It can be said that no sim racing setup is truly complete without a racing wheel (unless you prefer using a controller of course). If you are, however, in the market for one, then you're probably going to want to go with the best force feedback wheel to get you started.
Force feedback is a simulation technique used in racing wheels to deliver a true-to-life representation of what it is like to race for real. This is done through motors and vibrations which correlate to tyre screeches, heavy braking, and whatever else is going on on your screen and, therefore, increasing the level of immersion ten-fold.
Many of the best racing wheels come with force feedback technology as a result, giving you the most realistic representation of racing possible. Force feedback also provides additional tactile cues for you to respond to and improve from. The only upgrade on this would be direct drive, which has fewer components between the moving parts to give more of a raw, unfiltered feedback response.
The trouble is that many of the best direct drive wheels cost an arm and a leg, whereas force feedback options tend to be a little cheaper. That's why they're our focus here, as we've picked out five great force feedback wheels based on their price, performance, reviews, and features to help you make a more informed decision when it comes to upgrading your setup.
Best force feedback wheels for sim racing
- Logitech G923 - best pick for all platforms
- Thrustmaster T-GT II - a great option specifically for the PS5
- Thrustmaster TS-XW - an excellent choice for Xbox racers
- Logitech G920 - an ideal midrange option to consider
- PXN V10 - a great budget alternative to all of that
1. Logitech G923
Best force feedback wheel for all platforms
If you want to immerse yourself deeper into sim racing, you'll want to consider adding the Logitech G923 to your setup, no matter what platform you're on.
At its core lies Logitech's TRUEFORCE feedback technology, a seriously impressive system that delivers both kinesthetic and tactile force feedback at a speed of up to 4000Hz. In other words, you'll be able to feel vibrations from the road surface, weather, and terrain changes as well as things like tyre grip, bumps, and crashes beneath your fingertips as they happen on your screen.
What's more, it features an intuitive LED RPM indicator, strategically placed to make it easy to see, and it comes with integrated back paddles that enable flawlessly timed gear shifts for greater control and precision on the track.
Complemented by a suite of supplementary buttons too, you wield the power to fine-tune critical racing dynamics like traction control or instantly access crucial commands such as your rearview for a greater more instantaneous edge over your competition - that could make all the difference between winning and losing races at the end of the day.
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2. Thrustmaster T-GT II
Best force feedback wheel for PS5
For PlayStation owners, the Thrustmaster T-GT II stands out as a top choice if money is essentially no object when it comes to investing in a force feedback wheel.
It's a premium choice, sure, but it boasts a 40-watt brushless motor that generates intense force feedback, amplified by Thrustmaster's patented H.E.A.R.T innovation. This technology is designed to deliver unwavering, top-tier performance over time, and is a testament to over 23,000 hours of dedicated research and development by one of the leading names in the sim racing.
The wheel itself is wrapped in premium leather, which helps it radiate quality while also improving comfort during extended gaming sessions. Housing 25 action buttons too, including four seamlessly integrated rotary selectors designed specifically for GT Sport, the wheel provides all the tools you need to seamlessly access any in-game commands you need.
It's also worth mentioning it can be used on PC, although we're highlighting it as a great option to consider for the PS5 as it is officially licensed for said console. Therefore, if your racing setup is overdue a bit of an upgrade, then make sure you check out the Thrustmaster T-GT II.
- Read More: Best wheels for PS5
3. Thrustmaster TS-XW
Best force feedback wheel for Xbox
Not every racing wheel is compatible with every gaming platform. The Thrustmaster T-GT II, for example, is a great option to consider for PlayStation, but it simply won't work if you try to hook it up to your Xbox. That's where the Thrustmaster TS-XW comes in.
This officially licensed wheel is a 1:1 scale replica of the Sparco P310 Competition wheel and boasts some pretty impressive specs under the hood. For example, it can deliver powerful force feedback through its 40-watt brushless servomotor that also features a unique cooling system to help it maintain consistent performance over time. What's more, it features a toroidal-shaped Turbo Power supply which, according to Thrustmaster, helps it maintain 86% power efficiency.
The Thrustmaster TS-XW also exudes quality, with it wrapped in genuine suede for super soft comfort. You also get two paddle shifters on the back that make shifting gear a breeze, 14 action buttons on the front for quick access to commonly used controls, and a directional pad with a push button function that makes it easier to use when navigating the pre-race menus.
We appreciate we've thrown quite a lot of information at you there; but trust us, this thing is a top-tier bit of kit that can take your setups racing realism to new heights.
