PC Racing: Much Easier With A Steering Wheel!

Force Feedback, Continued

Pros and Cons

But is it worthwhile? There is no final answer to this. Clearly, force feedback in racing games improves the impression of "being there" and adds to the thrill, but often it's not very realistic. Only some games create this illusion properly. On the other hand, the motor-controlled gear system and the centering affect the wheel's precision. My view is that, for equal quality, you get the best times from a wheel without force feedback. Objectively, I am neither for nor against, it's just that I find that the cost is not really justified, and so I prefer a top-grade wheel without force feedback. The Logitech MOMO is an exception, but what a price!

Testing Procedure

The first assessments were made during use and are therefore subjective. We looked at clamping quality and the overall impression of the wheel. Then we tested ergonomics. Several testers played long enough to form an opinion. Here, we should point out that, on the whole, everyone agreed. Lastly, we tested the precision and efficiency of the wheels in our two favorite games: Colin McRae 2 and F1 Championship by Ubi Soft. The rally game tests the wheel in difficult steering maneuvers and pretty harsh driving. In Formula 1, what counts is precision and alignment. We liked the force feedback in some of the games, including Midtown Madness 2, Need for Speed 5 and others.

For objective analysis, we took the wheels apart to see what their mechanics look like. We examined the potentiometers, axis holding, spring quality and the gear-wheel system in the force feedback models. We checked Windows XP compatibility in both automatic detection and driver installation.

For this test, we have only considered wheels of a certain quality. We may have let one or two slip, so if you know of any that are worth it, please let us know and we'll test them for the next update.