For quite a long time the concept sim racing has been associated with expensive equipment, beast PCs and giant three-screen setups. The wheels alone cost a fortune.
This high investment has been a barrier to many who wanted to enter this amazing realm. However, that entry barrier has now disappeared as we uncover yet another hidden gem on the internet – the Thrustmaster Ferrari Red Legend Edition PC/PS3 Wheel.
For someone looking to get into sim racing or even for the casual player, this wheel offers immersion to the next level. It might not be as good as its more costlier counterparts, but it’s still surprisingly good.
The core design of the wheel is pretty similar to what you’d find on a standard Thrustmaster wheel. Since it’s on the cheap side, the entire thing is made out of plastic. However, the plastic does feel premium to the touch; with texture matching that of a real car’s.
The wheel itself is rather small with a black base rim and red rubber grips on the side. There are several buttons on the wheel, including a Dpad and paddle shifters, and they do feel premium as well. There’s also a dedicated switch to change between PC and PS3 modes.
The pedals have the same story. They’re made out of plastic and have a rather solid feel to them. There are excellent travel and resistance with both the accelerator and brake. Just like in a real car, the brake pedal is a bit hard to press.
There’s one big catch to the pedal base though – it slips if your press the pedals too hard. For me, the fix was to simply slide in my slipper between the wall and the pedal set, and I was good. If you’re keeping it on a carpet, you shouldn’t be facing this issue; otherwise, I’d suggest finding something permanent to hold them in place.
Another catch with the wheel is that it only rotates about 90 degrees towards each side. Most mid-tier wheels rotate approximately 900 degrees or even 1800 degrees (just like a real car). The 90-degree rotation means that you’ll have to spend a little bit of time tweaking around with the setup.
Overall, the build quality doesn’t sound premium but still does a pretty good job for the price. The wheel does feel a bit toyish at times, but the level of immersion is just the same.
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The wheel kills in here. Pretty much every game supports it; all you have to do is a little bit of setting things up. The only bummer here is the rotation angle, which is limited to 90 degrees.
Due to the low turn angle, you’ll have to make sure that the steering linearity is set near 100 otherwise the steering is going to be sensitive by default. It is also supported in most major titles. I’ve personally tested it out with F1 2018, F1 2019, RaceRoom, Asseto Corsa and iRacing.
There is a complete lack of force feedback, however. The wheel has Thrustmaster’s bungee cord system to add tension as you rotate it and to self-centre the wheel as you let it go.
The buttons on the wheel are a bit mushy, but they do get the job done and are well within reach. You can use them to make on the fly adjustments, navigate menus, and so on.
The pedals are smooth and offer a nice range. They’re sequential as well for greater realism. They connect to the main wheel using an RJ11 port. Oh, and you can use the wheel with PC or PS3. I tested it with PC exclusively and didn’t find any gimmicks whatsoever.
Overall, the wheel does feel plasticky and cheap/ Nothing in particular screams premium about it, but the functionality it offers and the price it goes for, you just can’t complain. I bought it for INR 3,400, and it’s the best deal ever. Plus it has a year-long warranty and the best part – it comes from Thrustmaster.
So what are you waiting for? Your sim-racing experience is right there waiting for you.
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Someone who writes/edits/shoots/hosts all things tech and when he’s not, streams himself racing virtual cars. You can reach out to Yadullah at [email protected], or follow him on Instagram or Twitter.