I am a huge fan of racing games, or simulators to be exact, as they are one of the few action sports that CAN be reasonably be reproduced when sat in front of a screen with the right tools. Fortifying this viewpoint is the fact that superb quality controllers are coming out of the woodwork recently, one of which being the Logitech G25 force feedback wheel. Well, not only that, but a full pedal box and a H-pattern shifter, something which before now was rarely seen packaged with a gaming accessory and was a luxury gadget attained seperately. But who doesn't want the thrill of simulating a real gearbox to add to the mixture? It's true to say that nearly all bases are covered, yet for the price of £125 you'd be let off for thinking that it's quantity over quality. This review aims to show you how wrong that assumption is.
I own a PC and the G25's been my right-hand man for the duration of over 12,000 laps on my favourite racing simulators. That's got to be at the very least 300 hours, if not more, whereby this equipment has been under extended strain and pain while I'm muscling it for all it's worth as my on-screen cars are thrown around corners like no tomorrow. I'm a regular user of iRacing.com, a straight-faced racing simulator which is probably the best out of the clutch of available works out there.
- The ring of power -
The response, agility and strength of the steering wheel will be a delightful surprise to a serious racing-gamer. Driving over rough surfaces, kerbs or potholes will be felt distinctly and immediately, and the simulation of tyre grip and steering can be potentially arm wrenching. The range of resistance and the fluidity at which it is felt is a true cut above cheaper and even comparitively priced steering wheels. Whilst some other wheels inherently have a bit of residual resistance in the steering due to the friction of the gears and gubbins connecting it to the feedback motor, the G25 can deploy full force to no force in the blink of an eye, and back again. When I jump in and play, I can almost feel the sidewalls of the tyres crying out at full cornering forces, or the front wheels hunting for every rut and dip on the road as I make tiny corrections down the back-straight. If you are steering too much and allowing the front wheels to scrub across the road in streams of understeer, you'll know to back off. If you're hanging the back wheels in a slide because you got too heavy on the throttle, you'll feel the exact window of opportunity the front tyres give you to correct it. If you're traversing the undulations of a virtual oulton park or brands hatch, you'll feel the car go light as you simmer over the crests and feel it hunker down as you hit the basins. If you take a bit too much of that inside kerb into that chicane, expect an affirmative jolt from the wheel as opposed to a mild shudder. Just about every force that acts on a car is capable of interpretation by the G25, so if you are playing a quality racing simulator, rest assured that you've got a quality wheel.
It's obvious that the guts and glory on track are gonna be translated into heat and noise, but compared to my previous controller, the logitech Momo, it's quiet. My racing sessions last perhaps an hour and a half of solid use at a time, and there is nothing to suggest that the wheel is not engineered to cope, except an acceptable level of heat from the motor, which as a unit is quite compact, too. 7 inches covers the distance between the front of the desk surface and the back of the motor housing, and the very rearmost point is only 2 and a half inches high - perfect for tucking underneath or cosying beneath a monitor or extra tabletop. To round it all off, the design of the main motor housing is quite attractive in itself, with a sleek and sloping nose almost resembling the bonnet of any mean sports saloon courting the roads today. It's hardly a block of plastic, but a dark and curvaceous cover.
The build of the wheel itself is commendable and reassuring, featuring a hand-stitched leather wrap with stippled hand-grips and a healthy wheel diameter of about 9.5". This may sound small in real terms but is fairly consistent with a sportscar such as a Caterham. Maybe if you are a hand-perspiring madman you'll find that the textile becomes slightly slippery unless you make a point to dry your hands or wear gloves, but I find the leather to be a much more genuine and natural material than the squishy rubber my old Momo wheel used to have. Especially important should you desire to put the wheel through it's enormous 900 degrees of rotation, the plain and simple circular design is a simple pleasure that foregoes the fancy shapes some other manufacturers use to catch the eye. No frills to be found here except a solid-feeling and standardised (in a good way) steering wheel. The cross-sectional diameter of the grip itself is small and therefore more suited to people like me who hate the feel of a fat steering wheel which prizes your hand open and takes that little bit away from your sense of touch. A cross-section of about an inch in diameter makes this more akin to an 80's sportscar, before chunky, childlike units came into view. I tried a Fanatec wheel which fits this overgrown description and hated it, but it's worth taking into account that you'd get used to anything if you had used it for a while, so it's merely a matter of taste to a large degree.
