Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
Since the introduction of Taito's Japanese arcade game Speed Race in 1974, the auto racing genre has taken a strong foothold in the gamer world. Interestingly, in the same year, the first gaming wheel appeared, which was developed by the famous company Atari. Over time, the accessory's capabilities have expanded significantly, and today some models are not inferior in functionality to real racing wheels. The team has prepared useful recommendations for choosing and rating the 9 best models of this indispensable tool for connoisseurs of virtual racing.
- How to choose a gaming wheel
- Rating of the best gaming wheels
- Best inexpensive gaming wheels
- SPEEDLINK DRIFT O.Z. (SL-6695-BKOR)
- Defender Forsage GTR
- SVEN Speedy
- The best gaming wheels in terms of price-performance ratio
- Thrustmaster T150 Force Feedback
- HORI Racing Wheel Apex
- Artplays Street Racing Wheel Turbo C900
- The best premium gaming wheels
- Thrustmaster T-GT
- Thrustmaster TMX Pro
- Logitech G920 Driving Force
How to choose a gaming wheel
The first step is to pay attention to the technical aspects and equipment:
- Compatibility. Almost every modern gaming wheel runs on a PC with an operating system Windows (Mac hardware is harder to find). When it comes to consoles, choose carefully. Of course, there are universal models that will fit both PlayStation and Xbox. But more often than not, well-known manufacturers release different versions. We took this into account in the ranking.
- Recoil. The only way to truly feel like you're in a racing car is with the recoil function. Vibration recoil is cheaper, but its effect is reduced only to periodic shaking of the steering wheel. On advanced models, force feedback is implemented, which fully reflects the situation on the road. For example, the steering wheel can pop out of your hands if you lose control of the car. Also, you will feel turns, bumps, bumps, grip. Everything is as in reality.
- Angle of rotation. Another important characteristic on which the 'immersion' in the race depends. For children and beginners who prefer arcades, 180 degrees is enough (inexpensive rating models), for rally lovers, steering wheels with an angle of about 570 degrees are recommended. And if you plan to practice in simulators, then this figure should reach values from 900 to 1080 degrees, like real cars. Note that the controls will become more realistic and more difficult at the same time.
- Pedal unit. In budget gaming wheels, 2 plastic pedals are installed, and in advanced ones – 3 metal ones. Here the choice depends on the preferences and goals that the gamer pursues: economy or as close as possible to reality and reliability. Also pay attention to the surface grip.
- Transmission. Most often, gears are switched by paddle shifters – such a system is cheaper and easier to implement. But many rudders also support an external box (included or purchased separately), which is of two types – sequential and H-shaped. The first one supports only sequential up or down gears, the second copies the classic manual transmission and is released separately for premium representatives of our rating.
- Among the parameters that depend on individual preferences are appearance and design, ergonomics, button layout. It is important that the steering wheel is pleasant to the touch and fits well in your hands. To do this, manufacturers cover the steering wheel with rubber or leather (it is better to refuse models without a braid). Experts recommend checking the type of attachment. The most reliable is the fixation with clamps. For complete immersion, additional accessories are provided: stands, panoramic screens, racing seats, handbrake unit, etc.
Rating of the best gaming wheels
|Nomination||a place||Name of product||price|
|Best inexpensive gaming wheels||1||SPEEDLINK DRIFT O.Z. (SL-6695-BKOR)||RUB 3,790|
|2||Defender Forsage GTR||RUB 2,740|
|3||SVEN Speedy||RUB 1,690|
|The best gaming wheels in terms of price-performance ratio||1||Thrustmaster T150 Force Feedback||RUB 16 789|
|2||HORI Racing Wheel Apex||RUB 6,900|
|3||Artplays Street Racing Wheel Turbo C900||RUB 5,748|
|The best premium gaming wheels||1||Thrustmaster T-GT||RUB 46,980|
|2||Thrustmaster TMX Pro||RUB 19,890|
|3||Logitech G920 Driving Force||17 450 rub.|
Best inexpensive gaming wheels
SPEEDLINK DRIFT O.Z. (SL-6695-BKOR)
The leader of the rating is ideal for exploring the world of computer racing. Such a purchase will not hit your pocket, but it will allow you to raise the game to a new level. The first thing that catches your eye is an attractive appearance. The combination of black and silver plastic with brown rubber looks stylish and catchy. The player has 12 buttons, vibration feedback with adjustable intensity, the ability to choose between two modes – XInput (modern games), DirectInput (previous generations of simulators). The steering wheel is compatible with Windows and is easily customizable through the program. It does not work with game consoles.