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4. Logitech G920
Best midrange force feedback wheel
For those seeking a middle ground between premium and budget options, we'd highly recommend giving the Logitech G920 a try, especially as there are versions available that make it compatible with essentially every platform.
This wheel has plenty of appealing features. Notably, it offers dual-motor force feedback, stainless steel paddle shifters, and a hand-stitched leather exterior wrapping the wheel itself. All this combined means you'll feel like you're inside a cockpit from the comfort of your own home, all while your driving skills improve as you're able to react quicker to feedback from the wheel itself.
In terms of maneuverability, it provides a 900-degree rotation, enabling you to smoothly navigate even the broadest turns and tightest of hairpins, giving you more room to play with and, in turn, more precision on the track.
It's easy to mount too, and it comes with the usual D-pad and console buttons on the centre console to make navigating menus outside of racing that bit easier. Oh, and it comes with a handy set of pedals too. - what more could you ask for?
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5. PXN V10
Best budget force feedback wheel
Moving away from Logitech and Thrustmaster and on to the PXN V10, a slightly more budget-friendly option to consider that still manages to pack force feedback technology in, despite its cheaper price tag.
Not only is it compatible with multiple platforms and games, but this wheel provides easy-access dual paddles on the back, up to a 900-degree turning radius that can make corning easier, plus a force feedback system that allows you to use your tactile senses to feel where to improve while driving.
Its design has been intelligently thought out too, as it features an easily mountable two-way clamp, plus it comes with an anti-skid material to prevent you from losing control at crucial moments on the track.
This is also the first wheel mentioned that features both a set of pedals and a shifter as part of the package. It's worth mentioning all of these can be adjusted via the PXN app as well, giving you complete control over your racing setup.
- Read More: Best budget racing wheels
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Finding the right racing wheel can often lead to a ton of questions. Don't panic though, because we've answered some of the most commonly asked queries below.
Is a force feedback wheel better for sim racing?
Force feedback wheels are generally better for sim racing compared to non-force feedback wheels. The force feedback technology allows the wheel to simulate the forces experienced in a real car, providing more realistic and immersive feedback to the driver. This includes sensations like the feel of the road surface, tyre grip, and the effects of acceleration, braking, and cornering.
Having force feedback can significantly enhance the racing experience as it provides more information and tactile cues, allowing drivers to react more intuitively and realistically to the virtual environment. It adds an extra layer of immersion and realism as a result, making the simulation closer to the actual feel of driving a race car.
However, the quality of force feedback can vary between different wheels, so it's essential to consider factors like motor strength, accuracy, and responsiveness when choosing a force feedback wheel for sim racing. And, of course, you've got direct drive as well, which is a step up both in terms of performance (in most cases) and cost, so you'll need to consider if that higher price tag is worth investing in.
Are force feedback wheels compatible with all platforms and games?
Force feedback wheels aren't universally compatible with all platforms and games, but many are designed to work across multiple platforms and with various racing titles. However, compatibility can vary based on factors like the wheel's brand, model, and the platform or game you intend to use it with.
For instance, some force feedback wheels are compatible with multiple platforms such as PC, PlayStation, and Xbox, while others are just limited to one or two. Generally speaking, the divide lies between Xbox and PlayStation, with certain wheels working on one or the other. However, most brands usually manufacture near-identical wheels to work with each platform; all you have to do is double-check to make sure you invest in the right one.
Can force feedback be adjusted or customised?
Yes, most sim racing wheels allow users to adjust force feedback settings such as strength, damping, and overall sensitivity. This customisation helps tailor the experience to individual preferences and specific racing titles.
Take Logitech's G Hub, for example, where you can alter aspects like your wheel's torque output and audio effects, as well as other details like steering sensitivity, operating range, and centring strength.
Most manufacturers have their own software to do this, so make sure you download the right programme for your wheel to make those adjustments. Always double-check that you can adjust these settings too, as there may be some wheels out there that don't allow you to customise the feedback response, however unlikely that is.
How much does a force feedback wheel cost?
The answer to this can vary significantly depending on the brand, model, features, and quality.
Entry-level force feedback wheels may start anywhere from $100 to $200, while high-end models with advanced force feedback technology, premium materials, and additional features can cost upwards of $500 or more in some cases.
Some popular brands in the sim racing community include Fanatec, Thrustmaster, and Logitech, but don't just buy based on brand name along. It's important to research and compare different options to find the best wheel for your budget and preferences.