Dearborn to Pomona: top 5 wheels for PS4
You open the door of your supercar slowly, sit back in your favorite seat, turn the key and hear that alluring roar of the running engine. Your helmet and gloves are on, and you're ready to start the adrenaline-pumping thrill ride. But wait a minute... Where is your wheel?
You’ll likely agree with me that there is nothing more delightful than driving a brand new supercar, right? Imagine your PS4, a fully equipped wheelset and hours of racing. It all sounds quite temptingly and no wonder why. Managing a car with a wheel instead of a regular controller will give you an entirely different experience. Once you have tried, you’ll never want to go back to a gamepad.
But what differs a decent wheel from a toyish one? Let’s figure it out checking the best wheels for PS4 below.
I’ll start the list of best racing wheels with an inexpensive option - HORI Apex. If you’re a casual racing gamer and want to spend on your hobby as little money as possible, you should check out this wheel.
HORI Apex was released in the fall of 2016 and officially licensed by Sony. The HORI company is mostly known for making affordable or simply saying cheap accessories for consoles and PCs. I bet, when you hear the word “cheap” you think about somewhat with low quality. But you better believe that cheap not always means bad, and Hori Apex greatly proves it.
The wheel is made of plastic and rubber and overall has a sports car's look that might impress you. It has a DOR limit of 270 degrees which can be reduced to 180. There are 10 action buttons, two paddle shifters and a d-pad and you can access everything easily. The wheel also has a multi-vibration system, and its linear resistance is provided with a bungee cord system. The rim is 11 inches (28 cm), which is standard for Logitech and Thrustmaster wheels as well, but this one feels smaller and looks a bit toyish in the hands.
HORI Apex comes with the two pedal set. These pedals won’t give you a feeling of pushing real car pedals, but they still serve the purpose of gas and brake. It doesn’t take much effort to press them. Also, the sensitivity of the pedals is adjustable.
Buying this wheel, you should expect neither a strong force feedback nor a decent resistance. But it still will improve your lap times and in general, will give you a better feel for the car and more fun while playing with a regular controller. Therefore HORI Apex is a quite valuable option.
The T150 is also considered as an entry level racing wheel, which came out in September of 2015. This wheel features true force feedback, 1080 degree steering and applies a mixed belt-bearing pulley system. It’s made from plastic and has reinforced rubber-coated grips and 13 action buttons including built-in official PS4 buttons as well as a d-pad. The T150 also allows the ability to add a shifter and a pedal set with a clutch. Thus you can buy it and get more serious about your racing setup and gradually upgrade your wheel.
It has a two pedal set with an angle adjustment, and they are an excellent choice for the entry level comparing to the Hori Apex or Thrustmaster T80. Yes, they still leave something to be desired, but the upgrade opportunity makes them quite acceptable.
The T150 will be an excellent add to any VR game and will make your racing experience much more immersive. It offers way more than other inexpensive force feedback wheels for PS4. Therefore, I consider it as a good choice for both casual and pro racers.
Thrustmaster T300 RS
Thrustmaster T300 RS was released in October of 2014 and to this day stands out on the market. It’s smooth and has a powerful force feedback, so playing with this wheel will get you the most realistic sensibility.
The T300 is an 11 inches in diameter rubber-coated wheel that’s capable of rotating from 270 to 1080-degrees and has a brushless, full belt-driven system. The wheel includes two fixed paddle shifters, a tact switch and 13 action buttons plus a D-pad.
The T300 comes with a wheelbase, a stock rim and a set of two fully adjustable pedals that are made of plastic and have metal footplates. You can set the height and spacing of the pedals to 6 different positions. However, the progressive resistance in the brake is slightly stiff. But you can always add the excellent T3PA metal pedals, a separate gearbox or even switch the wheel itself for a leather or Alcantara one.
Thrustmaster has gradually designed four different editions of the T300: the stock edition, the Integral one, the Gran Turismo and the T300RS Servo Base.
Getting Thrustmaster T300 RS will be the right investment to your racing game addiction if you are a racer who always pays attention to the lap times and want to move up on the leaderboards.
After a prolonged pause in 6 years Logitech has finally released in June 2015 the G29 Force Feedback Racing Wheel, and it didn’t disappoint anyone.
The G29 is a hand stitched leather wrapped wheel with 900 degrees of rotation, dual brushed force feedback mechanism, 14 action buttons, red dial and a D-pad. Also, the G29 has LEDs that won’t leave you indifferent. They’re located at the top of the central column and light up whenever you need to change gear (of course, if the game provides this option).
This wheel comes with a set of 3 quite responsive pedals. The pedals differ by pressures from each other. Meaning the gas pedal feels different to press down compared to the brake or the clutch. It’s an interesting idea that makes your playing experience more realistic. Also, the brake pedal is nonlinear and gives you a more realistic braking sensation than cheaper pedal sets. Moreover, it is the only PS4 steering wheel with clutch available.
However, the shifter doesn’t come in the set, so you need to purchase it separately. Also, there are no other accessories being released as components to the G29. But if you are looking for a racing wheel and pedals that you don’t need to add anything except a shifter, the G29 is an excellent option for you.
The G29 is pricey but does offer a lot to back it up. This wheel gives you the highest-class physical experience, and with those LEDs at the top it looks better than any real car’s wheel you've ever driven.
Here is an icing on the cake - Thrustmaster T500. It was realized in January 2011 and originally designed for the PS3 and PC. So it does not work natively on the Play Station 4, but you still can use it with PS4.
However, a true racing pro will consider this wheel as the best option anyways and here is why. It offers you 1080 degrees of rotation to 270 adjustable on the fly, has belt driven force feedback mechanism and a brushed motor. Its rim has the diameter in 12 inches (30 cm) and can be simply changed with Thrustmaster’s quick release system. The T500 is made of metal and rubber and comes with a set of 3 pedals with adjustable angles and pedal faces. You can even switch a pedal style from floor-mounted position to suspended position.
This wheel is the classic for the racing community. It has the highest price and the incredible build quality as well. So the T500 will give you a solid driving experience, and if you want to feel like a real GT or Sports Car driver, the Thrustmaster T500 is a great fit.
Getting a lifelike experience
I agree that any wheel is better than no steering at all. But if you already have thought to purchase one and make your gaming process as realistic as it’s possible, it would be reasonable to spend a bit extra and make a nice investment into your racing hobby.
However, nothing will make your experience as much immersive as a VR headset and a wheel in a pair. With the VR headset on and using a steering wheel with a strong force feedback, your simulated racing experience will be on top. All those sharp turns, rough roads, unexpected bumps and roaring engine’s vibrations will be felt lifelike. Also, with VR racing games you don’t need a high-quality wheel because the headset will engage most of your senses. A better quality wheel won’t be a waste anyways.
So, whenever you get the wheel, just start practicing and be ready to show the world your striking driving skills!