There is no reason to expect any technical innovations from a representative of the budget segment rating: there is no feedback, the rotation angle is limited to 180 degrees. But at the same time, there is a gear lever, paddle shifters, a decent entry-level pedal set with a comfortable footrest. Also, our experts point out not the most reliable fixation with suction cups, therefore it is recommended to provide additional fixation with clamps.
- stylish design;
- turning accuracy;
- tough yet lightweight construction;
- the presence of a gear lever;
- good ergonomics;
- compatibility with any games (Windows);
- 12 programmable buttons;
- adjustable vibration.
- low quality rubber pedal pads;
- suction cups that are not able to provide sufficient stability;
- rotation angle not more than 180 degrees.
Defender Forsage GTR
Here the problem of stability, characteristic of the first place in the rating, is solved – in addition to the suction cups, the Defender Forsage GTR has fastening with clamps. In general, the steering wheel responds quickly to changes in position, it is compatible with almost all racing games on the PC, it is very simple and quick to set up. It is pleasant to hold it in your hands due to the soft rubberized coating, the manufacturer has achieved good ergonomics and convenient location of the buttons (there are 12 of them in total). Gear shifting is carried out using a separate lever, and we note too loud clicks.
As it should be, the Forsage GTR model has paddle shifters, but they only have one available function – duplication of gas and brake pedals. You cannot reassign. On the one hand, this is a plus: if you do not want to use the pedals, you can control the car using the petals. But in most cases, this functionality is idle. As for the pedal set, it is not well thought out even for the entry level: the pedals are 'lifted up', the block glides on many surfaces. But these shortcomings did not prevent the Forsage GTR from taking the silver rating.
- easy setup;
- quick response;
- stable work in any modern games;
- good vibration;
- clamps included;
- 12 function buttons;
- pleasant rubberized coating;
- the presence of a gear lever.
- coverage angle 180 degrees;
- duplication of throttle and brake paddles;
- uncomfortable pedals;
- loud gear shifting.
The cheapest representative of our rating. Finding SVEN Speedy in the top three is due to the fact that the steering wheel is designed for children aged 5 to 10 years. This is the reason for its main advantages and disadvantages.
There are no frills here: the functionality is minimal, but sufficient. There is a vibration feedback that responds well to various traffic situations. The steering wheel has 10 programmable buttons and a decent 8-way joystick. The device comes with a disc on which the user will find proprietary software. The settings are very simple and straightforward, so even a child can figure it out. It is noteworthy that the steering wheel will work even with old computers on which the operating system is still installed Windows XP. There is no gear lever, but there is a pedal unit, which is a big plus for such a cheap model.
It will be inconvenient for adult players to use the steering wheel from the third place in the rating due to its miniature diameter – only 225 millimeters. Also, the turn is limited to 90 degrees to one side and the other. But the available characteristics are quite enough for young riders.
- low price;
- the presence of vibration feedback;
- 10 programmable buttons;
- 8-way joystick;
- pedal block;
- rubber inserts for a secure grip.
- no gearbox;
- small steering wheel diameter (225 mm);
- rotation angle – 180 degrees;
- 'toy' design.
The best gaming wheels in terms of price-performance ratio
Thrustmaster T150 Force Feedback
It was the Thrustmaster company that launched the first gaming wheel for a personal computer (1994), so it is not surprising that the manufacturer's model took the first line of the rating. The T150 Force Feedback is suitable for those who are no longer satisfied with the capabilities of the budget segment wheels. Here the steering angle is increased to 1080 degrees, there are beautifully implemented feedback and 14 customizable buttons, metal paddle switches and other 'chips' needed by the riders.
