibility, pedals are almost always feeble, and there are manufacturers who don’t even bother assembling a clamp with them to ensure a secure mounting. And the wheels, oh, don’t even think about placing it in your lap. We tried, and that’s why are telling you not to.
But this where Thrustmaster changed the game for all the gamers out there! This is the officially licensed product that gives you a decent quality despite the budget restraints while also providing clamps to mount the whole setup securely with your racing seat or desk. The linear resistance is efficient and responsive, thanks to the good quality rubber bands used in the steering sensors. Thrustmaster liked to give it a fancy name, bungee system, and we love to oversimplify things.
However, you may feel the 240 degree turn angle isn’t good enough for you. The low range turning angle makes it more of an arcade style steering wheel as compared to the high end wheels that are a perfect match for a racing simulator. We further recommend you to go through the manual before using it, so that you can adjust the sensitivity of the wheel as per your requirement.
You may think it’s more expensive as compared to other cheap gaming wheels, but that’s the point. Other are cheap, Thrustmaster is trying to offer you good quality at a lower price. Trust us when we say it, don’t go for the cheap ones, this is what you should go for if your budget doesn’t allow you a high end or mid range rig.
Thrustmaster T500 RS – Best Gaming Wheel and Petals under $600
The R&D department have brought their A-game in the form of T500 RS. This USB type gaming steering wheel is compatible with PS4, PS3 and PC. It weighs 3 kg, and comes with avant-garde features such as Force Feedback, Rumble, 1080 degrees Rotational Angle and Shift Pedals. And then there is the H.E.A.R.T. (HallEffect AccuRate Technology), which in its true sense (and our love for over simplifying things) a magnetic sensor assembly that not only delivers amazing results, but also lasts long, really long.
The first thing you’ll notice about the T500 Rs is its massive size. All thanks to it, we had a really difficult time to mount it on our desk. Initially we tried to mount it on the keyboard tray, but no, the beast just won’t let that happen. So we decided to let the main surface of the desk, which made us compromise with the space.
Once done with the mounting, the real fun began. The Force Feedback feature given with T500 Rs is mean, and we mean, it’s really mean. The 65 watt bad boy (the industrial motor for the uninitiated) punches a massive 3000 rpm, we had to reduce the Force Feedback strength to 60%, and even then, we just couldn’t help our jaws from dropping to the floor with sheer awe.
And then we did the crazy stuff, set the feedback strength to a 100% and just started having our way with all the simulators we could grab. As expect, the cooling fan came into play and boy, was it noisy!
The 3-pedal assembly (o yes, you get a clutch pedal here) weighs just about 7 kg and feels secure and responsive while playing. What’s more, all the three pedals are fully adjustable for height and lateral adjustment.
For your PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, the Porsche 911 GT2 proves to be an excellent choice for a gaming steering wheel. Fanatec have travelled to extremes of research to make the 911 GT2 as high quality as their other gaming peripherals. But then again, there are a couple of downsides to the 911 GT2. The first one is that you don’t get the pedal set, too bad right? All you’ll get is just the steering wheel. If you want the stick shifter and the pedals, which we are sure you do, you’ll need to spend more money. But given the quality, you’ll be making a good expenditure here.
The first thing you’ll notice here is the official Porsche logo at the center of the wheel, and that’s because this gaming wheel’s design is inspired from the original Porsche 911 GT2, and gets a design license from the automobile mogul. The rim of the steering wheel comes wrapped in genuine Alcantara, the same material that wraps the steering wheels of real cars.
And then there is the universal gear shift. Keeping the global market in mind, the Fanatec decided to make the gear shift adjustable for both the Left Hand Drive as well as Right Hand Drive. It’s not much about the game; it has more to do with the driver. You see, there are two types of countries: one with the steering mounted on the left side of the dash board, and those where the steering mounted on the right. Fanatec likes to cater to both of them. Smart move, we must say.
One thing that we didn’t like about Porsche 911 GT2 is that it’s not compatible with PS4, given its good response and a really amazing Force Feedback.
Logitech G27 Racing Desktop Steering Wheel
When it comes to real world racing, speed, sense of control and vibrations of the engine become the most integral part of the experience. Take it to the virtual world, and things don’t change much. When you use the best gaming steering wheels, you will realize why some games are called simulators. Yes, you may not feel the gushing wind across your face while racing in front of a gaming console or your PC, but the overall experience will be amazingly close.
And this is why we are going to mention The Logitech G27. It has achieved a rare cult level fan following that other brands were craving for. For just under $300, the G27 was, and will be the best gaming steering wheel setup you can buy. Yes, we know it doesn’t support PS4, but we are not talking about compatibility right now, we will talk about it in a while, right now, the gaming experience is in question, so let’s focus there.
So, coming back to the point, G27 brings along each and everything you need to enjoy your favorite racing game or rally simulator to its fullest. The gear shifter feels as if it’s been taken off from a real car. Pedals weight a good lot 8 kg and thus remain sturdy and securely at one place even after hours of gameplay. The Force Feedback motors make the steering wheel quite heavy and add a substantial and necessary weight to it while playing. There are a total of 16 buttons on G27, which you can customize as per your liking. And yes, the pedal set comprises of all three pedals, the accelerator, the brake and the clutch. So you can enjoy playing your favorite game in “manual transmission” mode. The LEDs on the steering column lets you know when it’s right to change gears.
Compatibility, weren’t you waiting for it? G27 is known as the king of racing game steering wheel sets. The king himself gave the throne to its successor, the G920, which also supports PS4. But as we all gaming enthusiasts know, once a king, always a king. The G27 is the benchmark; and we will always keep one with us. And whenever they will talk about gaming steering wheels, there will always be someone who will mention the G27, and everyone will be silent for some time, remembering the time when this badass was the ruler of the racing simulators.
IF you are waiting for the pros and cons of the G27 now, you are going to feel disappointed. We don’t evaluate the benchmark. It was done once, and that’s it.