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The 5 Best Direct Drive Steering Wheels

Sim Racer

E-sport driver & Sim Racing enthusiast, I decided to share my passion on this website.

A Direct Drive steering wheel is one of the best investments an aspiring sim driver can make, as they are the highest end, most realistic racing wheels on the market. But choosing a DD steering wheel model is not easy when you don’t know where to start.

Over the past few years, we’ve had the pleasure of discovering and testing some of the best models of Direct Drive wheels, so in this article we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about this type of wheel.

We’ll explain what a Direct Drive steering wheel is and what its advantages are, give you tips on how to choose the right DD steering wheel and, of course, present our selection of the 5 best Direct Drive steering wheels.

 

The best Direct Drive wheels at a glance

#1 : Fanatec GT DD PRO

⭐ Score : 9.9/10

fanatec gt dd pro

PS5, PS4 & PC

✅ An excellent Direct Drive bundle

“We love it for its unbeatable offer and high-end quality.”

#2: Fanatec Forza Motorsport Bundle

⭐ Score : 9.9/10

thrustmaster tgt2 review

Xbox Series, Xbox One & PC

✅ The best Direct Drive bundle on Xbox

“We love it for its build quality and price”

#3: MOZA R21

⭐ Score : 9.5/10

thrustmaster tgt2 review

PC

✅ The pros’ favorite Direct Drive base

“We love it for its build quality and the detail of its force feedback”

The 5 best Direct Drive wheels on the market

We have selected for you the 5 best models of Direct Drive steering wheels available on the market today, ranked from the cheapest to the most expensive.

The Fanatec GT DD PRO

gt dd pro

BundleInspired by GT steering wheels and specially designed for simulation enthusiasts, the Fanatec GT DD Pro has a diameter of 28 cm and is covered in synthetic leather, offering an easy grip. It features all the buttons of a PlayStation controller and more, with five funky switches (4+1), an LED strip indicating rpm, and an OLED display showing gear ratios and other information.

The Fanatec GT DD Pro features a Direct Drive force feedback system, guaranteeing exceptional precision and power, for total immersion in the race.

The steering wheel also features two magnetic plastic paddles, the Standard Tuning menu, which makes it easier for novices to get to grips with the wheel without the need for complex configurations, and the QuickRelease system.

The package also includes an all-metal CSL two-pedal crankset for optimum strength.

This wheel is compatible with PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC and potentially also Xbox One and Xbox Series, depending on which Fanatec wheel you use for gaming.

If you’re on Xbox, we recommend you go straight for the Forza Motorport bundle, which has virtually the same features.

The Fanatec GT DD Pro (and Fanatec Forza Motorsport Bundle) is a jewel in the range of direct-drive steering wheels, reflecting the brand’s excellence and know-how in today’s market.

Its Advantages

  • Very efficient motor and force feedback.
  • It offers a wide compatibility.
  • The finishes and ergonomics are excellent.

Its Disadvantages

  • The price of additional options remains high.

 

MOZA R21

moza r21

The MOZA R21 is perhaps the ultimate in Direct Drive racing wheels. Although it is available for amateur players, this model is mainly used by professional F1, sports car and touring car teams.

The base offers 21 Nm of torque, which is well above average. The MOZA R21 wheel base’s force feedback resolution is exceptional, and the detail you’ll feel when using it is unlike anything a gear or belt-driven wheel can provide.

While this is a given with Direct Drive steering wheels, the MOZA R21 also provides more detail than its Direct Drive counterparts, thanks to its High Performance Engine.

The angle of rotation is unlimited, which is a real advantage over other Direct Drive and belt driven flywheels.

The base is compatible only with PC configurations and is definitely intended for more advanced simulation drivers.

For the quality of the construction and the detail of the force feedback you can feel, the MOZA R21 is definitely worth it if you have the budget for it. It is designed for those who have a lot of experience in simulation racing and offers a lot of realism.

