Most Sim-racing players who are new to the game focus on the steering wheel, forgetting that the pedals are an essential part of a good immersion in the race. There are a lot of key elements to consider when looking to buy race simulation pedals, which is why it’s not always an easy decision to make.
We decided to take a look atone of the most commercialized pedalboards on the market and one of the most used by racing enthusiasts who want to invest in a first model: the Thrustmaster T3PA.
In this article, we will tell you everything there is to know about this model and everything we thought about it. We’ll tell you about the main features of the Thrustmaster T3PA, what type of gamer it is best suited for, its advantages and disadvantages, its price and where you can get it.
The characteristics of the Thrustmaster T3PA pedal board
The Thrustmaster T3PA is a 3-pedal pedalboard, the lowest of the American manufacturer’s range.
Here is a list of the main features of this model:
- The Thrustmaster T3PA is composed of 3 pedals, an internal metal structure, plastic parts and a large textured footrest.
- The 3 pedals of this model are adjustable in distance (3 possible positions) and in inclination (2 possible positions) and the accelerator pedal is also adjustable in height (2 possible positions).
- Thrustmaster’s T3PA pedalboard includes an industrial grade densified rubber cone stopper (mod) that fits directly under the brake pedal.
- The pressure force on each pedal is different: for the accelerator pedal about 2.5 kg, for the brake pedal about 10 kg (without the installed mod), for the brake pedal between 15 kg and 25 kg depending on your preference (with installed mod) and for the clutch pedal about 5 kg.
- The Thrustmaster T3PA pedalboard is compatible with Playstation 3 and 4 consoles as well as Xbox One and PC.
- This model is compatible with all Thrustmaster T-Series steering wheels and with a range of products in the Fanatec ecosystem.
- The Thrustmaster T3PA does not include screws for cockpit installation, but it is equipped with holes so that it can be screwed to various supports (including the cockpit).
- Dimensions: 24 cm x 36 cm x 42 cm (L x W x H)
- Weight : 3,46 kg
For what type of person?
The Thrustmaster T3PA pedalboard is ideal for beginners to Sim-racing or for those with a limited budget to invest in a complete set of equipment.
In our opinion, this model of pedalboard is not really suitable for experienced players, as these pedals would simply not provide enough feel for them to enjoy.
This pedalboard is suitable for both Gran Turismo and Sim Arcade enthusiasts on PlayStation or Xbox. For those who prefer iRacing, this pedalboard may feel a little light compared to a Load Cell.
Thanks to our test, we discovered the Thrustmaster T3PA pedalboard which is certainly an entry-level model, but which nevertheless has a number ofadvantages.
In our opinion, the biggest advantage of the Thrustmaster T3PA is its price. This pedalboard is a very cheap option, being among the cheapest pedals you can find on the market. They are therefore often the first choice for absolute beginner simulation runners. Although the pedalboard is cheap, it has decent features that make it more than just a pedal set. If you are on a very tight budget, this will be a good starting point and a good way to immerse yourself in racing simulation games.
The Thrustmaster T3PA pedalboard pleasantly surprised us with its comfort. Despite its price, the pedals are made of metal which is much more comfortable underfoot than plastic. In addition, you can adjust both the tilt (2 possible positions) and the spread (3 possible positions) of the 3 pedals, as well as the height of the brake pedal to find your ideal playing position and maximize your comfort.
Secondly, we liked the fact that we could add resistance to the brake pedal of the Thrustmaster T3PA. Indeed, although the original configuration can be used without any resistance on the brake pedal, you can also use the included brake mod (stopper) to add some resistance. This is a small metal and rubber device that is wedged behind the brake pedal and screwed in from below. It takes seconds to attach and remove, so it’s a quick way to add or remove resistance from your brake pedal.
Finally, the T3PA from Thrustmaster also has the advantage of being very easy to move around since it is very light and offers a wide compatibility. The lightweight nature of the pedals combined with the overall simplistic look means that the T3PA pedals fit very well into any setup. This model is compatible with the rest of the Thrustmaster ecosystem (steering wheels, bases, etc.), and you should have no problem with its compatibility with games and platforms since it can be used with the PlayStation 3 and 4, but also with the Xbox One and the PC.
It goes without saying that at the price the Thrustmaster T3PA pedalboard is sold at, this model could not be perfect and this test has indeed revealed to us what its drawbacks are.
First of all, we have to admit that the Thrustmaster T3PA pedalboard offers limited realism. As long as you calibrate your pedals correctly in the game, you shouldn’t have any real problems. However, the lack of overall feel with the brake pedal really limits the realism you can experience with the T3PAs, so this is an important point to consider when it comes to whether or not you should buy this pedalboard model.
Secondly, we found that the Thrustmaster T3PA model offered a fairly cheap feel. While the pedal faces are metal, the rest of the construction is hard plastic. This reduces the cost of the pedals, but it means they lack a bit of realism and look more like a toy than a piece of racing simulator. Although the pedals have a good feel when used in games with the brake mod, the plastic and the fact that this is an entry-level model feels underfoot. If you’re used to Load Cell pedals, or even basic potentiometer options, you’ll probably have a hard time getting used to them.
Finally, we found that with the Thrustmaster T3PA it was difficult to be consistent in the game. Without any resistance, you can’t get real consistency with your braking. Despite the included braking mod that you can adjust, you have to really push hard on the pedal to get the car to stop, which, while ideal for some riders, also adds difficulty to gaining consistency in braking. It takes some practice to get used to it.
Where to get it and for how much?
The Thrustmaster T3PA pedalboard is available for sale on the official Thrustmaster website.
You can also find it at a more or less expensive price, depending on promotions, at other retailers, such as currently on Amazon.fr
You can eventually find the Thrustmaster T3PA on second hand websites such as Vinted or Le Bon Coin, but be very careful with possible scams and make sure to check the condition of the equipment before buying anything.
While the Thrustmaster T3PA pedalboard isn’t the best model on the market, we think it’s a great starting point for beginners or those on a budget who want to experience true racing immersion.
This pedalboard offers a limited realism, but we found it very comfortable thanks to its 3 adjustable pedals and its large footrest. It’s a model that is also highly compatible and is part of several interesting bundles from Thrustmaster.
If you’re a more experienced simulation pilot, you’ll probably want to take it to the next level with another model. But if you’re new to Sim-racing and are looking for a piece of equipment that offers good value for money, the Thrustmaster T3PA pedalboard shouldn’t disappoint.
A beginner’s pedalboard with a good price-quality ratio