There is a fantastic Xbox One steering wheel to suit every budget, but why would you need one, exactly? Well, top Xbox One racing games like Forza Motorsport 6 are optimised to play beautifully with a standard Xbox One controller, but there’s a reason why real racing drivers don’t zoom around Laguna Seca holding RT to accelerate and nudging a small stick to turn. For the kind of precision demanded when you’re driving on the ragged edge, you need a steering wheel and pedals. It means smoother racing lines, progressive throttle input (so you don’t spin your wheels) and braking that lets you ease off a fraction if you lock up, just like a real driver.
The best Xbox One steering wheels also come with Force Feedback technology. Unlike rumble which merely shakes the wheel in your hands, force feedback uses motors to push against you as you turn, to jolt you when you knock into another car, or go light when you’re understeering. The effect makes such a difference, your favourite racing games will feel new all over again. So let’s see what you can get for your money. And if you're wondering about what game to get, here are the best Xbox One games too.
Best Xbox One steering wheel
Wheel rotation: 900º | Pedals: 3 | Buttons: 13 | Adjustable pedals: Yes |
There are really only two key players in the battle for your petrol head and racing heart; Logitech and Thrustmaster. Those are the two manufacturers who make the biggest range of affordable steering wheels - we’ll come to the ultra high-end Fanatec guys later on…
But when it comes to the Xbox One Logitech has got the goods with the excellent G920 setup. Logitech’s been rocking the racing wheel world since it’s brilliant G25 wheel, and the subsequent G27 has been a mainstay of affordable sim setups for years. But this is the first time it has created a bespoke option specifically for Microsoft’s flagship console.
The hand-stitched, leather-clad wheel feels luxurious, and comes with a fantastic level of force feedback response. A slight concern are the pedals, which come in a threesome if you want to go ultra-realistic with a clutch and stick-shift, but can be a little stiff on the brake to start with. Thankfully the pedals are well built with a sturdy floor grip for when you really have to slam on the anchors.
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The new Thrustmaster TMX doesn’t have the luxury feel of the Logitech, but then it is a good deal cheaper than the pricey G920. And it still has the 900º rotation of the wheel and Thrustmaster’s force feedback too. The plasticky pedals though are a little lightweight for my tastes, especially compared to the robust Logitech design.
Best budget Xbox One steering wheel
Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider
Rotation: 240º | Pedals: 2 | Buttons: 15 | Adjustable pedals: Yes |
Something’s got to give when you opt for the budget option of a serious peripheral and with Thrustmaster’s Ferrari 458 Spider wheel that sadly is the level of rotation that it can offer. Hitting full opposite lock in DIRT Rally isn’t an option and there isn’t the same tactile feedback that you’d get from a serious sim racing wheel.
But the Ferrari 458 Spider does still give you a greater level of control over your virtual vehicle than a standard controller by virtue of its wheel/pedals combo. It’s a great intermediate step and gives a decent sensation of racing for the budget price.
Best high-end Xbox One steering wheel
Fanatec Forza Motorsport Wheel bundle
Rotation: 900º | Pedals: 3 | Buttons: 17 | Adjustable pedals: Yes |
It’s not just a clever name: you really would have to be an Xbox One racing fanatic to even consider laying out this much cash for a console peripheral. This is hardcore simulation engineering at its best and as soon as you pull the Clubsport setup from its seven separate boxes (yes, SEVEN) you can feel the stunning build quality.
But then you could buy at least four Xbox Ones for the same price as the Forza Motorsport Wheel bundle and you have to go direct to Fanatec itself.
Still, it’s not just the build quality which is amazing, the Fanatec’s force feedback is the best I’ve ever tried - I genuinely feel I could razz a Renault Clio around Donnington in real life having spent an age getting my times down in Project CARS...the amount of tactile information the wheel and pedals deliver is incredible.
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