Best Steering Wheel?

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Best Steering Wheel?

Postby Nickie » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:55 am

hey guys,
i figured here was a good place to ask for all those obvious reasons :D

i'm contemplating buying ( finally) some decent steering wheel, for supermodel and PC games and i'm puzzled as to what would be the best choice
there's the logitech G29, pretty cheap by now, the ThrustMaster Volant T300RS GT Edition supposedly a bit better but literally 50% more expensive ...

i want to eventualy end up with a direct-drive Fanatec or something of the sort, but i thought i'd start with some kind of "starter" wheel for now, and for 1/5th of the budget if not even less because you know how it is :D


and i don't have much real life experience or comparaison, i've played some arcade games that had pretty shitty force feedback m and even the good old Daytona2 i used to play 10 years ago were already so worn out, i could feel the slop :P

so what are you guys using and what should i rather look at ? :)
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Re: Best Steering Wheel?

Postby isamu » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:00 pm

Forget the starter wheel and get a Bodnar. Last wheel you'll ever need in your lifetime.
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Re: Best Steering Wheel?

Postby Nickie » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:00 am

wow i didn't even know that brand :D


so let's see, most basic "SimSteering2 FFB System (52) - Standard" : 2,940.00GBP

not even sure if that includes the wheel itself, but obviously no pedals :lol:
talk about overkill :D



i paid half that for my used but rad sports coupé :lol:
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Re: Best Steering Wheel?

Postby isamu » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:56 pm

Yup, no wheels no pedals and all your points are valid. But it's STILL worth getting one :D
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Re: Best Steering Wheel?

Postby Ian » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:49 am

I'd like to see someone play virtua fighter with a steering wheel :p
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Re: Best Steering Wheel?

Postby Toshiko » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:32 pm

Ian wrote:I'd like to see someone play virtua fighter with a steering wheel :p


I did, on Dreamcast! Doesn't top the guy who beat SoulCalibur with the fishing reel, though.
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Re: Best Steering Wheel?

Postby MrThunderwing » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:22 am

Nickie wrote:hey guys,
i figured here was a good place to ask for all those obvious reasons :D

i'm contemplating buying ( finally) some decent steering wheel, for supermodel and PC games and i'm puzzled as to what would be the best choice
there's the logitech G29, pretty cheap by now, the ThrustMaster Volant T300RS GT Edition supposedly a bit better but literally 50% more expensive ...

i want to eventualy end up with a direct-drive Fanatec or something of the sort, but i thought i'd start with some kind of "starter" wheel for now, and for 1/5th of the budget if not even less because you know how it is :D


and i don't have much real life experience or comparaison, i've played some arcade games that had pretty shitty force feedback m and even the good old Daytona2 i used to play 10 years ago were already so worn out, i could feel the slop :P

so what are you guys using and what should i rather look at ? :)


I've got a Logitech DFGT, which works on both my PC and PS3 and can be picked up for super cheap secondhand these day. I've never used a high end wheel in my life, so I've no idea how they compare, but for me the DFGT is awesome and provides a very arcade like experience at home, with a pretty sturdy feel to to it and pretty powerful FFB. It only has paddle shifters though, so if you want a true Sega 4 way H shifter experience, you might want to look elsewhere (or get a separate shifter), but I've found it easy enough to just map the individual gears to the wheel face-buttons and shift that way. If you like driving sim games (which I don't) there's also no clutch pedal.
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Re: Best Steering Wheel?

Postby Calavera » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:23 am

Last time I used a steering wheel with Model 3 I pulled out an old Microsoft Sidewinder wheel I had picked up a goodwill years back for like $10 still new in the box. I'm talking just a regular sidewinder wheel to, no force feedback! :o I was really into Emergency Call Ambulance at the time and that last level is so damn hard, but the wheel actually helped me out a bit. It is good for games like that, it is pretty similar to the arcade wheels that didn't use force feedback. Now of course I don't recommend you go out and buy one of those, I just happened to have it sitting in the closet is why I used it. Sorry my post isn't really helpful, just wanted to throw in my wheel experience with supermodel!
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Re: Best Steering Wheel?