Experts note the excellent build quality and stylish design. The blue perforated rubber inserts not only look good, they also keep the steering wheel from slipping out of your hands, even during tense gaming moments. The developers paid close attention to the mountings. The steering wheel is fixed with a clamp and screws, and the pedal box has slots for connecting to any heavy base. Thrustmaster T150 Force Feedback is compatible with PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC. Fine tuning is available to players through proprietary software.
The weak link of the model is the pedal set. It is entry-level and does not correspond to the steering wheel in this regard. It also lacks an external gear lever. These add-ons can be changed and purchased separately, but then the total cost of the device will increase significantly and will not allow the steering wheel to be in the first place in the rating in terms of value for money.
- PC compatibility on Windows and PlayStation 3, 4;
- adjustable angle of rotation (up to 1080 degrees);
- reliable fastening;
- force feedback, vibration feedback;
- stylish design, eye-catching blue inserts;
- high quality assembly, long service life;
- metal paddle switches;
- 14 buttons for various purposes;
- proprietary software for easy and fine tuning.
- lack of gearbox included;
- the pedal set does not match the quality of the steering wheel.
HORI Racing Wheel Apex
Another gaming wheel, compatible with PC, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The Japanese company has taken care of the build quality and ergonomics of the wheel – it is really convenient to use the device from the second place in the rating. HORI Racing Wheel Apex operates in two rotation modes – 180 (for kids and beginners) and 270 degrees (for experienced players). All available buttons and sensitivity can be reconfigured with maximum precision – in this the Japanese surpassed all competitors. But there is also a fly in the ointment – for many, the technical side of the setup will seem too complicated.
When connected to PS4, there will be a choice between two modes – PS4-S and PS4-N. The first is automatic, the second is manual. Unfortunately, PS4-S is not compatible with all races. Other reasons that prevented HORI Racing Wheel Apex from being on the first line of the rating are the lack of force feedback, high power consumption, and a strange decision regarding the location of the R2 and L2 buttons. But there is also a proprietary feature – TouchSense vibration. Its implementation was carried out by Immersion, which invented vibration feedback technology.
- high-quality plastic body, nice rubber sheath;
- two rotation modes – 180 and 270 degrees;
- the possibility of the most fine tuning;
- universal mount, suitable even for non-standard racks;
- vibration technology TouchSense;
- work with PC, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4;
- spectacular racing design.
- technically difficult setup;
- inconvenient location of some buttons;
- increased power consumption compared to competitors;
- lack of force feedback;
- many games do not support PS4-S mode.
Artplays Street Racing Wheel Turbo C900
The Street Racing Wheel Turbo C900 from Artplays can be called a truly universal representative of the rating, because it works both with personal computers on Windows and with all popular versions of consoles (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 , Xbox One). You just need to take into account that in the absence of the original gamepad, it will not be possible to connect. The player has 15 buttons and a D-pad at his disposal. Interestingly, there is a sensitivity control on the front panel that can be used right during the game.
In technical terms, Street Racing Wheel Turbo C900 is no different from other representatives of its price segment: the maximum steering angle is 270 degrees, there is a vibration response (but there is no force return), and a simple setting. There are no additional modes, like the competitor's rating from HORI, is not provided. Of the features – the presence of a gear lever (you will not have to buy in addition), a stable pedal unit with a retractable anti-slip system.
- compatibility with all popular platforms (PC, PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox 360 and One);
- comfortable and stable pedal set;
- the presence of a gear lever;
- rotation angle 270 degrees;
- two vibration motors;
- fastening with clamps;
- 15 buttons on the panel and D-pad;
- quick setup.
- lack of power output;
- monotonous design;
- connection to consoles only through the original controller.