Behind the wheelgrips are two large plate-steel shift paddles for those times when you are driving a formula or top-end car which uses them. Far from weedy, the paddles can be used without being delicate, as slamming the paddles to the hilt means you are only hitting the plastic backstop, rather than the internals of the trigger switch. A nice foresight, this means that you can flinch your shift-fingers lightning quick and you'll get the response you need. Mine have easily witnessed thousands upon thousands of shifts, and are still good as new. The 'click' may not be anything substantial, but because you can simply pull sharply to ensure they bottom out, you need not be listening or feeling for one.
On the wheel hub itself are two basic programmable clicky buttons. Two is not a lot, and when you've already binded them to look left and look right, there's no extra room on the wheel for pit speed limiters, handbrakes or anything else. This is my only proper grievance with the G25, and has been addressed by Logitech in the successor and more expensive G27. Still, it's good to know feedback has been heard, even if it doesn't directly benefit the G25.
Mounted to your desk via two twist-knob table clamps, moving and removing the G25 is a low-stress task. Whereas my Momo needed 2 of these clamps plus an extra one underneath, the G25 does with the 2 highly accessible and quick-change fixtures. These clamps squeeze your desk surface by hanging two L-shape grips underneath, and these are quite low-profile as they hang only 2 inches below the surface. For me, this has meant that the G25 stays permanently fixed to my desk, to the right hand side. I've got enough room underneath to use my mouse with my other games and programs, yet when I decide to jump into a race, I can simply untwist the clamps, slide the wheel over and fix it down. Deployment is 10 seconds, if that, and I'm in game. If you are a hardcore accessory buyer, this need not matter as you'll surely have your G25 mounted to a dedicated racing chassis! Using a universal USB connection and branching the pedal and gearshift units from it, there's no need for more than one USB slot on your computer, so it's got a small cable footprint too. An AC adaptor is required to supply the external power, but is also included in the box.
- The tactile talons -
The G25's partner in crime, the pedals, are themselves well built and impressive considering the package as a whole. A clutch, a brake, and a throttle - everything you need at a good build and feel. I myself am an advocate of the heel-toe technique, which is sensitive to pedal placement and resistance. Logitech have catered for people like me, and thus I can ply my skill perfectly with these.
The pedals resistance is not governed by springs, but gas struts. These bright red things are bracketed to the pedals and well housed, providing a smooth and noiseless operation of all 3 pedals. The clutch pedal is fairly weighted but is clearly lighter than in real life, even though my real daily driver has a hydraulic clutch and is already on the light side. The brake pedal also is nice and tough, though a trick seems to be missed whereby perhaps a hydraulic element could have been incorporated to provide a more realistic 'squeeze' of the brakes. But let's not be too demanding of such a good value package, as fussy and cash-happy drivers have already cottoned onto the existence of 'load cell brake pedals'; custom accessories which endeavour to simulate the hydraulic feel, but pricey is probably not the correct word! For now, the reasonable resistance of our brake pedal is still much better than the competition. The throttle pedal is largely the same story, but much lighter as to be expected.
The construction of the pedals themselves is not light-duty. They could happily reside on the shelves of a motor-tuning store as real products, because that's probably the standard to which they're built. Thick, brushed steel adds real authority to a pedal set, yet you can still replace them with your own custom pedals if you wish. The pedals and the mounting brackets are seperate pieces which allows you to unscrew the standard units and fit your own. Forethought like this is a great score for enthusiasts. Quick feet are just as important as agile hands in Motorsport, and if you don't like the ordinary pedals then you're still OK. The base of the pedal set is large and stays put very well. Carpet users are in luck as the base features a flip-down spike footing, but owners of laminate-flooring may have to think of something else. Luckily my pedals are backed against the wall, but you may need a rubber mat or base to get by with these.
High gear -
The gearshift unit, which can accommadate H-pattern shifting from 1st to 6th gear plus reverse. The gear lever can also mechanically switch to sequential shifting mode, so that the gearstick becomes a simple push-pull stick, which is more suited to driving GT cars or mid-range racecars, like real life. Also on display are 4 extra buttons, which to be honest should be on the wheel, instead of on an off-hand peripheral such as this. Clamping to your desk surface similarly to the wheel, the gearshift unit is probably the odd one out in this package. Whereas the wheel and pedals feel sturdy and substantial, the same can not necessarily be said of this almost fully-plastic device. When I purchased my G25, I already owned a standalone Act Labs H-pattern shifter, worth about £70. When comparing, I much preferred the Act Labs shifter, but let's be fair - my old faithful shifter was hardly going to be toppled by a packaged unit which was probably worth half as much in real terms. In spite of this, friends who DO use the G25's shifter report that is does the job cleanly and well, and should not be sniffed at as an entry-level unit. If it's still alive after many frantic races, I trust that to be endorsement enough for the durability, even if it may not initially feel like it.
