My experience with racing wheels of any kind has been pretty slim. I think the last time I used one was way back in the 90s when force feedback simply meant that the wheel vibrated somewhat. But with the launch of games like Forza Horizon 3, Forza Motorsport 6, and of course Project CARS, I wanted to see what all the fuss is about and whether playing with a racing wheel made any real difference to the game. Introducing the Logitech G920 Racing Wheel, my test subject.
I’m a huge fan of racing games. While I’m no petrol head I do enjoy taking various cars for a spin around several different locations. From the hundred or so tracks found in Project CARS, to the mean outback of Australia in Forza Horizon 3, whipping around each locale has always been a lot of fun, even with a controller. But surely throwing a racing wheel into the mix just makes things a million times better?
At first, I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Logitech G920, however opening the box and pulling out the first part of this set up I was incredibly surprised at the quality of the wheel. Before securely attaching it to your desk or coffee table, the Logitech G920 just oozes quality. It’s a weighty beast and features a leather steering wheel which just smells gorgeous. Initially, the wheel’s steering feels a little loose, but at this point I hadn’t even plugged it in.
Then the next part of this whole outfit is the pedals. These aren’t added extras either, the Logitech G920 comes with a set of pedals too. Again, these scream incredible quality. Sure, the main footplate is made of plastic, but the pedals themselves are hard wearing metal, just like you’d expect in a real sports car. Already, I’m impressed with this whole rig.
In terms of design, it looks like Logitech went all out on the G920. With its real leather wheel with exposed anodised metal, not to mention the satisfying click you receive from the paddle gears at the back of the wheel. And the pedals themselves are of high quality too, though even on hard floor, the rubber grips do struggle to ensure the pedals keep put.
Setting up the Logitech G920 Racing Wheel is pretty simple, connect the pedals to the wheel and hook them into the preconfigured wire slots, the same with the power, then plug the USB cable into your Xbox One or PC. One little problem I did face was that the cables rarely stuck in the slots, especially when moving the wheel from different locations. It’s not a huge issue, but it’s awkward.
Another potential problem is that there are a lot of wires. You’ve got the cable for the pedals, the power supply, and the USB cable all of which usually end up going in different directions. This isn’t necessarily an issue if you plan to have it set up constantly, however if, like me, you plan to play it in the living room or at your desk, you’ll often find the mess of cables a little frustrating and awkward to get around. Fortunately Logitech know that this may be a problem and the wheel has breakaway cables just in case there are any unfortunate trips.
So, now the set up is out of the way, let’s just jump right in. The Logitech G920 Racing Wheel is a mean bit of kit. Upon connecting the wheel to either your Xbox One or PC, it instantly calibrates itself by rapidly turning in either direction before settling at the straight 90 degree angle. It’s worth noting that at this point I’d recommend you let it do its thing as this can come at a bit of a shock – it has some power behind it too so make sure no little ones are playing with it as you plug it in.
Once it’s all calibrated and set up the wheel instantly goes stiff. It takes some real force to move the wheel at this point and forcing it is probably not recommended. However as soon as you enter a game and the steering wheel becomes active, it’s as smooth as butter.
One of the main issues with steering wheels is finding a comfortable position. When I had it set up at my desk it was absolutely fine as I was sitting upright and had full support of my chair, however when I wanted to play Forza on the Xbox One, which is currently set up in my living room, I found myself hunched over my coffee table. Of course, it’s not an issue with the G920 as it remained securely attached to my coffee table with its clamps, but I guess it’s more of a general problem with steering wheels.
Speaking of the clamps, the Logitech G920 Steering Wheel comes with two hook-like clamps which are used to secure the wheel onto your desk or table. While there’s a fairly large range of movement, if you own one of the more thicker desks from IKEA, you may find that it simply wont fit, which is frustrating. Using the wheel without the clamps also isn’t advised as the power used to give feedback can often send the motor unit spinning around, which obviously isn’t good.
As for the feedback, this wheel is a monster. Depending on what game you play the force feedback can vary, however if you’re a bit of a terrible steering wheel user, like myself, you’ll often find yourself spinning out as the wheel tugs aggressively at your hands. It’s a fantastic experience, especially as it helps you figure out how to handle the vehicle you’re in depending on the feedback received.
The Logitech G920 Racing Wheel has a 900 degree range of movement which is fantastic, provided the game you’re playing is compatible with such range of movement. Games like Forza Motorsport 6, for example, do not and you’ll often be over steering the wheel to tackle a particularly sharp turn, only to find that the game stopped steering about 180 degrees ago. This means doing fast accurate steering can occasionally be quite awkward. It does take some getting used to.
The pedals themselves each have their own range of movement in order to mimic real life pedals, the clutch is fairly loose, as is the accelerator pedal, however the brake pedal is near impossible to push down without having to use some real force. According to Logitech this is to mimic the performance of a pressure-sensitive brake system for a more responsive and accurate braking feel. But unless you’re the Hulk, you’ll often find that you’ll be pushing really, really hard, causing the pedals to slowly slip out of your reach.
What makes this worse is that when using automatic gears, in order to reverse you REALLY need to push hard on the brake.
Overall though as a new player in the steering wheel world you can colour me impressed. I’m not sure whether it’ll remain a permanent fixture in my racing endeavours as sometimes being able to comfortably jump into games with a controller is a lot better than spending ten minutes to securely set up the wheel.
One concern, at least for me, is the price. Alone, the wheel’s quality is almost enough to justify the £299 price tag, however if you’re someone who only occasionally plays racing games, the price may be a little too steep. There are much cheaper options out there, but you will forego the quality.
This review is based on both PC and Xbox One games, the Logitech G920 Racing Wheel was provided by Logitech.