The best premium gaming wheels
The T-GT is the solution for true professionals and top-level competitors. The premium gaming wheel from Thrustmaster became the crown of the company's development and deservedly took first place in the ranking. The first point to note is the unique T-GT servo base. The number of technologies implemented here is off scale: T-LIN linear feedback, T-40VE brushless motor, T-MCE proprietary cooling and more. Accuracy and record-low response times are guaranteed by the T-F.O.C optimization algorithm. and a Hall Effect sensor system. To ensure uninterrupted power supply, an external unit in the form of a turbine is provided.
The removable steering wheel has 25 function buttons and two miniature joysticks. The maximum swing angle is 1080 degrees. Another unique feature is 4 regulators, with which you can adjust important characteristics (fuel injection scheme, brake balancing, etc.). The pedal unit with the possibility of adjustment is also completed at the highest level. But there is no gear lever, which is typical for all participants in the rating of premium steering wheels.
Thrustmaster has given Gran Turismo Sport fans a special gift – T-DFB technology. It takes force feedback to a new level, unmatched by competitors. The player will feel absolutely everything: grip, suspension, different types of road surfaces, etc. Thanks to the T-DFB, the T-GT steering wheel has been called the 'real simulator'.
- 25 function buttons;
- 2 customizable mini-joysticks;
- rotation angle 1080 degrees;
- compatible with PC and PS4;
- premium materials (durable plastic, metal, genuine leather);
- detachable steering wheel and exclusive T-GT servo base;
- 3 adjustable metal pedals;
- external power supply unit in the form of a turbine;
- linear feedback;
- patented cooling system;
- maximum precision thanks to T-F.O.C technology.
- very high price;
- lack of an external gearbox;
- T-DFB technology only works in GT Sport.
Thrustmaster TMX Pro
If you are not ready to part with a large sum for the T-GT, we offer a great alternative from the same manufacturer – the TMX Pro gaming wheel. It costs less and is not endowed with those exclusive technologies mentioned above. But, nevertheless, the model is perfect for both beginners and professionals. The 'Pro' version is in our rating, not just 'TMX', as it comes with a professional unit with three metal adjustable pedals. But there is predictably no gear lever.
The rotation angle of TMX Pro varies from 270 to 900 degrees, and the number of function buttons reaches 15 pieces. The petals deserve special attention: they are very wide, comfortable and made of metal. The shape of the steering wheel is realistic, ergonomic, but the sheath is rubber, not leather. The accessory automatically connects to the Xbox One thanks to the certified firmware.
- 15 buttons (with paddle shifters);
- adjustable angle of rotation (from 270 to 900 degrees);
- professional pedal set T3PA included;
- wide metal paddle switches;
- realistic shape suitable for different types of races;
- proprietary force feedback (12 functions);
- convenient and intuitive PC software;
- auto setup when connected to Xbox One, certified firmware.
- no gear selector (sold separately and is very expensive);
- simple rubber braid that doesn't fit the premium segment.
Logitech G920 Driving Force
The Logitech G920 Driving Force and Thrustmaster TMX Pro gaming wheels are in the same price range, but the first device only has to settle for third place in the ranking for a number of reasons. The main one is the pedal unit. It's not as high-quality and thoughtful as the T3PA. Firstly, the block slides on many surfaces and in the midst of an intense race it can simply go far under the table. Secondly, the brake pedal is unusually tight. The problem can be solved only by increasing the sensitivity to the maximum or by manually modifying the design, which is not recommended.
Otherwise, the Logitech G920 Driving Force is a solid choice for seasoned gamers. Particularly pleasing is the appearance of the steering wheel (it is not completely round), leather sheathing, comfortable grip. The manufacturer did not spare the metal – the design looks reliable. The angle of rotation is adjustable, there is force feedback. The model also works stably on computers Apple. The G920 is Xbox One compatible (G29 is required to play on PlayStation).
- stylish design, leather braid;
- comfortable grip;
- a large amount of aluminum and steel in the structure;
- PC (including Mac) and Xbox One compatible;
- rotation angle up to 900 degrees;
- force feedback, vibration feedback.
- lack of an external gear selector;
- lack of a power button;
- the need for additional fastening of pedals;
- very tight brake pedal.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.