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Logitech G920 racing wheel REVIEW – Learning to drive all over again

by Eric Frederiksen | October 18, 2015October 18, 2015 6:00 am PDT

Whether you’ve been driving for 2 years or 20, stepping behind the wheel of a car going 150 or 200 miles per hour is a whole new experience compared to the more normal speed limits of everyday life. It’s so different that, for most racing enthusiasts, using an analog stick makes sense. For years, in fact, I’ve played Forza Motorsport, Gran Turismo, Driveclub, GRID, DIRT, and other racing games exactly that way.

When Logitech sent me the Logitech G920, though, it was time to learn how to drive. Again.

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As a longtime Forza Motorsport player, Logitech’s G920 wheel, which is the Xbox/PC version of their wheel, was the right choice. This was my first experience with a racing wheel, so I’ll be talking about it from a beginner’s point of view and what worked best for me.

A racing wheel is a big investment, and Logitech’s wheel is right in the middle at $399.99. Some others cost a bit more or less to get started, though the more customizable models can climb quickly. If you’re buying it for one game, it needs to be a game you play a lot, and something you have space for. Having an appropriate place to mount the racing wheel is absolutely key to having a good experience with it. If you’re gaming on a PC, this might not be a problem – the clamps meant to mount the wheel to a desk work great, and the carpet grips under the pedals actually do a good job of keeping the pedals in place along with the natural weight that comes with having big steel pedals.

Playing in the living room can be a bit tougher. A tray table won’t cut it. There are some pretty small mounts meant for couch use out there that I’m told work well, and they’re around $90 in quite a few places – they’re not absurdly expensive, but not example impulse buys, either.

I ended up heading to Ikea and picking up the Kallax shelving unit. I put it together, left out the shelves and then drilled some holes in one side to hold the pedals in place. The shelving unit and bolts ended up costing me about $40, and the wider shelf gives the feeling of a sort of dashboard, so this ended up working out quite well for me. Again, the desk clamps for the wheel worked flawlessly here. They’re pretty much unchanged from the previous model, the years-old G27, and that’s a good thing.

Dialing In

Once you get your wheel mounted, there’s going to be a learning curve. This is something I almost wish Forza had a mode for – a guided process to help you get a wheel dialed in. When I said it was like learning how to drive all over again, I’m not kidding. It’s really hard to start with. There are tons of adjustments to make – how much you have to turn the wheel and press the pedals can be customized in your preferred game’s menus, and you’ll inevitably end up changing some of them. Expect dialing in your settings to take a while.

Things do start to get better, though. The first place I noticed it was in the Indy races. Indy cars are touchy vehicles that demand a smooth line that an analog stick simply can’t provide. Indy cars are an easy place to start because for tracks like the Indianapolis ring, there’s no braking required. The ability of the wheel to provide that smooth line showed me quickly how much of a difference the wheel could make, and that was before I started to get into how the force feedback changed the way different cars felt.

If you’re looking for an Xbox One wheel to accompany games like Forza Motorsport 6, you really can’t go wrong with the G920. It’s Xbox One and PC compatible, meaning that if you really get into it, games like Project Cars and Dirt Rally are available on PC. The PC compatibility means the possibilities are really all but endless.

One of the big benefits of the G920 (and it’s PlayStation 4/PC counterpart, the G29) is its popularity and legacy. As I mentioned before, there are a lot of similarities to the old G27 wheel, at last in terms of how you mount and connect the wheel. This means that there are tons of great guides online for different ways to mount and use the wheel to fit your preferences, and that guides going back a few years are still quite useful. That means it’s probably one of the easiest wheels to get into using.

Logitech also provided me with a 6-point stick shift but, try as I might, I couldn’t get used to using it. I found myself much more comfortable with the flappy paddles. Despite my love of cars, I have little experience with manual transmission, so I wasn’t able to overcome that hurdle. The hardware is still, like the wheel, very good build quality and easy to connect, though, and works as expected right out of the box.

The build quality of the whole setup is solid across the board. There are more premium wheels out there that allow you to swap in a Formula 1 or other brand or race specific wheel and pedals. If you’re looking for one of those, Logitech isn’t the place to go. But for the price, Logitech’s wheel is comparatively easy to setup and will stand up to lots of abuse whether you’re mounting it to a full racing cage, complete with bucket seat, or just pinning it to your computer desk and slapping the pedals down on the carpet.

Ultimately, the racing game you prefer will decide which wheel you pick up. There aren’t any right now that work across PlayStation, Xbox One, and PC that I’m aware of. If you’re a fan of Forza Motorsport and are looking to get deeper into racing, the G920 is a great way to start down that path. No wheel is going to be cheap enough to make it anything less than a big investment, but the variety of guides and longtime users of Logitech wheels mean it has a good community backing it and widespread compatibility. You can start with Forza on Xbox and see just how deep the rabbit hole goes by plugging it into your PC.

Personally, I’m not quite up to where I am with a controller yet, but I get more satisfaction out of the simple process of racing, attacking corners, and doing laps. The Xbox One controller is probably the best controller yet for racing games thanks to its detailed vibration that seems custom built for Forza but it doesn’t hold a candle to the experience of your wheels hitting a rut in on a rain soaked track and feeling your control of the car start to slip through your fingers.

Disclaimer: We received a Logitech G920 wheel for the Xbox One from Logitech. We spent about 15 hours with the wheel before writing this review.

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Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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