The lever itself has a ball-shape top which sees a leather wrap similar to the wheel used on the knob and gaiter. The amount of throw is fairly small and selection is not quite as crisp, but it is far, far better than being stuck with sequential paddle shifting all your simulation life, and as mentioned is surely the perfect trainer for a more expensive unit in the future. I admit to being spoiled by my Act Labs shifter in this respect, and can only commend Logitech for refusing to make the shifter merely an optional extra and packaging it as one, even if it's outclassed by the wheel and pedals supplied with it.
Packaged with the G25 is the Logitech profiler software, featuring interfaces and drivers for your wheel to help you get going. Installation of a Logitech controller is often easy peasy, and such a rough and ready accessory is no different. Calibration and setup of the wheel is all handled in installation and you are walked through for most of it. Once installed, there are a handful of vital attributes which can be tweaked to your liking to make the force feedback translatable to you. With force feedback items, fettling and fiddling is important to make your wheel feel in tune to your senses, and things such as Spring effect and Damper effect can be adjusted with a simple slider. Up to 900 degrees of rotation are available - if you want it. It's important that this particular item is adjustable because personally I find it a bit too handy and somewhat disconnecting to have 2 and a half full rotations lock-to-lock, whereas some people love it and relish the frantic domination of the steering wheel. Some of these settings will appear to be another language for the typical layman, but if you follow advice from your respective game's experts, you can get the best out of your game and the adjustability will be well thanked for. On startup of your computer a self-test is done by the wheel whereby it will automatically steer the wheel lock-to-lock, provided it's plugged in. Most force feedback wheels do this, but the G25 stands out because the sheer speed at which the computer can rotate the wheel is testament to the agility and forces possible. Strength is adjustable, of course, but all bases are covered. If your chosen game does not offer changeable settings, Logitech's software does.
Finish line -
The G25 impressed me from day one and is still my most-used and most-loved accessory. Aiming to provide more brawn to the desktop PC, it delivers a wheel that can really move you. Before I bit the bullet and purchased one, I found it hard to imagine such a good controller would be reasonably priced, and however impressed I used to be with my old Momo, the G25 just destroyed those benchmarks. Logitech's successor, the G27, promises an improvement to the G25, such as more on-wheel buttons and even quieter or smoother operation, but as a basic package the G25 is worth the money, even if it was for the wheel alone. As a middle point between bargain basement wheels and professional bespoke equipment, this wheel has a great reputation for driving forward the level of quality expected. I've owned my Logitech G25 for around 3 years and I cannot praise it enough. When I have taken my car to a real trackday, I've had my G25 to thank for it's agile simulation of a real car!
I'm a big racing fan and especially of the famous racing game Gran Turismo 5. If you simply want to enjoy one of the most realistic racing simulators you should have to actually have a steering wheel and I mean not just a racing wheel for 20 euros, I mean: the G25! The racing wheel in the racing world.
With the Logitech G25 is clearly a couple of giant steps ahead in the Force Feedback. Force feedback implies that the steering controls are heavier in some situations what makes it more realistic. You can even adjust the amount of feedback in the menu of the game.
The G-series is Logitech's consists of keyboards, mice, controllers, speakers and headphones when it comes to gaming accessories, it. Most of these accessories use USB instead of PS / 2 connectors that normally ared used for the mouse or keyboard, because if you're playing a game it needs to respond immediately and there should be no delay in it. The G25 is the first racing wheel in the Logitech G-series, unfortunately it is currently quite difficult to buy the G25 because this has been replaced by the G27, the newer model of the wheel. There are just not very much differences except that there are 6 instead of 2 buttons on the wheel, and there is a digital counter on the steering wheel you can see how far you are turning the wheel.
Many people say that the G25 was created for a simulation racing game namely Gran Turismo 5, this is not true because the G25 works fine for lots of racing and simulation games, I also use the wheel in various simulation games and worked fine mainly because you can rotate 900 degrees with the handlebars.