Postby terminento » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:18 am

I also have a Logitech DFGT as well as a G29 with the extra shifter. I still have an old Driving Force for PS2 too, which is (still) PC compatible. I tried several Thrustmaster models as well. I'll tell you about all of these wheels.

The Old Driving Force for PS2 has 200 degrees, it has nice FFB, so it's great to plug it and use in games such as the original OutRun via the Cannonball engine, and I even used it with Daytona Chapionship USA and worked quite nicely with their arcade driving style. It also has this piece that goes between your legs that you can attach to the base, allowing you to set it on your lap, letting you use it while sitting on the couch, for instance (I wonder why this isn't still a thing). The HUGE downside (aside from the fact that it's really tiny) is that Logitech doesn't have the drivers on their webpage anymore (thank god I still have the drivers CD!), and it's a 17 year old wheel, making it almost impossible to buy today (much less with the drivers disk), some day the drivers might stop being compatible with newer Windows updates at all, so given that the turn ratius can be adjusted in more modern wheels, this one is a no go. I still plug it though, from time to time.

The Driving Force GT has to be the best quality-price relation in wheel history ever (it was basically a G25 for 80 bucks). The wheel is big, with a nice touch to it (even if it's rubber), has a full 900º turn, has a huge load of face buttons, VERY strong FFB and the sequencial shifter in case you don't fancy the paddle like buttons. It is also one of the few, if not the only one, to have a horn button (supported in GT and configurable in many games)
It also has an excellent support: works flawlessly with every racing game on the PS3 (and works like a charm on the GT games, you can tell the wheel was made with these games in mind), can be used with many emulators, and on PC it is supported and does work great with Project Cars 2, Forza Motorsport 6 apex (pretty cool and complete game, and totally free!), Forza Motorsport 7, and Forza Horizon 3 (you gotta configure the horn to some other button though). Even City car Driving supports it (although some missions require the use of a clutch)
It is very easy to set up and put away, and the only downside could be the pedals not being as resistive as a real car's (still, they have a big, robust base, with a retractable grip, and are way better than anything plastic that comes with the low tier Thrustmaster ones), and the fact that it's starting to get a bit old and newer PC games to come might not offer support for it. Also, forget about using it on the PS4 or XBone, and there's no upgrading to it, you can't use a shifter. The FFB mechanism can get a tad noisy at times, when doing violent changes of direction (but a good sound equipment muffles most of the noise). I still use it to play GT5 and 6, or when I don't want to spend much time mounting a wheel.

