There are three kinds of gamer:
- Gamers who game for fun and the story
- Gamers who prefer real-life simulation
- Gamers who land somewhere in the middle
I’m the third kind. I like to enjoy my games, but given the right scenario, I love nothing more than a good simulator. Flight simulator with a flight control joystick was my game of choice when I was younger, but now I love motorsports. It’s another great genre to simulate but you need the best racing wheel to really enjoy it. I got my hands, quite literally, on the Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel for Xbox One and PC. More specifically, I got the Ferrari 458 Italia Edition with the additional Ferrari F1 Wheel Add-On. I’m spoilt sometimes. Here’s what I thought.
What does the Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Offer?
When I was younger, I used to play a range of racing games. The likes of Gran Turismo and Colin McRae Rally were my favourites. I had a Ferrari racing wheel back then too for my PlayStation and I absolutely loved it. It just changed how you looked at these games. Once you switch to the in-car camera and have the wheel in your hands, you really feel like you’re there. I should had, that wheel didn’t have force feedback and the Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel does.
Force Feedback And The Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel
Force feedback is usually just a controller shaking in your hand, but with this racing wheel it’s way more than that. The wheel fights you into corners and it’s damn strong. I’m halfway through a Canadian Grand Prix playing F1 2018 and when I last saved, I was sweating from fighting the wheel around the track.
As you might expect with force feedback comes awesome realism. The stock wheel comes with a standard looking car steering wheel. That’s standard if you usually drive a Ferrari of course.
To add to the narrative of being spoilt but also how much Thrustmaster cares about creating realism, I also got my mits on the Ferrari F1 Wheel Add-On.
Look at that beauty.
I suffer from a few scenarios that make me want to do things. After I see a gig, I always crave playing drums. After I watch a race, I crave playing a racing game. F1 Manager offers some relief if I’m not at home, but nothing scratches that itch like loading up F1 2018 along with the F1 wheel. It’s just an incredible feeling.
Having a button dedicated to DRS, my team radio and both paddles and peddle controls all ads to the experience. Its really no wonder that the lines between gaming and real-life racing are getting more and more blurred by drivers like Max Verstappen and Lando Norris.
Here’s me having the craic on a hotlap of F1 2018 in Russia.
It’s Not All Good
Unfortunately, it’s not all good. Linking the controller to F1 2018 wasn’t straight forward. Some of the key mappings aren’t great despite the game recognising the wheel. Customising the mapping isn’t a massive deal, but I’ve never gotten it working perfectly. That means in the heat of the moment you press a button that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to and your race is over.
I also live in a one bedroom apartment. Having a wheel like this setup permanently, unfortunately, isn’t an option. If you’re tight on space, owning a wheel like this isn’t a walk in the park. You need to unpack it, set it up, race and then put it away again. In a perfect world, I’d have a man cave with a dedicated racing seat for this thing. I also have to admit, this isn’t going to be a problem for everyone.
What will be a problem for everyone is the price. The Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel doesn’t come cheap. And you’ll have to pay for every additional extra that makes the experience better and better. For example, the wheel itself which comes with the standard Ferrari wheel and pedals will set you back €250. If you want the Ferarri F1 add-on, that’s another €170. That’s all you need if you’re an F1 sim enthusiast, but if you’re a rally fan looking for a gear stick and three peddle footplate, you can add on €180 for the gear stick and €170 for the pedals.
Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel: The Verdict
Okay, so let’s try and forget that price. The Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel completely changes how you look at racing games. Hell, it totally changes how I look at both my own console and Google Stadia coming down the line. Will server-side gaming ever be compatible with somewhat niche controllers like this?
While it’s pricy, if your a big racing fan and you have space for a gamers den, this is kind of a must-have. You can pick up your new whip on Amazon below. As per usual, if you do buy through our links, we’ll get a wee kick back so thanks for that.