Its Advantages

  • The force feedback is very detailed.
  • It offers a lot of torque.
  • It is rather light.

Its Disadvantages

  • Its price is very high.
  • It is compatible only with the PC.

The Fanatec Podium DD2

fanatec dd2

Fanatec is one of the largest brands of racing equipment in Sim-racing and is known for its racing wheels. Their flagship Direct Drive base, the Fanatec Podium DD2, certainly holds its own in the direct drive racing wheel market.

Fanatec claims a maximum torque of 25 Nm and no less than 20 Nm in motor stroke situations, offering an exceptional level of strength and detail thanks to the force feedback.

In addition to the driving features, the Fanatec Podium DD2 has a multitude of useful features. Similar to other Fanatec products, it features a versatile OLED display that shows steering wheel setting information, force feedback data, wheel temperature, engine data and more.

It’s also compatible with all previous and future Fanatec products, and unlike many DD models, the Podium DD2 is also compatible with the Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One consoles , as well as the PC.

The Fanatec Podium DD2 offers good value for money, even as the most expensive model in the Podium range. Its exceptional overall quality has made it immensely popular as a Direct Drive option.

Its Advantages

  • The base is equipped with a rubber shock absorber to change the steering wheel at full speed.
  • It offers incredible torque.
  • It has a very nice design

Its Disadvantages

  • It is not compatible with PlayStation.
  • It is a bit expensive.

The Simucube 2 Pro

simucube 2 pro

The brand Simucube is held in high regard among Sim-racing players and was one of the first to enter the Direct Drive market. The “Pro” version is the second level model of the latest Simucube 2 range.

The Simucube 2 Pro features a Direct Drive motor with a maximum torque of 25 Nm, which means incredible force feedback with increased levels of feel and responsiveness. The Simucube brand has also worked hard to reduce torque ripple, cogging and grain. These efforts were certainly successful, as the Pro 2 is particularly smooth.

This model is made from high quality materials and has an anodized metal finish. It features a quick release system as well as the wireless steering wheel function, which allows the user to connect a steering wheel to the base without any wires.

The Simucube 2 Pro is a very refined and competitive option in the Direct Drive wheel market and as such is very popular among serious simulation racers.

Its Advantages

  • It offers an incredible couple.
  • Great design.
  • It is equipped with a QuickRelease system.

Its Disadvantages

  • It is compatible only with the PC.
  • Quite heavy.

The SimXperience AccuForce Pro V2

AccuForce Pro V2 Steering System

The SimXperience AccuForce Pro V2 is one of the most affordable Direct Drive steering wheel options on the market today.

Unlike many competing Direct Drive flywheels, the AccuForce Pro V2 does not use a brushless servo motor and instead uses a hybrid stepper motor with a torque of 13 Nm. As a result, the quality of the force feedback is slightly less polished than some of the higher end options, but it is still very smooth and still reflects excellent levels of detail.

Although it is a budget option, the AccuForce Pro V2 has a useful feature that many more expensive steering wheels do not have. Unlike many Direct Drive models, which require a setting for each game or car each time it is used, the AccuForce Pro V2 is supported by SimXperience Sim Commander 4 software, which makes it easy to switch between steering wheel settings for specific games and cars.

Depending on the option selected, theAccuForce Pro V2 comes with anAlcantara-wrapped steering wheel with adjustable carbon fiber paddles and a button box with 12 buttons in addition to the AccuForce horn button in the middle of the rim.

We find the SimXperience AccuForce Pro V2 Direct Drive steering wheel to be a very economical and compelling option.

Its Advantages

  • It is less expensive than many other models.
  • It offers a very wide rotation angle.
  • It offers a lot of customization.

Its Disadvantages

  • It is less powerful than the other models on our list.
  • It is only compatible with PC.
  • It is quite heavy.

What is a Direct Drive steering wheel?