The G29, while being a great wheel in and on itself, and even though it is better than the DFGT, might not feel as big of an update from that one (much less so from a G27), and has it's own set of downsides that the other one didn't.
Its still one of the least expensive ones of its range (though I wouldn't use the word "cheap"), and it is made out of materials that give it a nice touch, with leather instead of rubber to the rim of the wheel, and steel for the face plate and paddles, though you don't notice it as much while driving. No horn button this time though.
The pedal base is HUGE, and I mean it: it's very heavy, the pedals are made of nice looking brushed steel, and it still has the retractable grip, but given it's size it might be cumbersome to place it under some tables. Also, the brake is HARD. Harder than my actual car, I'd say. You DO have to press it with a lot of force in order to reach full bottom (not that you need to reach full bottom all the times, but the ones that you do...) So unless you manage to secure the pedal base somehow, it's going to slowly move forward despite all it's weight, and if you tuck it under a PC desk you might want to watch out, as the cable comes directly from the rear and it would be pressed against the skirting board, which might wear it over time if you keep using it that way.
Also, the wheel itself is harder to set up than the DFGT. While the GT had all of it's wires going out of the front, the G29 has these indentations so that you tuck the extra wire from the center of the wheel base to the back of it (which kinda looks like the front of a cool car). On the one hand this prevents from any exposed connectors on the back, but that, plus the pedal base design, make it clear that this thing is intended to be permanently mounted on a stand, as wiring it on a table and unwiring it to put it back on it's box is kinda cumbersome: you DO have to connect everything first before securing it to the table, while with the DFGT you can clamp the wheel and then just plug everyhting in the back.
The wheel does not have a sequential shifter, so, if you are like me and feel akward using paddles to change gears (instead of looking for the lever with your hand), you will have to purchase the extra shifter, which is basically the same one the G27 had, sans the buttons. The fact that the G27 included the shifter from the get go at the same launch price but now we have to pay for it pisses me off. Also, the shifter feels a bit more "toy-like" than the rest of the wheel, kinda tiny and plasticky. But it is insanely fun to use in to manually change gears in games such as Forza 6 or 7, or project cars 2, suddenly giving the clutch pedal a reason to exist.
The force feedback itself, well, on the one hand, the wheel uses helical twin gears to create the effect, meaning that you don't feel any cogs connecting, and thus making the movement very smooth. On the other hand, I can't help but feel that the streght of the FFB feels somewhat reduced (a very tiny bit). Maybe it's a side-effect of not feeling the cogwheels fighting to shake it, and most games have an option to ramp the effect up.
One advantage of this wheel is how silent the mecanism is. Once the game is running and sound is coming from your TV or speakers, there's no way you will be able to hear it. Some people on the Internet complain about the noise but I honestly don't know what the fudge they are talking about.
Compatibility with new PC racing games is a given, and it does indeed work very well (in Forza Horizon 3, maybe a tad too well: when fully stopped, if you don't gently accelerate as you lift your foot off the clutch you might cause the engine to stutter. Not a problem if you floor it though, LOL).
One more downside though is that when using it on a PS3 (it has a switch to set it to PS3 mode) it basically mimics a DFGT, so you can't use the clutch or shifter with it on GT5 or 6. Also, while it is officially supported by the PS4, (it even has the PS logo on it) when trying it out with the PSVR and GT Sport at a friends house, I found out that the game doesn't care whether you use the clutch pedal or not (but I was still using it out of habit). I know that Sony's relationship with Logitech has gone a bit sour in favour of Thrustmaster, but I felt this was kind of a cheap thing to do not to give the clutch support. The game was still insanely fun to play and the wheel helped a whole lot in selling the VR sensation of actually being in the car.

While at my friends place I also had the chance of trying some of the Thrustmaster wheels, and dare I say that, despite all of the things I heard in favour of them and criticising the Logitech wheels, I found them to be severely overpriced for what they are, and I found the difference in quality to be negliglible. The T80 was a waste of plastic attached to a bungee cord (no FFB) with only 200º (but it still costs as much as the DFGT did, what a joke!), and the T-300, while more expensive than my G29, didn't feel much better in practise, uses rubber instead of leather, and the pedals that come bundled with it have no clutch, are made out of plastic and are ridiculously lightweight and tiny, causing us to topple the pedal base over every time we broke. If you want leather, or proper pedals, you have to pay extra. Also the shifter for Thrustmaster models is insanely expensive. Also, the belt driven mechanism is said to break sooner/more easily that the regular cog wheels ones, but I can neither confirm nor deny this (LOL), as I don't know for myself.
I once tried the T500 at a game fair and it felt similar to the T300. It did have all three pedals this time around, but for twice the price as the G29, the fact that it's still covered in rubber instead of leather like the G-29 is kinda insulting. There's also the fact that it isn't compatible with the PS4 (they did screw consumers this time around with the drop of the backwards compatibility for usb perypherals, didn't they).

So, to sum up:

-If you want to play PS3 racers (namely GT5 and 6), emulators, the PC games that exist and are on sale today, and don't care about the lack of clutch, a second handed DFGT is your wheel. DON'T buy it if you want to play PS4 or future PC games.
-If you want to play PS4 racers, and PC games that may come in the future, or want to play current PC games with a clutch, the G-29 is a good quality wheel if you want to get it brand new. If you do want to make the most out of it, you might want to buy the shifter too, though. And while you could still use it on a PS3, it does merely work as a DFGT with no horn or secuencial shifter, so you wouldn't be able to use the clutch (or the 6 speed shifter, should you have it). Still a great wheel, specially if you don't have any.
-Thrustmaster t300 and t500 wheels, while good, are a bit overpriced for what they offer out of the box. The pedals of the t-300 are worse than those of the DFGT. And don't even bother with the t80.

I hope I was of help.
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Re: Best Steering Wheel?

Postby MrThunderwing » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:51 am

Excellent write up Lázaro!
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