I know a lot of gamers who are seriously in to their racing games. When I say they’re serious, I can’t overemphasize that enough. I know people who have full racing simulation rigs set up and spare no expense at getting the most immersive experience possible, even going so far as to wear racing helmets when they play. As crazy as that sounds, there are a lot of gamers out there who, even if not going to quite those extremes, still want to have an immersive and realistic experience with their racing games. With those people in mind, Logitech has released the G920 Driving Force racing wheel for Xbox One and PC.
I have had the pleasure of spending some time with this racing wheel and taking it for a test drive on both my gaming PC with Project Cars, and on my Xbox One with Forza Motorsport 6. I’ve got to say right of the bat that without a shadow of a doubt this is easily the best racing wheel I’ve ever used. In fact I might even go so far as to say that it is the best game controller I’ve ever used. Yes, seriously.
Let’s talk about compatibility first. This setup plugs in simply via USB to either your Xbox One or PC. It’s pretty nice to know that it’s not limited to any one platform so you have some versatility. While using it on either it never feels out of place. It doesn’t feel like it’s trying too hard to please everyone and sits right at home while playing on either PC or Xbox One setups. Somehow it feels purpose built for both with neither feeling like an afterthought. I’ve tried racing with mouse and keyboard on my PC. I’ve even tried using my ‘Hands On Throttle And Stick’ (HOTAS) setup with racing games in the past. In the end I usually use my Xbox controller to race, even on my PC as it has always worked fairly well. Now after playing with the G920 it’s going to be tough to go back to the controller without feeling like a significant downgrade. I can see why so many gamers enjoy that extra level of realism and immersion provided by a quality racing wheel. On Xbox One it works well with Project Cars and I’ve been testing it out for the past week with Forza Motorsport 6—the latest racing title from Microsoft. It works really quite well with no real fiddling about needed with settings. Setup couldn’t be much easier. On PC it’s also fairly straightforward. You can completely program the controls on the PC with the Logitech Gaming Software too so you don’t have to worry too much about compatibility with older racing games.
Under the hood
Inside this unit Logitech has really built it as a premium product. They’ve integrated dual-motor force feedback so you can really feel as your car’s weight shifts, and the tires slip. Every little nuance of your drive can be felt. It was actually rather surprising and added a new dimension to the games I never fully appreciated before. It really helped me race by feel and be more in touch with my car. The force feedback seemed precise and realistic. The force feedback motors provided a significant level of force without being overbearing. I’ve felt stronger in arcade games but for home use I was completely satisfied with the precision and power of the force feedback system here. Logitech has also incorporated components to help this setup last a long time and stay reliable. Solid steel ball bearings in the wheel shaft help it stay smooth for example. Inside you’ll also find precision helical gearing modeled after those you might find in automatic transmissions. They’ve done this to reduce noise and vibration, and mitigate unwanted distractions. The result is a smooth and precise steering action. The top it off with a hall-effect steering sensor that uses magnetic fields to sense the position of the wheel. This technology all works together to keep the rig long lasting, reliable and precise, even with extended use.
Looking at the pedals, they’ve included separate pedals for throttle, break and clutch. Each pedal is weighted and tensioned to feel very good. Each is individual with its own characteristics. The non-linear brake pedal mimics the performance of a real in-car brake system with pressure sensitivity. This gives you more responsive control for fine accuracy as you take those corners. They’ve even gone so far as to let you adjust the pedal faces to your liking, which is handy if you have your own driving style. The underside of the pedal unit has sturdy rubber footing for hard floor surfaces, and a wonderful spiked carpet-grip system you can deploy to keep it still on soft flooring surfaces too. There are even screw mounts on the underside so you can affix it to your racing simulation rig. You’ll never really have to worry about these pedals moving around while you’re racing.
Taking a closer look at the wheel you’ll find some great attention to detail that really help this feel like a luxury controller. Hand-stitched leather around the wheel help it look and feel like a high end car, while keeping it comfortable, durable, and longer wearing, even for those of you with sweaty palms. The wheel has nice stainless steel paddle shifters behind it which feel fantastic, and the usual xbox button controls on the face. The D-pad doesn’t feel particularly luxurious but overall the controls are well positioned, easily accessible without having to look down, and function as intended so you won’t need to reach for a gamepad controller in a pinch. The wheel itself is capable of 900° of steering movement between full locks at either extreme. That means you can spin the wheel over two times over fully before reaching the limit, once again mirroring what you’d expect from a real car. The wheel has a brushed metal orientation stripe at the top so you can have a handy visual cue for its direction if needed, though I found I could simply rely on the feel of the wheel thanks to the ergonomic design. Mounting the wheel was pretty straightforward too. The clamps were convenient for use on a coffee table or desk while it was handy having screw mounts available for hard mounting to a racing rig.
Overall it’s virtually impossible to not recommend this racing wheel. If you enjoy racing games at all, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy them even more with this setup. It makes the games more immersive, making them feel more realistic and natural. It makes you a better driver by providing you more nuanced control and a more tactile relationship with your car. It really does take your racing games to the next level. Paired with Forza Motorsport 6 or Project Cars this racing wheel really shines and I could see myself spending a lot more time with those games than expected with this wheel. The Logitech G920 beautifully designed with precision, attention to detail and durability beyond what you would expect from a video game accessory.
The Logitech G920 will soon be at Best Buy in the Gaming accessories section.