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So, you’ve been playing racing games (or racing sims, sims meaning Simulation, and thus these being the most realistic games), and you think that buying a wheel would improve your racing experience. The prices in this FAQ are all in £’s, you can convert it to $, but remember that UK typically pays a premium for no real reason! This guide will mainly cover Logitech’s PC/PS2 offerings

Will it make it better?
Yes! Most definitely!

How much?
Well, you can get “cheap” wheels, however these really aren’t worth touching with a barge poles, you can pick up a GREAT new wheel for £50, you can spend more, and you can spend less by buying on of eBay (but beware, they are only designed to take so much abuse!), and you could pick up an ok wheel up for £5 (Excluding postage – Wheels and pedals are big bits of kits, and getting them reliably posted can cost a lot)

What do they have?
Well, most wheels come with a set of pedals, these are usually 2 pedals (Brake and accelerator). Some have FFB (Force Feedback), which relays bumps in the road through the wheel, and gives invaluable feedback, you can feel as the car’s tyres start to let go. It sounds like a gimmick, but it isn’t! Not to be confused with Vibration, which just shakes when you hit something, and is for consoles. Rotation is the last part where wheels differ, it is measured from lock to lock. Some wheels have 900, some have 270 and some have 180, 900 is the most natural, but you can race with 270. 180 feels a bit weird.

What wheels are on offer then?
There are many wheels on offer from a variety of manufacturers. The best (at least for a sensible price range) seem to come from Logitech:

Logitech Driving Force

Not very good, vibration (for PS2), and force-feedback may tempt you if you want a budget wheel for a Playstation and your pc, but if you don’t then don’t bother. 180 degree rotation. I think it’s out of production, and as such seems to command £35 new, which seems very high, and is really only worth getting around the £20 mark. Comes with 2 pedals.

Logitech Driving Force EX

Designed for the PS2, budget wheel. Comes with pedals, only buy this if you can’t afford the DFP. Probably works with the PC if you get the drivers. Comes with 2 pedals.

Logitech Momo Racing

A VERY good wheel, 270 degree rotation, 2 pedals, FFB, make sure you get a Rev. B version, as Rev. A has pedal problems, namely that the Pedals can move left and right inside their holders and as such the pedals read new "Highest" values and recalibrate, meaning next time you put your foot down you don't get full throttle, it's possible to fix, but requires grease and masking tape to do so! Currently sells for £50, although many people are upgrading to the G25, so expect an influx on eBay, and for prices to fall

Logitech Momo Red

Like the Momo Racing, same basic workings, only older, discontinued. Seems to use higher quality materials, although they are very rare and as such quite expensive. 2 Pedals.

Logitech Driving Force Pro

900 Degree rotation, like the Momo the Rev. A seems to have pedal problems, Rev B’s don’t. £60. This and the Momo are the best wheels for under £140. 2 Pedals. Expect to see more on eBay as people buy G25’s, and expect the prices to go down. IMO a little better than the momo, although i've heard people say the opposite.

Logitech G25

900 degree rotation. Better FFB than the Momo, turns 2.5x faster as the DFP, 3 pedals. Comes with a proper car gear stick (aka an H-Gate shifter). Put simply this is the best wheel for under £1000. Retails at around £150. I love mine, its FFB feels sublime, the pedals feel beautifully balanced, and the wheel is bigger - i love it, it's amazing, i wish i'd bought it sooner

Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback Wheel

Old and discontinued, but a good wheel, expect to pick one up of eBay for £5-£10, excluding postage, which, due to the size and weight of a wheel could easily be £10. 270 degree rotation, FFB. A great 1st wheel if you can find one. Come in USB or Gameport flavours, Gameport ones are cheaper, but useless if you have no Gameport, although you could pick a sound card (which would come with a Gameport) up for £2 (including postage!) on eBay, at least i did on my "Creative Soundblaster Live! 5.1".

The best bet? If you've got £20, get a Microsoft Wheel, if you've got £50, you could either get a DFP or a Momo, i would say get the DFP, others would say Momo. If you've got £150, GET A G25!!!!!! I recently purchased one, and it has blown my Momo out of the water, it is amazing

One last option - if you are disabled and do not have the use of your legs, Thrustmaster make a wheel with analogue padles, which could be used as an accelerator and brakes if you so choose

Where do I get one from?

You can get them from lots of places, i.e. shops that sell games, pc parts, eBay and RSC. RSC is the top sim-racing site, and has a for sale section here - http://forum.rscnet.org/forumdisplay.php?f=183

Where Do I Get The Logitech Drivers From?

Look here, even if your wheel is Xbox or PS2 only, it's still worth a try, as they usually work!

I have too much money and too little sense, the G25 sounds cheap, what should i get?

Many manufacturers make peices of kit to build your own ****pit (thats c ockpit, but the filter sees the word "C.ock" and changes it to ****!) etc, and these are the level of quality top racing drivers use in their simulators. NOT cheap! People include Frex who make all kinds of things. ECCI make very nice pedals and wheels, as do ACT Labs, in fact i used to have some ACT Labs Performance pedals with my Momo, they were very good, although the springs broke a LOT (aparently a common problem), i think this may have been fixed in new versions though. Still think that's too cheap? Get yourself a proper movable ****pit on a gyroscope. Shame it costs more than a nice car though...

Conclusion:

You've got £10? Get the Microsoft Wheel
You've got £50? Get a Momo, if you can't scrape that extra tenner
You've got £60? Get the DFP!
You've got £150? G-G-G-G25 time!
You've got more money than sense? Send me some for writing you this damn guide!