A Direct Drive flywheel, also known as a direct drive flywheel, is a flywheel where the motor is directly attached to the wheel shaft. This allows fora much smoother and stronger force feedback than most commercially available sim-racing wheels, which use a belt or gear system to connect the motor and the wheel shaft.

 

The advantages of the Direct Drive steering wheel

The main advantage of a Direct Drive steering wheel is the level of immersion it offers over geared or belt-driven steering wheels, as they provide a much more accurate simulation of steering feel. While a DD steering wheel won’t necessarily make the user a faster driver, it will make them more consistent.

Because of the level of feedback offered by these models, drivers will be able to detect understeer, oversteer and other driving characteristics much more easily. Because the car’s behavior is more predictable, drivers will be able to avoid mistakes more easily, so they will be faster in the long run.

With great power comes great responsibility, and DD flywheel manufacturers have had to account for the considerable strain on these flywheel bases when equipped with a direct-drive servo motor. Perhaps the most welcome result of this engineering is that many traditionally cheap plastic or metal components have had to be replaced with advanced ceramics and more durable metals.

What to look for in a Direct Drive steering wheel?

If you’re new to the world of Direct Drive, you may be wondering what to keep in mind when purchasing a direct drive steering wheel. Below, we have listed the factors that we believe are most important to consider when choosing a Direct Drive system:

The maximum torque

We are referring here to the maximum torque that the servo motor of a DD flywheel can produce at a given time. Since direct drive flywheels rely solely on their motors for realistic force feedback, the higher the torque, the stronger the feedback that can be generated. If you plan on making particularly sharp turns, you’ll want the strongest force feedback you can get, and therefore the highest peak torque possible.

The angle of rotation

This is an aspect of the wheel that is often overlooked. As a general rule, most geared and belt-driven flywheels offer up to 900° of rotation, which is usually sufficient. However, some simulation games such as truck simulators may require higher degrees of rotation, and many DD wheels offer much more.

Adaptability

Direct Drive steering wheels are like sports cars: they are incredible machines, but the driving experience takes some getting used to. When you first start playing with a DD wheel, you may find the torque excessive and uncomfortable. Therefore, it is a good idea to choose a model that allows you to adjust the torque according to your needs.

Compatibility

It’s important to choose a Direct Drive wheel that is compatible with your favorite system and game. Most steering wheels support PC gaming, but only some can be used on consoles. So be careful before you buy anything.

You also need to check that the base you choose is compatible with the steering wheel of your choice.

The weight

Another important factor to consider is weight. As a general rule, the more powerful sim-racing wheels weigh more, because powerful servo motors tend to be heavy. The real reason weight is important, however, is that you need to consider how you will mount the steering wheel in your racing platform.

The materials

Like any other steering wheel, you’ll want to choose a Direct Drive steering wheel made of high-quality materials like steel and leather. This represents a significant investment, so it’s essential that your steering wheel is not only powerful, but also strong, comfortable and beautiful.

The price

The first thing many people consider when purchasing a Sim-racing product is the price. But that should never be the determining factor in your equipment, because you definitely want to prioritize quality. Nevertheless, prices vary greatly between brands and between types of equipment. Direct Drive wheels, in particular, can range from several hundred euros to several thousand.

In brief – Conclusion

Our selection of the best Direct Drive shuttlecocks contains options for every type of player, whether you prefer consoles or are on a budget.

For the best quality racing experience and force feedback, we recommend Fanatec DD2, MOZA R21 and Fanatec GT DD PRO as the first choice. If you’ve never tried a Direct Drive steering wheel before, we recommend you try the SimXperience AccuForce Pro V2.

If you’re an experienced sim racer, it’s definitely worth investing in a Direct Drive wheel. The ultra-realistic racing experience provided by the steering wheel directly attached to the engine is absolutely worth the cost.
However, if you’re a beginner, we recommend that you start with a more affordable and easier-to-learn Sim-racing steering wheel before embarking on a Direct Drive configuration!

gt dd pro

Fanatec GT DD Pro

The best Direct Drive Steering Wheel in 2024

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