Unlike many other steering wheel sets we have reviewed, the Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch racing wheel is not heavier than expected, it is perhaps lighter. Similarly to its predecessor: the Thrustmaster Standard RGT FFB, there is a very heavy usage of plastic parts. For the price it is offered at, the plastic and rubber are ordinary. Nevertheless, the 9.5" wheel does feel very solid in your hands, and the thick rubber ensures a good grip. There is merely 270 degrees rotation available, then again - the standard one for the class. If you are into serious simulator racing, you should focus your attention on the 12", 1080-degrees Thrustmaster T500 RS racing wheel which dominates the upper mid-class. The Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch's layout includes four shifter paddles (two digital and two analog) and an overall of 10 action buttons with 14 locations. The clamping system uses a single screw, which made us constantly regulating it in an attempt to use the wheel on a desk. This, in addition to the uncomfortably light pedals module (sliding, regardless of the surface) can be really frustrating when in the middle of a race. That's why, if you'd like to enjoy your car races with the Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch racing wheel and eventually with a higher ranked wheel, we do strongly recommend suitable housing. A game seat will provide the latter, along with ergonomic positioning of your body during continuous game play. This taken into account, the wheel is literally plug-and-play. It is ideal for all the racers who have just merged from the arrows of their keyboard to an actual driving controller. And if you are willing to learn, you can take some time with the Control Panel software and all the various settings. Our test crew were in great wonder if this £80-£100 wheel was about to show acceptable results in play. Fortunately it did!
The single-motor Force-Feedback of the Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch racing wheel is perfect. It makes the whole difference between the gravel and tarmac coated tracks in Colin McRae: Dirt and Colin McRae: Dirt 2, almost as perceptible as it is in the real world. For some reason, we just couldn't set the Haptic Feedback to function on the Richard Burns Rally. This was largely compensated by another distinct feature of the Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch driving wheel - the four shifting paddles. This should have been advertised better. Almost every mid to high class wheel is equipped with a pair of digital gear changing paddles. They are by default set for changing the gears, yet alternative set-ups are possible. That's what we did with the digital ones during the test-sessions. We have set the analog ones as gas and brake. And here comes the major difference making the game play with the Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch so much more funnier. With digital paddles assigned as an accelerator and a brake pedals, you have merely two options - full throttle or zero throttle. Using analog gear shifting paddles - the more you pull it, the more gas you apply. Stunningly realistic, isn't it? The actual pedals when we used them are very responsive. They can be set for heel and toe downshifting, although this is used mainly by professional racers. Who are not likely to be interested into anything less than Logitech G27 racing wheel or the way better alternative of T500 RS/TH8 RS combo. Having a clutch, regardless of the lack of a gated shifter is still a plus though. It can be used for multiple slippery getaways at starts or at the pit stops. All the tiny buttons are in truth strong and responsive and the wheel never feels too warm whatever the time you spent playing. Because of the belt-driven gear system integrated on the shifter, sequential shifting is smooth. Last in sequence but not in importance, the Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch racing wheel is a very quiet wheel. The following games did not have default profiles for it: rFactor, GTR 2 and a favourite simulator of ours - the Nascar Sim Racing. Yet, after making the custom configuration, everything functioned splendidly. So, if you are keen on simulators, this driving wheel cuts no corners. All you need is an adequate stand and some free time.
There are not any major flaws of the Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch racing wheel, except from the obvious ones. In spite of being durable, the only metal parts used in are the metal axis and the ball-bearing steering mechanism. In terms of design it is ages behind the predominantly aluminium piece of art - the Thrustmaster T500 RS paired with the matching Thrustmaster TH8 RS gearbox. The turning radius is limited, so you should take in mind not to abuse this certain feature that much. There is no support for PlayStation or any other video game console whatsoever. The pedals module and clamping mechanism could have allowed better positioning if for some reason you need to mount the set anywhere else but on a gaming seat. Another a bit irritating trouble can be caused by the cable-arrangement. The Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch is powered by a standard AC power adapter which plugs into the base of the wheel unit. There is an USB-cable coming from the base of the wheel to plug into your computer. And the base (pedal) unit is connected to the base of the wheel with an additional wire which splits into two smaller wires. One of these has to be connected to the wheel base, the other one to the shifter. It would have been so much more convenient if there was a single wire for doing so, and the USB and power cords coming out of the pedal unit again embodied a single cable between them. All these are relatively common disadvantages for almost all the low to mid priced steering wheels. In difference between the clutch and the analog paddles, the Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch racing wheel offers.
The Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch costs £99.99 at the Happiness At Home's Amazon UK store. It can also be purchased for £102.01 from the Base on Amazon UK. The current total price we offer it at is some £90.00. All the taxes are included and if you order it from us, next business day shipping within the United Kingdom comes at no charge.
Whether you are an experienced simulator player with a long record of online championship wins operating the T500 RS (or a top-ranked £1000+ wheel) or it is the very first time you have decided to leave your keyboard aside for a while so you've purchased the Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch racing wheel, there are some rules you must not underestimate. Such is the stiff support you need for your back and shoulders in continuous game-sessions. Cutting through the sharp turns on an arcade, rally or a simulator car-racing game with a Force-Feedback steering wheel your body is under lot of tension, constantly and unevenly moving. Because of that you will feel discomfort, even pain if doing so in an office chair or a squishy sofa. What you need is a solid, yet ergonomic full-body support, similar to the one of real-world racing cars. Luckily you can achieve it without having to actually order their Recaro-seats. Please, do not misunderstand this statement - they are more than good, it is just that they are costlier than some cars. Long story short, after excessive hours of designwork and research, we are glad to present you the OpenWheeler gaming seat. It is fully ergonomic and the height is adjustable. The plastic pedals block of the Thrustmaster RGT FFB Clutch fits perfectly, as well as the wheel unit. Any different PC or console steering wheel will also fit. The OpenWheeler is solidly built on a galvanized chasis and it has reclining back. The fabric of the seat is long-wearing 100% Polyester which will ensure countless hours of non-sweaty sitting without distracting your attention from the game play. There are even hard-floor protectors included in the package. All this at a rather reasonable price.
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