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A racing wheel is a method of control for use in racing video games, racing simulators, and driving simulators. They are usually packaged with a large paddle styled as a steering wheel, along with a set of pedals for gas, brake, and sometimes clutch actuation, as well as various shifter controls. An analog wheel and pedal set such as this allows the user to accurately manipulate steering angle and pedal control that is required to properly manage a simulated car, as opposed to digital control such as a keyboard. The relatively large range of motion further allows the user to more accurately apply the controls. Racing wheels have been developed for use with arcade games, game consoles, personal computers, and also for professional driving simulators for race drivers.
The racing video game genre is the genre of video games, either in the first-person or third-person perspective, in which the player partakes in a racing competition with any type of land, water, air or space vehicles. They may be based on anything from real-world racing leagues to entirely fantastical settings. In general, they can be distributed along a spectrum anywhere between hardcore simulations, and simpler arcade racing games. Racing games may also fall under the category of sports games.
Sim (simulated) racing is the collective term for computer software that attempts to accurately simulate auto racing, complete with real-world variables such as fuel usage, damage, tire wear and grip, and suspension settings. To be competitive in sim racing, a driver must understand all aspects of car handling that make real-world racing so difficult, such as threshold braking, how to maintain control of a car as the tires lose traction, and how properly to enter and exit a turn without sacrificing speed. It is this level of difficulty that distinguishes sim racing from "arcade" driving games where real-world variables are taken out of the equation and the principal objective is to create a sense of speed as opposed to a sense of realism.
Driving simulators are used for entertainment as well as in training of driver's education courses taught in educational institutions and private businesses. They are also used for research purposes in the area of human factors and medical research, to monitor driver behavior, performance, and attention and in the car industry to design and evaluate new vehicles or new advanced driver assistance systems.
Racing wheels started off as simple plastic wheels hooked up to a rotary potentiometer, which were sprung by springs or bungees. Eventually manufacturers began to use electric motors in the controllers, in place of springs, in order to achieve a level of force feedback, first seen in Microsoft's Sidewinder wheel. At first this technology simply provided the centering force and other artificial effects such as shaking the wheel in a crash or other vibrations. However, as driving simulations have evolved, their physics engines have become more accurate and the developers have linked their in-game physics more closely to the force feedback. This allows the user to truly feel what forces go through the steering rack, instead of just artificial effects, and genuinely enhance the realism of the game. Despite this, some high end manufacturers believe that force feedback has still not been perfected, and therefore companies such as Thomas SuperWheel have not adopted a force feedback system in their products. Frex, on the other hand, has gone the other way and equips their high-end Simwheel with powerful force feedback and no mechanical centering device.
|Manufacturer||Product||Max Rotation (Deg)||FFB*||Clutch||Shifter||Brake Sensor||Pedal Type|
|Atomic||Lamborghini Gallardo Evo Racing Wheel||270||No||No||Paddles||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Logitech||G25||900||Yes||Yes||Paddles, H-shift, Sequential||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Logitech||MOMO Racing Force||240||Yes||No||Paddles, Sequential||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Logitech||Driving Force Pro||900||Yes||No||Paddles, Sequential||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Logitech||Driving Force GT||900||Yes||No||Paddles, Sequential||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Logitech||MOMO Force (Red MOMO)||270||Yes||No||Paddles||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Logitech||Driving Force EX||180||Yes||No||Paddles||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Thrustmaster||Ferrari