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Thrustmaster steering wheel : Which one to choose? The ultimate guide

Sim Racer

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

Every Sim-racing enthusiast knows that to perform well on the track, you need a quality steering wheel. Among the offers on the market, Thrustmaster steering wheels are particularly popular, especially among those hoping to get professional equipment at a lower price. Year after year, they produce competitive equipment for all kinds of platforms and bring both innovation and fun to all gamers!

In order for you to get a better idea of the wheels this iconic brand offers, we have put together this comprehensive guide for you. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about Thrustmaster, the history of the brand, what made its reputation and how to choose your Thrustmaster steering wheel. We will also introduce you to the different ranges of steering wheels of the manufacturer and we will present you a selection of the best steering wheels by range.

The history of the Thrustmaster brand

The Thrustmaster brand was founded in the United States in 1990 and began with a combination of engineers and pilots from the US Air Force, Navy and NASA. With its technological know-how, Thrustmaster began developing flight simulation products and designing games, headsets and controllers. The company’s main objective was and is to develop devices that offer extremely accurate gameplay and a complete experience with optimal realism on multiple platforms.

Since its inception, the company’s products have been used by video game enthusiasts and casual gamers alike. For the market segment it serves, the Thrustmaster brand is hard to beat in terms of realism and the level of immersion of its equipment.

Why buy a Thrustmaster steering wheel?

What characterizes Thrustmaster products is that they are distributed at a very affordable price for buyers. This has brought many players who are new to the Sim-racing world closer to the brand. You don’t have to invest too much to get a quality experience.

Since the early 1990s, when it was founded, the company has worked with brands such as Sony, Ferrari, Sparco, Nintendo to manufacture products for game consoles. For this reason, it is a company with a prestige shared also with the most visible brands on the commercial scene.

Although its products can also be used by experienced players, it is considered the best brand for beginner drivers. Thanks to the materials used in the manufacture of its best models, you will have a guarantee of purchase with a useful life of several years.

The defining aspects of Thrustmaster’s Sim-Racing wheels can be summed up in their overall mantra of how to approach the industry as a whole. They always want to instill the same level of care and excitement in all of their products, and it clearly shows in all of their steering wheel lines.

Passion, innovation and quality are the three key words of the brand.

It is this passion for creating diverse solutions and inventions that truly sets them apart from other manufacturers in the industry. How can people be passionate about what you sell if you are not passionate about it? This is their philosophy on this factor and more.

In terms ofinnovation, Thrustmaster never wants to be behind the curve. Since their inception, they have acquired licenses from leading institutions and improved the training of their workforce to ensure that they are always providing the latest and greatest gaming equipment. Each product they release is not only well made in itself, but it is also more and more innovative.

The final part of Thrustmaster’s mantra is to always use the best materials available on the market to build their quality hardware. Even products designed for those on a more modest budget are always thoughtfully designed with the best in mind to provide players with rugged and durable products.

How to choose your Thrustmaster steering wheel?

Considering that price is not a factor that influences so much about Thrustmaster steering wheels, compared to other manufacturers, the choice will depend on your particular tastes. First of all, you need to think about the type of games you like to play. In the end, the style of the steering wheel must be compatible with the design of your installation or cockpit.

For example, if you like F1, you should look for a model that partially or fully imitates the design of single-seater car steering wheels. If you like rallying, it is recommended to buy a version with a round circumference wheel.

Another element is the use factor, since some products are primarily made of plastic. Despite the quality guarantee, remember that they are not the best option if you plan to use them daily for a few hours. If you opt for metal or aluminum clad models, you will have a greater certainty that they will respond with great firmness.

The Thrustmaster Ecosystem

Before tackling the different ranges of the Thrustmaster brand, we would like to talk to you about their ecosystem.

This allows you to connect virtually all of the brand’s peripheral components such as pedals, shifters, handbrakes, etc. via a PC with a single USB connection.

