Gift Guide: Racing Wheels for Every System

1 of 7

That special time of the year draws near once again. The snow will soon start to fall and fill our hearts with the joy of spending some time with the people we love. This is a cozy scenario for most people, but not so much for die-hard racing fans.

By this time of the year, every major racing series has already finished their seasons and the snow pouring down makes it inviable to participate in most forms of races. When real life rejects a racing fan’s desire to have some gasoline-driven adrenaline rush, racing games are the solution.

If you do not have expertise on the topic, but would like to give a gift to the racing fan in your life, fear not, this guide will show you the racing wheels you must check out to make any race fan's holiday that much merrier.  

Thrustmaster T80 RS Officially Licensed Racing Wheel

Cost: 99.99

Rating: 3.5/5

Buy it on: Amazon

Compatible with the PlayStation 3 and PS4 and featuring a rubber coating to make the driving experience more comfortable, this racing wheel offers players perhaps the best cost/benefit opportunity for those who are starting to take racing games to a new level.

The most notable element of this wheel is the “bungee cord” feature, which consists of a cord inside the racing wheel that will always pull it in the opposite direction the player is turning, in order to add resistance and simulate the feeling of the tires gripping on the road.

The downside of this product is its pedals. Made out of plastic, they are so light players can press them with almost zero resistance, which, of course, is not realistic and can sometimes be detrimental to the experience. 

Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel 

Cost: 87.00

Rating: 3.5/5

Buy it on: Amazon 

An exclusive for the Xbox One, this product replicates the wheel of a real Ferrari 458 Spider to the finest details.  

Featuring 240 degrees of rotation, sentivity adjustment and “bungee cord” technology (like the first racing wheel on this list), it allows players to have the best precision in their movements for a wheel within this price range.

Another upgrade from the last wheel is the brake pedal, which now has a progressive resistance, getting harder depending on how much you press it.  

Thrustmaster TMX Force Feedback Racing Wheel

Cost: 199.00

Rating: 4/5

Buy it on: Amazon

The evolution of the last two wheels, this one provides players with a 900-degree rotation angle that provides a closer sensation of actually driving a real car. Another feature worthy of note is this wheel’s pedals, which allow users to adjust them in order to have a more comfortable experience.

Logitech Driving Force GT Racing Wheel

Cost: 390.00

Rating: 4.5/5

Buy it on: Amazon

You may have noticed the difference in price between this wheel and the previous two. There's a reason.

This wheel was my loyal companion for five years, and it still worked perfectly before I decided to gift to a friend who wanted to start driving in racing simulators. As far I as I know, it is still functioning as new. Reliability is the key word for this product.

The previous wheels on this list, while delivering a good cost/benefit balance, don't typically hold up over the years because of their low cost. The wheels lose accuracy, the “bungee cord” feature ceases to perform and eventually, the wheel stops working altogether.

The reliability of the Logitech brand, paired with a 900 degrees rotation angle, force feedback technology (which allows players to feel every bump in the road) and a wide variety of configurable buttons may make this wheel expensive, but the price more than justifies itself over the years.

Logitech Driving Force G29 Race Wheel

Cost: 327.00

Rating: 4/5

Buy it on: Amazon 

Logitech’s tradition of building long-lasting racing wheels continues with this product, which is compatible with the PlayStation 3 and Playstation 4. 

Featuring solid steel ball bearings, a stainless steel shifter and hand-stitched leather wheel grip, this product offers players a strong and durable item. But this wheel is not just comfortable: It's also precise. With dual force-feedback motors, players are afforded a greater feel of the road and how each bump affects their driving.  

Thrustmaster VG TX Racing Wheel Leather Edition

Cost: 469.00

Rating: 3.5/5

Buy it on: Amazon

Compatible with the Xbox One and the PC, this wheel is designed specifically for Microsoft gaming platforms, which grants users a smoother simulation experience.

In regards to its features, they are similar to the ones seen in the Logitech G29, but given that this wheel was designed for the Xbox, developers decided to combine this wheel with the Xbox Kinect, thus adding depth to the experience.  

 

Published Nov. 12th 2016

New Cache - article_comments_article_46862
Related