When I took the wheel out of the box I thought at first that I had inherited a real steering wheel. The leather of the steering wheel, various pedals, H pattern to the switching unit. The G25 also reflects that it is not just a cheap steering wheel what you see at the nearest toy shop. Shame about the excessive number of cables.
Steering wheel, switch panel unit and the pedal are of good quality and nicely finished, many parts of the set consist of stainless steel parts, once you have the steering wheel you will notice that it is not just a toy racing handlebar, no this is the real deal, I have the wheel for a year now.
The connection is still quite difficult, there are cables to the panel, pedal and the power switching unit and that should all go back to the steering wheel making it quite a task.
The switching unit is fully equipped, you can use the H pattern where you have all six gears while you can also choose whether you want to use the clutch or not, you can set the switching unit semi-automatic. In most games you can also choose to automatically switch where you do not need the whole unit. When switching through the shifter feel any resistance which is not very realistic. The buttons are on the switch unit are standard buttons such as square, triangle, circle and cross are also buttons for left, right, up and down. Furthermore there are four red buttons. All these buttons allow you to use after your preference in the corresponding game.
You have three pedals and all the three pedals feel is different to, the clutch pedal (far left) is equal to the brake pedal but lighter than the brake pedal and heavier than the gas pedal, you have the brake (middle) that is the heaviest of all the pedals and has the same size as the clutch, then eventually even the gas pedal and the pedal is also the largest of the three, it is also the least difficult to press. The pedals are stainless steel behind a red suspension that provides the force of pressing the pedal.
The advantages of this control are: the force feedback that works great and really makes the racing more realistic. This wheel can also rotate 900 degrees which you can steer very well and accurately.
I think there are a few disadvantages, one disadvantage of this is quite a significant downside to the wheel, namely the large amount of cables, if you just feel like a racing game to play with the wheel, you surely need 10 minutes trying to connect everything.
For the real racing fans, this is (or G27) the most affordable racing wheel on the market for 30 pounds.
Believe all the hype! This wheel is fantastic. I have had several cars that had worse feeling setups than this. The quality of build on this Stainless steel and leather unit really justify its high price tag. I bought mine second hand for £150 and it looks and feels brand new.
I have this setup with a racing chair on a fairly low table and the various mounting options secure the wheel and the gear selector securely at all times. As well as the plastic grips, there is the option to bolt into the screw threads if you wish to secure it permanently.
The wheel itself is chunky and comfortable and features two programmable thumb buttons, as well as gear paddles that have a positive feel and perfect placement. If that's not your thing you can set the separate gear control box either to the left or right of the wheel. It's easy screw thread fixing system can be locked into the main unit once fixed looks really neat.
The gear controls house a full D pad with eight other buttons which means any PS3 game is easy to navigate without an additional controller. All the buttons are within reach of your resting position.
The unit that really sets the G25 apart from previous models is the pedal box. The addition of the clutch allows games such as Gran Turismo 5 to really put you in the game and make this a totally immersive experience.
Since getting my G25 I would never go back, other wheels feel like toys compared to the solid feel and strong feedback the G25 gives.
Yes, it is very expensive, but it gives a true simulator feel. I have only used it with the Playstation 3 bit I can strongly recommend it.
At first i was a bit wary of spending a couple of hundred of hard earned pounds on a pc steering but eventually took the plunge and bought Logitech's G25 wheel. It is without doubt one of the best purchases i have ever made.
For a start the quality is second to none. The wheel itself is covered in leather and the paddle shifters behind the wheel are stainless steel. This adds more realism and comfort compared to the other wheels out on the market which are mainly cheap, plastic affairs.
The wheel comes with a gear shifter and a pedal set consisting of a throttle pedal, brake pedal and a clutch pedal, again in stainless steel. As soon as you hook it up to your favourite racing game you will be blown away by the feedback this steering wheels gives back. Loss of traction causes the steering wheel to feel 'light' and running over rumble strips on a race track certain gives you the feeling that it is all happening for real! The mechanism inside the steering wheel is belt driven, giving you multiple sensations to your finger tips allowing you to 'feel' how the car is handling. The first time i used this wheel i was completely blown away. You definately get all of the feelings that you would driving a car for real. As mentioned before, the G25 comes complete with a gear selector. The beauty of this seperate unit is that it can be clamped either side of the wheel, for user preference and Logitech have spoilt the user by providing 2 ways to change gear, Just a twist of a knob allows you to either use a sequential gearbox or a H pattern gear box.