This has obvious advantages. First of all, you can adjust the braking force with one software. Second, it reduces the number of physical USB connections required, which is very important for a number of reasons.

With today’s hardware, it’s easy to overload your PC’s USB ports and cause random interruptions. Also, some older sim-racing games do not work well with multiple input devices connected, and getting them to work can be a real problem. With the Thrustmaster ecosystem, you can easily connect your parts for smoother gameplay.

Another of the specific features of Thrustmaster products that is not included in their “Passion, Innovation and Quality” mantra that you will find in all of their product lines is that the Thrustmaster ecosystem offers the guarantee that all of the steering wheel bases they design work with all of the Thrustmaster products.

This allows you to mix and match accessories from the brand’s different lines without having to worry about compatibility issues.

The different ranges of Thrustmaster steering wheels

When looking to buy a steering wheel or any Thrustmaster product, it’s important to note that the brand separates everything related to simulation racing into three main lines. Keep in mind that there are other steering wheels and racing equipment that stand alone and don’t really fit into these product lines, when you search their website.

The way Thrustmaster steering wheels are separated not only takes into account price, but also pays special attention to the specific licenses they have purchased and worked on alongside other companies.

The first product line is by far the largest and most variable, and includes their main line of products designed for use with the PlayStation and Xbox consoles. It is usually referred to as the “main line” because of the number of products included. Because they are developed primarily by Thrustmaster, you’ll find that the materials used for these wheels make them more affordable.

Some of the real stars of their sim-racing lineup are in this category, including their famous add-ons like the T3PA Pro pedalboard or the T-GT sim racing wheel that many YouTubers use.

Then we have the Sparco product line designed for rally racing simulation. As you can probably guess, Sparco has provided the license for the manufacture of these products. The wheels in this line can be used on a variety of brackets and stands, making it a flexible line with medium to high price points.

Finally, we have one of the most well-known Thrustmaster product lines, the Ferrari line! As the name suggests, the models in this range focus on Ferrari designs and were developed in collaboration with the iconic car manufacturer itself. Prices and consoles/supports vary considerably from one area to another, making this an excellent range of products for almost any Sim-racing player.

Thrustmaster’s main range

Part of what makes this manufacturer so appealing to simulation pilots is its adherence to decent prices that people can afford. Of course, some of their products may be more expensive than others, but overall, the mainline steering wheel models are often offered at an affordable price so that anyone can try them out.

T150 – TMX Force Feedback

The T150 Force Feedback wheel and the TMX Force Feedback are part of the same manufacturing line, they are just compatible with different platforms.

The first one is distributed with an official Sony license for PlayStation 3, 4 and 5. The second is distributed with an official license from Microsoft for Xbox One and Xbox Series X and S. Both steering wheel models can be used on PC.

In terms of design, the style of the steering wheel, the base and the pedals is exactly the same. Both models are similarly equipped with a mixed system of gears and belts, a 12-bit optical reading, a versatile mounting system to adapt to any surface and have a size of 28 cm, adaptable to any style of race.

Among the differences, the most important is that the T150 allows a configurable rotation range between 270° and 1080°, while the TMX can only be set between 270° and 900°. The latter incorporates a total of 12 action buttons plus a directional pad, an amount that is equivalent to 13 buttons and a D-pad in the PlayStation model.

Both the T150 and TMX Force Feedback include a large two-pedal pedal board with three adjustable pedal angles.

Its Advantages

  • Very good return of strength.
  • Very affordable price.

Its Disadvantages

  • Pedalboard a little light.

Thrustmaster T300 RS

The Thrustmaster T300 RS steering wheel has a diameter of 28 cm and a perfectly circular design. Its 3 central spokes are made of brushed metal to transmit a greater driving stability.

Being a model distributed with an official Sony license, the classic PlayStation buttons such as PS, Share and Option are at your fingertips.

Most of its structure is made of reinforced steel and its central ring is entirely covered with textured rubber to promote a firm grip.

