Expert review: Thrustmaster T150 RS Pro and Thrustmaster TMX Pro
- With the combination of the racing wheel, the Pro pedal set and the shifter you have a complete racing experience.
- Handling, oversteering and understeer feel realistic, almost like a real car.
- With the 3 pedals of the T3PA pedal set and the switchbox you have complete control over your virtual car.
- On console, this set is plug-and-play, connect and you go right on the track.
- The steering wheel was sometimes released during the most intensive steering maneuvers.
- Habituation: If you are used to a controller, it takes a race wheel just before your lap times are the old one.
I take a PS4 Pro, Thrustmaster T150 RS racing wheel set with T3PA pedals and TH8A shifter. I mount it on a very comfortable Alcantara PlaySeat and place it in the most luxurious meeting room of Coolblue, et voilá: our own piece of Silverstone in the Boss Room. With this setup I feel the ultimate racing experience at Driveclub, one of the most realistic racing games of the moment.
Setting up the racing wheel and the accompanying accessories was pretty easy. First of all, I connect the supplied cables of the gearbox and the pedals to the base of the racing wheel. No problem, because the connections only fit one of the available ports. Then I connect it to the USB ports of my PlayStation 4. I know that the steering wheel is working properly, because after I turn it on, the steering wheel moves automatically as it goes through its warmup. I navigate my way to the controller settings of my game of choice and make sure they match the racing wheel. In the case of Driveclub I play with the maximum rotation angle and I set the force feedback to about 80%. After a few test rounds to adjust seat and steering wheel completely to my liking, my plan is now ready to really start racing.
Realism, that's the first thing I noticed when I crawled behind this racing wheel. With my feet on the pedals I feel the engine vibrate through the steering wheel, while I am looking through the virtual cockpit of a car in which I would not dare to ride with it. If you are used to a controller, you will automatically lean back from a bored back to the trigger for downshift and check my mirrors to keep the losers behind me. Of course you are dependent on which game you play. A game like Driveclub or Gran Turismo gives as a game much more information at the wheel than for example a game like Need for Speed. Racing with a steering wheel sucks me into the game and makes it a lot more exciting, whether I was racing at a desk at my PC or playing from the PlaySeat in the Eindbazenkamer.
Handling and control
The experience is one thing, but lap times speak for themselves. In games like Drive Club, F1 and Gran Turismo you will also have to deal with wet roads and icy curves that stand in your way and your best lap time. I feel the difference through the force feedback from these racing wheels. Unlike my controller, I feel exactly when upset on a wet road surface and I correct it more easily without flying out of the bend. The engine is powerful and delivers a lot of feedback, so it's sometimes a bit of a shock when I unexpectedly lose control. The pedals allow you to dose your gas and brake, so that you can race at the right speed on apex from the bend. The first few laps let the computer still dust me, but after 2 hours once used to be, I already pass a few virtual steps in the bend.
For me it is not the first time that I play with a racing wheel. I have tried everything from small wheels to full simulation cockpits at trade fairs, but it is the first time that I have been allowed to play with them for a long time. Fortunately, the sound of the roaring virtual motors also attracted the necessary curious Coolblue colleagues. From gamers to people who have never touched a racing wheel, everyone made time for a ride. Everyone plays differently: switching with the flippers or with the shifter or just nice on the machine, racing with the wheel made it a lot more fun for everyone.
The Thrustmaster T150 RS and TMX Pro are a low-threshold way to make racing games even more fun. The difference with a controller is gigantic: it feels like you're switching from simple to simulation. The force feedback is powerful and provides you with the contextual information about the road surface as you would also feel with a real car. Whether you are a Need for Speed freak or playing realistic games like Driveclub, these 2 steer lift your gaming experience to a higher level.