The pedals are also very sturdy and durable. Under the pedal box is a carpet gripped which allows the unit to remain fixed to the floor preventing the pedals sliding away from your feet.
Although Logitech have released the new G27, this wheel is still up there with the best. A definate purchase for you armchair racers which you will not be disapointed with.
Wow so much fun has to be my first comment on this steering wheel.
I've borrowed this off my brother for the time being but will be buying my own soon. I use this steering wheel with the PS3, and it really does make the gaming experience much more enjoyable than using the control pad. The feed back it offers can be a bit strange to start, but by using this you can get faster lap times due to the precession of the feedback, and being able to feel every little movement of the car (i'm sure I even felt a bit of gravel). To start i never really got used to the clutch but after a bit of practice I was flying round. All the controls on this piece of equipment are perfect. The only down side is the price (but as the one i've got is on long term lone I've not had to worry about that)
I upgraded to a g25 from an old ms sidewinder several years ago, i use mine on a pc but i've also used it briefly on my ps2. I love this wheel, it gives so much feel over virtual cars. I use mine on live for speed mostly, and everything about it is perfect, every sideways and every gearshift (albeit with a gearbox which is a little too perfect, there needs to be no force behind your shift, but i guess if you needed to use that same force you'd pull the gearstick out..) feels so real, missing gears is just as irritating as real life, and the wheel swings round to the direction you're going (ie not always straight, like when you're drifting) and you get that realistic bump that tells you when you've wound enough oppisite lock on.
My only slight (and they are slight) reservations are the auto calibration cycle, which is fine when it's mounted, inevetably pulls on cables and traps your fingers when unmounted, i'd prefer that to be a button rather than an automatic cycle, the brake pedal, while firmer than the accelerator still doesn't feel quite right, feels like the brakes need bleeding and because of the design of the pedal box you can't do the squash ball trick (google if you don't know) and with gt4 at least it took none of the advantages of such an awesome wheel (no 900 degree control, no clutch, and only a sequencial gearbox. Maybe games exist that use all these features and i just don't know about them, but for gt4 at least i can't understand why you'd pay the extra over a 270 degree force feedback wheel without a clutch.
For most decent pc racing games i couldn't recommend this enough, and it's most major downfall is the lack of support on consoles (as far as i know anyway!)
Make no bones about it, this is the Rolls Royce of steering wheels. Finished in hand stitched leather, with beautifully weighted aluminium pedals the G25 certainly is an excellent wheel.
The actual wheel is a very good size: not too big nor too small, and behind it are two aluminium shifter paddles which have a great feel. The G25 comprises of two motors, and the force feedback is both accurate and powerful.
The pedals are a joy to use, positioned very well for proper heel and toe downshifts when using the gearstick (see below) and are weighted proper - the accelerator pedal is light, the clutch pedal is slightly heavier and the brake pedal is much heavier. They don't have springs - instead they have gas struts, so the pedals will never get lighter the more you use them.
The G25's real niche is its gearstick which is great fun to use. Only certain games allow proper use, but one that is is lucky GT5. To move off with it enabled in G25 is just like in a proper car: you depress the clutch pedal, move the shifter into first and then slowly release the clutch pedal while building up the revs with the accelerator. To shift its the same again: depress clutch pedal, move up/down a gear and then re-engage the clutch. It's possible to do heel and toe which is very satisfying, although the gear stick doesn't feel as solid as the rest of the G25 and is a bit small. Otherwise it really is very good.
Overall, the Logitech G25 is really good to use, at ~£150 it's not a bargain wheel, but it really is worth the price - it's especially recommended for late night gaming sessions on GT5!
A must for any aspiring sim racer, the pedals are the best i've ever used, beating seperate units from people such as ACT Labs, with a weighted brake, the force feedback is excellent, better than the Driving Force Pro and the Logitech Momo. The shifter unit is a little small and the leads are a little short, however the feel of the leather and the general quality of the construction make up for this entirely.
Simulator-grade force feedback. Rock-solid 900 degree steering. Six-speed shifter. With the Logitech G25 Racing Wheel, you're not playing games anymore - you're racing! The 28cm (11") leather-covered wheel has a stainless steel frame for superior rigidity. The dual-motor force feedback mechanism sports two sets of steel ball bearings for smooth, tight steering and superior force effects. Precision stainless steel accelerator, brake and clutch pedals let you elevate your driving to an art form. Components can be bolted down for exceptional sturdiness - Now it's not the wheel's fault if you don't win.