The pedals and shift paddles are also metal-covered, adding an extra touch of stability.

Despite all this, the sporty style is still present, with excellent finishes and a metal structure. Without a doubt, this feature is what has made it so popular among simracers.

The wheel base is powered by an industrial style brushless motor that incorporates a high precision FFB system. Its mechanism incorporates H.E.A.R.T. technology, which uses magnetic sensors to guarantee maximum durability. The rotation angle is adjustable between 270 and 1080° and its processing is 16 bits.

Its Quick Release mechanism allows the base to be used with other models of the brand.

The Thrustmaster T300 RS steering wheel is compatible with PC and PlayStation consoles thanks to its official Sony license.

Its Advantages

  • Excellent return of strength
  • Quiet engine

Its Disadvantages

  • The included pedal board could be better.

Thrustmaster T-GT 2

The steering wheel Thrustmaster T-GT 2 was designed by and for the maximum enjoyment of Gran Turismo and Playstation. It’s a high-end steering wheel that has all the advanced Thrustmaster technology seen in other models and has also been optimized to fully enjoy the Gran Turismo video game.

Its detachable wheel has a diameter of 28 cm and is covered with leather. Its rotation angle is 1080 degrees, which allows for a versatile ride.

The improvements are primarily in realism thanks to force feedback and numerous integrated technologies such as T-TURBO (more sensitivity to movement and more responsiveness), T-MCE technology (more precision and better steering effects) and theTFOC algorithm (optimal trajectory control).

The package includes pedals thanks to a high quality 3-pedal pedal board (the T3PGT) that complements the steering wheel.

The Thrustmaster T-GT 2 is compatible with the PC and PlayStation 3, 4 and 5, as well as the Thrustmaster ecosystem.

Its Advantages

  • Includes T-DFB technology.
  • Powerful and precise return of force.

Its Disadvantages

  • Its price is a bit high

The Sparco range from Thrustmaster

The Sparco licensed product line manufactured by Thrustmaster specializes in rally-specific sim-racing equipment. There aren’t as many products in this line as you’ll find with the main line, of course, but there are some racing wheels worth knowing about!

Due to the Thrustmaster ecosystem that comes into play, you won’t find Sparco racing wheels with a base included. You will need to purchase the wheels which can then be coupled to any Thrustmaster base currently available.

TM Competition Wheel SPARCO P310

Developed in collaboration with Sparco, it is a 1:1 scale replica of the steering wheel included in the Sparco P310. It has a black suede covering and its exact dimensions are 31 cm.

This steering wheel offers a unique oval design with semi-flat styling and features a sturdy faceplate withbrushed aluminum coated sequential paddles. The whole thing gives it a realistic and luxurious style.

Its rotation angle is 1080 degrees and it has a high quality force feedback system thanks to a 40 watt brushless servo motor with which you can enjoy long runs thanks to its Motor Cooling Embedded system.

The TM Competition Wheel SPARCO P310 is compatible with PlayStation, Xbox One and PC. The switches included are 9 action buttons, 2 joysticks of 13 centimeters, a D-pad with internal push button and 2 joysticks. Although it can be used for all types of racing, the model is recommended for GT titles.

Its Advantages

  • Powerful and responsive force feedback.
  • Very good quality of manufacture.

Its Disadvantages

  • Does not have a quick change wheel system.

Sparco Rally Wheel R383 Add-On

It is a steering wheel, also designed in collaboration with the Sparco brand, that pays tribute to the Sparco R383 in a 1:1 design scale. Although it easily adapts to any style of racing, in practice it is most practical for GT and rally games.

The wheel itself is covered with a soft, supple suede that promotes excellent grip without the discomfort that can come from other grippy materials.

Its rugged brushed metal black faceplate and carbon-style button area provide an engaging experience in the world of Sparco and rally car racing, ensuring maximum immersion.

On the control base you will see 9 action buttons, a directional pad and a touch switch with a lifetime of 500,000 activations.