Wireless Gt F430 Scuderia Edition Cockpit||270||No||No||Paddles||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Thrustmaster||Ferrari 458 Italia||270||Yes||No||Paddles||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Thrustmaster||RGT FFB Clutch 1||270||Yes||Yes||Paddles, Sequential||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Thrustmaster||Ferrari GT 3-in-1||180||No||No||Paddles||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Thrustmaster||FGT 2-in-1 Force Feedback||180||Yes||No||Paddles||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Microsoft||Sidewinder Precision Racing Wheel||240||No||No||Paddles||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Microsoft||Sidewinder Force Feedback Wheel||240||Yes||No||Paddles||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Microsoft||Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel||270||Yes||No||Paddles||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Fanatec||Le Mans SE||?||Yes||No||Paddles||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Fanatec 2||Porsche 911 Carrera Wheel||900||Yes||Yes||Paddles, H-Shift||N/A||Standing|
|Fanatec 2||Porsche 911 Turbo S Wheel||900||Yes||N/A||Paddles||N/A||N/A|
|Fanatec 2||Porsche 911 GT3 RS Wheel||900||Yes||N/A||Paddles||N/A||N/A|
|Fanatec 2||Porsche 911 GT2 Wheel||900||Yes||N/A||Paddles||N/A||N/A|
|Fanatec 2||Forza Motorsport CSR Elite Wheel||900||Yes||N/A||Paddles||N/A||N/A|
|Fanatec 2||Forza Motorsport CSR Wheel||900||Yes||N/A||Paddles||N/A||N/A|
|Fanatec 2||ClubSport Wheel||900||Yes||N/A||Paddles||N/A||N/A|
|Fanatec 2||Standard Pedals||N/A||N/A||Yes||N/A||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Fanatec 2||CSR Pedals||N/A||N/A||Yes||N/A||Potentiometer||Standing/Hanging|
|Fanatec 2||CSR Elite Pedals||N/A||N/A||Yes||N/A||Load Cell||Standing/Hanging|
|Fanatec 2||ClubSport Pedals||N/A||N/A||Yes||N/A||Load Cell||Standing|
|Fanatec 2||Porsche Shifter||N/A||N/A||N/A||H-shift, Sequential||N/A||N/A|
|Fanatec 2||CSR Shifter||N/A||N/A||N/A||H-shift, Sequential||N/A||N/A|
|Frex||Sim2Pedal||N/A||N/A||No||N/A||Hydraulic w/ Load Cell (HydroBrake)||Optional|
|Frex||Sim3Pedal||N/A||N/A||Yes||N/A||Hydraulic w/ Load Cell (HydroBrake)||Optional|
|ECCI||Trackstar 6000 Series Wheel/Pedals||270||No 5||Optional||Paddles||"Pressure Modulated"||Standing|
|ECCI||Trackstar 7000 Force Feedback||900||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Thomas SuperWheel||TSW Wheels, Pedals||720||No||Optional||Paddles, Sequential||Load Cell optional||Standing|
|A1||A1 GT Pedals||N/A||N/A||Yes||N/A||Potentiometer||Standing|
|A1||A1 Pro Pedals||N/A||N/A||Yes||N/A||Load Cell||Optional|
|A1||A1 GT Wheel||500||No 7||N/A||Paddles||N/A||N/A|
|Act Labs||RS Shifter||N/A||N/A||N/A||H-shift||N/A||N/A|
|Act Labs||RS Pedals||N/A||N/A||Yes||N/A||Potentiometer||Standing|
|Act Labs||RS Force Wheel||270||Yes||No||Paddles||Potentiometer||Standing|
|BRD||Sim Pro Wheel, Speed7 Pedals||290||Yes||Optional||Paddles||Potentiometer||Standing|
|VPP||Wheel, Hyperreal Pedals||270||Yes||Optional||Paddles||Potentiometer||Standing|
|CST (Cannon Simulation Technologies)||Pedals||N/A||N/A||Optional||N/A||"Pressure Sensing"||Hanging|
|REVZALOT||P36 Pedals||N/A||N/A||Yes||N/A||Load Cell||Standing|
|Defender||Extreme Turbo (PRO)||180||Yes||No||Sequential||N/A||Standing|
* FFB stands for force feedback.
Note 1: Includes two separate analog paddle axis.
Note 2: Components may be packaged together in some cases and sold as a bundle.
Note 3: Includes hub mechanism only; wheel and adapters not included.
Note 4: Prices converted from Japanese Yen.
Note 5: Utilizes fluid dampening.
Note 6: Prices converted from NZD.
Note 7: Future FFB addon possible.
A game controller is a device used with games or entertainment systems to provide input to a video game, typically to control an object or character in the game. Before the seventh generation of video game consoles, plugging in a controller into one of a console's controller ports were the primary means of using a game controller, although since then they have been replaced by wireless controllers, which do not require controller ports on the console but are battery-powered. USB game controllers could also be connected to a computer with a USB port. Input devices that have been classified as game controllers include keyboards, mouses, gamepads, joysticks, etc. Special purpose devices, such as steering wheels for driving games and light guns for shooting games, are also game controllers.
