So here's my dilemma.
I like racing games. Love them in fact. As gaming progresses, and I tire of the regurgitated and often rage-inducing FPS games...I've turned more and more toward racing games. However I'm not a sim nut. I want to race with some buddies, and enjoy myself.
I don't care about the .002 seconds I could save by doing X instead of Y. I enjoy Forza 4 immensely, and have enjoyed the previous games.
Mobil 1 British Rally Championship (PC)
Gran Turismo 2 (PS2)
WRC 2011 (PC)
and I vaguely enjoy the Project CARS game right now. So is it worth investing $150-200 in a decent wheel setup? I don't make the money I used to, and I'm sad to see that the Logitech G27 won't work with Xbox 360...
I could see myself building up a very cheap rig, with a spare car seat. But if I'm not tuning, and doing iRacing, etc., is it worthwhile? I prefer playing racing games in cockpit with manual transmissions, so the G27 is hugely appealing to me.
So for a guy who likes maybe 85% sim racing, and is looking to play a lot of PC racing games in the future - should I invest?
I'll keep that in mind. I'm probably a ways out as I'm going to be investing some money in upgrading the PC heavily before the wheel.
Like most things, I'll probably talk myself out of it for a month or two, and then cave and buy one...
Once you play with a wheel, you wonder why the heck it took yourself so long to get one!
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I have a wheel that sits in a box never getting used because I don't have the time or space to get a proper setup
I would highly recommend getting a high quality multiplatform wheel from Fanatec. I shelled out about $500 or so for CSR wheel, CSR Elite pedals, CSShifter which I've used like once (no joke lol.. i like the paddle shifting better ) and a wheel stand. I still play both GT5 and FM4 with a pad quite a lot but I've started going back to older games I played briefly with a lower quality MS wheel or the like. I do not regret buying this at all. It's pretty bad ass and the pedals alone are worlds better than Logitech MOMO, DFGT, G25 or G27 pedals. The wheel is great and fully adjustable on the fly. The only gripes I have so far is the shifter mount to the wheel kind of sucks (too flimsy with the 2 rails) and a tiny piece of plastic cracked off around 3rd gear on my shifter. I don't use my shifter though so I get almost not use out of the clutch either. Gas and brake w/manual shifting on the paddles is a world of fun. Ironically the FM4 licensed CSR wheel actually has stronger FFB in GT5
I've started going back to games like Dirt2, RacePro (x360) and am looking to buy Ferrari and Supercar Challenge games for PS3, as well as repurchasing some PC sim games that mysteriously disappeared over the years. I also play a bit of GTR2 on PC but that's usually just some time trials using my DFGT. I am like you, love racing games from sim to arcade, mostly sim and I don't go crazy to spend an hour+ just to shave 0.001 seconds (although FM4's rivals gets me to beat at least a time). With a pad these games are fun but with a wheel, even if I might not be faster overall... is just more fun.
Soon enough (and finally) I'll be building a new PC rig to try out pCARS, iRacing and other racers that are due out soon (GTR3, rFactor2) at high settings since my current rig can handle GTR2 on low settings but not with weather nor a lot of cars on track without stuttering a bit. The Logitech wheels are nice and my DFGT is for sale btw, but I would definitely go with something higher quality and multiplatform.
You really need a decent wheel to really appreciate the difference between a sim and an arcade title. And they make the whole experience much more involving. I started with a Driving Force Pro I got for GT4 on PS2, use it with PC as well playing GTR2, rFactor, GT Legend, EA's F1 games...etc. Then after I started working(with real income, lol), one of my first purchase was the G25. The wheel mounting on a desk is ok, the tricky part is the pedal. If you are on carpet though the spike on the pedal platform works decently well in keeping the thing in place. When GT5 came out I bought a Obutto seat and that was a good buy and it further enhances the experience using the wheel. The bad part is that with Logitech wheel you are stuck with Playstation and PC as they don't work on XBOX, so I've never got into the Forza titles. As CuCo33 said, if you get Fanatec you can use the wheel across all platforms, which is a big plus. One problem with getting used to playing with the wheel, is I cannot play any driving game with a controller anymore...The in-game experience of driving a powerful RWD car on the Ring, threshold braking without ABS, actually heel-toeing downshift a H-gate box and giving it armful of opposite lock on exit is FUN regardless how bad GT5 is as a "game". I still just jump in the seat and play GT5 just to drive the cars...
It has fake tracks, but good cars, decent handling characteristics. It's about 85% of what I want. I like that you actually damage the cars. Could it be better? Absolutely, but for a rally game, it's about 10x better than that joke of a game, Dirt.
I think I'll take the plunge after I deck out my PC. I'm also vaguely hoping the 720 or whatever the next Xbox is, will support more wheel options.
I'm running a Fanatec Turbo S wheel with Club Sport pedals, and I'd never go back. I had fun bombing around in Forza with a controller, and while I'm not any faster with the wheel, I have a lot more fun. I got the wheel used, and I'm into the whole thing for around $300-350.
Since I have it, I've also been going back and replaying games like Dirt3, Race Pro, etc. Well worth the investment, and if you get the right wheel, it's cross platform.
Hold up a second... you can use the Thrustmaster TH8RS shifter with Fanatec wheels? Is this PC only or console too???
I'm really not a fan of Fanatec's current shifter and I thought by now they'd release their higher end one, which still isn't out. Heard lots of good things about the TH8RS shifter though.
and btw, I liked Dirt1 with a pad of course, it was still fun. Dirt2 though... not the same. Have not tried Dirt3 yet
Dirt3 is a damn joke. Graphics are good...but useless tracks, with crappy distance stages - and NO repairing during a rally, etc. Complete joke of a game, but it's pretty.