Racing wheel

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A racing wheel is a method of control for use in racing video games, racing simulators, and driving simulators. They are usually packaged with a large paddle styled as a steering wheel, along with a set of pedals for gas, brake, and sometimes clutch actuation, as well as various shifter controls. An analog wheel and pedal set such as this allows the user to accurately manipulate steering angle and pedal control that is required to properly manage a simulated car, as opposed to digital control such as a keyboard. The relatively large range of motion further allows the user to more accurately apply the controls. Racing wheels have been developed for use with arcade games, game consoles, personal computers, and also for professional driving simulators for race drivers.

Force feedback[edit]

Racing wheels started off as simple plastic wheels hooked up to a rotary potentiometer, which were sprung by springs or bungees. Eventually manufacturers began to use electric motors in the controllers, in place of springs, in order to achieve a level of force feedback, first seen in Microsoft's Sidewinder wheel. At first this technology simply provided the centering force and other artificial effects such as shaking the wheel in a crash or other vibrations. However, as driving simulations have evolved, their physics engines have become more accurate and the developers have linked their in-game physics more closely to the force feedback. This allows the user to truly feel what forces go through the steering rack, instead of just artificial effects, and genuinely enhance the realism of the game. Despite this, some high end manufacturers believe that force feedback has still not been perfected, and therefore companies such as Thomas SuperWheel have not adopted a force feedback system in their products. Frex, on the other hand, has gone the other way and equips their high-end Simwheel with powerful force feedback and no mechanical centering device.

Comparison of racing wheels[edit]

Manufacturer Product Max Rotation (Deg) FFB Clutch Shifter Brake Sensor Pedal Type
Atomic Lamborghini Gallardo Evo Racing Wheel 270 No No Paddles Potentiometer Standing
Logitech G27 900 Yes Yes Paddles, H-shift Potentiometer Standing
Logitech G25 900 Yes Yes Paddles, H-shift, Sequential Potentiometer Standing
Logitech MOMO Racing Force 240 Yes No Paddles, Sequential Potentiometer Standing
Logitech Driving Force Pro 900 Yes No Paddles, Sequential Potentiometer Standing
Logitech Driving Force GT 900 Yes No Paddles, Sequential Potentiometer Standing
Logitech MOMO Force (Red MOMO) 270 Yes No Paddles Potentiometer Standing
Logitech Formula Force 180 Yes No Paddles Potentiometer Standing
Logitech Driving Force EX 180 Yes No Paddles Potentiometer Standing
Thrustmaster Ferrari Wireless Gt F430 Scuderia Edition Cockpit 270 No No Paddles Potentiometer Standing
Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Italia 270 No No Paddles Potentiometer Standing
Thrustmaster Ferrari F430 270 Yes No Paddles Potentiometer Standing
Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch 1 270 Yes Yes Paddles, Sequential Potentiometer Standing
Thrustmaster Ferrari GT 3-in-1 180 No No Paddles Potentiometer Standing
Thrustmaster FGT 2-in-1 Force Feedback 180 Yes No Paddles Potentiometer Standing
Thrustmaster T500 RS 1080 Yes Yes Paddles Potentiometer Standing/Hanging
Saitek R660GT 180 Yes No Paddles, Sequential Potentiometer Hanging
Microsoft Sidewinder Precision Racing Wheel 240 No No Paddles Potentiometer Standing
Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback Wheel 240 Yes No Paddles Potentiometer Standing
Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel 270 Yes No Paddles Potentiometer Standing
Fanatec Le Mans SE  ? Yes No Paddles Potentiometer Standing
Fanatec Speedster 2  ? Yes No Paddles Potentiometer Standing
Fanatec Speedster 3  ? Yes No Paddles Potentiometer Standing
Fanatec 2 Porsche 911 Carrera Wheel 900 Yes Yes Paddles, H-Shift N/A Standing
Fanatec 2 Porsche 911 Turbo S Wheel 900 Yes N/A Paddles N/A N/A
Fanatec 2 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Wheel 900 Yes N/A Paddles N/A N/A
Fanatec 2 Porsche 911 GT2 Wheel 900 Yes N/A Paddles N/A N/A
Fanatec 2 Forza Motorsport CSR Elite Wheel 900 Yes N/A Paddles N/A N/A
Fanatec 2 Forza Motorsport CSR Wheel 900 Yes N/A Paddles N/A N/A
Fanatec 2 ClubSport Wheel 900 Yes N/A Paddles N/A N/A
Fanatec 2 Standard Pedals N/A N/A Yes N/A Potentiometer Standing
Fanatec 2 CSR Pedals N/A N/A Yes N/A Potentiometer Standing/Hanging
Fanatec 2 CSR Elite Pedals N/A N/A Yes N/A Load Cell Standing/Hanging
Fanatec 2 ClubSport Pedals N/A N/A Yes N/A Load Cell Standing
Fanatec 2 Porsche Shifter N/A N/A N/A H-shift, Sequential N/A N/A
Fanatec 2 CSR Shifter N/A N/A N/A H-shift, Sequential N/A N/A
Frex Simwheel 3 1080 Yes N/A N/A N/A N/A
Frex Sim2Pedal N/A N/A No N/A Hydraulic w/ Load Cell (HydroBrake) Optional
Frex Sim3Pedal N/A N/A Yes N/A Hydraulic w/ Load Cell (HydroBrake) Optional
Frex HShift+ N/A N/A N/A H-shift N/A N/A
Frex Shift+ N/A N/A N/A Sequential N/A N/A
ECCI Trackstar 6000 Series Wheel/Pedals 270 No 5 Optional Paddles "Pressure Modulated" Standing
ECCI Trackstar 7000 Force Feedback 900 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Thomas SuperWheel TSW Wheels, Pedals 720 No Optional Paddles, Sequential Load Cell optional Standing
A1 A1 GT Pedals N/A N/A Yes N/A Potentiometer Standing
A1 A1 Pro Pedals N/A N/A Yes N/A Load Cell Optional
A1 GearBox N/A N/A N/A H-Shift N/A N/A
A1 A1 GT Wheel 500 No 7 N/A Paddles N/A N/A
Act Labs RS Shifter N/A N/A N/A H-shift N/A N/A
Act Labs RS Pedals N/A N/A Yes N/A Potentiometer Standing
Act Labs RS Force Wheel 270 Yes No Paddles Potentiometer Standing
BRD Sim Pro Wheel, Speed7 Pedals 290 Yes Optional Paddles Potentiometer Standing
VPP Wheel, Hyperreal Pedals 270 Yes Optional Paddles Potentiometer Standing
CST (Cannon Simulation Technologies) Pedals N/A N/A Optional N/A "Pressure Sensing" Hanging
Redline Pedals N/A N/A Optional N/A Potentiometer Hanging
REVZALOT P36 Pedals N/A N/A Yes N/A Load Cell Standing
Defender Extreme Turbo (PRO) 180 Yes No Sequential N/A Standing

Note 1: Includes two separate analog paddle axis.

Note 2: Components may be packaged together in some cases and sold as a bundle.

Note 3: Includes hub mechanism only; wheel and adapters not included.

Note 4: Prices converted from Japanese Yen.

Note 5: Utilizes fluid dampening.

Note 6: Prices converted from NZD.

Note 7: Future FFB addon possible.