Microsoft SideWinder is the general name given to the family of digital game controllers developed by Microsoft for PCs. The line was first launched in 1995. Although intended only for use with Microsoft Windows, Microsoft SideWinder game controllers can also be used with Apple's Mac OS X, Mac OS 9 with USB OverDrive installed, and Linux.
Haptic technology, also known as kinesthetic communication or 3D touch, refers to any technology which can create a sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user. This mechanical stimulation can be used to assist in the creation of virtual objects in a computer simulation, to control such virtual objects, and to enhance the remote control of machines and devices (telerobotics). Haptic devices may incorporate tactile sensors that measure forces exerted by the user on the interface. The word haptic, from the Greek: ἁπτικός (haptikos), means "pertaining to the sense of touch". Simple haptic devices are common in the form of game controllers, joysticks, and steering wheels.
A steering wheel is a type of steering control in vehicles.
A paddle is a game controller with a round wheel and one or more fire buttons, where the wheel is typically used to control movement of the player object along one axis of the video screen. A paddle controller rotates through a fixed arc ; it has a stop at each end.
Polyphony Digital is an internal Japanese first-party video game development studio of Sony Interactive Entertainment, part of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios, which in turn is owned by multinational conglomerate Sony. Originally a development group within Sony Computer Entertainment known as Polys Entertainment, after the success of Gran Turismo in Japan, they were granted greater autonomy and their name changed to Polyphony Digital. Polyphony currently has 5 studios in Japan, the Netherlands, and the United States.
A drive wheel is a wheel of a motor vehicle that transmits force, transforming torque into tractive force from the tires to the road, causing the vehicle to move. The powertrain delivers enough torque to the wheel to overcome stationary forces, resulting in the vehicle moving forwards or backwards.
The neGcon is a third-party controller for the PlayStation manufactured by Namco.
rFactor is a computer racing simulator designed with the ability to run any type of four-wheeled vehicle from street cars to open wheel cars of any era. rFactor aimed to be the most accurate race simulator of its time. Released in November 2005, rFactor did not have much competition in this market, but it featured many technical advances in tire modeling, complex aerodynamics and a 15 degrees of freedom physics engine.
The Logitech G25 is an electronic steering wheel designed for Sim racing video games on the PC, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3. It uses a USB interface.
VDrift is a cross-platform, free/open source driving simulation made with drift racing in mind. It is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) v3. It is currently available for Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.
The Gran Turismo official steering wheels are a series of steering wheels designed by Logitech in collaboration with Polyphony Digital. These racing games controllers are designed to be used with the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 systems but later models can be used on PC as well due to their USB connection. The GT Force is the central part of a driving simulation cockpit installation. Official kits are co-designed and released in Japan by Logicool and Sparco, while compatible kits are designed and released worldwide by European manufacturers such as Playseat® and MoveTech.
Vehicle simulation games are a genre of video games which attempt to provide the player with a realistic interpretation of operating various kinds of vehicles. This includes automobiles, aircraft, watercraft, spacecraft, military vehicles, and a variety of other vehicles. The main challenge is to master driving and steering the vehicle from the perspective of the pilot or driver, with most games adding another challenge such as racing or fighting rival vehicles. Games are often divided based on realism, with some games including more realistic physics and challenges such as fuel management.
The Logitech Driving Force GT is an official racing wheel peripheral designed for racing games on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and Windows PCs. It is manufactured and distributed by Logitech International S.A of Romanel-sur-Morges, Switzerland. The wheel was released on December 13, 2007.
rFactor 2 is a computer racing simulator developed by the American independent software firm Image Space Incorporated and released for Windows in 2013. Like its predecessor, rFactor, it is designed to be modified and is used by professional racing teams for driver training and race car development. Much of its source code is derived from rFactor Pro which is also used by professional racers and most of the Formula One teams and NASCAR manufacturers.
The Logitech G27 is an electronic steering wheel designed for Sim racing video games on the PC, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2. It uses a USB interface, and is based upon the previous G25, with some new features including the use of helical gearing instead of the previous straight gears used on the G25. As of December 2015, the Logitech G27 is no longer sold by Logitech, in favor of the newer G29 and G920 steering wheels now offered by Logitech.