The Sparco Rally Wheel R383 Add-On is compatible with all gaming platforms (PC, Xbox and PlayStation), as well as with the entire Thrustmaster ecosystem.

Its Advantages

  • Very nice design
  • Wide compatibility

Its Disadvantages

  • Joystick slightly too sensitive.

Thrustmaster’s range of Ferrari licensed steering wheels

Last but not least, we have here one of the most iconic lines in Thrustmaster’s arsenal: Ferrari licensed steering wheels! What could be cooler than playing with a shiny Ferrari symbol in the center of your steering wheel? This iconic black stallion symbolizes more than just beauty, as the quality of these racing wheels is truly impressive.

TS-PC Racer Ferrari 488 Challenge

Distributed under official Ferrari license, the TS-PC Racer Ferrari 488 Challenge wheel is a 9:10 scale replica of the Ferrari 488 Challenge. The model is only compatible with Windows 7, 8 and 10.

The steering wheel has a diameter of 32 cm, is covered withalcantara and is equipped with two paddle shifters.

The base incorporates a total of 15 LED lights to catalog the RPM of your vehicle. It is completed with 2 directional pads, 2 rotary buttons, 8 action buttons and a total of 25 configurable functions.

This model features all of Thrustmaster’s high-end steering wheel technology including the Thrustmaster TS-PC servo base with a 270º-1080º rotation angle, a powerful force feedback with 40 watts of power, an external Turbo Power supply and a built-in cooling system .

Its Advantages

  • Powerful and responsive force feedback.
  • Very good ergonomics.

Its Disadvantages

  • A little expensive.

Thrustmaster Ferrari 599XX EVO

This Thrustmaster steering wheel model is an 8/10 scale replica of the steering wheel included in the 599XX EVO and is manufactured under official Ferrari license. It is compatible with all Thrustmaster bases that accept detachable models, and the cover that covers the wheel is hand-stitched and made of alcantara.

The steering wheel structure is identical to full automotive standards, giving it a whole new level ofauthenticity and realism. This steering wheel has features such as polyurethane molding for a flexible feel and incredible comfort, combined with an internal all-steel“hoop”.

The touch switch included in the steering wheel exceeds 10,000,000 uses, its weight is 1.2 kg and its diameter is 30 cm. The materials used in the manufacture of the product give you the impression of being in front of a real racing car wheel.

You can use the Thrustmaster Ferrari 599XX EVO on PC, PS4 and Xbox and easily pair it with a steering wheel base thanks to its QuickRelease system.

Its Advantages

  • Incredible texture in Alcantara
  • Wide compatibility

Its Disadvantages

  • The finishes are not top notch

Which Thrustmaster steering wheel should I buy?

Now that we’ve talked about the different lines and models of Trustmaster steering wheels comes the most important question: which wheel should you buy?

It all depends on what type of sim runner you are and what types of games you play most frequently.

For example, the rally racing enthusiasts among you would do well to buy the steering wheel TM Competition P310 for its ergonomic oval shape that suits this style perfectly, while F1 simulator racing enthusiasts would do well to buy the Ferrari F1 steering wheel .

Those who like to play a little bit of all styles of racing should look for the Thrustmaster T150 or TMX Force Feedback models that fit the console of their choice.

If you are a GT fan and can afford it, we can only recommend this model Thrustmaster T-GT2 The quality and technology are incredible and the force feedback far exceeds any other Thrustmaster product.

As we mentioned earlier, your personal taste and budget determine which Thrustmaster steering wheel you should buy.

In brief – Conclusion

As we have seen in this article, the products of the Thrustmaster brand are unavoidable on the Sim-racing market and in particular its steering wheels.

Thrustmaster is particularly appreciated for its affordable prices and its quality models, distributed in three ranges in which you will inevitably find a steering wheel that suits you.

If you’re thinking about buying a Thrustmaster steering wheel, we hope our comprehensive guide has answered all your questions and given you a clearer picture of which model is right for you.

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